Spring 2014 Undergraduate Courses


ENGL 10: Great Works of Literature: Techno Literature

Katherine Harris: TR 3:00-4:15

Technology has completely overtaken our lives, from interaction between and manufacture of human beings to the daily use of technology. How has this shifted our culture, our literature, our legacy? This semester, we will explore literary representations of biotechnology (mad scientists!), society’s reactions to technological impositions (Luddites and punks!) and techno un-literature (hyper-textual madness!). Along the way, we will discuss literary elements, historical context, readers’ reactions, and the techno/digi/cyborg world of Techno Literature. GE Area C-2 (Letters)



ENGL 22: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Balance Chow: F 9:30-12:15

Students will examine works of literary fantasy and science fiction to understand them as expressions of human intellect and imagination; to comprehend their historical and cultural contexts; and to recognize their diverse cultural traditions. Both contemporary and historical works will be studied.  Subjects include supernatural creatures, robots and cyborgs, bio-genetic engineering, space/time travel, utopianism, etc.  No credit in the English major. Covers GE Area C2.



ENGL 22: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Paul Douglass: R 12:00- 2:45

English 22 surveys important works of science fiction and fantasy over the last 200 years, including such authors as Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Neil Gaiman, C.P. Gilman, Joanna Russ, William Gibson, Ray Bradbury, Connie Willis, and Ursula K. Le Guin. This course fulfills the lower division GE requirement in Arts and Letters (C2).  



ENGL 22:  Fantasy and Science Fiction

Ed Sams: W 12:00-2:45

What were the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe?  What secrets did the writer H. P. Lovecraft learn from the Great Houdini?  These questions and more will be investigated in English 22 (Section 3):  Fantasy & Science Fiction every Wednesday Spring Semester from noon until 3: 45 p.m.  This General Elective fulfills the lower division GE requirements in Arts and Letters (C2).  Readings range from American and Continental fantasy of the nineteenth century to science fiction pulp classics from the twentieth century to a twenty-first century novella on witchcraft.  Our texts are The Prentice-Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Wicked Hill by Ed Sams as well as other stories found on Ed Sams’s faculty Web page.  Three comprehensive tests on readings, one book review, one short story, and a final exam comprise the course requirements.  Come to class, share the wonder, and join the fun!





ENGL 40: Contemporary World Fiction

Balance Chow: MW 10:30- 11:45

A study of selected works of fiction in English and in English translation written since 1975. The course both focuses on international texts that address significant themes of our time and explores ways of reading and understanding literature.  World regions represented include Latin America, Africa, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Australia.  No credit in the English major.  Covers GE Area C2.



ENGL 56B: British Literature Survey 1800-Present

Katherine Harris: TR 10:30-11:45

The Romantic poets journeyed through Nature to find themselves. The Victorian novelists recognized social injustice. The Modernists heralded World War I and its destructiveness. The Postmodernists take all of this, revise, repackage, and re-sell it to the 20th-Century reader. In this course, we will read texts that reflect some of the variety of cultural and historical experiences in England from 1780 to now, including alternative forms of publication such as magazines, serial novels, e-literature, and weird novels. The final project will ask students to draw parallels between 21st-Century texts and its predecessors. We will meet in the technologically-advanced Incubator Classroom to implement digital tools with our learning environment.



ENGL 68A: American Literature to 1865

Karen English: TR 9:00- 10:15

English 68A, American Literature to 1865 analyzes works of First American orature as well as literature of the US colonial era, the early national period, and the nineteenth century. Longer works include The Contrast, The Coquette, and The Scarlet Letter.  Grades are determined by short essays/assignments, a midterm, and a final. 



ENGL 68B: American Literature 1865 to Present

Susan Shillinglaw: TR 9:00- 10:15

A survey of major and significant texts, movements and writers exemplifying the literature of the United States of America, covering the period from the end of the Civil War to the present. Required: Student presentations, short papers, and exams.



