2017-2018 Graduate Course Offerings

For the most current schedule information, please visit the University's Course Finder.

Summer 2017

Please note this listing is of courses from a previous semester. Check back closer to your registration date to see descriptions for upcoming courses.



ENG 341 Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics

Aims and methods of linguistic science. Nature and functions of language: phonology, morphology, syntax, variation.

Section 01, MTWR 11:00, 4 weeks beginning 6/5/2017, K. Aaron Smith



ENG 375 Young Adult Literature

Advances critical examination of literature for young adults with emphasis on trends and research.

Section 01, MTWR at 11:00, 4 weeks beginning 5/22/2017, Jan Susina

This course will emphasize reading of young adult literature with attention to the analysis of literary representation of the stages of adolescence and adolescent concerns. The course traces the development of the genre of adolescent literature and will investigate thematic and stylistic changes found in such texts. In addition to reading a variety of literary genres – fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novel – written specifically for adolescents, books read by adolescents, and books that are assigned to adolescents in the classroom. Students will develop a detailed proposal for research paper with an annotated bibliography on an adolescent text or some aspect of adolescent culture. All students will write a film analysis, create a cannon of young adult literature, and complete a mixed tape/CD project. A final exam will be give at the end of the course and regular reading quizzes on the reading will be given throughout the course. Given the concentrated nature of this four-week summer school course, attendance at every class session is required as is active participation in class discussion.


ENG 378 London on Stage: Shakespeare & Company

English course for graduate study abroad in London, UK

Section 01, 6 weeks beginning 5/22/2017, Tara Lyons



Back to top

ENG 409.06 Teaching of Writing in High School/Middle School: The Writing Project

Improving the quality of writing instruction in middle and high schools.

Section 01, MTWRF at 9:00, 3 weeks beginning 7/10/2017, Jan Neuleib



ENG 498 Professional Practice: Internship in English

Supervised field experience in English with local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions (including colleges and universities), and organizations.

Section 01, arrange, Elise Hurley



Back to top

Fall 2017

Please note this listing is of courses from a previous semester. Check back closer to your registration date to see descriptions for upcoming courses.



ENG 308 Literature and the Related Arts

Formal, aesthetic, and cultural relationships among literature, art, music, drama, film, and other related arts.

Section 01, TR at 9:35, Robert McLaughlin

The American Musical Theater—Then—Now—and a lot of Sondheim

This course will survey the history of the American musical theater from its origins, through its musical-comedy heyday, to its maturity in the Rodgers and Hammerstein era.  It will then focus on the musical theater of the last 45 years, with special attention to the work of Stephen Sondheim and his collaborators.  We will read scripts, listen to music, study some history, and engage some aesthetics.

The goal will be to gain an understanding of the ways musical plays work as aesthetic pieces and of how they function more broadly historically and culturally.

Class meetings will be discussion-based.  Each student will be responsible for a research presentation.  There will be three three-to-five-page essays and one research-based essay.

Texts I anticipate using include:

Larry Stempel, Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater
Library of America, American Musicals: The Complete Books and Lyrics
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, Company
Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman, Follies
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Sunday in the Park with George
Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, Next to Normal
Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years
William Finn and James Lapine, Falsettos
Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas, The Light in the Piazza



ENG 322 Studies in the English Novel

Study of the movements, figures, historical periods, contexts, and theories of English novels.

Section 01, TR at 12:35, Katherine Ellison

Life Writing and the History of the Novel

Frances Burney is most famous for her novels, like Evelina and Cecilia, which made Jane Austen’s career possible. Yet more meaningful to her were the diaries she kept for 47 years, the piles of letters she had filed away between her, her sister, her friends, her husband, and fellow literary celebrities. In those files were her narratives of, for example, her mastectomy, which she endured awake, without any anesthesia. She lived with this massive archive of personal life writings in Paris in the spring of 1815 when the city was invaded by Napoleon. She had to abandon all of her writings, taking with her only a basket of clean clothes. She was devastated.

The literary term, “autobiography,” coined in 1797, has shifted to the term “life writing,” which allows writings of the past excluded from autobiographical classification – and from all generic categories – to finally be appreciated within new frameworks that recognize their unique contributions to human history. In particular, women’s writings have occupied an ambiguous status. Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Mary Delariviere Manly, Jane Barker, and others were shut out from the high-class world of the “novelist” and demoted as “romance writers” or “writers of amatory fiction” even though their works, often highly self-referential and autobiographical, openly critiqued the conventions of the romance, claimed to be true, and were the bestsellers of their time, out-pacing the men’s writings by a large profit margin. Life writing allows us to consider their well-known works – and works buried in the archives -- from a new perspective. The concept of the autobiographical was complicated by the frequent claim of absolute authenticity and “true history” by fictional works, a move so common that the appeal to truth became the foundational convention of the early novel. Even writers like Burney, who was accepted as a novelist, wrote narratives that remained “inedited” because they didn’t fit anywhere (yet when read, were wildly popular). Her novels were not possible without these writings about her life, and the line between them is a fuzzy one.

