Spring Course Descriptions Announced

October 29, 2012

ENG 127-01: British Writers

Professor Caitriona Moloney

English 127 fulfills the General Education Human Values-Literature requirement (HL). This class will examine short stories, poems, and novels from Ireland, Africa, the Caribbean, and India, countries whose identity has been shaped by their history as British colonies. We will read the fiction of writers of different races, classes, and nationalities in an attempt to understand the full complexity of the post-colonial world. This course will have an in-depth focus on Irish literature and will examine such themes in Irish literature and culture as identity, conflict between the North and South, exile and emigration. We will look at issues that differentiate the "New Ireland" from traditional Ireland in terms of sexual preference, women's rights, marriage and divorce, and the changing role of the Catholic Church. Texts: An Anthology of Colonial and Postcolonial Short Fiction [Paperback] Dean Baldwin (Author), Patrick J. Quinn (Author), Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007; James Joyce, The Dubliners; V.S. Naipaul, Miguel Street

ENG 129-01:  Introduction to African American Literature:   

Instructor: Prof. Anne Herbert, Lecturer in English

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, 2nd edition

ENG 233.01 American Literature to 1865

SPRING, 2013         BR 048      TT, 10:30-11:45                                                                  
Professor Dusenbery

COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES:  Like the other three surveys of literature in the English major program, this course is intended as an introduction to aesthetic and cultural history, along with significant texts. With focus on the periods in American literary history up to 1865. Its specific objectives are to

  • survey major figures and movement in American literary history, beginnings to 1865;
  • indicate cultural issues of literary significance;
  • emphasize the multiple voices in American literary history, beginnings to 1865;
  • prepare students for intensive literary studies in upper-level course work.

Based on these general goals, we will examine the ways in 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 texts. As part of the preparation for literary studies, the course also introduces students to writing in the discipline of literary studies.    


1. Lauter,ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volumes A & B. 6th edition, 2008.

2. Barnet & Cain, A Short Guide to Writing About Literature, 11th edition, 2009. 

ASSIGNMENTS:  weekly responses and journal; participation/group activities; four short essays (types of literary writing); long essay based on research project. 

ENG 237 British Lit to 1800

Dr. Moloney

 In this class we will read significant extracts from the major English epics, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Milton’s Paradise Lost.  The class will consider how the epic tradition has been shaped by these important works into heroic, popular, romance, Christian and satiric modes. We will also study the sonnet tradition as is has been created and shaped by Petrarch, Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne and Wroth.


Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. Eds Hieatt & Hieatt.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. Marie Boroff

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Renaissance. Vol. B

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Teaching method: Lecture/discussion

Assignments: Logs, exams, quizzes, a paper, a presentation. 

ENG 300-02: Advanced Exposition, The Essay.  
TT  10:30-11:45  BR 388

 This expository writing class is designed to help you write sophisticated, thoughtful prose. Our writing assignments will draw on our efforts to understand nature and human nature, philosophically and scientifically. As writers and critical thinkers, our goal this semester is to learn from the wide range of ideas presented by writers, ancient and modern, from all over the world, and to explore similar areas of experience with a view of producing original essays that are thorough, self-searching, intelligent, and most importantly, language-celebrating.

TEXTS: Michael Austin, Reading the World, Second Edition. We will be using some additional online materials from periodicals and newspapers.

Discussion/5 essays/journals/final exam essay

ENG 301-02 & 03: Advanced Composition – Argumentative Writing



Instructor: Prof. Anne Herbert, Lecturer in English

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 board 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.   Students will meet three hours a week in Second Life for mandatory synchronous activities. 

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:  http://secondlife.com/support/system-requirements/

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

ENG 301-06 Advanced Composition – Argumentative Writing

Tuesday/Thursday 1:30 to 2:45 pm

Instructor: Dr. Christine Blouch

Director of International Programs

Offices: International Programs Office, 325 GCC; and 381 Bradley Hall

The English Department’s Advanced Writing program “trains students to plan and execute written discourse within advanced intellectual and rhetorical contexts.” Stated objectives for English 301 include teaching students to: 1) write convincing argumentative essays; 2) understand some basic principles of inductive and deductive reasoning; 3) recognize fallacies in their own reasoning and in the reasoning of others; and 4) present their arguments in correct and rhetorically effective language.  

English 301 section 6 will tackle these goals by means of a dedicated writing workshop, in which each participant will write an essay that will be considered by the class. In addition, of course, each participant will write other argumentative essays. We will read and argue all term long. 

ENG 304-40 Research in Individual Disciplines

M-W-F 11:00-11:50—Bradley Hall 388

Professor Timothy Conley 

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

Required Text:

Ruskiewicz, John, Janice Walker, and Michael Pemberton.  Bookmarks: A Guide to Research and Writing.  3rd ed.  New York: Pearson, 2006.


#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.

Note:  enrollment limited to students in Bradley’s Honors Program.

ENG 307: Creative Writing II

Dr. Kevin Stein, Kevin

This is a writers’ workshop. It operates under the assumptions that fuel the engine of writerly community:  that the private act of writing can be aided, induced, encouraged, cajoled, and emboldened by the communal act of sharing that work with other writers. 