ENGL 71: Introduction to Creative Writing

Sally Ashton: TR 12:00- 1:15

Robert James: TR 10:30-11:45

Peter O’Sullivan: MW 3:00-4:15

Examinations of works of poetry, creative nonfiction and short fiction as expression of human intellect and imagination, to comprehend the historic and cultural contexts, and recognize issues related to writing by men and women of diverse cultural traditions. Students will also write poetry, creative nonfiction, and a short fiction.  



ENGL 71: Introduction to Creative Writing

Samuel Maio: MW 4:30- 5:55 / MW 6:00- 7:15

This lower-division introductory course covers the essential artistic elements of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.  Students will study exemplary works from each genre –  drawn from various cultures and time periods – in order to learn the basic principles of form, structure, and technique.  Guided in part by those works, students will write original poems, fictive stories, and other prose pieces, a few of which will be shared with the class in the workshop segments of the course.  We will begin with a “literary boot camp” of brief Italian and French lyric forms of poetry before moving to dramatic and narrative poetry as a transition to prose fiction and nonfiction.  The course will emphasize revision and the development of students’ creative impulses.  [GE: Area C2 attribute]




Alan Soldofsky: (Online)

Take the introductory creative writing class online using Canvas, the SJSU’s new and easy to use learning management system.  Students will draft and revise original works of poetry, creative nonfiction, and short-fiction, learning the basic craft of writing these genres through reading the work of published poets and writers, guided by the instructor and several teaching assistants.  In our class workshops and in small writing groups, students will comment on each others' work, making revision suggestions facilitated by the instructor and T.A’s.  Class members will participate in the weekly online workshops as both an author and a peer-reviewer.  ENGL 71 is required for Creative Writing Concentrators, and is a prerequisite for taking upper-division creative writing workshops (ENGL 130, 131, and 135).  It also fulfills the C2 Letters area of the Humanities & the Arts General Education requirement.  3 units.



ENGL 100W:  Writing Workshop

Cynthia Baer: TR 3:00- 4:00

This workshop introduces you to the writing strategies and tools of your profession—the study of literature. Critical writing about literature demands close textual study, research into the conversations a text has generated among readers, and a rich repertoire of stylistic tools. In this course, you will practice close reading, learn to research and to engage critical conversation, then put your voice in dialogue with other readers and students of literature.



ENGL 100W:  Writing Workshop

Nancy Stork: MW 1:30- 2:45

Analysis of poetry and short stories. Instruction on how to write beautifully.



ENGL 100W: Writing Workshop

Adrienne Eastwood: MW 4:30- 5:45

Analysis of poetry and short stories. Readings to be determined, writing requirement is a minimum of 7,200 words.



ENGL 101: Introduction to Literary Criticism

Noelle Brada-Williams: F 9:30-12:15

Study of various historical and contemporary approaches to literature, including New Criticism, structuralism and post-structuralism, New Historicism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, feminism, queer theory, and ecocriticism.  An emphasis will be placed on learning to apply these different methods of interpretation through a workshop format.



ENGL 103: Modern English

Linda Mitchell: MW 1:30- 2:45 / TR 10:30- 11:45

This course provides a survey of Modern English phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, transformational grammar, and the universality of linguistic structures.  Material in the course will also focus on some recurring problems of usage and/or correctness, regional and social varieties of English, the role of pragmatics in using language to communicate, and the historical development of English, especially as it affects the language today.



E107: Professional and Technical Writing

Mark Thompson: MW 10:30-11:45

This is an introduction to the kinds of writing that students will use in the workplace. This course introduces and develops the rhetorical concepts of audience and purpose through familiar genres of résumés and cover letters, and then moves into larger projects such as grant proposals, preparing a technical topic for a general audience, and the development of help systems for iPhone apps. This class meets in the Incubator Classroom and welcomes English majors and non-English majors alike.



ENGL 112A: Children’s Literature

Clare Browne: TR 12:00- 1:15

Mary Warner: F 9:30-12:15

Step into a world of imagination! From fairytales to works of fantasy, historical and realistic fiction, we will delve into that special world of children’s literature. We take a close look at plot development, characters, settings, themes, and authors’ styles.  You have the opportunity to create your own book for children, and you’ll leave this class enriched with ideas.



