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Hope College
Department of English
126 E. 10th St.
Holland, MI 49423
phone: 616.395.7620
fax: 616.395.7134


Spring 2013 Upper-Level English Courses

Notice: English 271 (British Literature II), English 281 (American Literature II), and English 282 (American Ethnic Literature) are now taught in rotations, two semesters on, one semester off.

  • 271 will be offered Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015.
  • 281 will be offered Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Spring 2015.
  • 282 will be offered Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, and Fall 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Baar (

Intro Creative Writing: Fiction Brace TR 9:30-11:20 AM
154.1B Intro Creative Writing: Fiction Brace TR 9:30-11:20 AM
213.1 Expository Writing II Werner MW 11:00-11:50 AM
213.2 Expository Writing II James TR 2:00-2:50 PM
214.1A Workplace Writing Werner MW 9:00-10:20 AM
214.1B Workplace Writing Werner MW 9:00-10:20 AM
231.01 Literature Western World I Hemenway MWF 12:00-12:50 PM
232.01 Literature Western World II Verduin MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
234.01 Global Literature Cole MW 2:00-3:20 PM
248.01 Intro to Literary Studies Bauman MW 12:00-1:20
248.02 Intro to Literary Studies Cole TR 1:30-2:50 PM
248.03 Intro to Literary Studies Dykstra TR 12:00-1:20 PM
254.01 Creative Writing: Fiction Childress TR 3:00-4:50 PM
255.01 Creative Writing: Poems Sellers TR 1:30-2:50 PM
257.01 Creative Writing: Plays Tammi TR 1:30-2:50 PM
258.01 Creative Writing: Nonfiction Trembley MW 3:00-4:50 PM
270.01 British Lit I Gruenler MWF 9:30-10:20 AM
271.01 British Lit II Hemenway MWF 2:00-3:10 PM
279.01 Writing for Teachers Trembley MW 1:00-2:50 PM
280.01 American Lit I Verduin MWF 9:30-10:20 AM
282.01 American Ethnic Literature Montano TR 12:00-1:20 PM
354.01 Intermed Creative Writing: Novels Trembley M 5:30-8:20 PM
355.01 Intermed Creative Writing: Poems Childress T 6:00-8:50 PM
360.01 Modern English Grammar Verduin MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
371.01 Jane Austen and her World Schakel MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
373.01 Shakespeare's Plays Lunderberg MW 2:00-3:20 PM
373.02 Lit for Children and Adolescents Portfleet TR 1:30-2:50 PM
373.03 Exploring Graphic Novels Werner MW 3:30-4:50 PM
373.04 Linked Short Stories Sellers TR 12:00-1:20 PM
454.01 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction Sellers W 3:00-5:50 PM
455.01 Advanced Creative Writing: Poems Peschiera M 5:30-8:20 PM
495.01 American Biography Dykstra W 6:00-8:50 PM

Course Descriptions

ENGL 154 01A & B Intro Creative Writing:Fiction
Brace,Kristin TR 9:30 AM 11:20 AM

In a world brimming with stories to be told, where does a fiction writer begin? By paying attention. The best writers are the best observers: of the way people talk, of the way people move, and of what makes a place like no other place on earth. How does a storyteller use observation as a starting point to great writing? What are some ways a writer can make their stories jump off the page? In this half-semester course, we will learn fun, practical techniques for fiction writing by reading published authors, interacting with the Arts and other "non-writing" areas, and by practicing writing ourselves. At the end of the course, each student will have compiled a portfolio of polished work.

ENGL 213 01 Expository Writing II
Werner,Courtney MW 11:00 AM 11:50 AM

This course is designed to build on and advance the writing skills you learned in English 113. In this class, you will spend time honing your writing skills by getting ample practice with useful patterns of writing. You will learn to move through writing assignments at your own pace using a writing process that works for you but includes drafting, responding to writing, revising, and editing your work. You will be expected to workshop your writing with other students in the class while listening carefully and critically to their responses to your work. Throughout the course, you will develop your own style and voice. While exploring your identity as a writer, you will craft three papers and one final portfolio at the end of the term.

