Fall 2018 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ENGL 22: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Edwin Sams, TR 1:30-2:45

English 22 is a survey of fantasy and science fiction ranging from the early 1800s to the early 2000s.  We shall read a selection of American, British, and continental short stories plus two short novels.  There will be two comprehensive exams on readings and two 1000-word writing assignments as well as a series of in-class exercises for participation.  Mostly I hope to share the sense of wonder that these creative works inspire.


ENGL 50: Beginnings to the “American” Experiment

Nancy Stork, TR 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 60: The Emergence of “British” and “American” Literatures (1680 to 1860)

Allison Johnson, TR 9:00-10:15   

This course explores the circulation of ideas, literary texts, and peoples back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean from the Restoration period in England up to the outbreak of the American Civil War.  We will chart the literary effects of British imperialism, witness the birth of a distinctly American identity and literature, and examine literary depictions of the transatlantic slave trade from both sides of the pond.


ENGL 70: Emerging Modernisms and Beyond

William Wilson, TR 4:30-5:45

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 9:00-10:15 & TR 12:00-1:15

So you want to write? Be sure you do, because write you will! 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 workshops, studio assignments, and your own experimental writing—lots of it—to discover strategies common to all three forms. Pre-requisite: At minimum the completion of English 1A. Excellent composition skills are the first step to any Creative Writing.


ENGL 71: Creative Writing

Jill Logan, MW 1:30-2:45

Leanne Lindelof, MW 10:30-11:45

Sheree Kirby, TR 10:30-11:45

Alan Soldofsky, TR 3:00-4:15

Reading and writing 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.


ENGL 71:  Creative Writing

Alan Soldofsky, Online

An online introductory creative writing class using Canvas. 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.  In workshops and small writing groups, students will discuss each other’s work, making revision suggestions facilitated by the instructor and T.A.’s.  During the semester, everyone will participate in the workshops as both an author and a peer-critic. English 71 is a prerequisite for taking upper-division creative writing workshops (ENGL 130, 131, and 135).


ENGL 100W: Writing for English Majors

Nancy Stork, TR 1:30-2:45

An introduction to prose style and how to write beautifully. You will write a textual history as your final project. We will analyze poetry, prose, and drama, while learning the technical vocabulary and research tools necessary for literary research.


ENGL 100W: Writing for English Majors

Dalia Sirkin, MW 10:30-11:45

English 100W is an integrated writing and literature course in which students will develop advanced proficiency in college-level writing. Beyond providing repeated practice in planning and executing essays, and advancing students’ understanding of the genres, audiences, and purposes of college writing developed in Written Communication 1A and 1B, English 100W broadens and deepens those abilities to include mastery of the discourse specific to the field of English studies, with an emphasis on close and careful reading of literary texts. Readings will include the short story, novel, poetry, and drama.


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

Sheree Kirby, M 9:00-11:45

Laimin Lo, W 9:00-11:45; M 9:00-11:45

Sara West, MW 10:30-11:45

Carlos Mujal, T 6:00-8:45

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

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 9:00-10:15, MW 3:00-4:15

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 correct-ness, 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 105: Seminar in Advanced Composition

Cindy Baer, TR 9:00-10:15

If Hemingway is right, if “Prose is architecture,” then the sentence is the bulwark of what we do as writers. Spend 16 weeks exploring the architectural splendor of the sentence: imitating, rewriting, describing, assembling, disassembling, reassembling sentences. We’ll study and practice sentence craft as we read and write about nature, taking in a full spectrum of literary genres—poetry, fiction, non-fiction—and of rhetorical modes—poetic, rhetorical, instrumental, and scientific. Four integrated writing projects will explore one subject and one natural space of your choosing.


ENGL 106: Editing for Writers

Mark Thompson, TR 10:30-11:45

In this class, we cover all the fundamentals that writers need to know about editing and working as a professional editor. This includes proofreading and copyediting, as well as sentence-level and document-level editing. The Basics? Fix gnarly sentences. Make ugly paragraphs pretty. Learn how to work with other writers. Learn how to get editing jobs. Gain the confidence to explain your edits and defend them against the howling mobs! Required class for Professional and Technical Writing concentration.


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, instructions (video and print), presentations, user manuals and augmented reality apps.  We also learn a number of digital tools used to author and publish writing in the curret tech landscape, such as DITA, Augmented Reality (AR), SnagIt,  Adobe Premiere, and Madcap Flare.  Required class for Professional and Technical Writing concentration.


ENGL 109: Writing and the Young Writer

Jennifer Johnson, W 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

Roohi Vora, TR 9:00-10:15

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 English 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 lit, and provide author/book resources. Book Talks, a book-to-film paper, and a unit of study/annotated bibliography requirement deepen student knowledge of YA literature. The 4th credit enhancement includes the options of field experience and creating a blog devoted to a sub-genre of YA lit.


ENGL 117A: American Literature, Film, and Culture

Faith Kirk, F 9:30-12:15

Using both film and literature, course examines narratives that create and define cultural identities in the United States. A variety of cultural moments in the history of North America as depicted in both film and literature as well as the artistic practices used to shape those representations will be discussed. GE Area: S Prerequisites: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.


ENGL 123A: Literature for Global Understanding:

The Americas

Samuel Maio, MW 1:30-2:45

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. GE Area: V Prerequisite: Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended. Covers SJSU Studies in Area V.