ENGL 112B: Literature for Young Adults

Mary Warner: T 4:30-7:15

In ENGL 112B, we read After the First Death, Speak, Whale Talk, Witness, Prisoner of Azkaban and We Were Here. Two additional texts --Literature for Today's Young Adults and Adolescents in the Search for Meaning --introduce YA literature’s genres, demonstrate the complexity of the best YA, and provide author/book resources. Book Talks and a unit of study/annotated bibliography requirement further knowledge of YA Literature.



ENGL 116: Myth in Literature

Bonnie Cox: TR 9:00- 10:15 

This course traces the evolution of the Arthurian legend from the Middle Ages to the current era by considering how several of its recurring themes—love & hate; family, friendship, & fellowship; courtesy & virtue; war & peace; gender roles; revenge & redemption; religion & spirituality; identity & maturity—have served different groups for different purposes.



ENGL 117A: Borderlands in American Film and Literature

Susan Shillinglaw: T 12:00- 2:45 

English 117A: Borderlands in American film and literature. Broadly, the purpose of this course is to consider the connections and contrasts between visual and written forms of creativity. More specifically, this section will consider the notion of American borders, both physical and symbolic—the US/Mexican border and the US/Canadian border. Borders are, of course, physical boundaries as well liminal zones—spaces of conflict and creativity. Borders are porous and invite exchange, crossing back and forth, mixing and blending. A border is often a contested area. Critic Gloria Anzaldua has described the Mexican/American border as an open wound while novelist Carlos Fuentes depicted it as a scar and T.C. Boyle as a “tortilla curtain.” In this course, we will first examine these tropes of the Mexican/American border and then consider the American/Canadian border. At the end of the course we will discuss frontier borders, the psychological boundaries between civilized and uncivilized that shaped the national dialogue. Texts include Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses; Tomás Rivera, …and the earth did not devour him…; Course reader and two other novels.



ENGL 117B: Border-Crossings: Global Film, Literature, and Cultures

Revathi Krishnaswamy: M 12:00-2:45

The border represents a line of demarcation between two countries, two cultures, two peoples.  While national borders are increasingly porous in today’s globalized world, they continue to be a source of conflict and confrontation.  Using film and literature, we will explore the role of the border in three locations across the world: U.S.-Mexico, India-Pakistan, and Israel-Palestine.  The exploration will give us a deeper understanding of how “border narratives” shape cultural identity, interaction, clash, change, adaptation, diffusion and fusion.




ENGL 123C: Literature for Global Understanding: Oceania

Balance Chow: MW 3:00- 4:15

Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, as well as New Zealand and Australia will be visited by way of texts addressing topics such as navigation, migration, colonialism, genocide, ethnicity, language, class, gender, religion, cultural hybridity, modernity, globalization, war, tourism, ethnology, mythology, and indigenous movements.  Presentations, short papers, research project, and exams required. Covers SJSU Studies in Area V.



ENGL 125: Homer to Dante

Bonnie Cox: TR 12:00- 13:15

This course introduces some of the major literary works of the first 2,000 years of Western Culture—works of great genius and superb craft. They are as much a part of our heritage as that which we receive from our parents. Our goal is to take possession of that heritage by understanding how these works are connected to each other and to us via a series of parallel and contrasting patterns of thoughts and feelings that form a path of human continuity across time and place.



ENGL 129: Introduction to Career Writing

Mark Thompson: TR 10:30- 11:45

In E129, students write to get published in the places that they read, drafting and revising about whatever they’re into:  food, video games, fashion, high-tech, science—whatever.  Students also get experience writing and producing two English Department magazines. And, new this semester, we’ll be writing and producing an in-class podcast series. Expand your portfolio, learn some new skills, and march boldly into summer with a publishable work in hand.



ENGL 130: Writing Fiction

Samuel Maio: MW 10:30- 11:45

Workshop in short stories or other short fiction. Beginning the novel in individual cases. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 71 (or equivalent) or instructor consent.

Leah Griesmann: M 4:30- 7:15

This workshop focuses on the craft of fiction writing with an emphasis on the short story. We will begin the semester by reading works of contemporary short fiction while completing writing exercises related to character, voice, plot, structure, and dialogue. Each student will submit two original short stories for comments from the class. Lively participation and written commentary are required. In lieu of a final exam, students will turn in a substantial revision of one story.