ENGL 213 02 Expository Writing II
James,David TR 2:00 PM 2:50 PM

In this workshop-oriented course, students will make their own choices of both topics and expository genres. In the process, everyone will focus on clarity and style to suit chosen audiences and purposes. Revising with feedback will then lead to a semester’s end portfolio. Full semester.

ENGL 214 01A & B Workplace Writing
Werner,Courtney MW 9:00 AM 10:20 AM

Employers currently rank effective written communication as among the most desired job-related skill. No matter which career you pursue, this course will prepare you to respond effectively to various workplace situations. You will learn to write memos, letters, and electronic messages aimed at a variety of audiences. Additionally, you will construct a job application packet, explore the role of digital writing technologies in the evolving professional workplace, draft a business proposal, and complete two types of short business reports.

ENGL 231 01 Literature Western World I
Hemenway,Stephen MWF 12:00 PM 12:50 PM

Aesop's fables and Homer's tales of war and adventure start us on an oddysey of ancient literature. Ancient Roman and medieval Italian epics send us on a spiritual journey that also embraces excerpts from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita and the Islamic Koran. Chaucer takes us on a pilgrimage with the Pardoner and the Wife of Bath, and Cervantes inaugurates a quest with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Sappho, Lady Murasaki, Marie de France, and Sor Juana de la Cruz go places where few females dare to tread. Michelangelo and Shakespeare lead us through the Renaissance and Reformation and prepare us for the modern world. As you study these authors and works, you will read and write about the masterpieces of Western literature in a global context.

ENGL 232 01 Literature Western World II
Verduin,Kathleen MWF 2:00 PM 2:50 PM

This is a course in the classics of European literature from approximately 1600 up to (well, almost) the present. Alternating narrative and drama (and throwing in some representative poems along the way), we will consider the seventeenth century’s response to a radical reorganization of Christianity; the Enlightenment’s allegiance to rationality and satire; the Romantic era’s return to emotion and the fantastic; Realism’s portrayal of marriage and money; the fascination with myth and the primitive in the early twentieth century; the Existentialist writings highly popular at mid-century and in postwar academia; and, maybe, the rise of the art film as literature’s stepchild. Although it is of course impossible to do justice to four hundred years of literary production in a mere four months, we will endeavor to gain some continuity by tracing Joseph Campbell’s mighty archetype of the Hero’s Journey.

Texts (available as individual paperbacks) will include Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress; Racine, Phaedra; Voltaire, Candide; Sheridan, The School for Scandal; Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Goethe, Faust, Part I; Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych; Ibsen, A Doll’s House; Hesse, Demian; works by Sartre and other Existentialists, still to be selected; and probably a film or two by the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Three tests, three critical essays, weekly reaction papers. THIS COURSE SUBSTITUTES FOR IDS 172 AND HELPS MEET THE SECOND (“MODERN”) HALF OF THE CULTURAL HERITAGE REQUIREMENT.

ENGL 234 01 Global Literature
Cole,Ernest MW 2:00 PM 3:20 PM

The contact between western societies and the so–called “Third World” has led to the creation of a number of discourses that have shaped and continue to shape the literary cannons of both societies and the relationship between scholars and writers of the two distinct traditions. This initial contact has led to, for instance, the discourse of imperialism and its representation of indigenous peoples and societies as “other” or “different.” The socio-cultural and political assumptions that go with these labels have shaped western consciousness of other peoples as well as contributed to the emergence of a body of work and criticism that seek to deconstruct western hegemony, control and domination by writing back to former colonialists and their literature.

This course would focus on how former colonized societies from Sub-Saharan Africa to South Asia, the Caribbean and South America react to this discourse of “otherness” and their attempts at de-colonization and promoting their political and cultural independence. In the process, this form of literature would “write back to empire” by addressing issues as destruction of indigenous cultures, representation of otherness, identity, alterity, and gender.

