Autumn 2019 4000-Level Courses

1000-level | 2000-level | 3000-level | 4000-level | 5000-level and above

English-4150: Cultures of Professional Writing
Instructors:
Christiane Buuck
Examine writing in various workplaces. Analyze writing discourse that shapes professional organizations. Explore ongoing technological and cultural shifts required of workplace writers and the role of digital media.


English-4150: Cultures of Professional Writing
Instructors:
Jennifer Patton
Examine writing in various workplaces. Analyze writing discourse that shapes professional organizations. Explore ongoing technological and cultural shifts required of workplace writers and the role of digital media.


English-4150: Cultures of Professional Writing
Instructors:
Staff
Examine writing in various workplaces. Analyze writing discourse that shapes professional organizations. Explore ongoing technological and cultural shifts required of workplace writers and the role of digital media.


English-4189: Professional Writing Minor—Capstone Internship
Instructor:
Jennifer Patton
Students work on-site in an organization doing writing-related work and meet weekly to discuss related topics.


English-4189: Professional Writing Minor—Capstone Internship
Instructor:
Staff
Students work on-site in an organization doing writing-related work and meet weekly to discuss related topics.


English-4520.01: Shakespeare
Instructor:
Luke Wilson
Critical examination of the works, life, theater and contexts of Shakespeare.


English-4520.01: Shakespeare
Instructor:
Alan Farmer
This course will explore the formal, social and political engagements of Shakespeare's plays. It will pay particular attention to how his plays conform to and work against the genres of comedy, tragedy, history, and romance, and to how they represent such issues as gender, sexuality, religion, race and political power. In addition to some critical and historical essays on the early modern theater and culture, we will likely read some combination of the following plays: Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, The Winter's Tale and Pericles. Requirements include two essays, a midterm exam, a final exam, regular attendance and active participation.
I will order a selection of modern editions of the plays on the syllabus. Any modern edition you purchase must have line numbers, glosses of difficult words, and longer explanatory notes. Good editions of single plays are published by Cambridge, Oxford and Arden, as well as by Folger, Pelican, Norton, Bedford, Bantam and Signet. Reputable one-volume editions of all of Shakespeare's plays are published by Longman, Pelican, Riverside, Norton and Oxford.


English-4523: Special Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture
Instructor:
Chris Highley
Following the breakdown of political consensus and the growth of religious unrest, seventeenth-century England eventually descended into a civil war that split the nation and pitted King Charles I against many of his subjects. In 1649, the defeated king was executed, opening the way for England's only experiment with republican government. This class explores 17th century literature in the context of these tumultuous political and religious events. We will read texts by monarchs and defenders of monarchy and religious hierarchy alongside radical attacks on bishops and kings by the likes of John Milton and Oliver Cromwell. We will also study: the verse written amid civil strife by Robert Herrick and Andrew Marvell; one of the last plays to be staged before the closing of the public playhouses in 1642; a fantastic court masque; and the extraordinary tracts in which both men and women preached political and religious transformation. The course will conclude with John Milton's reflections in Paradise Lost on the defeat of the republican's “Good Old Cause” and the restoration of the king.


English-4535: Special Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth Century British Literature and Culture—Literature of Slavery and Freedom during the Enlightenment
Instructor:
Roxann Wheeler
This course will feature the ways that slavery and colonization shaped English literature, particularly the novel, 1660-1800. We will explore the literature of captivity and enslavement of Britons, native Americans and Africans, as well as study the radical claim that English wives were like slaves. We will pay particular attention to the fictional impersonation of non-English characters who were critical of Britons in literature written by Britons. A cultural study of literature, we will study theories of race, racism and slavery in Britain and the Caribbean.

Likely texts:

  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or The Royal Slave (1688)
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)
  • The Inkle and Yarico stories in poetry, fiction, and comic opera
  • Anonymous, The Female American, or the Memoirs of Unca Eliza Winkfield (1767)
  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African (1789)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
  • Anonymous, The Woman of Colour (1808)

English-4540: Nineteenth-Century British Poetry
Instructor:
Jill Galvan
This course covers British poetry written in the nineteenth century, encompassing the Romantic and Victorian periods.  I’ll begin with some brief discussions of poetic elements and critical reading strategies, for those new to in-depth poetry analysis (or needing a refresher). **You do not need to consider yourself fantastic at analyzing poetry to take this course! Part of my goal will be to help everyone become more confident approaching the genre by the end.

Authors will range from Charlotte Smith and William Wordsworth to Augusta Webster and Oscar Wilde. We will focus on formal and thematic concerns; at the same time, we will consider important cultural/historical contexts—for example, the French Revolution, abolitionism, ideas of the sublime, the “woman question” and gender debates, momentous scientific discoveries, challenges to religious faith and burgeoning modern views of art. We will also discuss important literary modes and movements (including the Gothic, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Aestheticism). I will be lecturing but will also incorporate lots of discussion. Tentative course requirements: regular and enthusiastic class participation, four brief analytical responses (1-2 pp. each), one longer critical essay (5-7 pp.), a midterm exam and a final exam.


