Fall 2017 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ENGL 10:  Great Works of Literature - TechnoLiterature

Katherine Harris, TR 9:00 – 10:15

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 technolog-ical impositions (Luddites and punks!) and techno un-literature (hypertextual madness!). Along the way, we will discuss literary elements, historical context, readers’ reactions, and the techno/digi/cyborg world of TechnoLiterature. GE Area C-2 (Letters)

ENGL 20:  The Graphic Novel

Edwin Sams, F 9:30 – 12:15

This class focuses on the interplay of written and visual forms of narration in the illustrated texts that have come to be called “graphic novels,” the styles and methods of which have come to have a profound impact on both literature and film production in the 21st century. English 20 will focus on a few of the graphic nov-el’s obsessions: autobiography, war, and family—and the surpris-ing frequency in which these three themes intersect.

ENGL 21:  Mystery and Detective Fiction

John Engell, TR 1:30 – 2:45

Examines mystery or detective fiction from its inception in the 19th century and follow it across the globe as the genre has been taken on and developed by a variety of cultures.

ENGL 22:  Fantasy and Science Fiction

Nancy Stork, MW 12:00 – 1:15

We will read some of the foundational texts in both fantasy and science fiction. Authors may include: H. G. Wells, Karl Capek, Philip K. Dick, J.R.R. Tolkien, William Gibson, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman. We will also look at modern mythologies being de-veloped in graphic novels and video games.

ENGL 50: Beginnings to the “American” Experiment

Adrienne Eastwood, MW 10:30 – 11:45

Exploration of Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Colonial Writings in Britain and America. Class engages literary text, literary history, and historical events that shape the literature of the period.

ENGL 70: Emerging Modernisms and Beyond

Samuel Maio, MW 1:30 – 2:45

Part of the new survey sequence, English 70 is a 3-credit course that explores Modernist and twentieth-century writings of Britain and America.  The class will engage literary texts, literary history, and historical events that shape the literature of the period, 1860 to the present.

ENGL 71:  Creative Writing

Sally Ashton, TR 12:00 – 1:15

So you want to write? This course will introduce you to techniques writers in all literary genres use to craft works of memorable non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. We will use short form readings, small group workshop, studio assignments, and your own experimental writing—lots of it—to discover strategies common to all three forms. Prerequisite: At minimum the completion of English 1A. Excellent composition skills are the first step to any Creative Writing.

ENGL 71:  Creative Writing

Samuel Maio, MW 12:00 – 1:15; M 4:30 – 7:15

Selena Anderson, MW 1:30 – 2:45

Kirstin Chen, W 4:30 - 7:15

Kelly Harrison, MW 6:00 – 7:15

Sheree Kirby, TR 1:30 – 2:45

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 100A:  Writing Competency Through Genres

Staff, MW 12:00 – 1:15

Allison St. Dennis, TR 7:30 – 8:45

Satisfies the WST requirement if passed with a C or better (C- or lower will not satisfy the WST). Prepares students for 100W through drafting, feedback, and revision to demonstrate writing competency. Develops ability to analyze written genres used in the students’ chosen disciplines as well as write analytical and reflective essays. Prerequisite: Must have failed the WST at least twice. Note: A CR/NC option may not be used to satisfy the WST requirement.

ENGL 100W:  Writing Workshop

Revathi Krishnasswamy, MW 10:30 – 11:45

John Engell, TR 12:00 – 13:15

Persis Karim, TR 4:30 – 5:45

Advanced workshops in Reading and Composition, Creative Arts, English Studies, and Technical Writing. A Writing Workshop is also available for foreign students. 