This course will explore the relationship between the early novel and life writing and the generic conventions that made life writing so attractive and lucrative – yet so confusing – to eighteenth-century audiences. It could be argued that the eighteenth century was obsessed with writing the life. No longer interested in the general tales of the aristocratic exploits of characters who may or may not have existed, epic battles between allegorical figures who represent the “everyman,” and the construction of national icons from exaggerated models, eighteenth-century readers wanted to learn about specific, everyday people: what were their lives like, what were their struggles, their emotions, their dreams and nightmares. How did they survive the harsh living conditions of the century? They wanted details – what does a pickpocket think about, where does she come from, and where does she go? How does one become a prostitute? A wealthy merchant? What does a mastectomy feel like? Can one endure it?

This course is designed to complement, not substitute for, courses on life writing in our curriculum taught by, for example, Dr. Amy Robillard and Dr. Cynthia Huff. This course goes back a bit further in time, filling a gap in your history yet allowing you to bring what you already know to our classroom, enlightening our study of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as you build your knowledge of the fields of life writing and novel studies and, perhaps, write your own as you learn.

Texts are still to be determined but might include:

Excerpts from the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania
Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko
Jane Barker’s Magdalen Manuscript
Mary Manley, The Adventures of Rivella; or, the History Of the Author of the Atalantis
Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year
Personal essays in The Spectator and The Female Tatler
Excerpts from theautobiography of child prodigy Colley Cibber
Excerpts from Samuel Richardson, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded and Eliza Haywood’s Anti-Pamela
Henry Fielding, “On Writing Lives in General”
Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets
James Boswell, Life of Johnson
Journals and Letters of Frances Burney
Mary Hays’ Memoirs of Emma Courtney  
Excerpts from The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker, a Quaker woman living in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War
Excerpts from the diaries of Dorothy Wordsworth



ENG 341 Introduction To Descriptive Linguistics

Aims and methods of linguistic science. Nature and functions of language: phonology, morphology, syntax, variation.

Section 02, MW at 11:00, Susan Burt



ENG 342 Sociolinguistics

Social significance of language variation: regional, social, ethnic dialects; attitudes towards variation. Multilingual societies, language choice, language shift, language planning.

Section 01, MW at 9:35, Susan Burt



ENG 345 TESOL: Methods and Materials

Methodologies and techniques for teaching English as a Second Language; evaluation of materials for various levels and instructional goals. Includes Clincical Experiences.

Section 01, MW at 11:00, Lisya Seloni



ENG 346 Assessment and Testing in ESL

Assessing oral and written proficiency in English as a Second Language.

Section 01, MW at 9:35, Hyun-Sook Kang



ENG 349 Technical Writing II

Instruction and practice in editing, proposals, and analytical writing; attention given to style manuals, research writing, and (as needed) publication. Computer assisted.

Section 01, TR at 11:00, Erika Sparby

Section 02, W at 5:30, Erika Sparby



ENG 353 Technical Editing

Theory and practice of editing and management of documentation in industry and other organizational settings. Computer assisted.

Section 01, TR at 12:35, Angela Haas



ENG 365 Movements and Periods in African-American Literature and Culture

Advanced critical study of major movements and periods in African-American literature.

Section 01, TR at 2:00, Ricardo Cruz



ENG 375 Young Adult Literature

Advanced critical examination of literature for young adults with emphasis on trends and research.

Section 01, TR at 9:35, Jan Susina

This course will emphasize reading of young adult literature with attention to the analysis of literary representation of the stages of adolescence and adolescent concerns.  The course traces the development of the genre of adolescent literature and will investigate thematic and stylistic changes found in such texts.  In addition to reading a variety of literary genres—fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novel--written specifically for adolescents, books read by adolescents, and books that are assigned to adolescents in the classroom. 

Required Texts:
J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in The Rye. Little Brown.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. Notes & Preface by Russ McDonald. Penguin.
Harper Lee. To Kill A Mockingbird. Grand Central Publishing.
John Lewis. March: Book One. Top Shelf.
Ray Bradbury.  Farenheit 451. Simon & Schuster.
Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl: A Novel. Macmillan.
S.E. Hinton. The Outsiders. Speak.
Sonya Sones. What My Mother Doesn’t Know.  Simon Pulse.
William Shakespeare. A Midsummer’s Night Dream, ed. Russ McDonald. Penguin.
Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Hamilton: An American Musical/Original Broadway Cast Recording.
Altantic CD.
Tavi Gevinson. ed.  Rookie Yearbook One. Razorbill.
Chip Kidd. Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. Workman Publishing.
John Green. Looking for Alaska. Speak.

Section 02, TR at 11:00, Jan Susina

This course will emphasize reading of young adult literature with attention to the analysis of literary representation of the stages of adolescence and adolescent concerns.  The course traces the development of the genre of adolescent literature and will investigate thematic and stylistic changes found in such texts.  In addition to reading a variety of literary genres—fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novel--written specifically for adolescents, books read by adolescents, and books that are assigned to adolescents in the classroom. 

Required Texts:
J.D. Salinger. The Catcher in The Rye. Little Brown.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. Notes & Preface by Russ McDonald. Penguin.
Harper Lee. To Kill A Mockingbird. Grand Central Publishing.
John Lewis. March: Book One. Top Shelf.
Ray Bradbury.  Farenheit 451. Simon & Schuster.
Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl: A Novel. Macmillan.
S.E. Hinton. The Outsiders. Speak.
Sonya Sones. What My Mother Doesn’t Know.  Simon Pulse.
William Shakespeare. A Midsummer’s Night Dream, ed. Russ McDonald. Penguin.
Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Hamilton: An American Musical/Original Broadway Cast Recording.
Altantic CD.
Tavi Gevinson. ed.  Rookie Yearbook One. Razorbill.
Chip Kidd. Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. Workman Publishing.
John Green. Looking for Alaska. Speak.



