Descriptions from Faculty

January Interim 2017

ENG 130-01  Introduction to Native American Literatures  Online Course
Dr. Brill de Ramírez

What is the relationship between human persons and stories? What is the relationship between oral storytelling and written literature?  Why do we read literatures and tell and listen to stories?  In this January Interim course, you will be learning how stories (oral, written, lived) powerfully communicate the realities of the world to their readers (and, in the case of films, their viewers) as demonstrated in the work of Native American writers and filmmakers.

We will explore issues of great relevance to the problems, struggles, and achievements of people around the world because Native American literature requires that we face head on the painful histories of colonization, European and Euro-American empire building, racism, and Manifest Destiny, along with the attendant themes of survivance, endurance, indigenous sovereignty, and the re-indigenization of North America.

Additionally, you will learn the broad relevance of your studies in Native American Literatures. The material you study this semester and the cultures and histories that you learn about will be directly relevant to your understandings of contemporary international and global relations. In many ways, the realities of the 21st century are defined in terms of the interactions between the West and the Non-Western world, their past historical relations, and the legacies of that past as it impacts today. Counts for NW gen.ed. credit.

Note that this is an online class. There will be three scheduled synchronous online exams. Students will need to make sure that their schedules will accommodate the dates and times for the scheduled exams; otherwise students will need to take the class during another term when the scheduled exams will fit into their schedules:

Online exams will be held on Fridays from 3-4 pm, and the final exam will be held on the third Friday from 3-5 pm.

Spring Semester 2017

ENG 101 English Composition

English 101 prepares students to
1. write accurately, clearly, and effectively;
2. achieve an acceptable level of competency in grammar, punctuation, and 
3. complete all stages of the writing process successfully;
4. execute the major forms of expository writing effectively; and
5. demonstrate an acceptable level of competency in research techniques and 

ENG 115-03 Intro to Literature
Professor Tricia Dahlquist

Here's your chance to read a wide variety of writing selections and share your reactions. This course approaches literature thematically. Within each theme, a variety of genres is covered - short story, poetry, essay, drama - a little bit for everyone. While there are daily journals and a couple of papers to turn in, the focus of the course is the daily discussion. You will be expected and encouraged to participate in the discussion of the selections. That is where the true learning will take place--in the daily give and take of thoughts and ideas generated and shared by the students.

ENG 127 British Writers
Dr. Caitriona Moloney

This course will examine a number of the works of British Romantic, Victorian, Modern, Postmodern and Postcolonial authors in an attempt to understand how historical movements and issues help shape literature and to examine how literature expands our understanding of culture, history and humanity. The course is structured as lecture, discussion, and group work, so participation in class and on Sakai is essential. 

 Texts: The Romantics , Dover Press; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Ninth Edition, Vol F The Twentieth Century (there are many editions of the Norton 20th century, but be prepared to have different page #s in another edition.)

ENG 129 Introduction to African American Literature
Professor Anne Herbert

This introductory course traces themes of African-American literary discourse through an exploration of the strong “autobiographical impulse" that characterizes this literature.  Focusing on black rhetorical traditions, both oral and written, students read slave narratives, sermons, folklore, poetry, essays, short fiction, and drama to explore the ways African American writers use black cultural forms to express visions of self, social justice, and survival. 

Method of Instruction/Assignments:  Lecture, discussion (in class and on line), short writing assignments, group poetry performance project (great fun!), literary analysis essay  

Midterm and Final Essay Exams.

Text:     Norton’s Anthology of African American Literature, 2-volume 3rd edition

ENG 207-03 Creative Writing I
Dr. Demetrice Worley

In this course we will examine, analyze, and participate in the craft of creative writing. We will read creative texts by professional and nonprofessional writers, we write creative texts in two genres (poetry and prose), and we will share our understandings of our creative writing self/selves with each other orally and in written form.

Methods: Discussion/Writing Workshops

Examinations: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction Writing Assignments; Literary Terms Examination; and Semester Creative Writing Portfolio

Text: Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, 4rd ed., Janet Burroway

ENG 207-04 Creative Writing I
Dr. Thomas Palakeel

This course introduces students to the possibilities of aesthetic expression through the written word. Our focus will be the art of the short story, although we will work on techniques of poetry and conclude the semester with a one-act play/or script for a short film. Structured as a writing workshop, the class will provide opportunities for giving and taking constructive criticism and encouragement essential for beginning writers. Our course also seeks to help writers develop editorial skills necessary for lifelong engagement with language.

