Spring 2014

Spring 2014 Class Offerings



ENG 408 – Stylistics
Sirles, Mon 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

Theory and practice in examining features of style, including linguistic, rhetorical and literary perspectives on style.

Language and style core requirement in the MAE and MAWP. Lang/Lit/Teaching/Publishing requirement in the MAWP (if not used to fulfill language and style core requirement). Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 419 — Writing Women, Writing About Women in the Middle Ages

Bartlett,  Tue 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

Exploring medieval women as readers and writers is a relatively new academic development. Until the mid-1980’s, it was assumed—to use the famous phrase—that medieval women were “chaste, silent, and obedient”—not to mention illiterate.

Prompted by the women’s and civil rights movements, scholars began to search the medieval archives for evidence of women’s activities and to reevaluate the “chaste, silent, and obedient” proposition. As a result of this still-unfolding process, the traditional picture of the Middle Ages as an overwhelmingly oppressive society for female readers and writers started to change. We now know, for example, that Margery Kempe wrote the first surviving autobiography in English in the 1420s, which recorded her travels throughout England, Europe and the Middle East; and that Christine de Pisan compiled the most widely-read treatise on warfare through the eighteenth century, usually rendered in English as The Book of the Deeds of Arms and Of Chivalry.

This course will introduce you to a wide range of writing by and for medieval women and to the body of recent and ongoing scholarship that seeks to integrate the diverse voices of medieval people into a richer and more dynamic conversation than we have previously recognized.

Medieval period requirement in the MAE. Elective in the MAE and MAWP

ENG 427 – Milton 
McQuade, Sat 10:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m. LPC

English 427 aims to explore the life and work of John Milton.  Students will read a variety of Milton’s writings, including Comus, Paradise Lost, and Samson Agonistes.  At the end of the course, students should be able to identify Miltonic themes and genres; understand how Milton’s work engages with early modern politics, gender, and religion; and gain insight into Milton’s evolution as an artist and a thinker. A final goal is, quite simply, appreciation: I hope that students who complete the course will learn to value Milton’s literary artistry and, most particularly, the brilliance of Paradise Lost.

Renaissance period requirement in the MAE. Elective in the MAE and MAWP. 

ENG 439 – Topics in Restoration and 18th Century Literature: The Country and the City
Squibbs, Mon 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

This course takes its name from Raymond Williams’s landmark 1973 study of how the social and cultural changes wrought by modern capitalism in England were registered, and understood, in terms of contrasting notions of rural and urban life. The ideal of the country as a place of simple communal harmony and relative innocence was generated in part, Williams argues, in response to the alienation and personal isolation associated with Murban experience. In this analysis, “the country” as a way of life is an imaginative product of urban modernity that gets mistaken for a real set of conditions which were being consigned to the past as English society became modernized and urbanized. In this course we will examine the insights, and limitations, of Williams’s account of how literature in the 18th century mediated the country and city as places, and as collections of attitudes and experiences. Following a crash course in Marxist cultural analysis that will help us to better understand Williams’s The Country and the City, we will read examples of poetic idealizations of rural life from ancient Rome (Horace, Virgil) and 18th-C England (John Pomfret, Thomas Gray, Oliver Goldsmith); complications of those ideal visions in poems by John Gay and John Clare; and morally vexed representations of urban life in prose fiction by Eliza Haywood and Frances Burney, and in James Boswell’s London Journal.  We will also draw upon theoretical considerations of urban life in the work of Michel De Certeau, Henri Lefebvre, Georg Simmel and Louis Wirth to supplement our readings from Williams’s book, and to enrich our discussions of the country/city dynamics we find in the period’s literature.

18th Century period requirement in the MAE. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 449 – Topics in 19th Century British Literature:  Jane Austen (HYBRID)
Conary, Thu 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC


English 469 — Topics in American Lit: Media and Technology, and American Literature

Chung, Thurs 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

Here is a brief description of the course: “By the end of the nineteenth century, writing began to lose its monopoly over media forms of reproduction, storage, and transmission to rival communicative media. This course will explore how innovations in emerging technologies such as photography, telegraphy, phonographic sound recording and reproduction, the cinema, and the internet influenced literary aesthetic movements (realism, naturalism, modernism, postmodernism) as well as genre forms during the late-nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. Combining theoretical positions with literary examples and scholarly criticism, we will explore such questions as: what is the novel’s status in a new media world? What are the effects on genre fictions and aesthetic theories? How do new media forms influence contemporary representations of race, class, and gender?”

