Undergraduate Courses: Spring 2011

English 205: Business Writing

Mariann Maris
Section 12 | TR 9:30 – 10:45 am
Section 14 | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Section 17 | TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm

This business writing class will meet face-to-face for the first three weeks of class. After the first three weeks, the class will meet one week face-to-face and on-line (in a virtual world) the next week. There will be a Second Life link on the toolbar. During the first three weeks of class, students will learn more about ePortfolio and Second Life as learning tools.

Textbooks students will purchase:

  • eBook, M.E. Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 7th edition. Cost is $70 if purchased from Cengage/Aplia. (An online NOTE: The UWM bookstore’s price for a hard copy of the 7th edition of Guffey is $185.85.)
  • Alred, Brusau, Oliu, Business Writers Handbook, 9th edition. Students can purchase an eBook version for $32.50 or the spiral bound, “hard” edition for $46.05. (Some used copies will be available at a cost of approximately $32).

English 209: Language in the United States

Dr. Patricia Mayes
Section 201 | Online

Have you ever wondered how many varieties of American English there are? (Why use good morning, why not w’s up?) Have you ever wondered why we have different varieties of speech, or why it’s easy to tell a speaker from the south from a midwesterner? Is there really a standard spoken language, or are language standards only for writing? How do people perceive the different varieties and accents of American English, and what do people in other parts of the country think about the Wisconsin accent? (Is it really just about cheeseheads and bubblers?) What is the role of other languages in our changing multicultural society? And what do our ways of speaking say about our identities? (Are ya a Yooper, eh?)

We’ll explore these and other questions in English 209. We’ll also investigate the future of our language: What’s the likely effect of new forms of technology and global communication? We’ll use short readings, discussion boards, and web sites like “Do You Speak American?” to look at these and other important issues affecting our evolving American speech patterns. y dont u sign ^ 2day!

English 209 satisfies Humanities GER credit. Note that this is a fully online course. You must have access to a computer and be able to access D2L to take this course. You can contact the instructor at mayes@uwm.edu.

English 210: International English

Laura Ambrose
Section 1 | MW 2:00 – 3:15 pm

As English 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 also 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 the Americas, 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.

English 212: Grammar and Usage

Laura Ambrose
Section 1 | MW 4:00 – 5:15 pm
Section 2 | TR 2:00 – 3:15 pm

Precise, powerful, 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.

English 214: Writing in the Professions

Global Business Communication
Sonia Khatchadourian
Section 1 | MW 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

This new course offering will introduce and familiarize students with fundamental aspects of global business communication. Topics that will be included are:

  • the values and practices of other cultures that affect their communication styles,
  • the role that technology, especially e-mail, has in global business communication,
  • appropriate format, organization, and writing style of documents (letters, e-mails/memos) for an international audience (region/culture specific),
  • appropriate communication channels for an international audience (region/culture specific), and
  • oral and non-verbal communication (covered in a limited capacity).

Other topics may include a comparative analysis of business ethics and website analysis.

We will discuss readings, analyze documents, do writing exercises that focus on format, style, organization, and content appropriate for other cultures, conduct interviews and locate sources for research-related projects, and share our findings. Also, there may be an opportunity to work on a collaborative project with Professional Writing students at the University of Applied Science in Munich, Germany.

This course counts as an elective for the BA in Global Studies & the International Studies Major. If you have any questions, contact the instructor at soniak@uwm.edu.

English 224: American Writers: 1900 to the Present

Craig Medvecky
Section 1 | TR 2:00 – 3:15 pm

English 236: Introductory Topics in Creative Writing

Gaming, World Building, and Narrative
Trent Hergenrader
Section 2 | MW 12:30 – 1:45 pm

In this course students will use games and gaming principles to collaboratively construct a deeply immersive post-apocalyptic world. Students will populate this world with people to meet, places to find, and things to discover, and then will develop well-rounded characters who will explore this created world through role-playing gameplay. Students will then write a series of flash fiction stories describing the unique experiences of their characters.