English-4551: Special Topics in 19th-Century U.S. Literature—Writing for Freedom: Literature, Reform and Activism in the Nineteenth Century
Instructor:
Andrea Williams
Throughout the nineteenth century - as in the present - activists used the written and spoken word to rally for a number of causes: women's rights, racial equality, environmentalism, child welfare, animal rights and prison reform. This class examines how reformers shape storylines, ideals and character types (such as orphaned or innocent children) to appeal to supportive and resistant audiences. While focused on nineteenth-century literature and contexts, the course invites students to compare how early models of protest relate to contemporary social justice movements.


English-4559: Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory
Instructor:
Amy Shuman
"Narrative" is a current buzz-word and a catch-all term; everything is narrative nowadays!  However, it is also one of the principle means of organizing experience in everyday life and conversation, popular culture and literary works. This course introduces students to the basic concepts and tools of "classical" narrative theory and analysis, in four general areas: the underlying structure of story; the reordering of story-events in the plot; the production of a story-world (narrative time and space); and the representation of selves (narrators, speakers, perceivers, minds). We will study a selection of classic essays in narrative theory, and we will read and analyze a variety of mainly literary narrative- fairy-tales, short-stories, novels, one graphic narrative and at least one film.
We will also survey some of the developments in "post-classical" narrative theory, including rhetorical narrative theory, feminist and queer narratology and cognitive narrative theory.


English-4563: Contemporary Literature
Instructor:
Jessica Prinz
We will read broadly in the area of twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction, focusing on the theme of science. Although science fiction is a genre devoted to science and its fusion with literature, we will  be looking at other genres as well, as we explore some of the central concerns and themes of the period (1945 to the present).  Among works that may be considered: Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad; Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler; Eggers, The Circle. Some writing and exams will be required.


English-4564.02: Major Author in 18th- and 19th- Century British Literature—Lord Byron and His Circle
Instructor:
Jacob Risinger
Lord Byron - the best-selling poet of his age - single-handedly upended the taste, expectations and literary conventions of nineteenth-century Britain. Once described as "mad, bad and dangerous to know," the scandals that followed in his wake shaped his poetry and his ironic perspective on life, love, politics and art.  By any standard, his life was ridiculously eventful: he published his first book of poetry at age seventeen but subsequently recalled and burned every copy. Two years of travel in the Mediterranean exposed Byron to the shifting dynamics of British imperial culture - but also gave him the freedom to explore his emergent sexuality. On his return to England, the publication of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage made him famous overnight.
After the very public scandal of a failed marriage, Byron left England in 1816 - never to return. Exiled in Europe, he helped introduce vampires to the English-speaking world, and his famous ghost story challenge led Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. Byron spent the next eight years in Italy, working away on his unfinished satirical masterpiece, Don Juan. Hilarious and scathing in equal parts, it led Percy Shelley to claim, "Nothing has ever been written like it in English." At age 36, Byron died while fighting in the Greek War of Independence. 
Over the course of the semester, we will explore "Byromania" as it emerges in Byron's major works, shorter lyrics, and "metaphysical dramas."  We will also take stock of major work by Byron's close contemporaries, including Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Polidori. Our readings and discussions will lead to important questions about the nature and status of celebrity, irony, sexuality, poetry, authorship and empire in nineteenth-century Britain. We will also touch on Byron's various afterlives - in literature, in music and in film.


English-4564.04: Major Author in 20th- Century British Literature— Virginia Woolf & the Bloomsbury Group
Instructor:
Thomas Davis
The course will focus on Virginia Woolf's major novels alongside the writings of other major figures in the Bloomsbury Group. Alongside major novels by Woolf (Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Years among others), we'll read fiction by E.M. Forster and Leonard Woolf, art criticism by Clive Bell and Roger Fry, treatises by J.M. Keynes and Leonard Woolf, and many of Woolf's essays.
We will pay close attention to the way the Bloomsbury Group's aesthetic innovations relate to the eruption of two world wars, shifts in gender and sexuality, the slow wane of the British empire, changing notions of nature and the natural world and the various political projects (the League of Nations, feminist ideas of the state, working class politics) that drew the interest of Woolf and her cohort. We will also consider the contemporary afterlives of Woolf by reading a 21st century novel by either Zadie Smith or Ali Smith.


English-4565: Advanced Fiction Writing
Instructor:
Nick White
This is the advanced creative writing workshop in fiction. Admission is limited to creative writing concentrators who have taken English 2265, and to other students who have successfully completed English 2265 with permission of the instructor by portfolio submission.