ENG 469 – Topics in American Literature: African-American Women Writers

Royster, Mon 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC


ENG 472 – Literary Theory and Criticism

Johnson Gonzalez, Tue 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

This course provides an introduction to literary theory and criticism, as these fields have changed and developed from the beginning of the 20th century until the present.  More broadly, however, this is a course that will strive to raise fundamental questions about the objects, methods, and institutions of literary and cultural study.  What do we understand by “language,” “literature,” “text,” “culture,” and “interpretation”?  What are we doing when we read?  How do we judge the value of literary texts, criticism, or theory?

ENG 475: Introduction to Digital Humanities

Dinius, Wed 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

This course introduces students to selected digital humanities projects focused on nineteenth-century American literature, to a range of critical and theoretical readings on digital humanities as an emerging field, and to some tools for undertaking humanities research in new ways.   As DH is a huge and emerging discipline, and as a vast and expanding canon constitutes American literature, we will only scratch the surface of both in this quarter-long course.  What we accomplish will be significant, though, including the following:

Course goals:

  • Students will become familiar with examples of current digital humanities research in nineteenth-century American literature, and with current theories of digital humanities as an emerging field
  • Students will speak and write fluently about both American literature and the digital humanities, broadly conceived, including current research, ongoing debates, challenges, and their own participation in and contributions to the field of American literature and the discipline of DH.
  • Students will learn to evaluate digital humanities research critically.
  • Students will carefully develop a scholarly voice in their course presentations and papers as well as a public presence as respectful and engaged scholars through blog posts.
  • Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 477—Topics in Publishing: The American Literary Magazine—Idealists and Happy Fools

Borich, Online and selected Thursdays, 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

“There will always be idealists and happy fools, so there will always be literary magazines.”     Rob Spillman of Tin House

This course examines the American literary magazine, from inception to contemporary practice. We explore the missions, functions, styles, personalities, experiments and aesthetics of select little magazines and literary journals published from the early 20th century to the present day, particularly those representative of great moments of change in both political and literary culture. Class participants compare and contrast the ways literary journals develop in response to changing times, in keeping with innovations in literary form and in tandem with changes in publishing technologies, and analyze the literary journal’s relationship to both book publishing and individual authors’ careers. Work in this class includes close examination of a variety of literary magazines, reading of contemporary scholarship about the literary journal, blogging in response to both online class discussion and independent research, development of a prospectus for your own print, online or hybrid literary magazine that speaks to present-day literary forms and themes, and participation in manuscript deliberations for Slag Glass City, a new multimedia journal built around urban sustainability themes.

This class will meet primarily online, with three special topic face-to-face meetings on the following dates:


We will also have one or two OPTIONAL Friday afternoon field trips sometime between 18 April and 30 May [either one meeting from 11:00 am-5:00 p.m. or two from 1:00-4:00 p.m.]  Students who cannot arrange to join us will be asked to visit the sites on their own, or complete alternate work.

Meets the Electives in Language, Literature, Publishing, and Teaching requirement.

ENG 477 – Topics in Publishing:  Magazine Editing

Diliberto, Mon 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC


ENG 477 – Topics in Publishing: Big Shoulder Books
Green, Thur 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

This course–part an innovative book-publishing sequence that gives students hands-on experience in editing, publishing, and promoting a real book—will focus on distribution and development. Students will gain hands-on experience in the distribution of The 826CHI Compendium Vol. 4, a book created by DePaul students in 2013-2014. They will also begin the planning and development of a new book.

No prerequisite.

Lang/Lit/Teaching/Publishing requirement in the MAWP. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 478 – Topics in Teaching: Teaching Poetry

Selinger, Wed 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC


ENG 484 — Reading and Writing Young Adult Literature

Grossman, Tue 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

Young adults are recognized as beings in evolution, in search of self and identity, transitioning to adulthood while facing a specific set of physical, intellectual, emotional, and societal challenges. Young adult (YA) literature addresses the circumstances of this unique audience, providing a literary experience that a reader in this target age group would find relevant.