ENGL 100WB:  Written Communication – Business

John Hessler, M 6:00 – 8:45; T 6:00 – 8:45; W 6:00 – 8:45; R 6:00 – 8:45

Leanne Lindelof, T 12:00 – 2:45

Thomas Moriarty, R 12:00 – 2:45

Carlos Mujal, T 6:00 – 8:45; R 6:00 – 8:45

Laimin Lo, F 9:30 – 12:15

This hands-on course is designed to simulate actual business communication scenarios (oral and written) that are encountered by business professionals daily during the course of their careers.  Assignments will enable students to practice and immediately apply both practical and theoretical aspects of organizational communication directly in real-life work situations. Communication mechanics and style (practical), and the appropriateness of messages and methods based on specific organizational situations (theoretical) will be emphasized.

ENGL 101:  Introduction to Literary Criticism

Staff, MW 12:00 – 1:15

Study of various historical and contemporary approaches to literature, including New Criticism, structuralism and post-structural-ism, 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 101:  Introduction to Literary Criticism

Katherine Harris, TR 10:30 – 11:45

Do you see hidden meanings in literary texts? Movies? Games? There are many possible readings of all literary and visual texts. Even your own identity governs your interpretation of the material. For this course, we will discover and apply critical models to various literary, visual, and digital texts. Critical models will include foundational twentieth-century theory as well as contemporary approaches to literature (Feminist, Queer, Marxist, Post-Colonial, and Digital Humanities theories). Though we will apply these critical models to texts across several historical periods and literary genres, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness will be our ur-text. Co-requisite: Engl. 100W

ENGL 103:  Modern English

Linda Mitchell, MW 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. The course also includes Reed-Kellogg Diagrams. 

ENGL 107:  Professional Technical Writing

Mark Thompson, TR 12:00 – 1:15

In this survey of technical and professional writing, you’ll learn how to write and design persuasive documents that get real things done in the real world. Projects include resumes and cover letters, proposals, instructions (video and writing), API dev guides, presentations, and user manuals for phone apps. We also learn

a number of digital tools used to author and publish writing in the current tech landscape, such as Adobe InDesign, SnagIt, and Madcap Flare.

ENGL 109:  Writing and the Young Writer

Kathleen Johnson, M 4:30 – 7:15

This course is designed to strengthen participants’ writing skills in both creative and expository genres, and to develop participants’ knowledge and skill as future teachers of writing. 

ENGL 112A:  Children’s Literature

Avantika Rohatgi, TR 1:30 – 2:45

Study of literature for elementary and intermediate grades, rep-resenting a variety of cultures. Evaluation and selection of texts. Prerequisite: Upper division standing

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 addition-al 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 lit, and provide author/book resources. Book Talks and a unit of study/annotated bibliography requirement deepen student knowledge of YA Literature.

ENGL 117A:  American Literature, Film, and Culture

Faith Kirk, F 9:30 – 12:15

The course will examine the representation of race, class, gender, and religion in American film and literature.  Films and literary texts will be paired topically but sometimes from very different historical periods so that we can analyze both historical continuity and change over time.

ENGL 123A:  Literature for Global Understanding: The Americas

Staff, TR 12:00 – 1:15

Course promotes global understanding by examining the cultures and literary arts of a selected region of the world, the Americas, and covers representative texts and authors from Latin America and the Caribbean/West Indies. 

ENGL 123C: South Pacific Literature

David Mesher, TR 3:00 – 4:15

Novelists from the South Pacific (including Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, and other island nations) have produced some of the most imaginative fiction written in English over the past hundred years or so. We will read six or seven novels or story col-lections by authors such as Miles Franklin, Joseph Furphy, Patrick White, David Malouf, Peter Carey, Witi Ihimaera, Keri Hulme, Albert Wendt, and Sia Figiel.

ENGL 125:  Introduction to Literary Criticism

Linda Mitchell, MW 9:00 – 10:15

This course offers an introduction to 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 this semester is to take possession of that heritage—like heirs who have come of age—by understanding how these works are connected to each other and to us via a series of parallel and contrasting patterns of ideas and experiences that form a path of human continuity across time and place. Students will engage and explore the texts from a variety of contexts and viewpoints: textual, literary, political, social, and cultural; become familiar with a range of critical approaches to the texts; and demonstrate a working knowledge of the texts’ influences within the Western literary tradition.