To round out our knowledge of the varieties of post-apocalyptic narratives across media, we will read a selection of post-apocalyptic short stories, watch two post-apocalyptic films, and play and discuss the post-apocalyptic role-playing video game Fallout 3. As we read, watch, and play, we will catalog our observations in a wiki that can be referenced as students begin building their unique post-apocalypse, developing their characters, and writing short narratives.

English 243: Introduction to Literature by Women

Fantasy & Feminism
Dawn Tefft
Section 1 | MW 2:00 – 3:15 pm

This course combines close reading with study of the historical and cultural contexts of works of fantastic, feminist literature authored by women. Throughout the course, students will be expected to produce analyses of literary works that draw on the specific elements comprising those works as well as on the contexts in which they were created. Some possible contexts we will be examining include the Women’s Liberation Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, Industrialism, and Capitalism. Some of the tools we will use to analyze these contexts include gender theory; theories of racial, ethnic, and/or national identity; and Marxism.

By the end of the course, students should be able to discuss fantastic literature and feminism in relation to one another; make arguments about the relative advantages and disadvantages of such broad classifications; and explain how and why specific literary texts work within, outside of, or against such classifications. The definitions of terms such as “fantasy” “magical,” “magical realism,” “science fiction,” and “fabulism” are highly contested, and many critics have noted overlapping definitions and usages among them. The stakes of these terminological contests are high, in seeking to define what is “real,” what is “unreal,” and what is “differently real.” The stakes are equally high for determining the meanings of “woman,” “female” and “feminism.” It is important to consider who is included or excluded by specific definitions, who is creating them, and who benefitting. Therefore, some of our readings and many of our discussions will focus on various definitions and usages of the concepts of “fantasy” and “feminism.”

Throughout the semester, we will read and discuss published works, write essays, and undertake creative exercises. All of these efforts are directed at helping us, as a group, come to a better understanding of how serious authors use playful means to question, upset, and potentially change conventional notions of gender.

English 245: The Life, Times, and Work of a Literary Artist

Raymond Carver
Sonia Khatchadourian
Section 201 | Online

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 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.

As this is an online version of the course, students will demonstrate engagement in and analysis of the readings by using the Discussion Forum feature on Desire2Learn (D2L) and by posting short writings and formal essays in the D2L Drop Box. The Content and Links sections will also be used.

Initial reading list:

  • Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? / $15.00 / ISBN: 978-0-679-73569-4
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love / $14.00 / ISBN: 978-0-679-72305-9
  • Cathedral / $15.00 / ISBN: 978-0-679-72369-1

English 261: Introduction to Short Stories

Contemporary International Short Fiction
David Yost
Section 1 | TR 8:00 – 9:15 am

What is a short story and what should we do with one if we catch it? This discussion-based course will investigate how authors from Ama Ata Aidoo to Stephen King have tried to answer these questions through their innovations and triumphs with the form. Along the way, we’ll discuss major literary movements of the late 20th century and the critical approaches that often accompany them. We’ll also examine the craft of each author, analyzing their techniques both for our critical papers and for our own fiction-writing.

Course assignments will include weekly responses, an analytical paper, an optional creative project, and attendance at a live reading of short fiction. For more information, contact the instructor at djyost@uwm.edu.

English 263: Introduction to the Novel

The Postmodern American Novel
John Couture
Section 1 | TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

In English 263, we will examine questions of definition and periodization (what is postmodernism?), of genre (what is a novel? what is a postmodern novel?) and of nationality (what does “America” and “American literature” mean in an age of global capitalism and transnationalism?). Readings include theoretical and critical texts provided by the instructor, as well as the following novels:

  • William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch / $14 / ISBN: 0-8021-4018-1
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 / $10 / ISBN: 0-06-184992-8
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five / $15 / ISBN: 0-385-33384-6
  • Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping / $14 / ISBN: 0-312-42409-4
  • Kathy Acker, Great Expectations / $16 / ISBN: 0-8021-3155-7
  • Joanna Russ, The Female Man / $16 / ISBN: 0807062995
  • Don DeLillo, White Noise / $16 / ISBN: 0-14-310598-1
  • Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo / $15 / ISBN: 0-684-82477-9
  • Gerald Vizenor, The Heirs of Columbus / $17.95 / ISBN: 0-8195-6249-1

(Use the ISBN numbers to located used books; if bought new, the costs are as listed above.)