ENG 392 Contemporary Rhetorical Theories

Study of the principles of rhetoric to serve as basis for understanding contemporary rhetorical theories.

Section 01, TR at 3:35, Julie Jung

Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Rhetorical Analysis

Course Description
As a research method, rhetorical analysis enables scholars to gather textual data in order to render interpretations about what a given “text” (broadly defined) does in the world. Yet the data we collect and the patterns we identify among them don’t come for nowhere. Instead, they emerge in relation to our theoretical and methodological frameworks. Too often, however, rhetorical analysis is understood and applied as a neutral method capable of producing universal insights about how human communication works. This course intends to undo that understanding. Specifically, we will study how theoretical and methodological approaches [1] focus our attention such that we select some artifacts (but not others) as being worthy of analysis; [2] delimit the data and patterns capable of being perceived; and [3] influence how we interpret what those data and patterns mean. To do this work, we will read scholarship in contemporary cultural rhetorics that introduces us to key theories and concepts and models ways of deploying rhetorical analysis in the service of specific political commitments.

Course Format & Assignments
This course is an advanced seminar. As such, participants will be expected to read, write about, and discuss the assigned readings with complexity. Early readings will orient participants to rhetoric as a field of inquiry; to cultural rhetorics as a specific area within that field; and to ways of understanding the relationship between theory, methodology, and method. Thereafter we will read clusters of articles that revolve around one specific area within cultural rhetorics (e.g., African-American rhetorics; Chicana rhetorics; disability rhetorics; feminist rhetorics; material rhetorics; rhetorics of science; rhetorics of social protest).

In addition to completing the assigned reading and participating in class discussions, students will complete several short rhetorical analyses. One of these will be extended to include outside scholarly research and submitted at the end of the term (undergraduates: 10-12 pps; graduate students: 15-18 pps). Graduate students will also facilitate discussion of one reading and prepare an annotated bibliography that focuses on one area within contemporary cultural rhetorics.

Course readings
Readings will be selected from articles published by cultural rhetorics scholars such as Amanda Booher, J. David Cisneros, Ellen Cushman, Rebecca Dingo, Jay Dolmage, Jessica Enoch, Lisa Flores, Jeff Grabill, Rachel Alicia Griffin, Angela M. Haas, Wendy Hesford, Elise Versoza Hurley, Kendall Leon, Gwendolyn Pough; Elaine Richardson, Gabriela Raquel Ríos, Jacqueline Jones Royster; Eileen Schell, J. Blake Scott, Hilary Selznick, Amy Vidali, Bo Wang, Hui Wu, Melanie Yergeau, and Candace Zepeda.



ENG 394 TESOL Practicum

Observation, case studies, tutoring, instructional assistance, and some teaching experience in English as a Second Language.

Section 01, W at 1:00, Hybrid, Hyun-Sook Kang



Back to top

ENG 400 Independent Study

Directed independent study in an area of English Studies.



ENG 401 Introduction to Graduate Study

Introduction to bibliography, methods of research, critical evaluation of scholarship, and recent developments in literary theory and criticism.

Section 01, R at 5:30, Brian Rejack



ENG 402 Teaching Composition

Introduction to theory, research, and practice in the teaching of composition.

Section 01, W at 5:30, Joyce Walker and Lisya Seloni



Eng 447.02 Creative Writing Seminar: Prose

Practice in the writing of fiction for graduate level or professional writers.

Section 01, TR at 11:00, Ricardo Cruz



ENG 452 The Teaching of Technical Writing

Inquiry into the issues, methods, and resources incolced in teaching technical writing at the college level.

Section 01, M at 5:30, Elise Hurley



ENG 470 Studies in Children's Literature

Topics in texts for children and adolescents: genres, authors, critical approaches, themes, or historical developments.

Section 01, T at 5:30, Karen Coats

Transmedia and Multimodality: Strategies for Analysis

Transmediation refers to the practice of conveying an idea or story across different platforms. When an idea or storyworld finds expression via different platforms, the specific affordances of each medium enable new emphases or aspects to emerge or take precedence while others recede or are overshadowed. In this class, we will examine the theoretical tools that are in the process of being developed to more adequately account for the power and persistence of such transmedial storytelling. We will ground our theoretical explorations through consideration of a few texts that have evolved across media platforms such as illustrated and non-illustrated print texts, film, theatrical performances, graphic narratives, video games, websites, social media sites, theme parks, and merchandise lines. We will also need to consider the analytical tools that have been developed to study visual, sonic, narratological, interactive and blended texts. We will work together in our study of the theoretical texts, which will include articles in addition to the book Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture, but students will be encouraged to choose their own transmedia storyworld to analyze over the course of the semester.In addition to keeping a daybook related to the required readings and their explorations within their chosen storyworld, each student will be asked to give a conference-length presentation in class, and produce a 20-25 page essay that analyzes and theorizes the transmedial or multimodal aspects of a text of their choice.  
  
