English Department J Term and Spring 2015 Courses

                                                       J-TERM 2015

FYEP 190/ENGL 213: Literature: Thomas and Authors
Professor Thomas Campbell
MTWRF 11:30 – 1:50 

A Critical Inquiry course which focuses on the theme of “journeys”–the process of movement
and change, loss and gain by which we piece together knowledge of the world, of others, of
ourselves. We’ll read a range of literary texts (novel, drama, lyric poetry, philosophical satire,
travel narrative) as well as the “texts” of popular culture to see how they raise questions about
and shape understandings of the complexities of human experience which emerge from such
journeys of discovery.

ENGL 217.1: Alternative Perspectives in Literature: Memory and Reparation in
African American Literature
Professor Jenny James
T W R F 14:30-17:20

How does literature reconstruct and re-member an African American past? How do shifting
conceptions of race, gender, sexuality and nation impact our understanding and political
response to this complex history? Who are its inheritors and what is the responsibility we bear
to the ghosts and remnants of this fragmented past? In this course we’ll read contemporary
fiction, drama and poetry by African American writers in order to explore the roles that history
and memory have played in imagining Black identity and collectivity in America. In particular,
we will explore the work of such authors as Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Richard Wright,
Octavia Butler, Danzy Senna, and Anna Deveare Smith.

ENGL 217.2: Alternative Perspectives in Literature: Poetry by Women
Professor Rick Barot
T W R F 14:30-17:20

In addition to being a general introduction to poetry as a genre, the course will delve into the
specific concerns of women poets. We will explore answers to the following questions: What
are the themes and stories which women poets write about? Are these themes and stories
noticeably different from those of male poets? How do sexuality, identity, and art interact in
the texts that we read for the class? How do political and societal forces impact the work that
the poets produce? What are the elements of craft that make each text a particular
phenomenon of its own, making it distinct from other texts–in other genres–that might deal
with similar content? And a final, big question: why do poets write their poems, who do artists
make art? The majority of the poets we read will be 20th-century and contemporary American
poets, though we will spend time with an early precursor of these poets: Emily Dickinson. The
work for the class will include nightly reading, brief response papers, reading quizzes, and

ENGL 227: Introduction to Poetry and Fiction
Professor Jason Skipper
M T W R F 14:30-17:20

Introduction to Poetry and Fiction Writing is a foundational-level course that introduces
students to the history, theories, and practice of poetry and fiction writing. In this class students
will consider the work of many authors from different time periods and backgrounds in order to
consider the ways creative writing is used to follow a line of inquiry and deepen the reader’s
understanding of the human condition. Students in this course will produce both poetry and
short stories, and this work will be critiqued in a workshop setting.

ENGL 335: Fairy Tales and Fantasies
T W R F 11:30-14:20
Professor David Seal

ENGL 355: Special Topics: Literature Before 1660
M T W R F 14:00-17:20
Professor Thomas Krise

“Shakespeare and Friends” provides a survey of English literature with a focus on the literary
tradition that William built upon and contributed to. The course will cover a range of literary
genres, including comedy, tragedy, prose narrative, and verse. Besides Shakespeare, the
course will include works by Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Spenser, Sidney, Donne, Elizabeth I,
Jonson, and Milton, among others. Students will have the opportunity to build skills in
discussion, oral presentation, and writing.

                                                       SPRING 2015 

ENGL 216: Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Literature: South African Township Drama
Professor Barbara Temple-Thurston
T and R 13:45-15:30

This course examines five plays that emerged during South Africa’s apartheid era and were
instrumental in conscientizing their audiences and mobilizing increasing resistance world wide
against the racist system of government. Students learn about apartheid history and are
fortunate to have videos of all the plays’ unique improvisational style performances. They learn
of the frightening consequences the playwrights/directors/actors risked through there
opposition to the system. Since Apartheid has been absorbed into global culture as a
metaphor for discriminatory political systems anywhere in the world, it is helpful for students to
learn about its history through art.