This course provides opportunities to analyze your own work, as well as that of published writers and your peers, while you practice a variety of prose forms intended for an audience of young adult readers. Throughout the term, you will discover the array of stylistic and structural possibilities available to you as a writer, and you will gain experience in applying those principles to your own work.  The workshop format of the course emphasizes revision, self-examination, peer critique, and literary analysis.  These tools are intended to help you gain confidence in yourself as a writer while you develop your own distinctive writing voice and discover how to tailor the elements of fiction – plot, conflict, structure, voice, characterization, dialogue, and point-of-view – to a young adult audience. You will complete a series of short writing assignments focused on your chosen character, setting, and plot, that will lead you to a final project: a substantial piece of fully developed YA prose.

Writing Workshop requirement in the MAWP. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 484—Writing the Urban Essay

Harvey, Thu 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

“Living in cities is an art,” wrote the noted essayist Jonathan Raban, “and we need the vocabulary of art, of style, to describe the peculiar relationship between man and material that exists in the continual creative play of urban living.” This workshop will focus on the city as both setting and subject of creative nonfiction, with an emphasis on developing a “vocabulary of art” for the urban experience. We will examine many forms of the urban essay, using works by professional writers as models for our own prose. Many of the essays will be about Chicago, but we’ll also be studying narratives set in cities such as New York, New Orleans, London, Paris, Istanbul, Jerusalem and Beijing.

Writing Workshop requirement in the MAWP. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 484: Contemporary Fiction Writing

Johns-Trissler, Mon 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

When we’re learning to write, it’s important to study what past writers have accomplished, of course, but those of us working in the 21st century want to know what kinds of short fiction are appearing right now, today, even this moment. In this course, students will study current literary journals for short stories and essays on the contemporary fictional moment. Students will discuss how fictional elements work together to create an organic whole, discovering how accomplished writers shape their stories using point of view, form, tone, characterization, plot, narrative time, significant detail, theme, metaphor, and precise language. These craft elements we will use as guides, not limitations, in the creation of our own fiction, focusing on the short story.

We will discuss student manuscripts in an environment that encourages honest criticism, always balanced by respect for the writer. In class and during individual conferences, we will explore strategies for revision of each student’s work.

Writing Workshop requirement in the MAWP. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

ENG 484 — Topics in Genre and Form: Conversation Pieces in Poetry

Welch, Wed 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

Though often discussed as the product of a solitary pursuit, a writer’s craft depends not only on an historical awareness and understanding of literature, but on her engagement with her contemporaries as well. With this notion in mind, this poetry-focused special topics workshop will examine the ways in which writers collaborate and converse via their published works. By reading, discussing, and writing a number of established structural and thematic forms—including epistolary poems, erasures, homages, translations, and variations—and engaging in a full-class, quarter-long collaborative poetic project, participants will explore how directly engaging the work they read infuses and invigorates what they write. We’ll read a number of poets, including (but definitely not limited to) Emily Dickinson, Richard Hugo, Kenneth Koch, Mary Ruefle, and Cesar Vallejo.

ENG 491—Science and Nature Writing

Anton, Tue 6:00-9:15 p.m. LPC

The growing field of science and nature writing offers a lucrative career opportunity for creative writers.  This well-paying, wide-open field is as creative as fiction and poetry, and easier to pursue than many think.  This course introduces students to opportunities for breaking into an exciting field.   From deep space to the wonders of the cell, we will explore the need and techniques for women, men, and diverse writers to cover cutting-edge research.  Many MAWP alumni have gotten good jobs writing about science and nature.  No prior science background needed.  We will hear from guest professionals, visit a lab, and learn how to write and sell fun and important stories.
Writing Workshop requirement in the MAWP. Elective in the MAE and MAWP.

English 509: English Dept. Internship in Writing & Publishing

Green, Online                               

“Internship in English” is a four-credit course designed to compliment your English course of study along with your internship experience (100 hours of internship work). Using literature, film, and career guides, the class explores both academic and pragmatic aspects of work. We will analyze definitions of and strategies for career success, what makes work meaningful, the positive and negative power of technology in the workplace, and issues of ethics and social justice for employers and employees. Most practically, we will explore current career opportunities for English graduates and reflect on your ideal career paths, ask you to create job-finding strategies, and improve your resume and cover letter writing along with your interviewing skills. Ultimately, we will relate our readings and discussions to your internship and apply what we learn to your future career.


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