Graduate Studies

English - 2010-2011

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Profile

Department Chairperson:  Mark Mossman
Graduate Committee Chairperson: David Banash
Department Office: Simpkins Hall 124
Department Telephone: (309) 298-1103 Fax: (309) 298-2974
Department E-mail: D-Banash@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/english/
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Bill Knight, M.A., University of Illinois at Springfield
  • Joan Livingston-Webber, Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Mark Mossman, Ph.D., Saint Louis University
  • Alice B. Robertson, Ph.D., Arizona State University
  • Mohammad A. Siddiqi, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Margaret Sinex, Ph.D., University of Toronto
  • Patricia A. Young, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Associate Professors

  • Marjorie C. B. Allison, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • David Banash, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Roberta Di Carmine, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • C. Bradley Dilger, Ph.D., University of Florida
  • Christine Iwanicki, Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Amy Patrick, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • Shazia Rahman, Ph.D., University of Alberta
  • Bonnie Sonnek, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Erika Wurth, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder

Assistant Professors

  • Neil Baird, Ph.D., University of Nevada-Reno
  • Merrill Cole, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Everett Hamner, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Tim Helwig, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • Daniel Malachuk, Ph.D., Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • Charles McLeod, M.F.A., University of Virginia
  • Christopher Morrow, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
  • Peggy Otto, Ph.D., University of Louisville

Associate Graduate Faculty
Associate Professors

  • Teresa Simmons, MBA, University of Illinois
  • P. M. Strother-Adams, M.A., Chicago State University

Assistant Professors

  • Mark Butzow, M.S., Illinois State University
  • Lisa Kernek, M.A., University of Illinois

  Program Description 

The Department of English and Journalism offers work leading to the Master of Arts degree in English. The program is intended for those seeking a graduate‑level liberal arts education, pursuing careers in secondary or community college teaching, or planning further graduate study toward the Ph.D.

  Admission Requirements 

Students selecting English as a graduate major shall have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of undergraduate work in English beyond the required composition course(s). Their preparation should include at least six semester hours in literature courses, the remaining hours to be in literature, language, or writing courses for majors. Of the 24 semester hours at least 12 must be upper-division courses. Other students may be admitted at the discretion of the Departmental Graduate Committee, but may have to remedy deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation by taking courses for nondegree credit.

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, applicants for admission to the graduate program in English must have a grade point average of 2.75 overall and 3.0 in English courses taken above the required composition courses.

To apply to the program students are required to submit a Graduate School application form (available online at wiu.edu/grad); one official transcript sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies for EACH college or university previously attended; a 1–2 page personal statement which concerns their larger purposes and career goals, and how an MA in English will further those objectives; a scholarly writing sample, such as an essay from an upper-division English course; and three letters of recommendation.

Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.

All students will be considered for departmental assistantship unless they decline consideration.

Priority will be given to those applications submitted by February 15.

International students who wish to apply for a graduate assistantship in the English department must have an overall TOEFL score of at least 231 (575 paper score) with a listening comprehension score of 20 (54 paper score).

All applicants should be aware that the Master of Arts program in English requires significant reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability in English. When their applications do not show sufficient evidence of these abilities, students may be asked to undergo an interview with a department selection committee before any decision about admission is made.

Additional information on applying to the program is available at: wiu/edu/english/graduate/applications.shtml.

  Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in English requires individual focus. Students will write a “Plan of Study” when accepted to the program, and will work with their mentors and the Director of Graduate Studies in English to keep their plans up-to-date. The departmental plan of study will supplement other forms required by the School of Graduate Studies.

I. Core Courses: 3 s.h.

ENG 500 Theory and the Practice of English Studies (3)

II. Electives: 21 s.h.

Approved coursework in English to complement undergraduate courses taken, to cultivate the focus outlined in the Plan of Study, and to total at least 30 s.h.

It is recommended that no more than six hours of coursework be taken at the 400G level.