Required Text:
Thorn, Jan-Noël, Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture, ISBN: 978-0803277205



ENG 487 Studies in the American Novel

Topics in the development of the American novel, with attention to particular techniques, figures, themes or movements.

Section 01, TR at 3:35, Robert McLaughlin

Studies in the American Novel: Into the Sunset? U.S. Postmodern Fiction in the Twenty-first Century

U.S. postmodern fiction can be characterized by some or all of these features: double coded language or, more popularly, irony; self-referentiality; experiments in form and style; contingent truths manifested through multiple, dialogic narratives that work to subvert totalizing systems; the breakdown of the autonomous, integrated individual.  The postmodern fiction of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s made use of these features to challenge readers’ expectations for how fiction could work and, more broadly, how the world could be known and how a person could situate herself in the world.  In one sense, postmodern fiction sought to turn the world into fiction so as to expose the mendacity of the culture we have inherited and to invite us to invent other, better cultures.  Curtis White sums this up in the first paragraph of his short story “Remember John Lennon”: “Everybody of my generation has the same memory.  We were twelve or thirteen or we were twenty-one, for that matter, and we were going to be veterinarians or we were, like Ringo, going to own a hairdresser’s parlor.  We walked into the record store and saw the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  We thought together, ‘Life can be other than it has been.’ ”

In the transition from the late twentieth to early twenty-first century, however, a number of factors converged, demanding a reconsideration of postmodernism.  One was the general pendulum swing to the right, marking a pervasive political and cultural conservatism inimical to the formal experimentation, iconoclasm, and countercultural ideology of most postmodern fiction.  Another was the sense that the usefulness of irony as a means of engaging the culture was exhausted.  A related factor was 9/11, a catastrophic event, which blasted the U.S. cultural mood from contingency, relativity, and situationalism into a revival of “Grand Narratives” about West and East, Christianity and Islam, good and evil.  In the days after the towers fell, journalists never tired of announcing the end of irony (as if!), presumably another nail in the coffin of postmodernism.  A fourth factor is the process of globalization, in which all international and intercultural relations are defined in terms of economics.  Human relations are subsumed to the demands of economic growth, and cultural difference is lost in the hegemonic workings of the Western (primarily U.S.) culture industry.

This course will examine the state of postmodern fiction in the new century.  To what extent has it stayed the same?  To what extent has it changed?  To what extent has it been rejected?  Where do we go from here?

There will be two short essays, a more substantial research essay, and a stint as a discussion leader.

Among the texts I’m considering using are:

Mary Caponegro, All Fall Down
Joshua Cohen, Book of Numbers
Don DeLillo, Falling Man
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City
Rick Moody, The Diviners
Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days

Plus readings from such critics as Stephen J. Burn, Jeremy Green, Mary Holland, Larry McCaffery, Christian Moraru, Jeffrey Nealon, and Lance Olson.



ENG 498 Professional Practice: Internship in English

Supervised field experience in English with local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions (including colleges and universities), and organizations.



ENG 499 Master's Thesis



ENG 500 Independent Study

Directed independent study in an area of English Studies.



ENG 540 Seminar in Linguistics and Language Study

Reseach in descriptive, historical, applied, or theoretical linguistics, within the context of English Studies.

Section 01, MW at 11:00, Hyun-Sook Kang



ENG 560 Seminar in Literature and Culture

Research in selected areas of literary and/or cultural study framed within the contexts of pedagogy and English Studies.

Section 01, R at 5:30, Robert McLaughlin

This course will in the broadest sense consider the theories and practices of the teaching of literature and, more specifically, focus on the challenges of teaching contemporary/postmodern fiction.  There will be readings in pedagogy and in postmodern theory.  We will also read several novels and stories.

Class meetings will be discussion-based. Each student will be responsible for teaching a short story.  In addition, students will develop a syllabus, prepare an annotated bibliography and class plan, and complete a final project.

Texts I anticipate using include:

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Gerald Graff, Professing Literature
Elaine Showalter, Teaching Literature

Kathy Acker, Empire of the Senseless
Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street
Carol de Chellis Hill, Henry James’ Midnight Song
McLaughlin, Robert L., ed., Innovations: An Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Literature
Pynchon, Thomas, Vineland
Ishmael Reed, Juice!



ENG 591 Practicum (Internship) in College Teaching

Teaching of lower-division English courses with emphasis upon new techniques; under faculty direction, at Illinois State University or off campus; in conjunction with tutorial meetings. Prerequisite: completion of doctoral course work.



ENG 599 Research and Dissertation

Research involving the gathering of materials and data and the writing of a dissertation.



Back to top

Spring 2018

ENG 310 History and Development of the English Language

Development of the English language from the Old English period to the present.

Section 01, TR at 2:00, K. Aaron Smith

English 310 is the advanced course on the history of English. The course reviews the major developments of the English language, viewing many of them as simple straightforward facts. The course, however, complicates those “facts” by investigating further linguistic and sociolinguistic data that allow for alternative explanations/accounts. Thus, the objective of the course is not only for students to learn or review a history of English but also to develop a more critical eye toward English language historiography.


ENG 311 Introduction to Old English Language and Literature

Elements of Old English grammar, with selected readings in Old English literature.

Section 01, TR at 12:35, Susan Kim



ENG 341 Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics

Aims and methods of linguistic science. Nature and functions of language: phonology, morphology, syntax, variation.

