Descriptions of some of the English Department’s Spring 2022 Courses
ENGL 2510: British Literature before 1600
Chronological study of major British writers from the beginnings (Beowulf) through the works of Shakespeare. Prer., ENGL 1310 or validated equivalent, and either ENGL 1500 or ENGL 2010. This is the literature that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien. Learn why. (MW 10:50-12:05 In Person)
ENGL 2920: Exploring English Studies: Sustainability
Through an examination of both fictional and non-fictional texts, students will explore how ideas about the rights and responsibilities of land ownership, estate management and sustainable development evolved in the centuries before our contemporary ideas about sustainability and environmental preservation were formed. (Online Asynchronous)
Words change and develop, rise and fall, in time. Every discipline of knowledge, every social community, elevates certain terms and concepts to prominence at different historical moments. Technology, climate, democracy, identity, network, money, power, media, and so on—what other keywords, in your view, organize contemporary culture? This course offers an opportunity to study a set of cultural keywords through a range of corresponding texts (specific keywords and texts vary each semester), and also to reflect on the concept of the keyword itself as a productive tool for, and object of, cultural and historical analysis. By exploring contemporary keywords, the class introduces students to the basics of theoretical thinking and writing, providing them with powerful new ways of interpreting texts, culture, and society. In particular, it will help students think historically about culture and analytically about the concepts they use on a daily basis—very much including concepts central to the discipline of cultural study itself. This class fulfills the critical theory (ENGL 3000) requirement for the English major and the writing intensive requirement for the GE curriculum. (T/Th 10:50-12:05 Online Synchronous)
ENGL 3010: Advanced Rhetoric & Writing
How does writing work?
How can we make it work for us?
How do scholars use writing to build knowledge?
How do individuals interact with texts to construct meaning in nonacademic contexts?
In ENGL 3010 we will explore these questions through writing projects in a workshop context. In this class, we will learn about writing principles and rhetorical strategies that shape writing genres, with the goal of strengthening the reading and writing we do in our disciplines and beyond. The course is also interested in non-academic contexts, so we will also apply discourse theories to the world outside of school. This is a junior-level, upper-division course that offers you the opportunity to build upon the reading, writing, and research competencies realized within your first-year writing courses. Both ENGL 1310 and ENGL 1410, or their equivalents, are prerequisites for ENGL 3010.
ENGL 3170: riverrun Literary & Arts Journal
If Ulises Carrión is right that “a book is a sequence of spaces,” you might see this course as something like deep hanging out. In ENGL 3170, we’ll make some spaces to get the community together by editing, producing, and distributing the latest issue of the student-run campus lit journal, riverrun. Sometimes we’ll have company over (like visiting readers and local book artists), and sometimes we’ll tell stories about the company we’d like to keep (by taking hold of the means of production). Along the way we’ll think together about what it means to have the means. Topics include blatant theft/piracy, the spiritual life of letterforms, page design as space travel, all you need is a newsletter, free books/free money, publishing or privishing?, and ways to avoid extra charges at the printer’s. Historically taught by squirrelly poets. Includes launch party w/snacks. (M 1:40-4:20 In Person)
This course takes playwrights, actors, and theatergoers seriously as theorists of gender identity and sexual desire. We will track understandings of "performance" across a range of materials spanning classical Athens and the present-day United States: plays, prose writings that reflect the historical contexts of performances, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century scholarship on gender and sexuality. We will consider such questions as: What features have made dramatic literature such fertile ground for interpretation by practitioners of queer scholarship and feminist literary criticism? How do playwrights and actors represent or unsettle ideologies of gender identity? How do they conceptualize and, indeed, perform erotic desire—its psychology, embodiment, or social effects? What is the relationship between gender and sexuality? (T/Th 9:25-10:40 In Person)
ENGL 3370: American Literature from 1945 to the Present, “The American Century & its Discontents”
