Welcome to the School of Writing, Literature, and Film!

We look forward to seeing you in Fall Term of 2023. As you can tell from the lineup below, there are many exciting learning opportunities ahead. To get started, you can use this page to read course descriptions for the upcoming term.

We encourage you to read these descriptions carefully and reach out to course instructors or your advisor with any specific questions.

Fall 2023

ENG 514

Introduction to Graduate Studies

Section 1, CRN 12283

F 900-1250

Ray Malewitz

In addition to explaining the requirements, procedures, and trajectory of the MA program, this class offers a rapid introduction to the theories, methods, and professional practices of academics working in the fields of literature, rhetoric and composition, and film studies.  Throughout the course, we will examine a series of prominent critical approaches that have guided advanced study in all of the program’s three MA fields: (1) literature and culture; (2) rhetoric, writing, and culture; and (3) film and visual studies.  

As much as possible, the course will stress practical aspects of performing these readings.  We will learn proper and improper ways of using secondary sources and theory sources in academic arguments.  We will identify, employ, and critique standard ways that academics signal the significance of their work in written and oral arguments.  We will explore the conventions of genres including the conference paper abstract, the conference paper, the conference Q &A, the scholarly article, and the thesis.  We will learn effective ways of maximizing research resources within and beyond the OSU library.  Finally, we will create “mini-theses” related to students’ scholarly interests that will be delivered in print and orally. By the end of the course, students should have a clear sense of how to best navigate their two years in the MA program at Oregon State’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film with an eye toward future careers within and beyond academia.  


ENG 525

Studies in Medieval Literature

Section 1, CRN 19655

TR 1000-1150

Tekla Bude


It is a simple fact of human existence that our memories of the past appear, at least superficially, to be more accurate than our predictions about the future. But it is partly the future’s amorphousness that renders it a valuable space for ideology and literary creation. The way we predict the future, the things we predict about it, and the ways we attempt to mitigate the risks of an unknowable future while simultaneously attempting to convince ourselves that we know something about it all tell us important things about what our society values and what it doesn’t. For example, our approach to the Global Climate crisis is one particularly important modern example of “futurology.”  The medieval period had its own approaches to the future, and in this class we’ll explore some of them, comparing them to present-day treatments of time yet to come. How does medieval literature think about ecological crisis, free will, the end of the world, or utopian futures? We will read widely across medieval genres and alongside contemporary theory, including queer theory, ecological critiques/ecocriticism, and speculative literature/sci fi theory.   


ENG 538

Studies in Modernism

Section 1, CRN 17558 

MW 0800-0950

Neil Davison

This course examines intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic aspects of the pre-and-post-World War I era of literature characterized by the practitioners of its day as Modernist. Modernism from its fin de siècle inception onward was a pan-arts movement based on the overarching assertion that 20th-century consciousness mandated new “purified” forms for the arts to match psychoanalytic, gender, race, class, nationalist, and imperialist revisions of 19th-century paradigms of these or what Francois Lyotard later dubbed “master narratives” from a Postmodern perspective. As a studies course, we will narrow our focus to a study of Modernist fiction in particular from 1890’s-1940. Each work studied represents an example of formalist experimentation with former conventions of the novel, novella, or short story that was fundamental to the movement from its beginnings. We will early on trace this formalism as it arises from the overlap of the late-19th-century school of Naturalism with Literary Impressionism/Symbolism; we will also grapple with Modernist Free and Indirect narrative style, stream-of-consciousness, and a late version of Dada/Surrealism. We will examine how these schools represent subjectivity from psychoanalytic, racialized, gendered, and liberal humanist perspectives. Simultaneously we will study political and cultural issues that inform the era along theses same lines with the addition in some works of colonial/post-colonial discourse. Please note that this is an upper-division course: students are expected to have previously studied examples of Modernist literature and to have acquired at least a cursory knowledge of the movement (ENG 206, 214, or 318 are all viable but unofficial prerequisites). Undergraduates will be evaluated through a mid-term essay (7-8 pages), and a term paper essay (10-12 pages). Graduates may submit the mid-term paper, but will be predominately evaluated through a graduate level research/analysis essay modeled on the standard article in the discipline.


Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness (1900)

Crane, Stephen, Great Short Works of Stephen Crane (1891-1900)

Joyce, James, Dubliners (1914)

Kershner, R.B., The 20th Century Novel

Toomer, Jean,  Cane (1924)

Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse (1927)  


ENG 570

Studies in Poetry: Voice and Persona

Section 1, CRN 19307

F 1000-1350

Karen Holmberg


This course considers one of literary art’s most palpable qualities, yet one which often defies description: voice. We will begin the course by considering our own poetic voices in the first weeks; what “masks” do we wear; how close is our poetic/writerly voice to our speaking voice? Students will be expected to contribute to a class poetry/prose anthology of “most distinctive voices.” We will also undertake vigorous point of view experiments. In weeks 3-7, we will experiment with writing poetry and flash prose in different “voices”: the voices of historical figures, mythic figures, figures depicted in art, and nonhuman figures. In weeks 7-10 we will consider active imitation and what it requires, aesthetically and ethically, to “borrow” a voice; “found poems” and the voices they create; translation, and how we detect and honor another’s voice in that act; and how to incorporate multiple voices. Readings will consist of selected poems from the past 50 years, plus several full length collections, including Dominique Christina’s Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems and Nazifa Islam’s Forlorn Light: Virginia Woolf Found Poems.