Thus, in this course, we would examine works that cover a considerable period of growth and development in time and place in Global Literatures from Lewis Nkosi’s Mating Birds in Africa to George Lamming’s In the Castle of My Skin in the Caribbean. Within this historical framework, we would trace the impact of westernization on it the literature, and its reconfiguration of colonial perceptions of indigenous societies in the process of writing back to empire.

Selected Texts

  1. Lewis Nkosi: Mating Birds
  2. Luis Alberto Urrea: The Devil’s Highway
  3. Endo, Shusaku: Silence
  4. George Lamming: In the Castle of My Skin
  5. Norman R. Shapiro: Negritude: Black Poetry from Africa and the Caribbean

ENGL 248 01 Intro to Literary Studies
Bauman,Elisabeth MW 12:00 PM 1:20 PM

This course is an introduction to the literary forms of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction, considering elements they have in common and elements unique to each. It will examine how genres differ, but also how they intersect and overlap and influence each other. It aims to teach how to read literature with sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation, and how to approach that reading from a variety of theoretical perspectives. It is not a course in writing stories or poems or drama--for that, see English 254 or 255 or 258. It is a foundational course, intended as preparation for all higher-numbered literature courses in the English department. But it also is of value in itself and is recommended for students looking for an elective dealing with literature broadly. Four credit hours.

ENGL 248 02 Intro to Literary Studies
Cole,Ernest TR 1:30 PM 2:50 PM

This course is an introduction to the literary forms of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction, considering elements they have in common and elements unique to each. It will examine how genres differ, but also how they intersect and overlap and influence each other. It aims to teach how to read literature with sensitivity, understanding, and appreciation, and how to approach that reading from a variety of theoretical perspectives. It is not a course in writing stories or poems or drama--for that, see English 254 or 255 or 258. It is a foundational course, intended as preparation for all higher-numbered literature courses in the English department. But it also is of value in itself and is recommended for students looking for an elective dealing with literature broadly. Four credit hours.

ENGL 248 03 Intro to Literary Studies
Dykstra,Natalie TR 12:00 PM 1:20 PM

“Literature is the question minus the answer.” ~ Roland Barthes

A deep pleasure of reading is the sense you’re accompanied by authors who’ve asked the questions you’re asking: who am I, why do I feel this way, what is love, who do I want to be, what is a meaningful life? Together, we’ll ask these questions and more as we read the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama. We’ll analyze narrative structures in stories and film, listen to poetry, and attend a play together and talk with the actors. We’ll deepen our understanding of literature by listening to one another and joining our voices with other writers. We’ll improve our writing skills with practice and peer review. All students welcome!

ENGL 254 02 Creative Writing:Fiction
Childress,Susanna TR 3:00 PM 4:50 PM

Writing fiction! Learn more about what it takes to write great stories and practice everything you’ve learned. Join this class for a lively and safe space to experiment and learn about your creativity and improve your story-telling skills. Class will include drafting many short fictional “shapes,” learning about skills and techniques to make your writing snap and sing, reading and analyzing good stories, workshopping your stuff with your classmates, and revision, revision, revision! You will write at least 200 pages of fiction! In addition, other requirements include attendance, participation, and reflecting on at least one Visiting Writers Series event. Active, curious, supportive, humorous, surprising and creative class participation is a must! 4 credit hours

ENGL 255 01 Creative Writing:Poems
Sellers,Heather TR 1:30 PM 2:50 PM

A fun, lively creative writing class for any student with an interest in trying poetry. No previous writing experience and no previous poetry experience is required.

The first part of the course teaches methods for generating good writing, conquering procrastination, and developing better focus and concentration. These methods are ones students may find useful in many types writing situations, from love letters to lab reports!

The second part of the course presents a range of writing assignments (which students are free to modify if they so desire). Through short assignments, students learn how to play with language and metaphor, how to use more sophisticated structures, and how to use rhythm, repetition, turns, voice, and surprise to create better poems. In this part of the course, the class also reads a diverse range of contemporary poets in order to learn interesting techniques and to find inspiration.