English 279: Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature

Dr. Brenda Cárdenas
Section 201 | Online

In this fully on-line course, we will analyze the key themes, styles, and trends of Chicano/Mexican American literature in the contexts of Chicano/a social and cultural history. We will explore folk ballads, myths and legends, as well as contemporary works of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction. This will include literary works that helped launch the Chicano/a Civil Rights Movement; that narrate the daily struggles of migrant farm laborers and the border-crossing experiences of undocumented immigrants; that examine issues of gender and sexuality within Chicano/a culture; and that express variations on bi-cultural and trans-cultural identities—the betwixt and between, fusion and code-switching, acculturation and resistance to it. We will also read the works closely, analyzing the effects of various literary elements and techniques, and apply the ideas of literary and cultural critics to the primary texts. Course requirements will include weekly quizzes, discussion posts and replies, a critical research paper, and an online presentation.

English 328: Forms of Experimental Literature

Monstrous Progeny
Dr. Stuart Moulthrop
Section 201 | Online

This class takes the idea of “experimental literature” somewhat broadly. We will work through several texts that engage unconventional or emerging media: the graphic novel Watchmen, as well as the hypertext fiction Patchwork Girl and the video games Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Watchmen: The End Is Nigh. However, we will also look at three films derived from novels, and thus will address that more familiar type of “experiment” that results from any media crossing. Media and mediation are core concerns of the course.

Taking our cue from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, we will focus on “monstrous progeny” – a richly evocative phrase. In Mrs. Shelley’s original sense, the term refers to literary production itself: the artificial life of characters, circumstances, and stories that haunts writers and readers like a returning dream. What gives certain stories the power to spread beyond their initial telling into new contexts and forms? This movement suggests a second resonance, focused more on medium than message. Here we take human inventions, particularly media of communication, as realizations of the uncanny: simultaneously familiar and strange, alluring yet unsettling, even “monstrous.” What happens to literary expression as it passes through various laboratories of cinematic illusion (from classical Hollywood to modern CGI), then into still more radical experiments like hypertext and video games? What is the relationship between literature and other media forms? How should we think, as students of literature, about the progeny (monstrous or otherwise) of subsequent invention?

While this course is not rigorously historical, skipping from a product of the early 19th century to two from the late 20th, it does open discussion of certain threads in our cultural tapestry, particularly those monsters in our midst. Shelley’s creature, Adams’ various aliens-as-Englishmen, and Moore’s postmodern superheroes, all offer variations on this theme. The course invites your thinking about fantasy, the gothic, and the whole notion of genre, especially as these subjects impinge on questions of mediation and re-making.

Ultimately, though, this class will itself be something of an experiment, or a dialogue between my own thinking about these texts and your ideas and inventions. It will best succeed if you find interesting worlds to explore, in and around the assignments.

English 360: The Art of Poetry

Poets on Their Art and Craft
Dr. Rebecca Dunham
Section 1 | TR 3:30 – 4:45 pm

This course will investigate 20th century poets’ interviews and essays on the craft of poetry, and consider these ideas in relation to their own original work. Our reading list will include works by Yusef Komunyakaa, Heather McHugh, Eavan Boland, and Mark Doty. Students will be graded on a presentation, a final essay/interview, reading responses, and in-class participation.

English 383: Cinema and Genre

Horror Films, 1960-1985
Dr. Gilberto Blasini
Section 202 | Online

The course surveys the gradual transformation of horror films—mostly but not exclusively in the U.S.—from B-movie status to a popularly and critically praised genre during the 25-year period between 1960 and 1985. The release of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in the U.S. and Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom in the U.K. in 1960 marks a transition in terms of thematic, ideological and narrative approaches to conveying horror filmically. The historical changes that took place after 1960 (the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, the women’s movement, the sexual revolution, the civil rights movement, the end of the Hays Code and the appearance of the MPAA ratings system, among others) further transformed the cinematic configuration of the horror genre, giving many directors the opportunity to create socially relevant and aesthetically challenging texts that were able to engage a wide variety of audiences (e.g., the youth, African Americans). We will study a number of filmmakers who emerged as horror auteurs during these years—Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Brian de Palma, Larry Cohen, Tobe Hooper, and David Cronenberg. In addition, we will explore some of this period’s horror subgenres: demonic entities/possessions, science-makes-nature-run-amok, and the slasher/stalker films. In order to understand the social relevance of these films as cultural artifacts, the course will pay close attention to these films’ relationship to their historical context. Thus, we will examine how these films engage discourses related to gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality.