ENG 575

Studies in Criticism: Speculative Futures in Theory

Section 1, CRN 19308

MW 1200-1350

Evan Gottlieb

MA Experience

Fill in the blank: “The future will be ______.”

Although I certainly don’t know the correct answer (nor does anyone else, for that matter), I strongly suspect that how we fill in the blank says more about the historical moment of the prediction than it does about the actual future. Accordingly, this seminar will investigate four possible conclusions to the phrase “The future will be . . .”: more artificially intelligent, hotter, female, and Black. To start, we’ll read Alvin Toeffler’s influential predictive study, Future Shock (1970), to see how it establishes our modern mode of speculating on the future. Subsequently, we’ll read recent theoretical work on the premises, stakes, and potentials regarding the four possible future visions outlined above; finally, in each case we’ll follow up the theory with two works of thematically related fiction, one classic (i.e., mid-20th century) and one contemporary (i.e., 21st-century), to see what futurity looked like then versus how it looks now.

The future: it’s not what it used to be. 


ENG 580

TBD: Love and Loneliness, In Translation

Section1, CRN 19761

F 1000-1250

Sindya Bhanoo


This generative course will focus on contemporary literature in translation (fiction and non-fiction) and pay special attention to works coming out of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We’ll watch some films and documentaries as well. We will have guest writers and translators visit class to discuss their work and process. The goal is to consider (and practice!) aesthetic styles and writing techniques we are less familiar with. We’ll start with EJ Koh’s The Magical Language of Others. Additional texts may include People from Bloomington and Breasts and Eggs.

FILM 545

Documentary Film Studies

Section1, CRN 19326

M 1800-2150, TR 1200-1320

Jon Lewis

An in-depth study of the history of the documentary film coupled with a practical introduction to the production of non-fiction, filmed content. Weekly screenings span the history of the genre: Nanook of the North, Gimme Shelter, Roger and Me, OJ: Made in America, My Octopus Teacher, and assignments will include discussion of historically important documentaries and exercises in the production of non-fiction filmed content, matching history/theory with creative practice.

WR 511

The Teaching of Writing

Section 1, CRN 19325

TR 0830-0950

Ehren Pflugfelder


In WR 411/511, The Teaching of Writing, we’ll study research about the teaching of writing and practice what it means to assign, evaluate, and respond to student writers. This course is designed to introduce current and future teachers of writing to theory and pedagogy in composition studies, to help us become aware of and strengthen our own writing processes, and to enable us to make and express connections between classroom experience and composition theory. We’ll be looking at assessment, response, assignment creation, grammar, literacy, multimedia, process, and genre as we explore composition and writing. Coming out of this class, you’ll be better prepared to teach and evaluate your students’ writing and likely feel more confident in your own writing.


WR 515

MA Thesis Writing

Section 1, CRN TBA

F 1100-1150

Tim Jensen

Explores, evaluates, and integrates MA thesis genre conventions, strategies for drafting and revising prose, and productive and healthy writing habits specifically for graduate students in writing, literature, and film. Produces a draft of one thesis chapter.


WR 517

Teaching Practicum, English Composition

Section 1, CRN 10113

F 1500-1650

Kristy Kelly

This is a required practicum for graduate students teaching WR 121. Whereas orientation serves as an overview of the curriculum—its objectives, assignment sequence, and theoretical trajectory—this course provides GTAs with more practice in and support for the week-by-week teaching of WR121.


WR 521

Teaching Practicum, Fiction Writing

Section 1, CRN 11021

F 1700-1750

Keith Scribner

This course is restricted to GTAs enrolled in the MFA Program in Creative Writing (in fiction) in advance of teaching WR 224 in their second year. We’ll meet once a week over fall term to build syllabi, discuss teaching strategies and potential ethical issues, and prepare in every way we can for the pleasures and challenges of teaching introductory fiction writing. 


WR 522

Teaching Practicum, Poetry Writing

Section 1, CRN 12109

R 1730-1820

Karen Holmberg

WR 522 is the Poetry Teaching Practicum for graduate students who have been accepted into Oregon State University’s Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing and who want to teach poetry writing (WR 241) in their second year. This course is repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits.


WR 523

Teaching Practicum, Nonfiction Writing

Section 1, CRN 14731

F 1800-1850

Elena Passarello

This course instructs graduate students in the best practices for teaching creative nonfiction. It covers topics such as text selection, assignment structure, course design, classroom management, and grading. Students will design their own WR 240 courses over the course of the quarter.