English-4566: Advanced Poetry Writing
Instructor:
Marcus Jackson
Each meeting, we will workshop your poems. In addition, we will be reading and discussing the aesthetic choices made in selections of published poetry (distributed via handouts and our Carmen page). Also, we will make efforts to become familiar with the poets and books that are guiding our current writing, thereby giving us more informed perspectives from which to critique weekly drafts.


English-4568: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
Instructor:
Lee Martin
This is an advanced workshop that will focus on the production and analysis of the students’ creative nonfiction. We will examine the artistic choices writers make with forms such as memoir, the personal essay, nature writing, literary journalism, etc. Our focus will be on the exploration of a subject from the multi-layered perspective of the writer. Our primary focus will be the reading and discussion of student-written work. Each student will present two pieces of creative nonfiction for workshop discussion. At the end of the quarter, each student will turn in a significantly revised version of one of these pieces. Students will also prepare analytical letters of response to their classmates’ work.


English-4569: Digital Media in English Studies: Digital Protest and Online Activism
Instructor:
John Jones
Have you ever wondered what your voice-activated speakers are saying about you after you’ve left the room? Did you know that your Fitbit was a published author? In this course, students will explore how digital culture enables physical objects to argue, both in the production of new genres of written text and in their interactions with people and the environment. We will explore the rhetorical possibilities of emerging interfaces such as voice control, paying particular attention to the new forms of digital creativity they are enabling as well as to how the data they produce are impacting privacy and security. In order to do so, we will not only analyze these objects but become makers ourselves, using tinkering as a way of thinking about new relations between people and the physical world that are enabled by our devices and the new forms of writing these relations can support. 


English-4573.01: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Instructor:
James Fredal
It has always been a basic premise of rhetoric that all texts have an impact on their audience. That impact can be intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, attitudinal, relational, ethical and sometimes even physical. HOW texts work, how producers achieve the effects they want and why audiences respond to texts in the way they do: these are the  basic questions of rhetorical theory and analysis. English 4573.01 will be an introduction to rhetorical criticism and analysis, and to the broad range of terms of concepts from a long history of rhetorical theory that are relevant and useful to rhetorical criticism. That is to say, we will learn how to read and analyze texts at a more sophisticated level to understand how they work. In addition to reading and talking about a broad range of rhetorical techniques, we will look at a wide range of texts, from speeches and cartoons to Twitter feeds and Reddit threads, Youtube channels and Instagram accounts.  Students will write frequent short analysis papers, a few longer issue papers and a final project.


English-4575: Special Topics in Literary Forms and Themes
Instructors:
Angus Fletcher
In this course, you will learn to write like your favorite author, in any genre or any medium, from poetry to comics, film to fiction, essays to television, memoir to mashup, ancient or modern. You will start by learning the secret to uncovering your favorite author's creative blueprint, identifying the formal elements that your author uses like nobody else. Maybe the element is a unique style, or a special recipe for character, or an innovative use of plot, or storyworld, or voice, or atmosphere. Then you'll incorporate that blueprint into your own writing. So you will create your own original piece of writing that sounds just like your favorite author--while also sounding just like you.


English-4578: Special Topics in Film
Instructors:
Sandra MacPherson
Examination of particular topics, themes, genres, or movements in cinema; topics may include particular directors (Orson Welles), periods (The Sixties), genres (horror).


English-4578: Special Topics in Film—Film and American Society After World War II
Instructors:
Ryan Friedman
This course examines the history of the American cinema in the years immediately following the Second World War, covering the period from 1945 to 1960. We will view and discuss significant Hollywood films from a variety of genres (e.g., comedy, musical, film noir, western, melodrama, social problem film), contextualizing them by reading articles and excerpts published in a variety of venues (e.g., popular magazines, film-trade publications, books of sociology and psychology) during the era in which these films were produced and exhibited. These textual primary sources will serve to illustrate historical discourses describing, reinforcing and/or critiquing what were conceived of as significant social issues and shifts - from the "veterans problem," to the "housing crisis," to "juvenile delinquency," to sexism and residential segregation. In our discussions, we will be interested in how the assigned films reflected, responded to and inflected the print debates happening around these issues and shifts - even and perhaps especially when the films are not overtly working in the "social problem" genre. We will also approach the films in the context of the upheavals happening in the American film industry during this period, as a result of the Paramount decree, the HUAC hearings, suburbanization and declining movie theater attendance. In particular, we will examine the ways in which the rise of television as a competing medium of mass entertainment shaped the stories that Hollywood movies told and the visual devices they used to dramatize these stories.