The third part of the course is devoted to the creation of a final portfolio (called a chapbook) of poems. The instructor will help each student complete ten finished poems (often growing out of the writing assignments). Instead of a final exam, each student presents and distributes this portfolio to the other members of the class.

Workload: medium and festive. [Daily writing assignments, written responses to student poems and professional poems, final project (the portfolio, or, chapbook)].

Type of class: Lively reading assignments. Small groups. Fun lectures. Open to all students.

ENGL 257 01 Creative Writing:Plays
Tammi,John TR 1:30 PM 3:00 PM

Practice in the art of writing for the stage through work on selected special problems of the playwright. Whenever possible provision will be made for reading performances of work-in-progress, and in cases of exceptional merit arrangements may be made for public performance of a finished script. Offered alternate years, 2012-13.

Playwriting is a workshop course. We will explore the challenges and joys of exploring dialogue, situation, plot, conflict and many other aspects of creating workable, interesting scripts for actors. Students with experience in either creative writing or theatre are urged to register. For more information contact

ENGL 258 01 Creative Writing:Nonfiction
Trembley,Elizabeth MW 3:00 PM 4:50 PM
4 credits FA2

Ask Your Questions. Discover Your Answers.

First off: personal essays = public thinking = today’s great blogging.

I mention this not because you have to want to blog to get lots out of this class, but if writing personal essays sounds boring and useless, thing again. Most great blogs are personal essays. Do you read great blogs? Do you want to learn to do that? Take this course.

No interest in blogging? That’s okay. If you are interested in a course where you can ask the questions most important to you, write and think your way through an exploration of your question, and then polish up your writing so others can read it and learn from it, then take this course!

We’ll write, workshop and read. All kinds of writers, all kinds of topics. Questions, conundrums, adventures, voyages, laughs, aha!s, wonders, risks. Writing level: high. Reading level: high/moderate.

If you have curiosity and if writing helps you figure things out, you’ll love this course.

ENGL 270 01 British Literature I
Gruenler,Curtis MWF 9:15 AM 10:20 AM

This course surveys the formation of the British literary tradition from its beginnings at the intersection of Christianity and pre-Christian culture in Anglo-Saxon England to the literature of the Enlightenment. We will focus on works that represent major literary and intellectual movements of the first millennium of English literature, written by great and influential authors you may have run across before (but are always worth going back to), such as Chaucer, Milton, and Swift, as well as by lesser known but fascinating figures such as Julian of Norwich, Philip Sidney, John Donne, and Alexander Pope. Goals: to acquaint you with basic forms and classic texts of English literature and to develop your skills in reading and writing. The essential art we will work on is learning to ask good questions that get at what these texts do. Format: some lecture, mostly discussion. Requirements: short and long papers, exams.

ENGL 271 01 British Literature II
Hemenway,Stephen MWF 2:00 PM 3:10 PM

Enter the world of ancient mariners, Grecian urns, opium-eaters, Frankenstein, light brigades, blessed damozels, goblin markets, garden parties, waste lands, jazz, endgames, and dumb waiters. This scintillating survey course will introduce you to the major movements and writers in Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Commonwealth during the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern Eras (roughly 1789-2011, or about 222 years). The literary canon (dead but vital white male poets, such as Blake, Keats, Tennyson, Eliot, and Auden) will be augmented by wondrous women warriors (Austen, Shelley, Woolf, Mansfield, and Lessing), Irish giants (Shaw, Wilde, Joyce, Yeats, and Heaney), and fresh Commonwealth voices (Rhys, Achebe, Walcott, Munro, and Rushdie). Approximately equal time will be devoted to poetry, fiction, and drama. Forging links between geographical centers, genders, genres, races, and critical approaches will be among the impossible dreams of the teacher. Three tests or innovative test alternatives will measure your mastery of material. Three papers or nonpapers (musical, artistic, sculptural, choreographic, cinematic options) will engage your scholarly and creative impulses. You will move from "The Songs of Innocence" to the "Moment before the Gun Went Off." Four credit hours.