ENGL 126: Holocaust Literature

David Mesher, TR 1:30 – 2:45

The German plan to murder all European Jews and other perceived enemies of the Reich during World War II, which we now know as the Holocaust, produced terror and suffering on a previously un-imagined scale, as well as some of the most moving and powerful literature of the last century. Authors include Anne Frank, Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Elie Wiesel, and Imre Kertesz, as well as Boubacar Boris Diop on the genocide in Rwanda.

ENGL 129:  Introduction to Career Writing

Mark Thompson, TR 10:30 – 11:45

In this course, 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 write and produce English Department magazines, an in-class podcast series, the ProfTech website, and their own blog. Expand your portfolio, learn some new skills, and march boldly forth with a publishable work in hand. Required class for the Professional and Technical Writing concentration. 

ENGL 130:  Writing Fiction

Samuel Maio, MW 10:30 – 11:45

Nicholas Taylor, TR 12:00 – 1:15

English 130 is a fiction workshop class in which each student will write short stories.  Each of these short stories will be workshopped in class, after which each story will be rewritten. Both drafts—pre-and post-workshop—will be included in each student’s end-of-semester Portfolio. In addition to writing short stories and revising them, each student will be responsible for helping to workshop all stories written by classmates.  And each student will be responsible for reading a number of assigned, published short stories that will serve as models for writing successful short fiction.

ENGL 131:  Writing Poetry

Alan Soldofsky, MW 10:30 – 11:45

ENGL 131 is primary an intermediate/advanced-level poetry writing workshop.  Students will write poems for this class and then “workshop” them with their peers. Workshops will take place in the classroom and outside the classroom using Canvas (SJSU’s learning management system). This class includes exercises and assignments in creative reading as well as creative writing. Students will also each week read and practice analyzing a diverse selection of published poems—mostly in written in open and some in closed forms. There will be assigned readings from a poetry handbook that I recently coedited, written by my mentor at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, the poet Donald Justice. We will explore the craft of the poetic line, and work toward gaining greater mastery of the craft of writing poetry in contemporary modes and styles as well as in traditional forms. The workshop’s emphasis will be on poetry that pays close attention, poems that contain closely observed details of the here and now that turn the world into words. We will also read and practice writing poems of “layered perception.” Poet Donald Revell believes that poems are “presences…the consequences of vivid presentations.” Students may also post audio or video files of their readings of their poems (if desired) on Canvas for facilitating workshop discussion. Grades will be based on a final poetry portfolio and two in-class presentations. Also required will be attending at least two poetry readings by published poets on campus and/or in the greater Bay Area (or readings that can be watched online), Students will write reviews of these readings, after studying the work of the poets they’ve seen read. ENGL 131 can be taken twice for credit.   4 units.

ENGL 133: Reed Magazine

Cathleen Miller, T 3:00 – 5:45

As an encore to Reed Magazine’s 150th-anniversary edition for No. 151 we will create our first-ever themed issue, an ode to California, both the state and the state of mind. Students produce each edition of Reed, and in the process, create the ultimate portfolio piece for their future job aspirations, a copy of the West’s oldest literary journal with their name on the masthead. This course is ideally a two-semester sequence starting in the Fall term, when we’ll focus on editorial duties, reading submissions, reviewing art, and communicating with submitters to gain hands-on experience in publishing. Note: enrollment is by instructor permission only. Please contact Prof. Miller to apply: cathleen.miller@sjsu.edu.

ENGL 135:  Writing Nonfiction

Susan Shillinglaw, TR 10:30 – 11:45

“Creative nonfiction” includes memoir, travel writing, biography, science and nature writing, personal essays, feature writing. This class considers that range, with the goal of improving students’ prose; honing interview and observational skills; discussing published work as well as your own and others’ prose. Texts: The Journal Keeper, Phyllis Theroux; Citizen, Claudia Rankine; Creative Nonfiction, Philip Gerard

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writ-ing Nonfiction, William Zinsser; Course reader.