Section 01, MWF at 9:00, Susan Burt



ENG 343 Cross-Cultural Issues in TESOL

The relationship between language, culture, and cultural awareness in the learning and teaching of English as a Second Language.

Section 01, MW at 11:00, Lisya Seloni



ENG 344 TESOL: Theoretical Foundations

Linguistic theories: first and second language acquisition; cognitive, affective, and cultural factors in teaching English as a Second Language.

Section 01, MW at 2:00, Lisya Seloni



ENG 347.02 Advanced Creative Writing: Prose

Workshop format for individual projects; related theory.

Section 01, MW at 3:35, Joe Amato



ENG 349 Technical Writing II

Instruction and practice in editing, proposals, and analytical writing; attention given to style manuals, research writing, and (as needed) publication.

Section 01, MW at 3:35, Angela Haas



ENG 351 Hypertext

Workshop using digital technologies to compose comlex, multimodal, Web-based texts for a variety of rhetorical situations.

Section 01, TR at 3:35, Erika Sparby



ENG 355 Forensic Bibliography and Archival Editing

History of print culture from orality to digital text; introduction to principles and practices of bibliographic investigation and scholarly editing.

Section 01, TR at 2:00, Tara Lyons



ENG 358 Topics in Publishing Studies

Topics in specific theories, histories, trends, methodologies, practices, or figures in publishing.

Section 01, M at 5:30, Duriel Harris



ENG 360 Studies in Women's Writing

Studies in and theories of women's writing.

Section 01, MW at 3:35, Cynthia Huff

This course focuses on the diversity of women's autobiographical expression historically, cross-culturally, and generically. We'll interrogate the similarities/differences between types of life writing discourse such as diaries, essays, testimonio, graphic life writing and historical/cultural narrative, and ask how the assumed/implied audience, the historical period, multiple voices, the geographical location, as well as issues of race, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, and relationship affect women's autobiographical acts. We'll question whether the term autobiography fits women's practices, consider if the term life writing/narrative is more appropriate, and discuss what distinctions between autobiography and biography, on one hand, or literature, on the other hand, seem meaningful.

Because life writing extends across the boundaries of English Studies as well as transgresses the boundaries of other disciplines to include art, history, and psychology, for example, it’s ideal for thinking about how and why we read texts and considering teaching strategies. This course will ask how reading a variety of women’s life writing texts helps us learn about ourselves as critical consumers and about others’ lives, and suggest some strategies for how to teach life writing. This course is ideal for anyone who ever wanted to think about how his/her life might be written, to investigate how different women have written their lives, to explore how you might convey the dynamics of a life to anyone who wants to think about how important living a life is.

Because a major component of the course is pedagogical, it fulfills the pedagogy requirement for graduate students. Because of its emphasis on teaching, it is also ideal for undergraduate education majors. It also is an elective for the Women and Gender Studies minor.

This course is interdisciplinary in nature and would benefit rhetoric, writing studies, linguistics, creative writing, and technical communications specialists.



ENG 373 Poetry for Children

Poetry for children and early adolescents, including various categories, elements, and well-known poets in the field.

Section 01, M at 5:30, Karen Coats

From nursery rhymes and cradle songs to young adult SLAM poetry competitions, youth poetry plays a vital role in teaching us the rhythms of our languages, connecting us to other people, and shaping our emotional lives. In this class we will explore how that happens from various angles. We will take a linguistics approach, examining how poetic language mirrors and enhances and yet is fundamentally different from sensory, embodied experience (there is chocolate involved here); a developmental approach, looking at how the luminous communicative musicality of early childhood morphs into the humorously transgressive poetry of middle childhood and culminates in the full-blown protests of young adult poetry; and an aesthetics approach, attempting to figure out what makes a good poem good. We will also spend some time looking at verse novels for various ages, and how poetry and illustration interact in poetic picturebooks.
Books to buy:
Elliott, David, Bull
Alexander, Kwame, Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
Smith, Hope Anita, The Way a Door Closes
Grimes, Nikki, Planet Middle School
Singer, Marilyn, Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems
Sidman, Joyce, This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
Wolf, Allan, Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent, and Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet’s Life
Frost, Helen, Diamond Willow
Janeczko, Paul, Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
Hoberman, Mary Ann, Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart



ENG 375 Young Adult Literature

Advanced critical examination of literature for young adults with emphasis on trends and research.

Section 01, MW at 11:00, Mary Moran

A wide variety of experiences marks the transition from childhood to adulthood through that ever-changing stage known as adolescence.  In this class, we’ll focus on the question of how young people learn to make mature ethical decisions.  Of course, this approach necessitates guidelines about what it means to make “mature ethical decisions.”  Therefore, as background to our analysis of literature, we’ll start by reading two groundbreaking studies of moral development by Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan.  Kohlberg proposes that the highest level of morality is the ability to make decisions according to universal principles; Gilligan suggests an alternative model in which moral decision-making must take into account the relationships among particular individuals and the communities in which they live.  We’ll use these ideas to investigate novels from various time periods and subgenres, all written for and about young adults, with protagonists who explore their responsibilities to self, particular others, and community.  Texts will include Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, and Randa Abdel-Fattah’s Does My Head Look Big in This?.  Most of our classes will be devoted to discussion, though we will also use class time for writing and for peer workshopping; students should expect to be actively engaged in their learning during each class.  In addition to thoughtful and interactive participation, student responsibilities will include a day of leading discussion and three papers (a 3-4 page paper and an 8-10 page paper for all students and a final paper of 10-12 pages for undergraduates, 20-25 for graduate students).