ENGL 131: Writing Poetry

Samuel Maio: MW 12:00- 1:15 

Workshop in verse forms. Study of traditional and contemporary models. May be repeated once. Prerequisite: ENGL 71 (or equivalent) or instructor consent.



ENGL 133: Reed Magazine

Cathy Miller: TR 4:30- 5:45

Student-edited and managed literary magazine. Contents selected from local, national and international submissions. Students urged to work on the magazine for the two semesters required for publication. Open to all majors. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Upper division standing.



ENGL 135: Writing Nonfiction

Cathy Miller: TR 3:00- 4:15

Advanced creative writing workshop in literary nonfiction. Study of traditional and contemporary models. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 71, ENGL 100W, ENGL 105, ENGL 129, or instructor consent.



ENGL 139: Visiting Authors Seminar

Nicole Hughes: TR 3:00- 4:15

Students will study literature (poetry, fiction and non-fiction) by writers who are visiting campus (Cristina Garcia, D.A. Powell, Rabih Alameddine, Joy Harjo and Andrew Sean Greer) as well as interact with these authors through our Center for Literary Arts (and other campus literary events). In addition to critical discussion of their work, we will also explore their biographies and creative processes to see what it might mean to live life as a writer. See www.litart.org.  



ENGL 143: The Age of Elizabeth

Adrienne Eastwood: MW 10:30- 11:45 

“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too!”  These famous and rousing words, spoken by Queen Elizabeth I on the battlefield at Tilbury, exemplify the deft manner in which the Virgin Queen represented herself to her people.  She turned her culture’s assumptions about gender to her advantage, linking herself with a tradition of masculine power and monarchal authority.  This course provides students with the opportunity to study this fascinating and enduring figure from the early modern period: Queen Elizabeth I.  Students will examine ways in which the Queen represented herself (in speeches, portraiture, and court entertainments) as well as the variety of ways she was represented by the major poets and playwrights of her day (including Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare).  The course offers a rare (if not unique at SJSU) opportunity to read a significant amount of Spenser's Faerie Queene.



ENGL 145: Shakespeare and Performance

Adrienne Eastwood: MW 9:00- 10:15

In this course, we will examine in-depth several of Shakespeare’s plays, specifically addressing issues of performance and interpretation.   Placing each play in the context of its original performance during Shakespeare’s time, and its life on stage and screen in the ensuing centuries, encourages an engagement with the ways in which re-imagining Shakespeare’s works helps them retain their vitality and cultural relevance.  Paying particular attention to modern productions, we will analyze the ways in which production elements such as setting, casting, staging, costumes, editing, and individual performances shape and create meaning (or fail to do so) for the audiences of today.  Placing these plays within this context of performance will raise larger issues about the complex relationships between the Shakespearean canon and its ever changing audiences.  Students will respond to each Shakespearean play text through both writing and oral interpretation, integrating speech and dramatic performance with an understanding of the complexities of plot, characterization, and dramatic form. 



ENGL 149: British Romantic Period Literature: Madness

Katherine Harris: TR 1:30-2:45

In this survey of the British publishing and literary industry 1780-1837, we will investigate the demarcations of madness in poetry, novels, short stories and historical accounts. We begin with Thomas Arnold’s Observations in which Arnold proposes that the British are more susceptible to madness (or insanity) because its citizens are allowed to better themselves by “acquiring opulence.” All of the usual literary authors will appear but will be discovered through the use of digital tools and assignments.



ENGL 150: The Victorian Period

William Wilson: M 7:00-9:45

This course is a survey of important works and movements in the literary world of Victorian England. We read Dickens's Bleak House, Eliot's Mill on the Floss, and Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.  The poetry of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, the Pre-Raphaelites and Hardy is the focus of the class's second half. As a finale, we will look at the ways the Victorians comically dismantled their cultural edifice in works by Wilde (The Critic as Artist and The Importance of Being Earnest) and Gilbert and Sullivan (The Mikado and Patience). Requirements: a sense of humor; one short explication; one 7-8 page comparative essay; midterm; and final exam.