Up to six hours may be taken from ENG 620, 622, and graduate courses in other departments.

III. Exit option: 6 s.h.

A. Option I: ENG 680 Capstone Course (6)

B. Option II: ENG 690 Thesis (6)

TOTAL PROGRAM: 30 s.h.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

The department offers post-baccalaureate certificates in Literary Studies, Professional Writing, and Teaching Writing.  For program details, go to the post-baccalaureate certificates page.

  Course Descriptions 

400G Topics in Literature. (1–3, repeatable for different topics) A study of a special theme or topic in literature. Printed schedule will specify semester's topic. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the instructor.

401G Major Authors. (1–3, repeatable for different authors) A thorough study of the work of a major author or two closely related authors. Printed schedule will specify semester's topic. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the instructor.

439G English Methods. (3) Preparation for student teaching, including analysis of techniques and materials useful to the English teachers in the secondary school.  Observation and demonstration teaching.  Open to English majors and minors. Prerequisites: EIS 301 ENG 384, and ENG 466.

443G (cross-listed with LLA 443G) Creative Uses of Literature for Children and Young Adults. (3) Presents the development of effective programs in informal and formalized interpretive experiences for children and young adults, emphasizing individual creativity and sources for materials.  Prerequisite: LS 313 or permission of the instructor.

450G Language Arts Workshop. (3) Contemporary theory and strategies for teaching English and/or the language arts.

466G Literature for Teachers. (3) Constructs teaching units for 6-12 grade students that integrate age-appropriate literary genres, and examines reading strategies derived from literary theory.  Prerequisites: ENG 280 and 12 semester hours (or equivalent) of course work in literature, or permission of the instructor.

471G Language Diversity and Grammar for Teachers.  (3) Examines the relationships among standard and nonstandard dialects and effective practices for teaching grammar.  Prerequisites: ENG 280 and 372, or permission of the instructor.

480G Computers and Writing. (3) Practice and study of computer-mediated communication. File management, word processing, networked communication, hypertext, and other current applications. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280.

481G Topics in Rhetoric & Composition. (3) Semester-long study of a topic in the theory, practice, pedagogy, or history of rhetoric and composition.  Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280.

483G Professional Editing. (3) Study of professional copy-editing techniques and practice editing manuscripts. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280, and graduate standing.

484G Writing Center Tutoring. (3) Tutoring in the WIU Writing Center; includes intensive training and work experience in the Writing Center. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280, any departmental WID course, and permission of the instructor.

492G (cross-listed with REL 492G) Religion, Literature, and Film. (3) Study of multicultural literary and cinematic texts engaging a wide range of religious and philosophical traditions. Examination of the religious and the secular via narrative; consideration of literary and filmic interpretation via religious and philosophical questions. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

494G (cross-listed with WS 494G and BS 494G) Women and Film. (3) An overview of women in film and television that considers the on-screen images of women as well as the positions of women working behind the scenes (with laboratory).

500 Theory and the Practice of English Studies. (3) An introduction to graduate study in English with special emphasis on research and theory. Required of all English graduate students early in their programs.

530 Forms. (3) The study of the major terms, issues, critical and textual history of numerous works representing a particular form, genre, or literary school, such as autobiography, epic poetry, the novel, or Gothic.

532 Literature and Place. (3) The study of the works of one writer or a group of writers in terms of various geographies, political and otherwise.

536 Critical and Theoretical Movements in Literary Studies. (3) An analysis and study of a particular critical or theoretical movement in the history of literary studies. Topics could include postcolonial studies, formalism and the new criticism, reception theory, new historicism, queer studies, disability studies, erocriticism, feminist studies, ethnic studies, etc.

540 Literary Traditions and Influences. (3) The study of influence and context, focusing on a writer or a particular group of writers within or across historical periods and/or cultures.

549 Issues in Literary Studies. (3) In-depth examination of a current issue or topic relevant to literary studies, such as canon formation, trends in textual research, etc.

