Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of English
Department of English

Past Courses - Summer 2015

ENG 142 (Section 201): Introduction to Popular Lit
Gary Hoppenstand
Summer Session II (July 6-Aug. 20)
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 4:10-7:00 PM; Thursdays 4:10-6:00 PM
155 Communication Arts Bldg

Learn more about your favorite categories of popular fiction (and film), including science fiction, fantasy fiction, detective fiction, crime fiction, horror fiction, and superhero graphic novels. This class will explore the many entertaining and informative dimensions of popular storytelling.


ENG 308: Literature for Young Adults
Tamara Butler
Summer Session II (July 6-Aug. 20)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:40-3:30pm
304 Bessey Hall

In this course, we will focus on how to select and teach "culturally sustaining" (Paris, 2012) texts for and about young adults.  We will explore how fiction and memoirs depict young adult identities at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age.  Representative authors whose work we will be analyzing include Julia Alvarez, June Jordan, Walter Dean Myers, Melba Patillo Beals, Ishmael Beah, and more.


ENG 316 (Section 101): Readings in Irish Literature
William Johnsen
Summer Session I (May 18-July 2)
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:50-4:40 PM
111 Ernst Bessey Hall

ENG 316 focuses on the literature of 20/21 century Ireland. Looking back from the 21C, all Ireland seems to lead up to and away from the Easter Rising in 1916. In the course we will emphasize the great Irish Renaissance of fiction, poetry, and drama in writers leading up to 1916 (even when they resisted it) such as W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, JM Synge, James Joyce, and Sean O'Casey. Our second emphasis will be closer to our own time, to see how writers continue to reflect and often resist the circumstances born of a violent rebellion: Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Dermot Bolger, and Colm Toíbiín. To sketch in more of this rich cultural history, we will often turn to Irish films such as Man of Aran, The Rocky Road to Dublin, Michael Collins, as well as documentaries.


English 320C: Methods of Literary History: Canon (4 credits, hybrid)
Steve Arch
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:20AM-12:10PM
312 Ernst Bessey Hall and Online

This course focuses on the history and future of the amazing invention called a “book.” Starting with Socrates’ criticism of the written word in Phaedrus and including very recent critical commentary (2015) on digital reading practices, students will gain a deeper understanding of the ways that forms of information have been and are displayed and encoded in various “media” – oral discourse, clay, scrolls, manuscripts, printed books, e-readers, electronic literature, phones, etc. We will be most interested in several recurrent questions: how have readers in history (including ourselves) experienced textuality? How does textual form affect the information encoded in the text? How are new textual forms changing the way we understand information, and perhaps reality itself? Students will discuss larger theoretical questions as a class, and develop independent and group projects on specific kinds of books like comic books, pulps, and early printed books. In this course, we will reflect on the theory and practice of literary history by considering the printed book in the West as a time-bound technology that we can see more clearly now that new mediums have begun to take its place. Readings might include: Plato, Phaedrus; Maryanne Wolfe, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain; Naomi Baron, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World; Nicole Howard, The Book: The Life Story of a Technology.


ENG 325: Readings in the Graphic Novel: What Are We Fighting For?!
Yomaira Figueroa
Summer Session II (July 6-Aug. 20)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:20AM-1:10PM
316 Bessey Hall

This course will explore conflicts in the quest for love, justice, and freedom through critical topics like race, sex, class and migration. Students will learn to analyze texts and interpret illustrations, watch films, and create and design original graphic novel shorts.


ENG 353: Readings in Women Writers: Growing Up Girl: Coming of Age in Women’s Literature and Film.
Terrion Williamson
Summer Session II (July 6-Aug. 20)
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:40-3:30pm
304 Bessey Hall

This course will examine what it means to “come of age” in the context of women’s writing and storytelling. We will focus on the female bildungsroman and films directed by women from the latter half of the twentieth-century to the contemporary moment, with particular emphasis on the work of women of color. Of primary concern will be a consideration of how gender, along with other modalities of difference including race, sexuality, and class, shape and reflect literary and cultural texts.