Prerequisite: ENGL 71, ENGL 100W, ENGL 105, ENGL 129, or instructor consent

ENGL 142: Chaucer

Nancy Stork, MW 9:00 – 10:15

We will read Chaucer in his original language. As Ezra Pound once said, “Those who are unwilling to put in the small amount of effort to learn the original language of Chaucer to read him in the original should be shut out from the reading of good books forever.” While Pound sounds to me a bit mean-spirited, I do think you will enjoy very much the intricacies and subtlety of Middle English. In addition, Chaucer has it all - heroic romance, saint’s lives, folk tales, laments, elegies and sex comedies. 

ENGL 144:  Shakespeare I

Adrienne Eastwood, MW 1:30 – 2:45

TBD, TR 12:00 – 1:15

This course will introduce you to some of the major plays of William Shakespeare. Each play will be considered both within the context of the cultural and political atmosphere in early modern England and through the critical lenses provided by postmodern theories of literature. Students will gain a basic knowledge of Shakespeare’s thematic questions and a solid understanding of the language he used to explore these themes. For example, we will discuss the construction of the family as a mini-commonwealth and the political impact that added to Shakespeare’s dramatic productions. Similarly, we will consider the relationship between patriarchal and monarchal authority, and the ways in which related ideologies circulated among Elizabethans.

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. Required for the English Single-Subject Credential

ENGL 150:  The Victorian Age

William Wilson, MW 4:30 – 5:45

Study of major British authors and poets from 1837 to 1900, tracing changes in philosophy, religion, society and culture represented in their works. Prerequisite: Upper division standing

ENGL 153: Studies in the British Novel Before 1900

Katherine Harris, TR 1:30 – 2:45

With the Industrial Revolution in full swing, the nineteenth century saw many technological improvements and even more class disparity. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dickens’ lesser known Old Curiosity Shop aid in exploring the impact of technology. Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh will introduce the “woman question.” Stoker’s Dracula arrives with a Decadent flourish of bloodsucking. Wilkie Collins introduces the first detective fiction with Woman in White. H. Rider Haggard rounds out the nineteenth century by declaring Brittania the first of all cultures in She, with its main character, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, inviting readers to unmapped regions of Africa. Substitution for Engl. 56B

ENGL 162:  Studies in American Literature Before 1865

Susan Shillinglaw, TR 3:00 – 4:15

This course considers what is American about American literature. How did these writers describe the country, the citizen, “others,” the environment? Why relevant today? Writers that may be considered include the Puritans, writers of “resistance”; Emerson and Thoreau, Hawthorne and Melville.

ENGL 167:  Steinbeck

Susan Shillinglaw, TR 12:00 – 1:15

This course considers Steinbeck’s career and creative vision, with a focus on his ecological, social, and political sensibilities. Journal, reading groups, field trip, presentations. Texts: To a God Unknown (1933), The Long Valley (1938), Tortilla Flat (1935), In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), The Grapes of Wrath (1939), The Moon is Down (1942), Cannery Row (1945) and East of Eden (1952).

ENGL 169:  Ethnicity in American Literature

Staff, TR 1:30 – 2:45

Study of race and ethnicity in the literary arts of North America. Selected works of authors from such groups as African Americans, European Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos, Latinos and American Indians. 

ENGL 190:  Honors Colloquium: Rhetorics of American Feminisms

Ryan Skinnell, TR 9:00 – 10:15

In 2016, the first female candidate in US history ran for president on a major party ticket. In 2020, women’s suffrage will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Both of these momentous occasions resulted from feminist action, but feminism nevertheless remains controversial. In English 190, we will take the occasion of major advances in women’s right to study feminist rhetorics--how feminists have persuaded audiences, how they have claimed the authority to speak and act, and what kinds of challenges they have faced in advocating for women’s rights and equality for more than 200 years.