Fall 2014 Schedule

ENG-200-01 MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM Noir:  Black on White
ENG-200-02 TR 1:30 PM 2:45 PM War in the Arts
ENG-200-03 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Native American Identity: Intolerance,
Suppression, and Renewal
ENG-200-04 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Noir:  Black on White
ENG-200-05 MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM

Native American Identity: Intolerance,
Suppression, and Renewal

ENG-200-06 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Alternate Realities:  Fiction, Film, Physics, History, and Philosophy
ENG-200-07 MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM War Fiction
ENG-200-08 TR 9:00 AM 10:15 AM Superheroes in/and Society
ENG-200-09 MW 4:30 PM 5:45 PM Searching for Meaning in the 21st Century
ENG-200-10 TR 10:30 AM 11:45 AM Hell Bent on Leather:  Globalization of
Heavy Metal Music
ENG-200-11 MWF 1:00 PM 1:50 PM Obedience & Authority
ENG-200-12 TR 10:30 AM 11:45 AM Performance
ENG-200-13 MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM Buffy:  Girls & Vampires
ENG-200-14 TR 9:00 AM 10:15 AM Performance
ENG-200-15 MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-16 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM War Fiction
ENG-200-17 MWF 1:00 PM 1:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-18 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Imprisonment
ENG-200-19 TR 12:00 PM 1:15 PM To be determined
ENG-200-20 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM To be determined
ENG-200-21 MWF 1:00 PM 1:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-22 MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-23 MWF 12:00 PM 12:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-24 MWF 12:00 PM 12:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-25 MWF 12:00 PM 12:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-26 MWF 12:00 PM 12:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-27 MWF 1:00 PM 1:50 PM To be determined
ENG-200-28 TR 12:00 PM 1:15 PM To be determined
ENG-200-29 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Vocation
ENG-200-30 MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM To be determined
ENG-200H-H1 MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Obedience & Authority
ENG-200H-H2 MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM Obedience & Authority
ENG-200H-H3 MWF 1:00 PM 1:50 PM Hip Hop Culture
ENG-200H-H4 TR 10:30 AM 11:45 AM Shakespeare, Utopia, and the
Common Good
ENG-200H-H5 TR 9:00 AM 10:15 AM Reading and Writing Glam Rock
ENG-200H-H6 MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM Voices and Visions
ENG-200H-H7 MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM Superheroes in/and Society
ENG-200H-H8 MWF 8:00 AM 8:50 AM Superheroes in/and Society
ENG-200H-H9 MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM Buffy:  Girls & Vampires
ENG-200H-HA MWF 8:00 AM 8:50 AM Obedience & Authority
ENG-200H-HD MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM War Fiction
ENG-200H-HE TR 12:00 PM 1:15 PM China's Middle Class
ENG-200H-HF TR 12:00 PM 1:15 PM Getting Medieval
ENG-200H-HG MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM Amish
ENG-200H-HH TR 12:00 PM 1:15 PM Remix Culture
ENG-200H-HJ MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM Native American Identity: Intolerance,
Suppression, and Renewal
ENG-200H-HK MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM Gender in American Culture

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Alternate Realities: Fiction, Film, Physics, History, and Philosophy

In this class, we will trace the concept of the "multiverse" and the many worlds theory, as well as concepts such as modal reality, and how fiction writers have investigated such possibilities.  We will reimagine historical events to make points about the nature of OUR culture and civilation, its ethics, responsibilities, and even life and how to live in history.

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Amish Culture

Through various disciplinary lenses, we will look at topics surrounding diversity and multiculturalism in the twenty-first century. We will analyze the role that art and the media play in creating visual rhetoric in a diverse, global society. We will use a Reading across the Curriculum approach to improve academic writing, research, and scholarship.

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Buffy: Girls and Vampires

This course centers on the television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and its relevance to and implications upon society and culture. While it might seem to be just an arbitrarily chosen television series, Buffy is the most scholarly discussed television show in history; even though it ended its run nearly a decade ago, academic conferences are held every year that focus solely on Buffy. This is a testament to the show’s rich subtext and significance. As a consequence, a vast array of scholarly writing exists about Buffy; in the course, students will be able to engage these texts and contribute their own writing to the canon of scholarly work on Buffy. Students will perform significant research about a variety of topics related to Buffy, including gender, sexuality, responsibility, vocation, vigilantism, justice, and humanity. All of these topics, and many more, are addressed in the series either textually or subtextually, and each are written about extensively in the canon of scholarly Buffy writing.

