English and Journalism

Graduate Courses Descriptions

Spring 2013

ENG 475(G) Grant & Proposal Writing

 Dr. Bradley Dilger

 Aim: Students will be asked to work with requests for proposals (RFPs), grants, and proposals which speak to their academic disciplines and chosen fields, in consultation with experts (such as former professors or employers) who can provide discipline-specific knowledge.

Teaching Method: Lots of hands-on work. Classroom discussion; in-class writing demonstrations and review; collaborative group projects; grant writing peer workshops.

Assignments: Regular reading responses; Evaluation of existing grants; Mock grant proposal. Graduate students will have the option to substitute the practitioner-oriented final project with an academic project which calls on relevant scholarship.

Tentative Reading List:  I am considering Carlson, Winning Grants; Clarke, Storytelling for Grantseekers; Geever, The Foundation Center’s Guide; Hall, Getting Funded; Koch, How to Say It: Grantwriting.

Prerequisite (for “G” credit): Graduate standing.


ENG 549 Issues in Literary Studies

Canonicity and the Man Booker Award

Dr. Marjorie Allison

Aim: ENG 549 is a course which explores a contemporary issue in literary studies. This spring it will be about considering literature in terms of various types of canon formation, primarily centered this time on novels of the British commonwealth which have been named Booker Award Winners (currently the Man Booker Award). In reading several “Booker” novels, we will explore what makes an “award winning book,” especially in light of a post-colonial, British Commonwealth award. We will examine how these particular authors and texts support or subvert the master narratives “received” from the British Isles, how stereotypes are challenged, and how new cultural identities are formed. We will on consider the decision, announced Fall 2013, to allow “American” authors to have their novels considered for the award. Finally, we will consider how the books on this list begin to “speak” to each other when read together and if they are forming a useful canon of their own.

Teaching Method: Discussion and student-centered class


--two to three working papers, five-pages each

--longer term paper—conference to article length

--discussion leader


Tentative Reading List:

Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

J. M. Coetzee Disgrace

Keri Hulme’s The Bone People

Ben Okri’s The Famished Road

Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing


ENG 559: Issues in Disciplinary Studies

The Making of Class in 19th and 20th-Century American Literature

 Dr. Timothy Helwig

 Aim: This inter-disciplinary course will focus on literary and cultural representations of class in nineteenth and twentieth century America. We will read a diverse selection of theoretical, critical, historical, and literary texts, including works by African-American, Anglo-American, and Jewish-American writers. Although our work in this course will be shaped by the interests of class members, I expect that our discussions will analyze how literary texts both reproduce and challenge dominant cultural mythologies about class in America; will consider the complexities of class identification and the intersections of class, race, gender, and sexuality, focusing on the ways in which, in Eric Lott’s words, class has largely been “staged through race” in the United States; and will examine the emergence of “whiteness” as an ethnic identity in the United States, one largely articulated through class.

Tentative Reading List: Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick, Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Stephen Crane’s Maggie, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Meridel LeSueur’s The Girl, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, and others to be determined.

 Prerequisite: Graduate Standing


ENG 570 History of Writing Studies (CODEC)

Moving Beyond Simple Narratives of Heroes and Villains:Revisionist Historiography in Writing Studies

Dr. Neil P. Baird

Aim : This graduate seminar will examine the current state of historiography in writing studies, introducing students to the methods, principles, and theories of writing rhetorical history. David Gold notes that “for historians of rhetoric and composition, these are the best of times.” What Gold is referring to is the explosion of local histories that challenge the dominant historical narratives of writing studies by recovering the neglected voices of class, race, and gender. In this graduate seminar, students will be introduced to the historical narratives that have dominated writing studies and the local, alternative histories that challenge these dominant narratives. In doing so, students will explore why these dominant narratives have such staying power and examine the need to integrate new histories into existing local histories to effectively recover neglected writers, teachers, and locations. Students can expect to learn archival research methods and work toward producing local histories contributing to this larger revisionist effort.

Teaching Methods : Seminar

Sample Course Texts :

  • “Rescuing the Archives from Foucault” by Linda Ferreira-Buckley
  • “History in the Spaces Left: African American Presence and Narratives of Composition Studies” by Jacqueline Jones Royster and Jean C. Willaims
  • Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process by Gesa E. Kirsch and Liz Rohan
  • Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Rhetoric and Composition by Alexis E. Ramsay, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo
  • “The Ethics of Archival Research” by Heidi A. McKee and James E. Porter
  • Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900-1985 by James A. Berlin
  • Rhetoric at the Margins: Revising the History of Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1873-1947 by David Gold

Prerequisite : Graduate Standing


Course Descriptions from Previous Semesters

Fall 2011 (pdf)

Spring 2011 (pdf)