ENG 385 Life Writing/Narrative in Theory and Practice

Theoretical and practical consideration of interdisciplinary field of life writing/narrative. Textual production and reception, representation, rhetoric, memory, narrative, genre.

Section 01, T at 5:30, Cynthia Huff

   This class combines the theory and practice of life writing/narrative to look at the ways in which life writing/narrative is practiced and how scholars theorize that practice. To do that we’ll consider different genres, such as the diary, the essay, graphic memoir, biography, autobiography, and oral history, and consider, too, how the presentation of life stories by using different media, such as photos and drawing, affects their effect, thus raising questions of material production. For us to establish a vocabulary used by life writing scholars, we’ll read critical texts that discuss key terms in life writing scholarship, such as identity/subjectivity, truth value, agency, autobiographical subject, and autobiographical act, among others, as well as examine the interfaces between the theoretical practices of life writing scholars and those more generally used in English Studies. We’ll also act as life writers, both by writing our own lives and by critiquing how the members of the discourse community created in our class individually and collectively use life narrative to tell their stories. Several of the assigned texts will help us understand the interchange between the theory and practice of life writing/narrative as their authors foreground this. The theme of this course focuses on the family, very broadly conceived, so that the families we’ll read about over the course of the semester are human biological, cross species, and affectively conceived ones, thus allowing us to interrogate what it means to invoke “family” when creating a life writing/narrative text.

This course acts an elective for the Women and Gender Studies minor and, because it is interdisciplinary in nature and deals with both the theory and practice of life writing, it would benefit rhetoric, writing studies, linguistics, creative writing, and technical communications specialists.



ENG 394 TESOL Practicum

Observation, case studies, tutoring, instructional assistance, and some teaching experience in English as a Second Language.

Section 01, W at 1:00, Lisya Seloni



ENG 396 The Writing Seminar

Concentration upon a major writing project and the formulation of an individual Writing Portfolio.

Section 01, MW at 11:00, Jeremy Hurley



ENG 398 Professional Practice: Internship in English

Supervised field experience in English with local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions(including colleges and universities), and organizations.

Section 01, Arrange, Elise Hurley



Back to top

ENG 400 Independent Study

Directed independent study in an area of English Studies.

Arrange with instructor.



ENG 409.03 Writing Assessment in High School/Middle School

Improving the quality of writing instruction in middle and high schools.

Section 01, S at 9:00, Bob Broad

Meeting Time: (approximately every other) Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Please Note Meeting Dates: 1/20, 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/24, 4/7, 4/21, and 5/5
Meeting Place: STV 410 (and the STV 408 computer lab)

Required books:
Farley, Todd. Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry. Sausalito CA: Polipoint, 2009. (ISBN: 978-0981709154) Approx. cost $13.
Gallagher, Chris W., and Eric D. Turley. Our Better Judgment: Teacher Leadership for Writing Assessment. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2012. Print. (ISBN: 978-0-8141-3476-4) Approx. cost $32.
Huot, Brian, and Peggy O’Neill, eds. Assessing Writing: A Critical Sourcebook. NCTE/Bedford St. Martin’s: Boston, 2009. Print. (ISBN: 978-0-312-47596-3) Approx. cost: $44 but we can probably get you a FREE copy so don’t buy it yet.
Ravitch, Diane. Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools. New York: Knopf, 2013. Print. (ISBN: 978-0385350884) Approx. cost: $17 hardcover or $12 electronic.
Wilson, Maja. Rethinking Rubrics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2006. (ISBN: 978-0325008561) Approx. cost $20.

Recommended books:
Broad, Bob. What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2003. (ISBN: 978-0874215533) Approx. cost $22.
Eliot, Norbert. On a Scale: A Social History of Writing Assessment in America. New York: Lang, 2005. Hillocks, George. The Testing Trap: How State Writing Assessments Control Learning. New York: Teachers College P, 2002. (ISBN: 978-0807742297) Approx. cost $18.
Huot, Brian. (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2002. (ISBN: 978-0-87421-449-9) Approx. cost $22.
Wiggins, Grant. Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998. (ISBN: 978-0787908485) Approx. cost $32.
[Please note: This list of required and recommended texts is subject to revision until the start of the semester.]

Description of Course
This course will take as its starting (and ending) point the idea that assessment is, in Grant Wiggins’s term, “educative.” That is, assessment is not only, and not most powerfully, a means to research and document learning. It is most importantly a means to generate, support, and guide learning. Therefore, one of the key criteria by which we should judge any assessment is: “What does this assessment teach our students (and faculty, administrators, the public, etc.)?”

In studying writing assessment, we will therefore explore assessment options with careful attention to what we believe they teach us and our students about writing (and learning, etc.). Each student in this class is expected to identify, refine, develop, and carry out an individual or collaborative research project (textual research and/or empirical research) on some aspect of writing assessment of immediate professional importance and usefulness to herself/ himself and to other key stakeholders (e.g., other teachers, students, parents, administrators, legislators). We will also likely undertake a “communal change project” on a topic of our collaborative choosing.

