Undergraduate Courses: Fall 2015

ENG 210 | International English

Laura Ambrose
Section 1 | MW, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

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. Students will study several principal examples in detail. In doing so, you will also investigate many issues that accompany language globalization, such as, language change, loss of language and identity, language policy and standardization, and teaching and learning English.

We will discover that 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 three credits in English and satisfies the GER requirements for Humanities.

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

ENG 212 | Grammar and Usage

Laura Ambrose
Section 1 | MW, 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Section 2 | TR, 4 p.m. – 5:15 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 Ambrose at lambrose@uwm.edu.

ENG 233 | Introduction to Creative Writing

Kristin Fay
Section 1 | MW, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

This course introduces students to writing poetry and short fiction, in which they:

  • review important elements that the two genres share in common and that cause them to diverge from one another.
  • consider matters of craft and technique through reading and discussing instructional guidance and professional models.
  • practice writing individually, workshop peers’ writings in group settings, and critique and revise their own works.

This class engenders a safe community of support for play and experimentation, while exploring traditions both long-established and newly constructed by literary artists.

Required textbookImaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, Fourth Edition.
Burroway, Janet. (2014, Pearson, 978-0-13-405324-0)

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

ENG 235 | Writing Poetry: Forms, Styles, Voices

Jim Chapson
Section 1 | TR, 12:30 p.m. -1:45 p.m.

Students will be encouraged to discover and explore new ways of writing. While there will be close readings of poems from the 17th to the 21st century, the focus will be on student work composed during the semester. Each student will produce a portfolio of about twenty pages of poems by the end of the semester.

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

ENG 294 | Game Culture

Stuart Moulthrop
Section 1 | TR, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

This is a first course in the critical study of games, especially video games, and the culture of participatory media to which they belong. It will introduce the concept of games and play as part of a meaning-making activity; survey forms, conventions, and practices that inform the design and reception of games; outline major theoretical trends within the field of Game Studies; examine the place of games in contemporary culture; and consider some of the problems and challenges they pose for our society. The course features reading, writing, thinking — but above all, play.

For more information, check the course preview or contact Stuart Moulthrop at moulthro@uwm.edu.

ENG 306 | Survey of Irish Literature

José Lanters
Section 1 | TR 11:00-12:15

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 century, and the Irish Literary 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.

Marie Heaney, Over Nine Waves
J. Harrington, ed., Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama
Roddy Doyle, The Deportees
Bernard McLaverty, Cal
William Trevor, ed. Irish Short Stories
Course packet (Clark Graphics)

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

ENG 374 | Survey of Current Literary and Cultural Theory

Andrew Kincaid
Section 1 | TR, 9.30 a.m. – 10.45 a.m.

This course will read modern literary criticism and theory in an historical and interdisciplinary manner.

Required texts: one large course packet = about $70


  • a 4-5 page midterm paper
  • a 4-5 page final paper
  • a final quiz
  • participation
  • regular short homework questions, which could include, for example, one of the following: multiple choice, some comprehension questions, a paragraph of explication, a personal response, etc.

For more information, contact Andrew Kincaid at akincaid@uwm.edu.

ENG 416 | Poetry Workshop

Brenda Cardenas
Section 1 | T, 3:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.

When we write poems, we often explore various means of working within, stretching, and transcending boundaries vis-a-vis our attention to particular aspects of craft and approaches to writing. With this in mind, students will draft and revise poems outside of class, as well as engage in various in-class writing exercises. Assignments will involve experimenting with patterns of sound and repetition, line and syntax, extended metaphor, persona, formal verse, ekphrasis, and collage, among other approaches.

Students will also read, analyze, and discuss both published contemporary poems and their peers’ poems-in-progress, paying attention to what the poem aims to achieve or evoke and how the poet has constructed and crafted the poem toward this end. 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. The culminating project will be a portfolio of revised poems with a reflective introductory essay.

Required texts:

  • Lockwood, Diane. The Crafty Poet. Nicholasville, KY: Wind Publications, 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1-936138-62-3, List Price: $20.00.
  • Readings accessed as PDFs or through links to online web sites will be posted in the Content area of our course D2L site and equal about 257 pages. You must print these readings and bring them to class on their due dates. If you print them at a campus computer lab, it will cost you 6 cents per page or about $15.42.
  • Print-outs of your own and your classmates’ poems and of your critiques for workshops: about $9.06 if printed in the campus computer labs at 6 cents per page.

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

ENG 431 | Topics in Advanced Communications

Scientific Controversies
Scott Graham
Section 1 | R, 5:30 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.

Climate change, GMO foods, evolution, stem cell research, contrails, nuclear power, MMR vaccines, pesticide policy, big pharma, sociobiology, and ulcers: all issues that are subject to controversy. But what kind of controversy? Is the question of how to ethically conduct stem cell research the same kind of controversy as anthropogenic climate change? What are the differences between controversies within the scientific community and public controversies about scientific issues? How and when should scientists intervene in public discourse? How should a modern democracy deal with questions of scientific controversy?

Students in ENG 431 will explore and address these questions through engagement with a series of case studies on hot-button topics relating to science and public policy. They will explore the circulation of these controversies in a wide variety of scientific and popular media ranging from prominent scientific journals and outreach efforts by scientific educators to major world newspapers and parody news professionals.

For more information, contact Scott Graham at grahams@uwm.edu.

ENG 454 | Milton

Gwynne Kennedy
Section 1 | MW, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

The major text for the course will be John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, whose profound influence on later generations of writers and readers continues in popular culture today—in advertising, cartoons, television, movies, and fiction (Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass, e.g.). In this course, you will also read some of Milton’s prose and other poems. Familiarity with Milton’s era (the seventeenth-century) is not required; literary criticism and historical materials will provide context for his life and writings.

Reading Paradise Lost is a challenging and immensely rewarding epic experience. Participation in class discussions and completion of weekly short responses tied to the assigned reading are essential. In addition, to the responses, there will be two short papers, a mid-term, and creative final exam/paper.

The professor highly recommends Barbara Lewalski’s 2007 edition of Paradise Lost, which you can find online or in the UWM Bookstore (ISBN 10: 1405129298 or ISBN 13: 978-1405129299). There will be a short reader available at Clark Graphics; last time the cost was roughly $12.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.

For more information, contact Gwynne Kennedy at gkennedy@uwm.edu.

ENG 622 | Seminar in Irish Literature

Theatre from Yeats to McDonagh
José Lanters
Section 1 | T, 3:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.

In the early years of the Irish Revival period at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Abbey Theatre produced great playwrights like J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey, but by mid-century, a variety of cultural and political forced had conspired to remove most of the excitement from Irish drama. In the 1960s, as the cultural and political climate began to change, younger playwrights like Brian Friel and Tom Murphy moved Irish theatre out of the doldrums with works that were emotionally complex, theatrically engaging, and thematically relevant to what was happening in Irish society.

Beginning with the “grand old men” (and some women) of the Abbey Theatre, this course will explore a number of the most successful, challenging, and, at times, controversial playwrights who followed in their wake. In addition to discussing the relationship between form and content of the plays, and paying attention to aspects of their production in the theatre, we will place them in their cultural, historical, and critical context with the aid of supplementary reading materials in a course packet.

Reading list:

  • Patrick Lonergan, ed. Contemporary Irish Plays (Bloomsbury Methuen).
  • Patrick Lonergan, ed. The Methuen Drama Anthology of Irish Plays (Methuen Drama).
  • John P. Harrington, ed., Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama (W.W. Norton).

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