English-4581: Special Topics in U.S. Ethnic Literatures
Instructor:
Martin Ponce
This course examines 20th and 21st-century U.S. ethnic literatures - particularly, experimental or innovative literatures - through the frames of U.S. empire, racialization and sexuality. In what ways did the practices of U.S. imperialism - including chattel slavery, westward expansion, overseas war and colonization, economic and cultural neocolonialism - produce racialized, colonized and gendered-sexual subjects? How have African American, American Indian, Arab American, Asian American and Latinx writers critically and creatively engaged with such practices of racial and sexual subordination and territorial domination? What sorts of literary experiments have they invented and used to claim cultures and communities of survival, renewal and transformation?


English-4582: Special Topics in African American Literature—Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship
Instructor:
Koritha Mitchell
When a politician wants to be taken seriously, he immediately trots out a wife and kids. Why do Americans insist that heterosexuality yields morality and stability? Why doesn't heterosexuality work that magic for black people? This course will explore these questions through mostly canonical works of African American literature. Likely authors include Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. Engaged class participation absolutely required. Expect frequent pop quizzes.


English-4586: Studies in American Indian Literature and Culture
Instructor:
Elissa Washuta
Focused study of a topic in American Indian literary and cultural studies.


English-4590.04H: Romanticism
Instructor:
Clare Simmons
The loose theme for this Honors Seminar on British literature of the Romantic period (roughly from the time of the French Revolution to the Victorian period) will be "Romanticism and the Visual." We will consider Romantic-era aesthetic theory (such as the role of imagination, the sublime and the picturesque) and the importance of the contemplation of the natural world. In combination with literary works, we will also view examples of Romantic visual art such as painting and architecture. Readings will include poetry by William Blake, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, S.T. Coleridge, P.B. Shelley, John Keats, Mary Robinson, Felicia Hemans and Robert Burns; non-fiction prose by Edmund Burke, William Gilpin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas De Quincey; and the novels Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), The Bride of Lammermoor (Sir Walter Scott) and Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen).

Course Requirements: Regular attendance and participation; oral presentation; reading questions; short essay; final research paper project.

For more information contact Clare Simmons (simmons.9@osu.edu).


English-4590.08H: U.S. and Colonial Literature—Popular Literature and New Media
Instructor:
Jared Gardner
This course will explore the development of popular culture across media in the American 19th century, looking at novels, newspapers, story papers, illustrated magazines, dime novels and more, up to the rise of film and comics at century’s end. We will study the technological and cultural changes in print and other forms of communication and expression that shaped new possibilities during this period, and we will explore archives online and in special collections on campus to make new discoveries in the still largely untold story of the birth of a modern American popular culture.


English-4592: Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture—Sonnets
Instructor: Jennifer Higginbotham
Women played an influential role in the development of the sonnet. When the Italian poet Petrarch invented the form in the fourteenth century, he started a literary vogue that continues today, and women have been at the forefront of its innovation in the English tradition almost from the start. Initially present only as love objects, women quickly adapted the form to their own poetic voices. The Protestant exile Anne Lock published the first original sonnet sequence in English in 1560, re-purposing the secular love lyric to express religious desire, while women like Elizabeth Carey, Lady Spencer participated in the translation of Petrarch's original Canzoniere in the 1590s. After we dive into the mechanics of what makes a sonnet "a sonnet," we'll apply our knowledge to trace the history of women's sonnets from the sixteenth century to today. Poets may include Lock, Carey, Mary Wroth, Charlotte Smith, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Emma Lazarus, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marilyn Hacker, Marilyn Nelson, Patience Agbabi, Wendy Cope and Jackie Kay. In addition to gaining mastery of poetic form, students will engage with feminist and queer theory to explore what sonnets help us understand about gender and sexuality, and what gender and sexuality can help us understand about sonnets.


English-4592: Special Topics in Women in Literature and Culture—Gender and Empire
Instructor:
Molly Farrell
The colonization of the New World has usually been told as a "boy story," with pirates or explorers, shipwrecks or frontiers, as its characters and settings. This class asks what would happen if we put girls and women, homes and domestic spaces, at the center of that story instead. Reading literature from and about early America, we will look at the ways sex, gender and families are inextricably bound up with appetites for expanding an Empire. Beginning by asking why Toni Morrison set her new novel A Mercy among women in colonial America, we will read a novel about Americans caught in the Haitian revolution written by Aaron Burr's secret lover; ask why the first best-selling American novel, The Coquette, was about a sex scandal; and examine the persistent problems of gender and marriage in the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne.


English-4595: Literature and Law
Instructor:
Susan Williams
This course will consider how literary texts are controlled by, represent and respond to legal issues and decisions. Our main focus will be historical, but we will also examine how historical contexts inform current debates about sex offender registries; sampling and copyright in Hip-Hop; and economic justice and wealth management, among others. Primary texts will include writings by Louisa May Alcott, Charles Chesnutt, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain. Topics will include copyright and literary production; sentencing laws, incarceration, and the "civil dead"; and family law and inheritance.

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