Some themes and topics we will explore include:
  • Histories of writing assessment
  • Testing vs. “authentic” and “educative” assessment
  • Writing portfolio assessment
  • Responding to vs. grading students’ writing
  • Classroom writing assessment
  • Statewide and/or large-scale writing assessment
  • Computerized writing assessment
Format of Course
Like other classes in the “Teaching Writing in High School and Middle School” (Eng. 409.0X) series, this course is designed specifically for the benefit of teachers of writing in secondary (middle-school and high-school) English classrooms. We will educate ourselves regarding relevant theory and research, and integrate that learning into highly focused and “useable” research projects. In general terms, our activities and projects in and outside of class will include: Reading assigned texts and writing in a response journal (reflective writing-to-learn); class discussions and activities; communal change project; and individual research projects.

Participants in the class will assemble, groom, and present their own course portfolios (by default, electronic) to promote and document their learning. They should finish the course ready to publish their finished research projects on a website, in a sourcebook for teachers of writing, and/or in professional publications such as books and journals for teachers.

Special note on attendance
Please make careful note of the dates of the eight (8) scheduled meetings for this course, and please protect that time zealously and without fail. In a course that meets only eight times, even one absence is unacceptable. In case of a genuine emergency, contact the professor in advance of the expected problem date and make special arrangements.

Please Note Meeting Dates: 1/20, 2/3, 2/17, 3/3, 3/24, 4/7, 4/21, and 5/5


ENG 422 Studies in Shakespeare

Major critical problems in representative plays of Shakespeare.

Section 01, R at 5:30, Tara Lyons

“Shakespeare and Authorship Studies”

This course will examine historical and contemporary theories of authorship and their intersection with Shakespeare Studies. Readings will address social constructions of “the author,” theories of collaborative authorship, methodologies for author attribution, and the ethics of cultural adaptation and appropriation. In addition to reading postmodern theories of authorship responding to Barthes and Foucault, the class will also examine historical conceptions of authors in early modern England. In other words, how did Shakespeare become “Shakespeare” in his own time? To answer this question, we’ll read the books that “made Shakespeare” in the sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries—that is, his “best-selling” books (Venus and Adonis, Rape of Lucrece, Richard II, Richard III, 1 Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet). Students will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to the Newberry Library in Chicago.



ENG 440 Studies in English Linguistics

Advanced study and research in various aspects of the English language.

Section 01, MW at 3:35, K. Aaron Smith

Languages in the US: A Descriptive Linguistic Survey

In this course, we will undertake a descriptive survey of languages spoken in the United States, both historically and contemporaneously. By "descriptive" it is meant that our study of these languages will involve description of their linguistic structure in terms of phonology, morphology and syntax. Our study of the languages will also consider their historical and sociolinguistic status particularly in terms of documented contact phenomena with English, i.e. contact-induced effects/changes on phonology, morphology, syntax. While the list is not yet definitive (as it will depend on my ability to locate good descriptions of the languages), we may study Spanish, Creoles (such as Gullah and Hawaiian), Dutch, Scandinavian, German, Massachusetts, Navajo, Vietnamese, Yupik (Alaska), Portuguese, Chinese and/or others, again depending on availability of appropriate resources. Assessment in the course will be based on the development of a graduate-quality paper at the end of the course on a topic dealing with linguistic diversity. Note that the paper should be approached in a way that augments the student's larger academic and scholarly goals within their field of study. In some cases that may be linguistics, but it certainly may be any other area of English Studies. Thus, the paper could be about the representation of language diversity in children's or other forms of literature. The paper could be about the representation of linguistic diversity in fantasy novels/movies/shows. The paper could be about the rhetorics of linguistic diversity in the US or elsewhere. The paper could be about linguistic diversity in another geopolitical space. The paper could be about linguistic diversity in the composition process, i.e. multilanguage writing, etc. If you have any questions about the kind of paper you might develop before deciding to the take the course, contact me and we can talk about it. My major goal in teaching this course is to delve into linguistic description and use that as a way to connect linguistics to other discourses in English Studies. However minimally, you must be prepared to read and talk about the linguistic structure of Language (phonology, morphology, and syntax).


ENG 467 Technology and English Studies

Critical examination of the impact of digital technology on a selected field within English Studies.

Section 01, R at 5:30, Erika Sparby

An overview of key theories, methods, practices, and pedagogies that inform and are informed by digital rhetorical studies.


ENG 470 Studies in Children's Literature

Topics in texts for children and adolescents; genres, authors, critical approaches, themes, or historical developments.

Section 01, W at 2:00, Mary Moran

We will be exploring connections between YA speculative fiction (mostly fantasy) and feminist ethics, in particular ethics of care. Feminist ethical analysis of emotions, empathy, and relationality has spurred the development of innovative conceptions of morality, autonomy, and identity (among others) that resonate with many of the subjects of speculative fiction for young people. The selection of scholarly reading will include works by Carol Gilligan, Nel Noddings, Margaret Urban Walker, Fiona Robinson, and Virginia Held. The reading list of fiction will include Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and his just-published (!!!) La Belle Sauvage, some part of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and works by Madeleine L'Engle and Gene Leun Yang (tying in with Yang’s visit to the campus in March). Students in all fields are welcome, as children’s literature and/or childhood studies can intersect productively with many other concentrations.