550 Film Theory. (3) Study of contemporary theories relevant to film studies such as formalism, structuralism, postmodernism, Marxism, cultural studies, queer studies, etc.

552 Pedagogical Issues in English Studies. (3) In-depth examination of a limited number of issues related to teaching in English studies, focusing on a specific area or approach selected by the instructor (e.g. expressivism).

554 Research Methods. (3) Investigation of a particular method or methods for research in English studies, such as archival research, bibliography, ethnography, quantitative work involving human subjects, etc. Can focus on one discipline or take a comprehensive approach.

559 Issues in Disciplinary Studies. (3) In-depth examination of an issue or topic relevant to English studies in relation to other disciplines such as film, philosophy, psychology, or science.

570 History of Writing Studies. (3) History of movements, periods, or approaches to writing studies.

574 New Media Studies. (3) Theory and/or production of new media, visual arts, and the notion of novelty and newness itself, drawing from theory in English studies and media studies. Relation of new media to English studies.

580 Teaching Assistants Colloquium. (3) A course designed to introduce beginning teaching assistants to the overall purposes and specific pedagogies of college composition. Prior to registration, approval must be granted by the Director of Writing or the Graduate Adviser.

582 Rhetoric and Composition. (3) Intensive study of theories of composition and rhetoric with particular emphasis on recent research in the field.

589 Issues in Writing Studies. (3) In-depth examination of an issue or topic relevant to writing studies.

620 Independent Study. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Individual study in literature and language. Prior to registration, approval must be granted by the instructor, Graduate Committee, and Department Chairperson. Prerequisite: Completion of six hours of graduate work.

622 Internship. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Supervised applied experience at a work site inside or outside the Department of English and Journalism. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 15 semester hours of course work for Option I or Option II of the Master of Arts degree in English; approval of graduate adviser, departmental supervisor, and on-site supervisor.

653 Literary Studies. (3) Directed by a supervisory faculty advisor and consisting of directed readings and extensive written work in literary studies. To enroll in this course all students are required to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Prerequisites: Must have completed 6 s.h. in the graduate program. Special permission required by Supervisory Faculty Advisor, Director of Graduate Studies in English, and Department Chairperson.

657 Professional Writing. (3) Directed by a supervisory faculty advisor and consisting of directed readings and extensive work in professional writing. To enroll in this course all students are required to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Prerequisites: Must have completed 6 s.h. in the graduate program. Special permission required by Supervisory Faculty Advisor, Director of Graduate Studies in English, and Department Chairperson.

658 The Teaching of Writing. (3) Directed by a supervisory faculty advisor and consisting of directed readings and extensive written work in the teaching of writing. To enroll in the course all students are required to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in English. Prerequisites: Must have completed 6 s.h. in the graduate program. Special permission required by Supervisory Faculty Advisor, Director of Graduate Studies in English, and Department Chairperson.

680 Capstone Course. (3, repeatable to 6) Directed readings and written summaries ending in an examination. Directed by a supervisory committee. All students must meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in English to submit an exit survey.

690 Thesis. (3–6, repeatable to 6) Prior to registration, approval must be granted by the instructor, Graduate Director, and Department Chairperson. Graded S/U.

Journalism

410G International Communication and the Foreign Press. (3) Comparative study of journalism practices, and of the mass media in representative countries; factors that determine the international flow of news.

412G Problems in Contemporary Mass Communications. (3) Research into current social, economic, and professional problems affecting the mass media.

415G Mass Communications Research Methods. (3) Introduction to questionnaire construction, sampling, research design, and statistical methods used in mass communications research, including those in advertising and public relations.

417G Law of Mass Communications. (3) Study of legal rights of and constraints on mass media: prior restraint, publicity control, source protection, libel, privacy invasion, and other relevant legal issues.

425G Directed Study. (1–6, repeatable to 6) Opportunity for promising students of journalism to pursue journalism and mass communications material in depth.

* A seminar involves intensive study and substantial independent research and writing on the topic announced.