ENGL 279 01 Writing for Teachers
Trembley,Elizabeth MW 1:00 PM 2:50 PM

This workshop course will help its members become better writing teachers by first becoming better writers. You will become more energetic, attuned, and agile writers in multiple genres. You’ll have chances to play with fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and even plays, scripts and the graphic “novel” form! As we become more experienced with the techniques needed to write the kinds of works readers love to read, we’ll also explore how you, future teachers, will teach writing to your future students. Together we will form a community founded on respect for each person as a writer, dedicated to helping each and every person in class become a better writer and teacher of writing.
This is a blended learning course. Feel free to contact me before registration if you have questions.
Four credit hours.

ENGL 280 01 American Literature I
Verduin,Kathleen MWF 9:30 AM 10:20 AM

“America is a poem in our eyes,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the metaphor is apt: America is not simply a geographical space but an idea, a creation of the imagination, ever new and ever-changing—and much of what we contemplate as “American” arises from the testaments of our writers. This course surveys American literature from its beginnings to the era of the Civil War, a period when the snide British taunt “Who reads an American book?” was finally laid to rest. To crush such a rich heritage into a single semester seems a travesty, particularly since the American literary canon—those works deemed worthy of study and of perpetuation in the classroom—has undergone such dramatic change since the establishment of American literature as an academic province some hundred years ago. Still, a course like this can make a start, exposing students to American writers, American literary history, and the juxtaposition of literature with culture. The redoubtable Norton Anthology of American Literature, even in its shorter edition, provides a virtually inexhaustible resource. By the end of the semester, we all should know American literature a lot better: but if all goes as planned, we should also know a lot more about ourselves. THREE EXAMINATIONS, THREE CRITICAL ESSAYS, WEEKLY REACTION PAPERS.

ENGL 282 01 American Ethnic Literature
Montano,Jesus TR 12:00 PM 1:20 PM

At the heart of the matter, Survey in Ethnic American Literature is designed to develop the “whole person” at Hope College via study in critical methodologies and scholarly approaches for understanding the diverse historical and cultural issues relating to ethnic American literature. Participants are encouraged to gain and develop skills to research, analyze, and reflect on the heritage of ethnic cultures in America with the design that such study will develop the “whole person,” or in a word, to develop a Citizen, a participant and an activist who has a view of the larger mission in life and who strives daily, both locally and globally, in the pursuit of justice and equality.

This course will introduce students to methods and approaches for understanding the diverse historical and cultural issues relating to ethnic literary production in the US. Students will explore a wide variety of primary materials, including literature, film, art, and material culture, and will build on critical reading and critical learning skills necessary for understanding US ethnic experiences.

Ninety percent of this course is survey in nature, with coverage its impetus. The other fifty percent of the course will focus on methods and approaches for understanding the evolving concepts of race and ethnicity. Students will explore various themes and ideas prevalent in discussions of race and ethnicity. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the field of ethnic American literatures, place students within the ongoing conversations, and have students take major steps toward active engagement with those conversations.

ENGL 354 01 Intermed Creative Wrtg: Novel Writing
Trembley,Elizabeth M 5:30 PM 8:20 PM
4 credits, FA2


Many people who want to write novels start, but never finish. This course provides you with the techniques and support to structure a novel and then write one—a complete first draft of a minimum of 50,000 words, in only four weeks! (Yes, really.)

The structure of the course is roughly this: until Winter Break, we’ll prepare. This means we will study story structure, craft, writing technology and building support networks. You’ll read (and watch films) like writers, studying and practicing structure and technique. You will also learn to write in a different sort of software designed to support the way writers work (and way better than a regular word processor). Assessment will be on your gathering and working with this information.