ENGL 221: Research and Writing
Professor Scott Rogers
T and R 18:00-20:00

English 221 is an introduction to methods working scholars use to conduct and write up
interesting and effective academic research. We will deal with three specific scholarly practices:
1) planning and developing good research questions; 2) locating and generating effective
research materials; 3) strategically employing research in pursuit of convincing and wellsupported
arguments. We will also discuss a range of research strategies that will take us to the
library, the archive, and the community in search of compelling evidence for our argumentative
goals. Importantly, this course will focus on research and writing as a form of discovery and
meaning making within distinct academic conversations. Students will do research in areas of
interest related to their academic or professional goals. Course assignments include a study of
research practices in a specific academic or professional setting, a traditional academic
research paper, a qualitative community research project, and a multimodal research

ENGL 227: Introduction to Poetry and Fiction
Professor Deborah Kennedy
T and R 15:40-17:25

In his poem, “September 1, 1939,” W.H. Auden writes, “All I have is a voice / to undo the
folded lie.” In this workshop-based class, students will uncover and develop their own
individual voices, expressing their unique take on the world through the media of poetry and
fiction. Don’t buy the cliché that everything’s already been written, that there’s nothing new to
say. Instead, undo that folded lie. In addition to producing several creative pieces over the
course of the term, students will be required to participate actively in discussion of published
poetry and fiction and comment in a thoughtful way on the work of their peers. By the end of
the semester, students will have an extensive portfolio of new work, a greater understanding of
how to self-edit and constructively criticize, and a firmer grasp of the power of their own voice.

ENGL 232: Women’s Literature
Professor Deborah Kennedy
T and R 11:50-13:35

Carolyn See once said, “Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the
official version.” In this course, students will dive deeply into just such revisions, discovering
how the words of writers like Jane Austen, Katherine Mansfield, Clarice Lispector, Mavis
Gallant, Elizabeth Bishop, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Rita Dove, Jumpa Lahiri, and Edwidge
Danticat have changed the world and altered how we view everything from motherhood and
marriage to the formation of identity, the historical and personal repercussions of slavery and
imperialism, and what it means to love. This class will focus primarily on fiction but will delve
into poetry and drama as well. Students will be expected to write several pieces of literary
analysis, participate actively in class discussion, and complete an end-of-term group project.

ENGL 251: British Traditions in Literature – Marriage Plots: Tying the Knot, or Not, from
Shakespeare to Austen.
Professor Adela Ramos
T and R 09:55-11:40

The romantic comedy or “romcom,” so frequently gendered as a female genre (i.e., the chick
flick), owes its unceasing popularity to, among other things, marriage’s status as one of the
most powerful institutions in contemporary American society. Today, senators and
representatives in Congress, as well as members of religious institutions and civilians all over
the country, debate whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized. For some,
changing the legal understanding of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman
threatens to upturn society as a whole. For others, the legalization of same-sex marriage is a
crucial step in securing equal rights for all human beings. The idea that marriage can define an
entire nation and its culture has been shaped not only by law and politics, but also, and quite
powerfully, by literature. In particular, the marriage plot has played a key role in asserting
longstanding traditions of marriage as well as in contesting established marital ideals, in
representing ideals of family and subverting those ideals, in constructing ideas of femininity
and masculinity or representing alternative ideas of gender, in inquiring whether or not love
and passion are integral for a successful marriage. In this course, we will explore British literary
traditions, from tragedy and comedy to amatory poetry and the marriage plot, to examine how
writers have either celebrated or contested ideals of marriage, love, and family, gender, nation,
and class. We begin the semester with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and amatory
poetry, continue with Frances Burney’s Evelina and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and
conclude with Jeffrey Eugenides’ recent novel, The Marriage Plot, which will frame your final
presentations on how contemporary comic and tragic marriage plots are structured to either
celebrate or contest social, cultural, and political ideals.

ENGL 300: English Studies Seminar
Professor Adela Ramos
M and W 18:00-20:00

Eighteenth-century writer, William Godwin, once proclaimed that, “Literature, taken in all its
bearings, forms the grand line of demarcation between the human and animal kingdoms.” This
section of ENGL 300 will introduce you to English studies by probing into Godwin’s claim: Are
reading and writing ultimately the key practices that make us human? If so, what ethical, critical,
and creative questions should this raise for you, a budding English major? In order to answer
these questions, we will read and write texts that actively attempt to construct clear lines of
demarcation between humans and other animals and to breakdown the porous border
separating our species from others.

ENGL 301: Shakespeare
Professor Chuck Bergman
T and R 13:45-15:30

An advanced course in Shakespeare. We’ll read seven plays and lots of sonnets. We’ll focus
our study on historical and cultural contexts in the English Renaissance, as well as the texts of
the plays themselves. Emphasis on language, character, and thematics. Meet some of the
greatest characters in literature–Falstaff, Richard III, Bottom, Rosalind, Ophelia, King Lear and
his Fool. What’s really remarkable is how Shakespeare identifies defining issues of the modern
world, including the power and problematics of human desire, gender and its many guises,
relations between the sexes, the escape and transformation in nature, the inescapability of
suffering and tragedy. We’ll work hard, learn tons, have fun. And probably become lifelong
fans of Shakespeare.