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China's Middle Class

The goal of this course is to assist you in raising your rhetorical awareness and improving your critical thinking, research, and writing skills through process-based writing practices.  In this course, we will discuss the concept of the middle class in China as compared with the definitions for the middle class in the United States. We will study the growth of this group from its historical perspective, the performance of this group, as well as the global significance of this group to see what makes this group unique. To make connections with other disciplines, including Education, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and English, we will read and analyze texts with various disciplinary perspectives of the rising middle class in China. The assigned materials, published in China (in English) and the US, will be literary, historical, political, journalistic, and cultural studies oriented.  You will complete a series of writing assignments from cultural heritage reflection to rhetorical analysis, informative synthesis, and finally a researched argumentative paper.

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Gender in American Culture

This course will take the theme of gender as a jumping off point for developing students’ reading, writing, and argumentative skills.  The course reading assignments will consider competing arguments for gender difference as well as the impact of gender in education, sports, and the media.

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Getting Medieval

Consider this problem: if we call the Middle Ages a “dark ages” and foist all the bad things that have happened in human history onto the past, then we modern—and “enlightened”—humans can feel evolved and beyond all those unfortunate events that happened in the medieval past. Saying that the bad stuff is “medieval,” as opposed to “modern,” means that we “have been there, done that” and are not responsible for worrying about all that ugliness that pervaded the Medieval Times (or Middle Ages) when people were (presumably) uninformed by contemporary discourse about equal rights, human rights, and social justice. But believing that we have moved beyond hate (in the guise of homophobia, antisemitism, and misogyny) is way too idealistic. Hopeful, yes, but way too idealistic. The literature of the Middle Ages still reaches out to us and touches us in uncomfortable ways because try as we might, we really can’t ignore that reach, that touch. Medieval texts reveal human weaknesses that still prevail in our contemporary world, where antisemitism, homophobia, and misogyny continue to deny humans their basic human rights. In “Getting Medieval” we trace the presence of the medieval in our modern world.

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The goal of this class is for everyone in the course to become stronger writers, researchers, and thinkers by writing 5 major essays, conducting library research, and analyzing texts and scholarship in and around the broad theme of heavy metal music. Metal music has been around for more than 40 years now, and throughout its existence it has been derided by the press, hated by the religious right, and generally looked down upon by much of society. So why study it?  Because despite all the naysayers and haters, heavy metal has remained and flourished in the public eye for nearly half a century and continues to do so today.

What is it about this music that draws so many fans - both young and old?  We will examine its history, beginning with the first true metal band Black Sabbath and continue by looking at heavy metal culture through the eyes of noted experts in the field.  We will also examine the music, history, and culture by viewing three films - two documentaries and one acclaimed theatrical production.  Finally, we will look at metal’s relationship to religion, particularly Islam and Catholicism, and in doing so attempt to examine the role that the music plays in cultures as diverse and different as those in the Middle East and the West.

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Hip Hop Culture

 This course will use hip hop as a lens to examine the nexus of race, class, and gender. We will begin by building our close reading skills, learning to identify the linguistic complexity and cultural specificity reflected in contemporary hip hop; we will learn to read and apply secondary sources to expand our abilities to engage the specific cultural, social, and political debates cutting across and informing hip hop poetics, specifically the representation of women, and the ways in which hip-hop is used to engage the structures of racism in American thought. Students will use these skills to identify and pursue their own focused research, looking to engage a particular body of songs and secondary readings that they will collect and apply to build their final research paper. Along the way, the we will create a classroom context that is responsive to the nuance and complexity of hip-hop, both from the way it is produced to the way it is consumed and understood in the public sphere.

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Imprisonment

The concept of imprisonment in American culture reaches far beyond the bars of a jail cell. While we will investigate the history of the modern American prison system, we will also focus on the multitude of ways race, gender, social class, and sexuality work to imprison members of society. ENG 200 is primarily a writing course, however, the selected readings and papers will draw from multiple disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology, law, and religious studies in order to build an understanding of the complexity of imprisonment. This course will require both presentations and papers that focus on argument as well as literary analysis.

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Native American Identity: Intolerence, Suppression, and Renewal

This subject provides us with a starting point for examining a variety of questions. For example, what historical forces undermined Native American identity? Has ethnic identity endured or been successfully reformed in the post-colonial present? Does urbanization challenge efforts to preserve identity? What role can identity play in the movement from addiction to recovery? What are the complications and implications of practices intended to reinforce identity such as tattooing and dance? How do visual images represent and misrepresent Native American life and culture? Writing assignments will be supported by both fiction and non-fiction readings.