Texts: Imaginative Writing by Janet Burroway. Third Edition

Workshop/Reading/Discussion/Final portfolio/No exams

ENG 233 American Literature to 1865
Dr. Timothy Conley

ENG 233 is one of two required survey courses in American Literature, intended as introductory courses for English majors. As such, the course provides an overview of literary texts and movements from Native American oral literatures to the poetry of Whitman and Dickinson. We will focus on both cultural and aesthetic cultural issues: our goal will be to examine the terms by which "America" and "literature" have been understood by diverse writers for diverse communities. In addition, we will explore the ways contemporary readers/writers have interpreted these texts. Writing/reading/interpretation are themselves considered as negotiations of meaning and effect within particular groups.

We will make frequent use of computer-assisted technologies, both in and out of class, and so you must have an active e-mail account and be (or become) familiar with Sakai, Bradley's web-based teaching/learning program. I usually answer e-mail very promptly; take advantage of this opportunity to extend our exchanges beyond the given office hours. Note: the course does not satisfy the General Education-Human Values requirement.

ENG 235 American Literature 1865 to the Present
Dr. Laurie Vickroy

This survey course introduces American literature from 1865 to the present. Our primary goal is to provide the foundation for majors’ upper-level courses in specific topics, movements, and esthetics of American literature. This course will provide ways for students to become familiar with the aesthetic, cultural, social and literary history of this period. This is a huge task that we will approach with a combination of lectures, discussion, and group work.

Texts: The Concise Heath Anthology of American Literature.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

ENG 300-01 Expository Writing
Dr. Laurie Vickroy

Required Texts:

Seeing and Writing 4 by Donald and Christine McQuade.
Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
Websites for documentation: Purdue Owl:

Course Format and Philosophy:

This course will be conducted as a writing and discussion workshop. Our class activities are designed to foster aspects of the writing process: to encourage you to consider relevant issues and information as a basis for your papers, to help make you aware of various writing options, to organize structured peer criticisms of your work, to point out mechanical problems, and finally, to help you to fulfill your potential as critical thinkers and writers.

The content and context for this course will be an exploration of cultural issues as they are expressed in written and visual forms. Importantly, we will investigate how we acquire, process and structure information and the difficulties involved. The first week or two we will focus on digital technology and its effects on us.

Course Objectives:

ENG 300 is designed to offer students intensive practice in the major techniques of exposition, that is, informative writing. These techniques include the modes of description, narration, classification, comparison and contrast, persuasion/argument and personal expression. You will also be asked to:

  1. apply the skills of analysis and criticism to expository writing;
  2. adapt the forms of composition to specific audiences and purposes;
  3. improve writing styles;
  4. review usage, grammar, and mechanics

ENG 301-01 & 02 Advanced Writing - Argumentative Writing
Professor Anne Herbert

This on-line course focuses on an exploration of public literacy and critical engagement with current public discourse.  Students analyze and apply argumentative language and style, argumentative claims, and organizational patterns of both print and visual argumentative rhetoric.  Analysis of visual rhetoric on the Internet and in a 3-D virtual environment (SECOND LIFE) is a significant focus of this course.

Method of Instruction:  

Asynchronous Assignments:  This course requires extensive use of all features of Sakai to complete weekly assignments, including readings from on-line texts, video or audio lectures/presentations, as well as group discussion forum activities. Most assignments are asynchronous, with firm due dates.

Synchronous Assignments:  Second Life (a 3-D virtual environment) is a major component of this course.  In addition to a one-hour face-to-face orientation session in the Bradley Library (early in semester), students will meet mid-semester in the Second Life virtual world for a mandatory one-hour presentation.  All other Second Life assignments are asynchronous activities and independent research within the virtual world.

Enrollees must have reliable, high-speed Internet access.   Laptops loaded with Second Life can be checked out and used in the BU Library to complete assignments in Second Life.   Personal computers must meet the system requirements for Second Life:

Texts: No print textbook – all instructional materials will be accessible through Sakai, Second Life, or the Internet. 