ENGL 312: Publishing Procedures
Professor Solveig Robinson
M and W 13:45-15:30

This hands-on seminar is an introduction to the technical and intellectual skills essential to the
modern publishing world. Assignments and sessions will reflect the pace and variety of
professional publishing work, with an emphasis on book and journal publishing.

ENGL 313: Art of the Book 1
Professor Mare Blocker
T and R 11:50-13:35

ENGL 314: Art of the Book 2
Professor Mare Blocker
T and R 11:50-13:35

ENGL 324: Freelance Writing
Professor Deborah Kennedy
M and W 15:40-17:25

Writers hoping to make it in the world of modern journalism are finding more and more that
the current marketplace favors the self-employed freelancer over the full-time staff member. In
this class, students will learn how to write successful pitches and query letters, as well as how to
tailor their work to fit the demands of an increasingly Internet-based medium. They will also
produce several articles over the course of the term, focusing on news, sports, humor, feature,
political, and profile pieces. By the end of the term many students will have their first major
publication and all will walk away with the real-life skills necessary to navigate the fast-paced
and rewarding world of freelance writing.

ENGL 325: Personal Essay
Professor Thomas Campbell
M W F 11:15-12:20    

A semester spent reading and writing the invitingly hybrid form of creative non-fiction called
the personal essay. It can accommodate just about any topic and any tonality, and while
neither memoir nor autobiography, fiction nor poetry, journalism nor expository argument, it
can poach from all of these genres to create a distinct but elastic form of its own.

ENGL 326: Writing for Children
Professor Nathalie op de Beeck
T and R 09:55-11:40 

Our Spring 2015 course in Writing for Children will address issues of audience and will question
the process of writing for and about young readers. Students will craft short fiction and
experiment with voice, form, and genre. In addition to weekly writing and workshopping,
students should come prepared to read closely and give presentations on assigned novels,
short stories, folk and fairy tales, and picture books. Our reading list includes Jeff VanderMeer’s
Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction and Green and Levithan’s
multivocal novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Additional readings include three regional
Washington/Oregon novels: Meloy and Ellis’s Wildwood, Meyer’s Cinder, and Applegate and
Castelao’s The One and Only Ivan. Students will be expected to attend on-campus literary
events including the Visiting Writer Series (2.26.2015) and to develop a substantial portfolio of
work in progress.

ENGL 334: Special Topics in Children’s Literature: Childhood and Environment
Professor Nathalie op de Beeck
T and R 13:45-15:30

In recent years, prominent scholars, critics, and journalists have diagnosed children with
“ecophobia” (Sobel, 1996) and “nature-deficit disorder” (Louv, 2005). Educators and other
civic-minded individuals urge people of all ages to “unplug,” to be kind to animals (those we
do and do not eat), to enjoy the great outdoors, and to do no less than save the planet. In our
course, we will study how children’s literature and media engage with these ongoing and evershifting
conversations. Our course surveys the history and criticism of children’s environmental
literature and media in America, with attention to past and present trends in publishing, animal
studies, ecocriticism, educational policies, and environmental activism. Along with our primary
resources (novels, graphic narratives, picture books, films), we will attend to articles and
documentaries on play, on marketing nature and environment, and on the state of twenty-first
century environmentalism for future generations.

Throughout the semester, we will explore the ways human and nonhuman animals are
represented visually and verbally in children’s literature and media, including in novels, graphic
narratives and comics, picture books, and films (animated, live-action, animatronic) of the past
century. We will give particular attention to how children’s books and media embrace or reject
whimsy, artificiality, abstraction, anthropomorphism, naturalism, and arguments for
sustainability. Our readings and activities will enable us to explore ethnic, racial,
socioeconomic, and species diversity in terms of childhood and environment, and to consider
how children of diverse heritage are represented in or implied as readers of texts. We will
engage with the issues of childhood and environment by writing critical essays, presenting
individually, collaborating in small groups, and developing final projects that connect our
findings to meaningful social action.

This core course in the Children’s Literature and Culture (CHLC) Program is open to all who
need a 300-level English course, and particularly students with concerns around
environmentalism, sustainability, animal studies, and/or ecocriticism. English Literature and
Writing majors and minors, students pursuing the CHLC minor, and Environmental Studies
students are encouraged to participate.