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Noir: Beyond Black and White

This class will focus on enhancing academic writing and research skills through an exploration of the broad tradition of noir and neo-noir film and fiction. Specific texts will include material by such authors and directors as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Miller, Roman Polanski, Jean Luc Godard, the Coen brothers, Philip K. Dick, Elmore Leonard and Haruki Murakami, as well as the rhetoric of a variety of media, from music videos to television to video games. These texts enforce some social values, while attacking others, all while operating in a space hidden beneath the surface of ‘straight’ society. We’ll examine how the postmodern and post-postmodern perspectives transform the moral extremism of the ‘noir’ text, and how ‘being bad’ can make us feel so good.  If you’ve always longed to hear Lauren Bacall sing about being a ‘sad tomato,’ or see Charlton Heston play a Mexican DEA officer, this is the course for you. Please note, at times you will be required to view films outside of the usual class meeting times in lieu of out-of-class reading assignments.

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Obedience and Authority

"Mindful or Mindlessness: Obedience and Authority": overarching theme is the tensions between various types of authority and between what Erich Fromm calls the "humanitarian" conscience and the "authoritarian" conscience. Through readings in the disciplines of sociology, philosophy and literature, students examine and respond to questions concerning the nature of obedience, the guidelines for disobedience and the relationship between freedom and literacy.

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Performance

The course will use reading and writing to investigate the endeavor of high performance and displayed achievement. Readings will focus on arts, athletics, and religious ritual. Students will be expected to use deep reading, written response, using university-level argument, and research to fulfill assignments. Topics such as identity, ritual, and discourse mastery will be undertaken.

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Reading and Writing Glam Rock

Strictly speaking, “glam rock” was a short-lived 1970s phenomenon—one that had far more impact in Britain than the U.S.  However, glam artists—including David Bowie, Roxy Music, and Lou Reed—continue to interest academics in a variety of fields.  This section of ENG 200H will focus on academic approaches to glam, and students will be reading, thinking about, and writing in response to “glam scholars” in English Studies, Music, History and Gender Studies.

Although glam was primarily a musical movement, it also influenced people’s thinking about fashion, art, gender, and sexuality.  In addition to studying glam’s origins in the alternative music and culture of the late 1960s, we will also be reading and writing about the heyday of glam in the 1970s, as well as its 21st-century manifestation through artists such as Lady Gaga. 

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Remix Culture

What does it mean to be an author, creator, and content owner in today’s media-saturated world? This course explores different notions of authorship in our culture today, from the romantic view of a single, inspired author to forms of collective authorship in which creators freely remix, appropriate, and share music, video, images, text, and other forms of content across a creative commons.
Students will explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of being a content creator and content consumer by examining issues such as copyright, fair use, and plagiarism. We’ll also examine how laws and social norms throughout history have placed authors’ rights in conflict with the public’s desire to access, share, and financially benefit from content.


In addition to traditional forms of academic writing, students can create a digital media project by sampling and remixing found media (e.g., video, music, images, text). This course emphasizes making connections with other Humanities disciplines, including History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and English, as we explore and integrate various disciplinary perspectives of authorship, ownership, and remix culture.

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Searching for Meaning in the 21st Century

Who am I?  Why am I here?  What purpose do I serve?  In this course, we will explore questions of faith, reason, and the search for meaning through writing.  We will begin by examining faith from the perspective of religious studies and will read texts from many of the major religious traditions.  From there, we will explore the psychological aspects and effects of faith.  The final unit will then focus on literary conceptualizations of faith and the ways in which writers have attempted to answer the question, “Why are we here?”.  This unit will culminate in a research paper that will require students to draw upon and weave together what they learned in each unit. 

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Shakespeare, Utopia, and the Common Good

In this course, we will read a number of Shakespeare’s plays and examine their negotiation of sexual, gendered, racial, and socio-political order. Questions we will consider include: What kinds of individual and political bodies are found in Shakespeare? What do they desire and fear? How are they constructed through representations of gender, sexuality, disability, and social status? This course will provide students an opportunity to study Shakespeare’s plays and the culture in which they were produced, as well as to learn critical methodologies pertaining to the study of race, embodiment, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. Plays likely to be covered include: The Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV, Henry V, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale.