ENG 301-03 Advanced Writing - Argumentative Writing
Dr. Thomas Palakeel

This English Composition (C2) course focused on persuasive writing draws on the work of great thinkers, ancient and modern, on topics such as education, language, mind, nature, gender, ethics, and government. As envisioned by BU Gen Ed Program (, this class seeks to help you develop “intellectual tools necessary to explore the best that civilization has produced” and to send you off at the end of this semester with the critical thinking and writing skills necessary to respond to “political, social, cultural, technological and natural environment.”

TEXT: Michael Austin Reading the World, 3rd edition
Discussion/journal/Five essays and a final exam essay.

ENG 304-40 Advanced Writing - Research in Individual Disciplines 
Dr. Timothy Conley

Course Description:  In ENG 304 students develop strategies for and successfully complete an upper-level research project:

Required Text: No text


#1 Proposal for Research Project: detailed description and justification of research project, see Bookmarks, 39-43, for list of the parts to the proposal; may be revised for higher grade, 10%/20 points.

#2 Comparative Analysis of Articles: comparison/evaluation of two articles related to your research topic;; 10%/20 points.

#3 Summary of Article: detailed summary of article related to your research topic; 10%/20 points

#4 Progress Report: detailed report on work completed, work planned, and problems encountered and anticipated; 10%/20 points

#5 Research Project: final draft exam will be a detailed response to another project; project=45%/90 points; exam=5%/10 points

Participation: in-class memos and daily assignments (no make up) 10%/20 points

Extra credit: if you participate in the Student Research Exposition and submit a brief (2 pages) report on your participation, you may receive up to 20 extra credit points.

ENG 313 Grammar for Writing and Speaking
Dr. Seth Katz

This course works to fulfill the Mission of the Department of English by helping to broaden students' understanding of and facility with language. ENG 313 will take students through a course of detailed study in English grammar and its theory, including both traditional concepts and contemporary linguistic theory. Specifically, students will study the parts of speech, sentence structure, and the different types of phrases and clauses from a variety of perspectives, primarily in the context of actual usage. Students will also study the regular grammatical features that constitute the major dialect variations in American English. The ultimate goal of the course is to teach students a specialized vocabulary and accompanying set of concepts for analyzing, discussing, and even arguing about sentence structure. This vocabulary-and-concept set comprise one of the major tools that teachers, scholars, editors, and professional writers and speakers use to analyze and improve language use.

ENG 329 African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance Novelists
Dr. Demtrice Worley

multi-faceted representations of Black life in America in their art (paintings, sculptor, writing, etc.) to counter the dominant culture’s negative images (in art, movies, advertisements, etc.) of African Americans. In this course we will read novels from the first major African American literary period, the Harlem Renaissance (1919 -1933). Specially, we will examine and analyze the range and the historical background of Harlem Renaissance novels written from the end of World War I and the Great Depression.

Methods: Discussion

Examinations: Oral Presentation, Midterm Examination, Semester Paper, Final Examination

Texts: Rachel, Angelina Weld Grimké; When Washington Was in Vogue, Edward Christopher Williams; Home to Harlem, Claude McKay; Nigger Heaven, Carl Van Vechten; Passing and Quicksand, Nella Larsen; The Blacker the Berry, Wallace Thurman; When Washington Was in Vogue, Edward Christopher Williams and Other Texts

ENG 347 Shakespeare
Dr. Martha Craig

In this course you will read and discuss Shakespeare's sonnets and five or six of his plays, including comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories; view films of the plays; and study Shakespeare's cultural context and scholarly criticism of his work. This is a writing-intensive course; you will write several short essays and a longer analytical or creative project. No previous study of Shakespeare is required, but writing experience and literary studies in 200- and 300-level courses is helpful.

ENG 332 Early American Literature: The Emergence of Fiction
Dr. Timothy Conley

We will study the cultural and literary contexts for the emergence of the American novel in the latter half of the 18th century, with special attention to questions of national identity, gender, race & ethnicity, religion, law & politics, and narrative forms. Our primary focus will be on the novel as a genre.[Note: two of the novels are “British”—that is written about Great Britain and by British authors. The inclusion of these novels is not a mistake: we need to consider the novels read by Americans and influencing American authors if we are to understand the emergence of the “American” novel.]