Warning: The purpose of the class is to understand the horror genre critically. If you cannot tolerate gore, violence, and profanity, or if any of the topics and issues depicted in these films go against your moral or religious beliefs, you should not take this course. There are plenty of other Film Studies courses that would be a better fit to your interests and way of life. In addition, if you are interested in horror films only from the standpoint of a fan or movie buff, this course will not fulfill your expectations. For more information, contact the instructor at gblasini@uwm.edu.

English 416: Poetry Workshop

Brenda Cárdenas
Section 2 | T 2:00 – 4:40 pm

In this course, students will engage in various in-class writing exercises, as well as drafting and revising poems outside of class. Assignments might include persona, extended-metaphor, non-literary form, ekphrastic, found/collage, and collaborative poems, as well as experiments with formal structures and constraints. 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. 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.

English 417: Readings for Writers

Procedure and Play
Dr. Stuart Moulthrop
Section 1 | R 3:30 – 6:10 pm

Answering both to explicit structure (procedure) and ecstatic emergence (play), this class offers an introduction to born-digital electronic literature: word-based art whose operation and reception depend significantly on computational elements. We will read precursor and parallel writings (OULIPO and the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E school), as well as critical considerations of electronic literature (Hayles, Wardrip-Fruin). We will also encounter a number of examples, both on the page (Joyce, Carpenter) and the computer screen (Electronic Literature Collection).

There some a silent terms in the course subtitle—we could begin with poetics or poesis, implying exploration through engaged play, or writing… which will involve writing code. We will use simple resources—Hypertext Markup Language and Javascript—to tailor and create our own textual inventions. You will have the option to produce either a critical research paper or a creative project (with argument) as your final project. Final projects may be developed collaboratively.

English 436: Writing for Information Technology

Dr. Dave Clark
Section 201 | Online

This course explores theories, practices, and tools used by professional documentation specialists. Our topics will include information design, instructional documentation, and content management, among many others. While designing and producing projects, students will have the opportunity to gain both theoretical and practical experience with designing and writing tools, processes, and languages. Projects will also require learning effective strategies for managing writing projects, audience analysis and usability testing, and collaboration. This course does not assume any prior technical expertise, and students from all plans and majors are welcome.

English 452: Shakespeare

Dr. Mark Netzloff
Section 1 | TR 3:30 – 4:45 pm

This course provides an intensive critical study of Shakespearean drama. Our discussions will concentrate on a close reading of seven plays—The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, King Lear, and The Winter’s Tale—along with an analysis of the texts’ literary, theatrical, and historical contexts. Because Shakespeare wrote his plays for performance rather than publication, we will pay particular attention to the cultural importance of the early modern theater. In addition, we will examine the ways these texts have been reinterpreted over time by looking at the plays in performance and on film.

Texts for the course (you may use alternative editions instead):

  • Shakespeare, Four Comedies (Bantam) [includes The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night]
  • —. Four Tragedies (Bantam) [for Macbeth and King Lear]
  • —. Henry V (Bantam)
  • —. The Winter’s Tale (Oxford)
  • —. Titus Andronicus (Oxford)

A course packet will also be available at Clark Graphics that will feature the critical readings for the course (est. cost, $20). The total cost of all course materials will be between $50-60.

English 465: Women Writers

Women Writers Before Austen
Dr. Gwynne Kennedy
Section 2 | MW 9:30 – 10:45 am

Who were some of the women who wrote and published before Jane Austen? There are in fact far too many for a single course, even within one country, so we will read a variety of writings from diverse places and centuries. They include: the first play by an English woman (Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam) and the first biography of a woman, written by Cary’s daughters, defenses of women and women’s education by Christine de Pizan in France, Sor Juana de la Cruz in Spanish Mexico, and Mary Wollstonecraft in England, sonnets by English, French, and Italian women, plays by Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn, and prose fiction by Behn and Mary Wroth (the first romance in English). The course will also track three issues through the readings: attitudes toward women’s literacy and education, female sexuality, and spiritual authority, paying particular attention to how these are framed at different times and locations.