Our class will be discussion-based and student-centered, building on the energy and enthusiasm students bring to class. Consequently, students will collaboratively produce an online discussion forum. Major assignments include a midterm, final, and 2 short papers.

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Superheroes (in) and Society

This English 200 investigates various definitions of, genres of, and writing conventions that represent the “Superhero” and its prominence throughout history and popular cultures. We will explore mythologies of superheroes; investigate similarities and differences between heroes and villains; consider ways that different disciplines write about superheroes; and consider diversity among races/ethnicities, classes, genders, and sexualities of superheroes. As a continuation of ENG 100, ENG 200 will apply and build on the same principles of writing, critical thinking, and research that underlie the 100 syllabus. Moving at a brisk pace, ENG 200 will focus on the importance of reading texts carefully, while highlighting the role of narrative discourses, disciplinary conventions, and generic writing in constructing meaning in texts and arguments.  NG 200 will also promote the development of a wide range of strategies for constructing arguments, using textual evidence for support, doing deep research, and documenting your research. “Avengers Assemble!”

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Vocation

In this section of English 200, students will study the various meanings of vocation.  The course readings are drawn from a range of disciplines, including literature, philosophy, religious studies, history, and film studies.  Through a series of formal and informal writing assignments, students will also examine their own calling, explore possible careers, and identify ways to use their gifts and talents to serve others.  Big questions of the course include: Where am I going in life?  What do I want my future to be?  What am I being called to do?  How much choice do I have defining my life?  What are my unique gifts and talents?  What are my obligations to others?

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Voices and Visions

By examining social and cultural images, students will a  nalyze the visual as it has become an integral part of rhetorical experiences.

In general, this course proposes to itself the departmental student outcomes:

  • Write about primary and secondary texts on the course them (Voices & Visions) in a manner that reflects the ability to read critically;
  • Engage in a process approach to writing college-level prose;
  • Produce rhetorically effective college-level expository prose;
  • Produce well researched academic arguments and appeals that are documented in accordance with the MLA style manual;
  • Examine one topic from at least three disciplinary perspectives (two of which are in the Humanities Commons);
  • Examine one topic with attention to difference such as class, gender, race, sexuality, or religion;
  • Explore the relevance of the Catholic intellectual tradition for the study of reading, writing, and rhetoric as human endeavors.

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War in the Arts

This course will discuss and research what it means to be human through two perspectives: 1.) the effects war has on art, as well as 2.) the effects art has on a society before, during, and after its wars. We will travel along many paths, most of which will be chosen by students. After our general discussions, each student will select her or his favorite or most intriguing piece of art about war to focus on for the final research project.

Text:

  • Art and War, by Laura Brandon

Other articles and stories:

  • “Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony,” by Lewis Thomas
  • “Soldier’s Home,” by Ernest Hemingway
  • “How to Tell a True War Story,” by Tim O’Brien
  • “Warrior Code,” by Elizabeth Samet
  • “Quotes by Sun Tzu,” by Sun Tzu
  • “Artists in Time of War,” by Howard Zinn

Poets:                                                                          

  • Fred Kirchner                                                                        
  • Gerald McCarthy                                                       
  • Marilyn M. McMahon                                                           
  • Robert Lee Brewer                                                   
  • Matthew Arnold                                                        
  • Wilfred Owen
  • Siegfried Sasson
  • Yusef Komunyakaa

Songs and Videos:

  • Billy Joel
  • Paul Simon
  • John Lennon
  • Maya Lin

Other Readings:

  • Poetics, by Aristotle
  • “Concepts of Beauty,” by Thomas Aquinas
  • “The Idea of a University,” by Cardinal John Henry Newman
  • “War and Anti-War Art,” by Pablo Picasso

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War Fiction

This section will study how various aspects of war have been represented in fiction. We will look at such figures and events as basic training, the enemy, the wounded, home-coming, and mental trauma. We will try to study as broad a range of texts as we can, in terms of both genre (film, novel, song) and conflict (the American Civil War, the 1991 Gulf War). One of our concerns during the semester will be to identify if the fiction we are studying ultimately works to distance us from war, or to bring us imaginatively closer to it. This will be significant as we speculate upon how these texts contribute to a kind of national consciousness and address a number of moral concerns. However, as far as the papers are concerned, students will have the opportunity to choose their own focus and pursue their own interests. Major writing assignments will encourage students to develop their own writing process, construct their own arguments, and conduct/use research.

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