ENGL 163: American Literature 1865-1910

Karen English: TR 1:30- 2:45

English 163, American Literature 1865-1910 will study works of realist or naturalist prose by Mark Twain, B.T. Washington, Charles Cesnutt, Kate Chopin, Jack London, Helen Keller, Zitkala-Sa, and William Dean Howells.  Grades are determined by short essays, a midterm, and a final.



ENGL 166: American Literature since 1945

Robert Cullen: TR 9:00-10:15

We will read incandescent works by some of the nation's most accomplished writers since 1945—Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike, Colson Whitehead, Jane Smiley, August Wilson, David Lindsay-Abaire, Tracy Letts, and Alison Bechdel.  The course will pay special attention to "Family Matters" such as marriage, (in)fidelity, coming of age, domestic violence, raising children, sexual orientation, and extended/tribal families.  Five novels, three plays, and a graphic memoir.



ENGL 169: Ethnicity in American Literature

Balance Chow: MW 9:00- 10:15

The course studies ethnicity as represented and constructed in American literature in relation to the formation of the concept of self, the place of self in society, and issues of equality and structured inequality in the United States.  It addresses issues of race, culture, history, politics, economics, etc., that arise as contexts relevant to the study of  literature by and/or about Americans (including immigrants) with Indigenous, African, European, Latino(a)/Hispanic, Asian, and Middle-Eastern backgrounds.



ENGL 193: Capstone Seminar in Literature and Self-Reflection

Paul Douglass: MW 10:30- 11:45

English193 is a capstone (culminating) course for English majors, requiring them to reflect on their experience and their progress toward meeting the Department Learning Goals. Each student will participate in reading groups, workshops, and seminar sessions, and complete other activities and writing assignments, including a final portfolio. Some readings will be selected by the instructor, and others will be chosen by students in collaboration with each other and the instructor.



ENGL 193: Capstone Seminar in Literature and Self-Reflection

Susan Shillinglaw: TR 10:30- 11:45

This section of 193 considers the English major—the importance of reading, of writing, and of reflection on your capabilities and your future. We will read essays by Anne Fadiman and David Sedaris; three works of fiction and nonfiction written in the past 10 years; and editorials on employment/higher education/overseas opportunities for students with a BA in English.



ENGL 193C: Capstone Seminar in Creative Writing and Self Reflection

Alan Soldofsky: MW 12:00- 1:15

ENGL 193C: Capstone Seminar in Creative Writing and Self Reflection.  In this course, students will explore opportunities to prepare for a career in professional writing, publishing, or communications, or to apply to an MFA program.  Students will bring into the course a small portfolio of their previously written creative work, preferably in two genres.   Class members will revise older work as well as write new poems, short stories, and/or works of creative nonfiction. By the end of the course, class members will have completed a short manuscript in two genres, which can be used to apply to an MFA program or submit to publications.  We will also explore a range of literary journals—from locally published print and online publications to nationally distributed print and online magazines—and learn the protocols for submitting one’s writing to be published.  Readings will include collections of poetry by d. a. Powell, Louise Gluck, and Joy Harjo; short fiction by George Saunders and Karen Russell, and nonfiction by Rebecca Solnit.  In addition to assigned readings, class members will participate in class book clubs, in which you’ll read additional contemporary work in two genres—poetry, fiction, and nonfiction—that you will discuss with other class members to see what’s trending in the field.  We’ll utilize the latest digital tools from Canvas and Google, and meet in the Incubator Classroom.  ENGL 193C is the culminating seminar for Creative Writing concentrators that should be taken by seniors or second semester juniors.  It is required for the B.A. in the CW Concentration.  3 units.



ENGL 199: Internship in Professional/Technical Writing

Mark Thompson: (time arranged with instructor)

This independent study requires that students secure a writing internship with a local business (while the department can’t guarantee an internship, we can put students in touch with companies that have expressed an interest in SJSU interns). 120 hours of workplace experience are combined with academic readings in professional writing; in a final essay, students compare their workplace experience to the academic literature on workplace writing.