English 501: Studies in Literature, 1500-1660

English Renaissance Drama
Dr. Mark Netzloff
Section 1 | TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm

This course provides a survey of English dramatic literature of the early modern period. As the designation early modern suggests, our discussions will emphasize the role of these texts in the formation of key literary and cultural attributes of the modern age. The public theater itself, for instance, provides the earliest example of a mass medium, a form of popular culture that addressed a spectrum of class groups and reflected on a range of political matters. And the concerns represented on the early modern stage resonate in our own time as well: from the cultural effects of an increasingly globalized world, in terms of early histories of colonialism and emerging ideas of race, to the place of gender, sexuality, and the household as cultural battlegrounds in a period of economic instability. Especially crucial to our discussions will be the literary and performance contexts of these plays, and we will examine such topics as the emergence of the professional writer and models of authorship, the effect of print culture on performance-based texts, and, most importantly, the plays themselves in performance, with screenings and clips of stage productions and film adaptations.

We will discuss nine dramatic texts in all: Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Edward II; Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Tempest; Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair and The Masque of Blackness; Middleton’s The Roaring Girl; and the anonymous “tabloid” play Arden of Faversham.

Texts for the course (you may use alternative editions instead):

  • Anon., Arden of Faversham (New Mermaids)
  • Jonson, Bartholomew Fair (New Mermaids)
  • Marlowe, Doctor Faustus and Other Plays (Oxford)
  • Middleton, The Roaring Girl (Norton)
  • Shakespeare, Hamlet (Bantam)
  • —. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bantam)
  • —. The Tempest (Bantam)

A course packet will be available at Clark Graphics that will feature Jonson’s Masque of Blackness along with critical readings for the course (est. cost, $20). Including the course packet, the total cost of course materials will be approximately $75.

English 625: Seminar in Literary History

Eating English Lit
Dr. Barrett Kalter
Section 1 | TR 2:00 – 3:15 pm

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.

This is a new course and editions have not yet been selected. I estimate the cost of course books, if purchased new, at around $50.

English 633: Seminar in Rhetoric and Writing

Rhetoric and Everyday Life
Dr. Alice Gillam
Section 1 | M 3:30 – 6:10 pm

If, as Kenneth Burke suggests, rhetoric is “the use of language [defined broadly to include visual and other nonverbal forms of communication] as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation [or communication] in beings that by nature respond to symbols,” then rhetoric is an inescapable part of our everyday lives. Indeed, Aristotle went so far as to suggest that since everyone uses rhetoric, those who understand it can control those who do not. In short, this course introduces you to the study of rhetoric and its everyday applications. We do so by considering four general topics:

  • What is rhetoric, and what does its study and practice entail?
  • What are its uses in civic realm?
  • In local community life?
  • In the realm of popular culture?

In the latter three units, we will focus on a particular case or cases of civic, community, and popular cultural practice.

English 634: Seminar in English Language Studies

Language and Gender
Dr. Patricia Mayes
Section 1 | W 3:30 – 6:10 pm

Robin Lakoff’s seminal article, “Language and Woman’s Place,” argued that the language women use, for example, hedges (sort of and I guess) and tag questions (It’s great, isn’t it?), has, in part, been responsible for excluding them from positions of power and authority. This argument claims that in essence language is a tool of oppression through which the gender norms that keep women in their place are continuously reenacted. Although many people still believe that gender consists of a set of immutable characteristics and that the way we use language merely reflects these, this course will challenge these ideas, as we examine the role of language in constructing gender identities. We will begin by examining how several feminist theories have dealt with the relationship between language and gender.

We will also look at how various methodologies have been used to research this topic, beginning with quantitative studies in sociolinguistics and moving to the current focus on language use in communities of practice. Other questions to be explored include how gender ideologies interact with other social constructs such as culture, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and social class. Students do not need previous training in linguistics, sociology, or gender studies.