WR 524

Advanced Fiction Writing

Section 1, CRN 10401

R 1400-1650

Keith Scribner


Enrollment in this workshop is limited to graduate students who have been accepted to the MFA program in fiction.


WR 540

Advanced Nonfiction Writing

Section 1, CRN 12790

W 1400-1650

Elena Passarello


WR 540 is the graduate creative writing workshop for students admitted to the MFA program in nonfiction. For this particular section, students will approach a single nonfiction project via a series of five "obstructive" prompts. These will receive “open” workshops, leading up to the creation of one longer piece near the end of the term, which will receive a formal workshop. Students not enrolled in the MFA nonfiction program must contact the instructor and submit a sample for approval before registering.


WR 541

Advanced Poetry Writing

Section 1, CRN 12005

T 1400-1650

David Biespiel


Emphasis for Fall Workshop 2023: Form and Pattern. Poets at every level of experience deal with getting part-ways through a poem and getting bogged down, knowing something’s wrong but can’t figure it out, or don’t dare break, change, or revise the poem for fear of losing the “good parts,” then end up just reworking the lines over and over, and ending up with an overworked poem that doesn’t arrive at something fresh for you. Obviously, this is frustrating. You end up thinking you don’t have enough creative imagination or knowledge for solving poems. And: that you’ll never get it either. For Fall Workshop, we’re going to attempt to combat that frustration first, by accepting it, and second, by opening up the way you practice writing and opening up the ways you experience the world. What’s the secret? Making form and pattern your friend. Fall Workshop won’t be about efficiency or effectiveness in writing poems. It’ll be about failure. Seeking and exploring failure. By daring to fail through form and pattern, you’ll learn to write poems differently, enjoy the feeling of making poems, and discover a new pleasure in writing. Fall Workshop is designed to hone your concentration on details and the language that comes from those details. Our focus will be almost entirely on making new pieces of writing to be revised later, as well as building upon, and laying the foundation for, recent and upcoming graduate poetry workshops.  


WR 573

Thesis and Dissertation Writing

Section1, CRN 17557

TR 1200-1320

Ehren Pflugfelder

This course assists students who are in the writing stages of their thesis or dissertation (or who might be writing the proposal for this work). We will first identify the expectations of a quality thesis/dissertation in your respective fields, then analyze the ways they are met through writing, and finally, we’ll execute an achievable plan to meet—and ideally, exceed—those expectations. This course emphasizes the cultivation of productive, healthy habits of writing, which necessarily includes strategies for self-assessment and for managing the mental and physical stresses that accompany such a major project. All of this is done with an eye towards drafting, developing, and revising specific sections of the thesis. By the end of the course, students will be able to clearly articulate the purpose and stakes of their project, understand the writing conventions of the discipline in which it is written, and perceive which writing habits will ensure timely completion. 

Faculty Office Hours - Fall 2022


Austin, Kathy By appointment via Zoom
Baunach, August M 7-9 & R11-1 via Zoom
Bennett, Dennis MWF 1-1:50pm
Bhanoo, Sindya W 12-2
Biespiel, David T 8-10am & 12-1pm & by appt.
Braun, Clare Online only
Bude, Tekla By appt.
Bushnell, J.T. MWF 9:50-10:50am
Camacho, Karina TR 2-4 pm
Conner, Roby W 10-1 pm via Zoom & by appt.
Davison, Neil W 11-3
Delf, Liz MW 10:30-11:30am
Drummond, Rob   T 12:30-1:50pm & by appt.
Du Bose, Hannah TF 12:30-2pm
Dybek, Nick TR 1-1:50 pm
Elbom, Emily MWF 12-12:40 & by appt.
Elbom, Gilad TR 2-3pm
Gottlieb, Evan  TR 3-4pm
Griffin, Kristin M 2:30-3:30pm & by appt.
Harrison, Wayne Online only
Holmberg, Karen F 1:30-3pm
Kelly, Kristy F 10-12pm & by appt.
Larison, John M 4-5 & by appt.
Lewis, Jon W 2-2:50pm & 4-4:50pm
Malewitz, Ray MW 2-2:50
McGreevy, Sarah MW 10:30-11:45pm & by appt.
Norris, Marcos TR 3:30-5pm
Olson, Rebecca TR 1-1:50 & by appt.
Passarello, Elena By appt.
Perrault, Sarah M 11-12pm & T 1-2pm
Price, Zachary F 3-4:30pm
Ribero, Ana M 1-3
Richter, Jennifer M 12-1pm & F 1-2pm
Roush, Stephanie MWF 2-3pm & by appt.
Rust, Stephen MW 10-11am & F 10-11am via Zoom
Schwartz, Sam MWF 2-3pm 
St. Germain, Justin R 11-11:50am
St. Jacques, Jillian MF 11-11:50am
St. John, Brandy W 2-5pm
Stone, Lucia M 1-2pm via Zoom & by appt.
Uriarte, Emma M 10-11:30am & T 10:30-12pm via Zoom
Ward, Megan M 9-10:30am
Weaver, Damien MWF 11-12pm & by appt.