In between breaks, you’ll draft your novel in all its reckless, imaginative, energetic wonder (using the model of National Novel Writing Month—check it out at With weekly pep rallies and individual conferences, you’ll complete a short novel of about 50,000 words (yes, you will!). In this part of the course, we’ll value enthusiasm and perseverance over craft. Assessment? Because of the limited time, the only things that will matter during this month are output quantity and the quality of your dedication to your work and that of your classmates. You’ll have permission to lower your expectations, risk, experiment and see what you can do. To build without tearing down.

In the last five weeks we’ll focus on re-visioning our works, both at the level of story and scene. We’ll study and experiment with issues including narrative structure, characterization, point of view, setting, significant detail and the like. Here you’ll be assessed on your command of the content of our reading and your willingness to experiment with re-vision. We’ll also present polished chunks of our drafted work for advanced workshops. You’ll be assessed on your polished work as well as on the quality of your analysis of other students’ works. We’ll also spend time learning how to approach the publishing world.

Is your blood tingling at the very thought? Great! Recruit some friends. Remember that permission of instructor is needed for this class. (Everyone is eligible—I just want to talk to you so you know what you’re getting into!) Sign up on my door, Lubbers 306, for an appointment or email me!

ENGL 355 01 Intermed Creative Wrtg:Poems
Childress,Susanna T 6:00 PM 8:50 PM

This course is for those who feel some familiarity with poetry, but want to deepen their knowledge of the practices and techniques poets know and use. Prerequisite: any 200 level writing class or permission of instructor.

This workshop will concern poems whose strategies include specific technique and form. All poets play with form (I'm not talking just sonnets villanelles, and sestinas though they will be included, too), and all poets reject it. Today's poets work the razor's edge of form and technique: they look to the forms and techniques of the past and use them for a poet's purpose: to create art that speaks in today's vernacular. You'll get prompts and guidance along the way, and you'll see poetry as a living art in which a poet both resettles known territory and blazes new paths across virgin land.

In English 355 class you'll practice poetic techniques and forms while you develop a more profound self-awareness of your innate language habits/ You'll write a dozen wonderful new poems, and make of them a chapbook while both new and experienced poets provide feedback on your work. You'll learn new strategies for getting more out of reading poetry (top among them: READ LOTS OF POETRY!), you'll meet fascinating poets who love what they do, and you'll explore poetry from around the world.

ENGL 360 01 Modern English Grammar
Verduin,Kathleen MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM

Grounded in the State of Michigan’s standards for English teachers, this course will enable you to teach writing on the elementary and secondary levels—and, let’s hope, make you a better, more confident writer yourself. We will start by identifying common errors—those small but irritating mistakes that can make you look ignorant—and then progress to an understanding of the parts of speech, the basic forms of words, the principles of correct and sophisticated sentence structure, and the art (yes, art!) of skillful punctuation. A good deal of our activity, though, will focus on the diagramming of sentences: a daunting prospect for the novice, but eventually such a joy that it’s been called more fun than Sudoku! You will soon be batting around terms like “noun clause,” “adjectival,” “phrasal verb,” and “morpheme” as if you had known them all your life. And you will also gain a sense of how grammar—a word which means many things to many people—has become a thorny social and even political issue.
Four tests; numerous exercises; production of one error-free academic paper.

ENGL 371 01 Jane Austen and her World
Schakel,Peter and Reynolds, Bill MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM

“The divine Miss Austen” offers an excellent focus for in-depth study of a single author. The number of primary texts is small enough that they can be covered in a semester, while the large body of biographical, scholarly, and critical material provides ample directions for exploration and research. And the close study of Austen’s masterful novels is rewarding for all fiction writers.

This class will read and discuss all six of Austen’s novels, paying special attention to the world Austen creates and the way she depicts late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century life in England. It will also give attention to eighteenth-century writers who influenced Austen. Students will give in-class reports on the primary texts and scholarly critical materials, and they will write short responses to the readings and a fifteen-page research paper.