This course provides a framework for studying American culture across a range of genres and modes between 1945 and the present. Topics may include 1) the great power rivalry of the Cold War; 2) the impact of technological change on the literary imagination, from the atom bomb to the internet; 3) the revolutionary upheavals of the 1960s, such as the Civil Rights movement and second wave feminism; 4) distinctive generic characteristics of postwar American literary form, e.g. southern gothic and cyberpunk; 5) the expanding field of American mass culture, from the camera’s image to Hollywood cinema; 6) the legacies of realism and modernism, and the place of postmodernism, in postwar American literature; and 7) the role of new period concepts such as globalization within contemporary American culture. Writing in the course will foreground two skills of cultural analysis: close reading and the effective incorporation of secondary sources. This class fulfills the late American literature requirement for the Literature and Secondary Education tracks, and an American literature requirement for other tracks. (T/Th 12:15-1:30 Online Synchronous)
ENGL 3950: Chaucer
Study of major works with emphasis on The Canterbury Tales. Readings will be in Middle English; short introduction to the language will precede study of the poetry. Prer., ENGL 1310 or validated equivalent, and either ENGL 1500 or ENGL 2010. C.S. Lewis said that Chaucer has few peers and no masters. Learn why. (MW 1:40-2:55 In Person)
ENGL 4850: History of the English Language
Outline of the history of the English language including a brief survey of sound changes, of grammatical forms, and of the vocabulary. Just because you speak English doesn’t mean that you understand it. Learn the history of English and how better to use it. (MW 8:00-9:15 In Person)
ENGL 4830: Survey in Contemporary Approaches to Teaching Writing
Teaching writing is a complex and exciting process that involves engaging students in meaningful reading material, connecting with students’ interests and goals, exciting students with hands-on learning, and enabling students to reach Common Core learning outcomes. In this course, you’ll learn how to teach diverse populations in the K-12 English Language Arts classroom, how to design writing assignments and scaffold students’ learning through an assignment sequence, and how to give feedback on and grade students’ writing. We’ll define teaching broadly, so projects will allow you to think about teaching in school, community, or workplace settings. Students will learn to write lesson plans, design class activities, and test out their learning in a teaching demonstration in class. You’ll leave having designed a portfolio with all the components for a unit in a writing course, and you’ll be able to showcase this portfolio in job interviews and use its contents in your future classroom. (T/Th 10:50-12:05 In Person)
ENGL 4870: Rhetoric of Social Media
Have you ever stopped to analyze how emoji shape the meaning of video captions on TikTok, how people’s persona construction differs between their Instagram and Finstagram accounts, or how stickers and filters change meaning on Snapchat? This course investigates how social media platforms and digital writing function rhetorically. You’ll have freedom to explore and conduct research on the social media platforms that interest you or connect to your career goals. You might research rhetorical constraints on Twitch, ethos construction on Grindr, communities of writers on Twitter, visual rhetoric on Yelp, or performances of aggression on Reddit. This course is a Rhetoric and Writing senior seminar, so you’ll learn strategies for advanced undergraduate research and writing and compose an extended research project that you’ll present as a paper, podcast episode, or video. (Online Asynchronous)
ENGL 4950 - Seminar in Literary Topics
Course topic will vary by semester. Consult Course Search on the UCCS website or the MyUCCS Portal each term for specific course content. May be repeated for credit with permission of department chair. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Summit; Writing Intensive. Prer., ENGL 3000. Meets with ENGL 5950.
ENGL 4970: Seminar in Shakespeare Studies, “Romeo and Juliet: Processing the Plague”
Since Shakespeare penned it in the mid-1590s, Romeo and Juliet has been reproduced on stage and screen as a story for all times. Central to its inception and early production, however, were events of the playwright's time: regular plague outbreaks in London. This course will focus on this one play: its origins during the closing of the playhouses because of severe outbreaks, its first performances in the years after these closures, and its adaptations in recent decades. Students will read other works by Shakespeare and his contemporaries that inform its composition. They will watch modern productions and adaptations that manipulate or ignore these origins. In written work and class discussion, we will examine how the play harnesses the extremities of loss experienced by a culture and focuses those experiences onto the lovers. Collectively, we will consider how modern productions and adaptations transpose the topicality of the original play onto other, more immediate heartbreaks. (Th 4:45-7:20 In Person)