ENG 497 Research Methods in Composition Studies

Current reasearch issues and methods in composition studies, with emphasis on experimental, formalistic, and naturalistic designs.

Section 01, T at 5:30, Bob Broad

Description of the course
While Writing Studies is the frame of reference for this research methods course, the questions we tackle and the methods we learn and practice are essential for scholars doing human subjects research in any sub-field of English Studies, including literature, linguistics, theory, and creative writing among others.

When we produce and consume “research,” what are we doing, and why do we do it? What dynamic relations can we trace through the processes we call “research” among the phenomena of: curiosity, questions, problems, inquiry, data, method, rhetoric, theory, knowledge, power, money (e.g., the need to be hired), history, values, ideals, reputation, ambition, desire, fear, desperation, persuasion, and teaching practices?

To help us answer such questions, I have designed this course as an inductive inquiry into the meaning, character, and role of qualitative-empirical research in contemporary U.S. society and specifically in the field of composition and rhetoric. We will study closely those books and articles that participants in the class (and others) identify as particularly powerful examples of (and reflections on) empirical research in English Studies, and we will derive from that collaborative study a useful, productive understanding of what research is and ways we might conduct it. Participants will then channel their new, enhanced understandings of research in our field into research designs and pilot studies that they will carry out during the course.

On the assumption that most of us in English Studies are already familiar with and well-trained in textual research, this course will focus primarily (though not exclusively) on empirical research, particularly on qualitative research, and especially on research with human subjects. Participants are strongly encouraged to arrive on the first day of class with three focused, well-considered, prospective research topics and research questions for the qualitative-empirical pilot study they will conduct during the course.

Format of the course
We will read books and articles of and about empirical research in Writing Studies. We will write informally and formally, and share our readings, writings, resources, questions, and ideas during class meetings. In addition to establishing a solid basis of knowledge regarding a range of research methods and methodologies, participants will design and pilot research studies of their own. These pilot studies should be closely linked to students’ plans for internships, theses, dissertations, articles, books, and other professional opportunities and responsibilities.



ENG 498 Professional Practice: Internship in English

Supervised field experience in English with local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions (including colleges and universities), and organizations.

Section 01, arrange, Elise Hurley



ENG 499 Master's Thesis

Consult with department.



ENG 500 Independent Study

Directed independent study in an area of English Studies.

Arrange with instructor.



ENG 510 Seminar in English Studies Pedagogy

Research and study of pedagogical theory in post-secondary English Studies with emphasis on developing self-reflexive pedagogy.

Section 01, TR at 11:00, Katherine Ellison

What does it mean to teach right now in the year 2018? What are the current social, political, economic, and historical contexts of your entrance into the profession of teaching, whether that is and will be in a college classroom or in a space for training and mentoring outside of higher education? This pedagogy seminar will take into consideration the fact that, as educators, we are always teaching: through public intellectualism, on social media, at family gatherings, and during interactions with others in our daily lives. What are the specific stakes of teaching in classrooms and in the public eye when there are Professor Watchlists? When we must receive Active Shooter Training? When some of our students are frightened to come to campus, or to walk through the parking garage at night, or to share their unique experiences because they might face emboldened discrimination, threat, and sexual assault? 

We will balance the practical – what are specific strategies for leading difficult discussions, how do we teach how to give and receive critique, how do we design responsible syllabi and assignment prompts – with theoretical readings across a range of pedagogical issues and disciplines. I will introduce you to the assessment movement, the good and the bad. You will develop your teaching philosophies and your confidence managing the day-to-day operations of education (how is higher education structured? How do you design an hour and fifteen minutes of learning? How do you give a lecture or make small group work meaningful? What are your legal rights as an educator? What are your honest expectations of yourself and your students?). You will also think more deeply about our ethical responsibilities as educators in times of collective and personal trauma and how our theoretical training helps us (and doesn’t). We will go over strategies for protecting what we most value at the individual and institutional levels: the life of the mind, intellectual freedom, equal rights and access to education, the international circulation of ideas.

The course will be guided by good conversation and reading, but it will also be structured around a series of real-time scenarios, challenges, and case studies. I will surprise you with a situation you must handle spontaneously, at that moment. Having just read Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz and Carl Friedman’s Nightfather with your students, for example, what exactly do you do when a student writes a paper stating that the Holocaust did not happen? What do you say when a student proclaims strongly that the citizens of Hiroshima needed to die to save American lives after reading Masuji Ibuse’s account of the atomic bombing?

Readings: Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, Friedman’s Nightfather, Hersey’s Hiroshima, Ibuse’s Black Rain, and numerous articles and short works provided as PDFs.



ENG 590 Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition Studies

Research in the configurations of rhetoric and composition studies, with emphasis on English Studies and the post-secondary teaching of writing.

Section 01, W at 5:30, Joyce Walker



ENG 591 Practicum (Internship) in College Teaching

Teaching of lower-division English courses with emphasis upon new techniques; under faculty direction, at Illinois State University or off campus; in conjuction with tutorial meetings.

Consult with department.



ENG 599 Doctoral Research

Research involving the gathering of materials and data and the writing of a dissertation.

Consult with department.



Back to top