ENGL 373 01 Shakespeare’s Plays
Lunderberg,Marla MW 2:00 PM 3:20 PM

Do you ever wonder why Shakespeare’s plays are still produced, four centuries after they were first put on stage? Do you wish you could attend a modern Shakespeare production with the confidence that you could understand and even critique the performance? Do you ever wonder about the many ways that people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries faced similar life circumstances to our own—or alternately, faced entirely different situations? In this course, we will examine several of Shakespeare’s plays, ranging from his early to his late writing, across the four genres of comedy, history, tragedy and romance. We will consider the historical and literary contexts of the plays. We will examine the plays both as literature and as performance pieces, and will assess various critical approaches’ insights into the plays.

ENGL 373 02 Literature for Children and Adolescents
Portfleet,Dianne TR 1:30 PM 2:50 PM

This course will focus on reading many works of Adolescent and Children's Literature, with 60% of the readings being Cross Cultural Readings. Reading and analyzing what we have read will be for the purpose of writing a literary theory of your own at the end of the semester, so that you can on your own discern poor, good, and excellent literature and have solid reasons for your decisions. Your final exam for the course will be your completed literary theory. The course will be mainly discussion of the works we are reading and deciding the quality of each of our readings as the semester progresses. It will be a fun course, for the books chosen to be read are all award-winning books. This course is designed to stimulate your imaginations, help your critical thinking skills, rekindle a love of reading for pleasure in your lives, and prepare you to discern quality literature and movies on your own.

ENGL 373 03 Exploring The Graphic Novel
Werner,Courtney MW 3:30 PM 4:50 PM

This course will introduce you to graphic novels as a literary genre. You will have an opportunity to read a wide variety of graphic novels as you explore the genre. You don’t need to know anything about comics or graphic novels to fit in with this class, but if you already love comics and graphic novels, this course will help you learn to love them in new ways.

You will be asked to interrogate graphic novels as embodiments of cultural and societal norms during within their historical contexts. You will use graphic novels as a lens with which to investigate and interrogate the sociocultural tensions of gender and race in particular. Further, the course takes up several issues of form via the following guiding questions. How are graphic novels a distinct form of literary art? What elements set these texts apart from other pieces of literature? What are the literate skills and practices needed to understand the nuances of these texts? What are the different styles that authors and illustrators take up in order to tell significant cultural stories? What are the historically situated popular perceptions of comic books and graphic novels, especially over the last 50 years? What are the contextual considerations for crafting, publishing, and perceiving of graphic novels as literary artifacts?

ENGL 373 04 The Contemporary American Short Story Cycle
Sellers,Heather TR 12:00 PM 1:20 PM

“[The short story cycle] is a convention that needs to be recognized and understood as not simply ancillary to the more significant “novel” but as integral to literary history, with an ancient origin and a set of narrational and structural principles quite distinct from other fictional modes.” --James Nagel

In this course, we study short story collections that contain linked or inter-connected short stories—collections that feature the same cast of characters or the same setting. Of great interest to us is this fact: in the past century, many of the most important works in this genre were written by authors from differing ethnic backgrounds. The short story cycle has ancient roots, and we’ll examine that literary legacy as we ask our key question: why does this form offer so many award-winning authors such a rich mode of exploration into complex interactions of gender, ethnicity, and individual identity? And, given its impact on readers and writers, why is the short story cycle so often marginalized, misconstrued (many of these books are marketed, wrongly, as “novels”), misunderstood, and generally treated like the poor, distant cousin of the lofty Novel, like a wannabe?

We begin with Sherwood Anderson’s dark study of a small town in the Midwest, Winesburg, Ohio, and read stellar works by a wide range of lively contemporary authors including Ernest Hemingway, Gloria Naylor, Louise Erdrich, Robert Olen Butler, Amy Tan, and Elizabeth Strout, among others.

Class atmosphere: lively and open-minded. Lecture combined with (somewhat structured) discussion. Workload: medium heavy. Steady reading load. Quizzes. Active participation required (I’ll help you if you need it). Assignments: Two short projects. Midterm exam, research presentation, final research paper.

No prior experience required—all are welcome to take this class.