The primary activity of the workshop is, of course, writing your own work as well as reading and commenting on the work of your classmates. To that end, you’ll learn and employ appropriate poetic terms to discuss workshop submissions.  We’ll complement these goals by reading the work of other authors, by attending Visiting Writers Series events, and by your “discovering” a contemporary poet and critiquing her/his work.  (More information on this last assignment appears on a separate assignment sheet).

Finally, note that the emphasis of this particular section will be on the process of writing and revising POETRY (as opposed to fiction, non-fiction, or drama).  You may, with the instructor’s permission, include a small selection of these other modes in your final portfolio if such work relates in theme, motif, or technique to the poetry you create this semester.

ENG 334: “Representations of Native America in 19th-Century Fiction”

Professor Timothy Conley

MWF 9:00-9:50: Bradley Hall 388 

Catalog Description:  ENG 334 - 19th Century American Literature (3 hours) 
Intensive study of issues, movements, or themes characteristic of the period

Course Description and Goals: We’ll focus on Euro-American representations of Native Americans and Native American cultures in popular works of fiction from 1799 to 1902, with an emphasis on the first half of the nineteenth century.  Our goal will be to identify the types and values associated with Native America and to place those representations in the contexts of major issues in the emerging nation: national identity, politics and governance, race and slavery, gender, religion, and aesthetics.  Students will complete a major research project on Native America and one of these contexts in one of the course’s five novels. 


Brown, Charles Brockden.  Edgar Huntly

Child, Lydia Maria.  Hobomok and Other Writings on Indians.

Cooper, James Fenimore.  The Last of the Mohicans

_____.  The Prairie

Lauter, Paul, ed.  The Heath Anthology of American Literature. 6th ed. Vols. B and C.

ENG 347-01                     SHAKESPEARE                               TT 4:30 -5:45      BR 126

This course offers intensive study of William Shakespeare’s selected plays and sonnets in the context of culture, history, and performance. We will approach Shakespeare with some understanding of various elements of drama (plot, character, thought, diction, song, and spectacle), classical requirements of form (unities of time, place, action, and the five acts), literary characteristics (the prose, the poetry, the metaphoric language), genre and classification (tragedy, comedy, history, romance), critical heritage (neo-classical, Romantic, Victorian, psychoanalytic, feminist) while frequently exploring the complex cultural transformations taking place in Renaissance England and the underlying historical factors in the making of Shakespeare’s art and his emblematic reputation world wide.

Required texts.  Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays. 2nd Ed. Edited by Stephen Greenblatt.

Henry IV part 1, (this is part of a tetralogy: we will review the other parts also); King Lear, Hamlet, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It. (Other plays to be determined.)

Any edition with a glossary and numbered scenes and dialogues is acceptable. Online editions and ebooks NOT acceptable this semester. We will also watch film adaptations and dramatizations of plays.  I reserve the right to incorporate Bradley theater productions and other relevant local events into the syllabus. Several critical essays will be assigned.)


Midterm and Final/Term paper/short in-class writing exercises/quiz

ENG 503: Creative Nonfiction              Monday Nights    6:00-8:45 PM  BR  340                                             

Creative Nonfiction is a belletristic prose genre displays a heightened sensitivity to lyricism and beauty of language while adhering to truth, verifiable, journalistic truth. In recent years, several major books have elevated the status of the genre to high literature. The greatest example of the genre in my view is Thoreau’s Walden. Many think of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood as a classic of the genre. Annie Dillard, Edward Hoagland, Joseph Mitchell, John McPhee, Barry Lopez, Tracy Kidder, Janet Malcolm, Susan Olean, Gay Talese are among the most distinguished. In any case, the renewed interest in well written nonfiction prose has positively influenced autobiographies, histories, and personal narratives of travel and adventure, and of course, the great Renaissance form, the personal essay. So I feel safe to say that my goal this semester is to help you develop an appreciation for and competence in writing long essays, lyrical and accurate.

Texts: Your own work is the primary textbook. 

1.  The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
2. New Kings of Nonfiction edited by Ira Glass (Consider these as supplements to our text)
3. A third book of creative nonfiction of your choice. (No need to buy.)




TH 6:00 – 8:45 PM (BR 340)

This course takes its impetus from the consensus view during its sesquicentennial anniversary that the U.S. Civil War amounted to a second American revolution. During this anniversary period, it becomes increasingly obvious that the War embodied fundamental issues of the 19th Century, including the color line, regional differences vs. national unity, and all types of family conflict and triumph. These issues resonated in literature throughout the 19th Century, into the 20th Century, and down to the present. To bring these issues into focus, we will read and discuss the following works (this is a tentative list): 

 1. Selected social, political, and historical background. 

2  Before the War: Frederick Douglass’ Autobiography and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

3. Literature written during the war or by people with direct experience: Walt Whitman, Civil War Poetry; Ambrose Bierce, Stories; Lincoln, speeches; diaries & letters of the North (for example, the letters of Robert Shaw of the famous 54th regiment); letters and diaries of the South (for example, Mary Chestnut).

4. Literature written after the war: Crane, The Red Badge of Courage; selected short stories (Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Caroline Gordon, Eudora Welty, etc.), and the best-selling novel in our history--Gone With the Wind). 

5. A handful of films or plays (for example Glory, Gone With the Wind, selections from Ken Burns’ PBS series, the stage adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin). 

Assignments and projects: weekly reading response papers and presentations; a research project in which students follow individual interests more deeply into our assigned reading (or into other authors and texts of their own choosing).