5000 Level
 

ENG 5010 - Advanced Expository Writing
Frances Ranney

Students in this hybrid course (partly classroom, partly online) will focus on writing proposals and grants, especially grant writing for nonprofit organizations ("NPOs"). They will work closely with graduate students in ENG7840 (Technical and Professional Communication) to identify NPOs in need of grant funding as well as granting agencies likely to fund upcoming projects. We will study the history, nature, and economic realities of NPOs as we consult with personnel from local organizations regarding their needs as we produce a database of funding agencies along with draft grant documents for their use. Students will also produce resumes and bios suitable for use in seeking freelance writing assignments for NPOs.
 

ENG 5060 - Styles and Genres in Film
Horror and Gender
Chera Kee

From your skin tingling to that scream stuck in your throat, horror is intended to evoke a reaction in your body, and horror is very often about bodies gone wrong: monstrous bodies, bodies that change, and bodies that are threatened with physical harm. This preoccupation with making bodies react and presenting bodies in flux makes horror a fantastic means for interrogating gender. This course presents a survey of the horror genre across film, television, video games, and social media, exploring not only the genre itself, but also how the genre constructs gender and gendered bodies. In the course, we will use a broad understanding of “horror” to include representations of a wide spectrum of gendered bodies in a variety of media, including the films Peeping Tom (1960), The Final Girls (2015), and Get Out (2017), as well as the video game The Last of Us (2013) and the visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club (2017).
 

ENG 5070 - Topics in Film
Hollywood Actors
Steven Shaviro

Acting is one of the most important aspects of Hollywood narrative film. But in film studies in general, acting and stardom don't get as much attention as such things as directors, genres, and editing and cinematography. This class will look at Hollywood acting, combining star studies and acting studies with a close look at the careers of a number of Hollywood stars, from the coming of sound to the present. We will try to define the personas and range of particular actors, as well as to answer the question of how movie acting differs from stage acting and from television acting. We will look in detail at the careers of six Hollywood movie stars, one male and one female actor each from three periods in the history of film: 1930s/40s (classical Hollywood) - Cary Grant; Barbara Stanwyck 1970s/80d (the "New Hollywood) - Robert De Niro; Faye Dunaway Present day: Ryan Gosling; Scarlett Johannson

 

ENG 5490 - Topics in American Literature
Native American Literature
Margaret Jordan

“Native American Literature” suggests a cohesive body of work by writers that share, presumably, ethnicity, history, culture or color. This course explores shared or collective experiences and histories, the linkages between the enormously diverse cultural groups that compose this descriptor, but with an eye to the uniquely defining characteristics of particular Native peoples/cultures that are manifest in the literature. In doing so, we will consider ideas of the sacred; the significance of legend and mythologies; the relationship to the land and the natural world; the impact of colonialism, and responses to it; the consequences of technology and urbanization; and, the ways in which these and other concerns influence identity and artistic expression. Central to our purpose are examples of the oral tradition, personal narratives, novels,
short fiction, poetry, essays, political treatises, biography and literary criticism. Writers may include: Paula Gunn Allen, James Welch, Simon Ortiz, Leslie Marmon Silko, Mary Crow Dog, Luther Standing Bear, Michael Dorris, N. Scott Momaday, Black Hawk, Vine Deloria, Zitkala Sa, Louise Erdrich, Terese Marie Mailhot, Sherman Alexie and Winona LaDuke. There will be two essays, a prospectus and annotated bibliography and comprehensive in-class writing. Participation in class discussion is considered in the final grade. Attendance is mandatory.
 