ENGL 454 01 Adv Creative Writing:Fiction
Sellers,Heather W 3:00 PM 5:50 PM

This is an advanced course for writers who wish to create a sustained body of work; our focus is the linked short story collection. We read and respond to award-winning and popular examples of linked short story collections. Each student works creates a final professional chapbook of thirty to forty pages of high-quality, well-revised linked stories. At the end of the course, the chapbooks are self-published and distributed to all workshop members.

Active participation in a writing group is a key component of this course; often, students find long-lasting writing partnerships growing out of these small groups. While workshop is of course discussion-based, the instructor will provide regular lecture/demonstration on issues of process, characterization, theme, development, dialogue, structure, scene/ summary and other topics that capture our mutual interest as the semester progresses. Workload: steady, delicious, intensive. Self-assigned daily writing is expected and participation in weekly course discussion is required.

A note on genre. This course addresses literary prose (fiction, memoir, and in-between). It doesn’t allow for genre work: science fiction, detective fiction, romance, children’s, young adult, mystery or graphic work. While interesting and valuable in many ways, genres aren’t admitted to the workshop because their requirements are specific, demanding, and beyond the our scope.

This course may be repeated for credit by students wishing to build their portfolios.
Permission required.

ENGL 455 01 Adv Creative Writing:Poems
Peschiera,Pablo M 5:30 PM 8:20 PM

In this course, we read poetry, we recite poetry, we read about poetry, and we write poetry. Each one of those activities is immensely complex, as is most creative activity. Poetry allows us access to complex truths in our world that usually require years of study and training in other disciplines. This is true of all art, but poetry has an advantage—it requires only language, and the simplest methods to record it.

We will read many contemporary poets, in their full-length collections. We will read one of the most celebrated anthologies of contemporary poetry. We will read intelligible, timely contemporary essays about poetry and poetics, with our eye to developing an awareness of current trends and aesthetics.

In every class, we will discuss the differences between preference and quality, value and evaluated, and popularity and aesthetics. The writing of informal—yet deeply thoughtful and critical—essays will help you develop and articulate your understanding of poetry and poetics. We will discuss both technique and content. On top of all that, you will write poetry more often than you’ve likely written before.

Many people today would like to professionalize writing at all levels, even in creative work. Writing satisfying poems requires a high level of professionalism, such as discipline, respect for the work of others, and respect for yourself. However, writing and reading poetry is, above, all, an unprofessional act. It is not a commodity in our society, like writing good clear prose—it has little monetary value.

It’s true that the writing and reading of poetry trains your mind to better process words, and to think with deeper subtlety, deliberation, and complexity. But I’m sure that’s not why you will register for this class.

If I know anything about young poets, I know they write and read poetry to work-out their own obsessions, worries, confusions, joys, and passions without asking for results or the right answer. Thank God for not having the right answers! We won’t find them in poetry. What we’ll find is something much valuable: a voice and eyes with which to decipher the complex weave of our world, without the burden of having to stitch it all together.

Prerequisites: one college-level poetry workshop, such as English 255 or 355 (or speaking to the professor is encouraged).

ENGL 495 01 American Biography
Dykstra,Natalie W 6:00 PM 8:50 PM

Extraordinary writers. Original voices. The American experience.

In the middle decades of the 19th century there emerged extraordinary writers who found an original voice to articulate their American experience. To a large extent, we are still influenced by their stories, poems, and lives. This course investigates the literature and lives of several key writers of this era, including: Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Keckley, and Henry James.

We will be reading a single work by each author paired with his/her biography as a way to dig deep into both literary and historical questions about family, love, death, war, race, faith, justice. Other questions include: what is the relation of a writer to culture and how do we imagine that relation? How does a biographer use an author’s oeuvre to understand a life and how does understanding a life illuminate the writing?

The focus of our work will be a biographical research project that takes advantage of fascinating sources (letters, diaries, photographs) archived at the Holland Museum and the Hope’s Theil Research Center. Time in class is devoted to discussion; other assignments include short papers and an exam. Come join us! For questions, email Prof. Dykstra at