Brackenridge, Hugh Henry. Modern Chivalry (1792)
Brown, Charles Brockden. Edgar Huntly (1799)
Brown, Charles Brockden, Wieland (1798)
Brown, William Hill. The Power of Sympathy (1789)
Fielding, Joseph. Joseph Andrews (1742)
Foster, Hannah. The Coquette (1797)
Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto (1764)

ENG 373 Fiction as Genre: Film and Narrative
Dr. Danielle Glassmeyer

In this course we will examine the relationship between film and narrative texts.  We’ll focus on three modes of inquiry – adaptation theory, narrative theory, and gender theory – as we examine a series of texts that have been adapted to film:  Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will lead our inquiry, and texts such as Kazan’s On the Waterfront, and Hitchcock’s Rear Window will be featured as well.  Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and at least one film treatment of Hemingway’s work are also possibilities.  

The class will require you to view most films (final selections will be made based on availability of films for purchase/rental) out of class to allow for discussion and critical analysis. The course will focus on collaborative work and discussion, with several exercises and short papers to practice theoretical analysis as well as a longer project – and maybe a few quizzes to nail down vocabulary.  Students will take part in Colloquium and (hopefully!) University Expo.  

ENG 380 Topics: Narrative Mash-up
Dr. Laurie Vickroy

We will explore a range of contemporary fictional styles of storytelling: the literary novel (Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), the graphic novel (Alison Bechtel’s Fun Home), hybrid or mixed genres (Maria Semple’s Today will be Different), postmodern (Margaret Atwood’s Hagweed) and young adult/fan fiction. We’ll investigate the elements of narrative that most effectively immerse readers into their storyworlds and into the minds of the characters.

Discussion, analysis papers, exams.

ENG 407/507 Advanced/Intensive Poetry Workshop
Dr. Kevin Stein

This semester's workshop will focus on writing, revising, and engaging poetry (as opposed to fiction or non-fiction). As usual in such settings, you will workshop fellow students' work and receive same in turn. Our primary goal is for each of you to complete a self-designed poetry project approved by the instructor. To aid and enhance this process, you’ll also read from the work of professional writers and discuss that work in class, as well as attend the semester's Visiting Writers Series events. Several prose assignments will familiarize you with poetry’s literary marketplace and deepen your understanding of your personal aesthetic influences.

Finally, to ensure classmates receive your best commentary in response to their works, you will be asked on occasion to respond digitally to ALL classmates’ poems submitted in selected weeks. This schedule will be announced weekly in workshop.

Our purpose is to create a community in which writers write and think about writing – a place to write and write about writing, and a place to think about thinking about writing.

ENG 409/509 Advanced Screenwriting Workshop (cross-listed with COM 409)
Dr. Thomas Palakeel

Students in this class will be trained in the critical thinking and writing skills necessary to function in the film industry as screenwriters, script analysts, story editors, and creative professionals. In the first five sessions, each student will learn about the fundamental structure of the “Hollywood screenplay” and develop a story idea for a full length feature film. At this time the students will create a narrative of the story idea, both as an oral narrative and as a detailed written account known as the “treatment.” Our Hollywood based guest speakers will join us through videoconferencing and respond to each student pitch. Following the pitch sessions, each writer will proceed to draft the First Act and a few tentative scenes for the Second and the Final Act, all to be developed and revised in class in our creative writing workshops. 

TEXTS: Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Made Mostly Painless by Joseph McBride
Lecture/Workshop/Oral presentations/Final Portfolio

ENG 640 English Periods, Theories of Detection: The Evolution of British Detective Fiction
Dr. Christine Blouch

English 640 is our “English Periods” course, and we will focus on English literature written from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century (and somewhat beyond). Within those parameters, our focus will be detective fiction, on the simple principle that analyzing and interpreting literature is a process of detection itself. As one of the protagonists in the novel Possession phrases it, literary critics make natural detectives. Accordingly, we will be detectives, operating on the assumption that examining a text’s process of detection makes the reader as active a sleuth as the protagonist.

We will read novels by writers including Wilkie Collins, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and P.D. James, among other authors under consideration, and we will also read a considerable number of shorter works of fiction. Individuals interested in film will have opportunities to explore films in relation to the texts. Specifics about assigned works will be sent before the end of the semester to those enrolled.