ENG 5790 -Writing Theory
The Consequences of Literacy
Clay Walker

In August of 2017, attorneys for the State of Michigan, which has had control over Detroit Public Schools since 1999, urged the Federal Court in Detroit to dismiss a lawsuit filed by seven DPS students that claims that the State has failed to provide these students with an adequate opportunity to read and write. In their motion to dismiss the case, the State’s attorneys argued that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes no mention of literacy and the State of Michigan is under no obligation to ensure that these students are literate. The State of Michigan made a similar argument in 2014 in the Michigan Court of Appeals and won with a ruling that stated the State of Michigan’s constitution does not guarantee literacy for its citizens. In this course, we will take up the issue of literacy and education in Detroit’s schools by asking questions about what literacy is, how do individuals become literate, and what does it mean to be literate in the 21st century. In short, the course will examine what are the consequences of school-based literacy. Course readings will include foundational texts in literacy studies as well as recent theoretical work that ties literacy studies to concerns related to cognition, materiality, and our digital world. Course projects will include shorter explications of literacy theory texts, student-led discussions of assigned readings, and a longer student-centered project that focuses on addressing theoretical issues related to reading and writing. Students must complete the IC requirement prior to enrollment in the course.
 

ENG 5860 - Topics in Creative Writing
Creative Foundations: Contemporary Aesthetics and Literary Forms
Watten, Barrett

This class seeks to develop a foundations course for creative writers that would work between disciplines and create a basis for creative-writing based close/critical reading as a structural component of the undergraduate Creative Writing degree (and potential minor). The course would help students establish a critical vocabulary for talking about contemporary texts from the point-of-view of a creative writer; use formal aspects of texts as a means of close reading difficult work; examine and articulate various ideas about what it means to be contemporary by formulating and explaining our ideas through both critical and creative writing; bring students to a broad understanding of contemporary literary forms, genres, styles, structures, and concepts by way of reading and writing within the discipline; and finally work toward a sophisticated appreciation of the range of contemporary literary aesthetics, seen in the context of creative projects relevant to students. The class will combine reading, discussion, and creative writing in roughly equal proportions.
 

ENG 5880 - Fiction Writing Workshop
The Art and Craft of Fiction
Natalie Bakopoulos

English 5880 is an intermediate- to advanced-level short fiction writing, discussion, and workshop course, where we will closely examine the art and craft of writing short fiction. What makes a good short story? How do we distinguish between a series of events that might happen in real life and a series of events that unfold in a story? What does it mean to say a good story has to have high emotional and/or dramatic stakes? How do we build compelling, interesting, strong characters? How do we use traditional story structure to our advantage, and how might we subvert it? What is the difference between genre writing and literary fiction? We will examine these questions, and many others, as they arise from both published and student work. Our classes will consist of discussion of original student work and assigned readings. The primary focus of the class will be on short stories, both on writing them and analyzing them, and we will emphasize both the processes of drafting (where story ideas come from) and revising (how we fully realize those ideas). We will examine the various choices and craft elements (plot, character, dialogue, point of view, etc.) that both published writers and you, our student writers, use to achieve their/your goals, and the way those choices affect the work as a whole.

 

ENG 5992 - Senior Seminar
Kenneth Jackson

*The Bible,* particularly Genesis and the Letters of Paul, as a narrative source for much of western literature (and film) up to the present day. The biblical stories, tropes, rhetorical maneuvers have shaped -- and still shaped -- our words and thoughts. Most have at least a vague familiarity with these narratives, but nothing like the storehouse of knowledge necessary to fully trace and think through their influence. This senior seminar seeks, in part, to correct for that. The course will involve, then, some basic bible history and review of histories of interpretation and matters of translation in the Abrahamic faiths, from early Judaism to the "higher criticism." But, for the most part, we will be reading extensively in The Bible itself and the extraordinary range of secondary materials now widely available -- if under studied -- in our "secularized" age. This is, not, however a good forum for those inclined to "religious" debates of the sorts found on social media. You have no shortage of opportunities to read and rant there as you like. Rather, this is an intensive scholarly study of what is often referred to as "The Bible as Literature." If you have an axe to grind you will be disappointed. Try to come to the course without preconceptions. You will have less trouble that way with, for example, the wild sexual extravaganza that can be seen in Genesis or the fact that the problems first encountered by Paul's push for "universalism" still complicate our understanding of multi-culturalism and globalization. Think you're "spiritual" but not "religious"? We shall see. Whatever your interests in English studies are you will be able to graft onto our course of study. For that reason we will -- aside from a few quizzes -- be relying on the formulation of large final projects -- in an area of your choosing with my approval -- for "assessment." You need to read, think, and be there in class. To borrow from another religious book: take up this course - and read.

 ↑ back to top