ENGL 125: European Literature: Homer to Dante           

Linda Mitchell, MW 10:30-11:45

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 129: Introduction in Career Writing

Sara West, MW 1:30-2:45

In this course, students write to get published in the places that they read and to practice in the types of writing they might do in the workplace. We’ll work on skills for writing for creative nonfiction publications, social media, nonprofits, and marketing and communications. Students also write and produce English Department newsletter, an in-class podcast series, the ProfTech website, and their own blogs. 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

Selena Anderson, MW 3:00-4:15

In the fiction workshop, students will examine how literary fiction works. Some questions students will begin to uncover include the following: What makes a character unforgettable? What makes for a musical sentence? What makes a scene transport the reader in such a way that they forget that they are reading? What is it about a story that evokes an emotional response in the reader? How do writers create and reinvent these moments? Through lecture, discussion, assigned reading, writing exercises, and peer feedback, students will investigate elements of craft including plot and story structure, characterization, point of view, and voice among other topics to write and revise two short stories.  This course is repeatable once for credit.


ENGL 130: Writing Fiction

Nicholas Taylor, TR 1:30-2:15

Prerequisite:  English 71.  This workshop focuses on the craft of fiction writing.  We will begin the semester by reading works of contemporary short fiction.  You will learn to read as writers, not critics (there is a difference!).  Each student is required to submit two original short stories for review by the class.  Lively participation and written commentary is required.  In lieu of a final exam, you will turn in a substantial revision of one story. This course is repeatable once for credit.


ENGL 131: Writing Poetry

Samuel Maio, MW 12:00-1:15

Prerequisite: English 71. This workshop focuses on the craft of poetry writing.  Students will read examples of formal verse and free verse poetry from the pre-20th Century, 20th Century, and 21st Century.  They will then practice writing poems in a variety of forms and modes of verse.  By the end of the semester, students will complete a final poetry portolio of poems they have written and revised during the semester.  This course is repeatable once for credit.


ENGL 133: Reed Magazine

Keenan Norris, T 3:00-5:45

This course is ideally a two-semester sequence in which students produce this year’s issue of Reed, the oldest literary magazine west of the Mississippi.  In the fall semester, students will focus on editorial duties, mainly reading submissions, reviewing art, communicating with submitters to gain hands-on experience in publishing.  Previous experience producing a literary magazine is desireable but not required.  Contact Professor Norris to apply: keenan.norris@sjsu.edu.


ENGL 135: Writing Nonfiction

Susan Shillinglaw, TR 1:30-2:45

In this writing workshop, we will read, discuss, and have the opportunity to write in all the genres of creative nonfiction, with a special emphasis on the short essay.  We will discuss and critique each other’s work, read pieces from well-known practitioners, and explore nonfiction’s many shapes, forms, and possibilities.


ENGL 140A: Old English

Nancy Stork, TR 9:00-10:15

Wes hæl! This is your chance to study the actual language of early medieval England.  We will learn the basics of OE grammar and read selections from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Riddles and elegiac poetry as well as the Runic alphabet and an introduction to culture. Learn the language that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to create the land of Rohan. This class is normally offered every other year so be sure to sign up now. If you complete this class and Beowulf in the spring, these two semesters can count as your language requirement for the Bachelor’s degree.


ENGL 144: Shakespeare I

Cindy Baer, TR 10:30-11:45

Why do they talk like that? Did it play in the cheap seats as it played in the court? Why remix an old Norse folk story in an up-and-coming British medium, the Globe? A theater is a dynamic rhetorical space. And Shakespeare knew classical rhetoric. What happens when we look at the plays through that lens? In this class, we will explore seven plays together. Text Teams will explore more of your own choosing. You will mix, remix, and mashup Shakespeare as you explore his plays through several rhetorical frames: Kairos, genre, gesture, decorum, eloquence in the dialogue of performance.


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 engagementwith 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 167: Steinbeck

Susan Shillinglaw, TR 12:00-1:15

This course considers Steinbeck’s ecological awareness and social vision, both growing out of a layered sense of place.  We will discuss the contemporary relevance of his critiques of/love of America and Americans. Texts: To a God Unknown, The Long Valley, Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Moon is Down, Cannery Row, East of Eden, and Journal of a Novel.


ENGL 169: Ethnicity in American Literature

Allison Johnson, TR 3:00-4:15

This course explores the influence of ethnic diversity on American literature by focusing on lines, including but not limited to borderlines, the color line, and timelines.   Paying close attention to strategies of representation and resistance, we will examine the polyvocal literary and cultural fabric of the United States.


ENGL 176: The Short Story

Samuel Maio, MW 10:30-11:45

Analysis and interpretation of selected short stories from the 19th century to the present.


ENGL 190: Honors Colloquim – Pride and / or Prejudice:  The Emergence and Suppression of Queer Identities in Literature

Adrienne Eastwood, MW 12:00-1:15

This course will trace the emergence of what we now proudly (post Stonewall) claim as “homosexual” (or gender-queer) identities as they have appeared in literature from the sixteenth century to today.  I will present a variety of literary and cultural texts that treat issues of homoeroticism, cross-dressing, sodomy, and female masculinity, including, whenever possible, materials (both secondary criticism and primary sources) related to the social and political reception of such texts.  Ideally, this course will enable an examination of the shifting cultural attitudes about same-sex desire and gender fluidity in order to more thoroughly ground our contemporary appreciation of queerness in a nuanced understanding of its history. The central discussion will take shape around the consideration of the ways in which literature serves both to express and to suppress homosexual desire and the extent to which gender is transgressed and policed. We will be reading a variety of materials for this course including novels, plays, poetry, diaries, political pamphlets, and critical texts.