ENGL 343: Post-Colonial Literature and Theory
Professor Barbara Temple-Thurston
T and R 09:55-11:40

This course introduces students to a field which, broadly speaking, takes as its focus the period
of Europe’s colonization of a vast wealth of indigenous cultures, and the consequent struggles
of those cultures to free themselves from imperial control up to, and beyond, political
independence. Students’ exploration of five novels from the post-colonial cultures of India, the
Caribbean, and South Africa, is informed by theoretical readings which engage many, though
certainly not all, of the complex and controversial points of view. Due to the complexity of the
critical theory, this course is recommended for students with some experience of literary study.

CHLC 336: Rights of the Child

This core course in the Children’s Literature and Culture Program will concern the human rights
of the child, especially as related to our university’s missions of social justice, diversity, and
environmental sustainability. We will read essays and look at fiction and nonfiction texts
(stories, films, etc.) having to do with human rights issues and with the field known as
Childhood Studies. We will examine the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child
and other documents; we will learn about academic, legal, and other definition(s) of related
terms like child, youth, and childhood; and we will think about how children’s own voices and
archives of childhood are compiled, studied, and interpreted. Students in this course will read,
write, discuss and present materials designed to develop shared understandings of Childhood
and Culture. Interested students, including those involved in PLU’s Holocaust and Gender
Studies Program, may look ahead to collaborative work during the annual Powell-Heller
Conference for Holocaust Education (March 4-6, 2015), which will convene around the topic of
Children’s Voices: The Holocaust and Beyond.

ENGL 362: British Literature, 1800 – 1914
Professor Thomas Campbell
M W F 09:15-10:20

ENGL 374: American Literature, 1945 – present: Towards a Transnational American
Professor Jenny James
T and R 15:40-17:25

In this seminar on contemporary American literature, we will explore how U.S. literature
becomes an increasingly transnational and hemispheric literary canon in the wake of
World War II. Illuminating the impact of immigration, exile and revolutionary
movements on Americans at home and abroad, authors of the period sought to capture
the changing landscape of identity in this complex post-war world. Rather than simply
look back to the “usable past” of our nation’s Puritan origins, these authors invoke a
wide and diverse set of cultural backgrounds and identities in their portrayal of
collective experience in contemporary America. We will read novels, short stories and
poems that account for the way literature reflects not just the citizen, but the wanderer,
outcast and nomad that defies geographic and cultural boundaries. Authors may
include Junot Diaz, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, Toni Morrison, Ruth Ozeki, Karen Tei

Yamashita, Elizabeth Bishop and Tim O’Brien.
ENGL 388: Special Topics in Fiction Writing
Professor Jason Skipper
T and R 13:45-15:30

This upper-level fiction writing course will focus on short stories that incorporate multiple points
of view. Students will critically consider texts that employ multiple narrators and will produce
original work that utilizes this narrative technique.

ENGL 393: The English Language
Professor Rona Kaufman
M and W 13:45-15:30

What is language? Where does it come from? How does it work? What are its structures? In
what ways is language political, social, personal, economic? What are the rules of language?
Who decides? And what are the consequences for not following the rules? Is language the
same thing as grammar? And just what is grammar anyway? Should we approach it
descriptively or prescriptively? When? Why? What are teachers’ responsibilities to students
when it comes to language? What are teachers’ responsibilities to language? How does our
understanding of language affect what is taught and how and why (and likewise, what isn’t
taught and why not)?

This course is designed to immerse students into the complexities of language. It is divided
into two main parts: 1) History, Structures, and the Teaching of Language and 2) Identity,
Politics, and Power. Through a variety of in- and out-of-class exercises, students should
develop thoughtful and informed answers to the above questions that they can articulate,
defend, and put into practice.

ENGL 427: Seminar: Poetry Writing
Professor Rick Barot
M and W 18:00-20:00

ENGL 429: Seminar: Fiction Writing
Professor Jason Skipper
T and R 15:40-17:25

The Capstone Senior Seminar in Fiction Writing is an advanced level workshop that focuses on
short story writing. In this course students will explore the ways reading shapes a writer’s critical
lens, write a critical paper and give a presentation that examines a short story author and a
genre in literary fiction, and produce three new stories. The semester will culminate with a
capstone presentation, during which students will contextualize their writing in terms of literary
history, theory, and technique, present a story that they produced in this class, and take
questions from the audience.

ENGL 452: Seminar: Themes, Genres
Professor Lisa Marcus
T and R 09:55-11:40