Winter 2024

ENG 507, section 1

Literature Teaching Practicum

CRN 32625 W 10-10:50 am                                                                                                                                              

Ray Malewitz


This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, techniques, and practices of literary pedagogy. The course is team-taught by a group of literature faculty and draws upon their experiences to convey a full range of English literature teaching subjects ranging from course design to discussion management to grading.


ENG 565, section 2

Studies in the Novel-Back to the Futures: Science Fictional Themes and Tropes 1700-2020

CRN 38987 MW 8-9:50 am

Evan Gottlieb



This course will explore the evolution of English-language science fiction from its modern beginnings in the 18th century to the present day. We will do so via four units, each corresponding to a time-honored science fictional theme or trope: Improbable Adventures, From Creatures to Cyborgs, Time Travel, and Alien Invasions. Each unit will consist of three novels: an “origin story” from the 18th or 19th century, a “classic” from the mid-20th century, and a contemporary spin on the form. At every turn, we’ll examine how these novels not only reflect their historical circumstances – from the South Seas Bubble through the Cold War to post-colonial postmodernity – but also use the evolving creative affordances of science fiction to imagine alternatives to the present. Some will be (seriously) satirical, others will be (laughably) earnest; all will be as much about their presents as our futures. The reading load will be heavy (so get started as soon as possible!) but highly entertaining and thought-provoking. As a projects-based course, grades will be based on a combination of attendance/ participation and group-based, public-facing endeavors that we’ll decide upon as a class.


ENG 570, section 1

Studies in Poetry: The Art of Genre

CRN 39468 F 10-2 pm

David Biespiel



The Art of Genre is for fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and poets interested in pursuing the study of genre as a composition -- as a way of thinking and a way of ordering. Each of you will begin by committing to a few ideas, images, scenarios, or fleeting hunches, and agreeing to stick with this Ur material for the entire semester. Then, everyone will write poems, fiction, and nonfiction from your material, from start to “finish” in each genre. Because you’ll be working with the same, let’s call it, “matter,” you’ll be able to learn an enormous amount about what is required or a writer from each genre. We’ll call this: thinking genre’ly. Of course, inside each genre, further constraints emerge. Constraints that have the power to free your imagination and writing – and, what you learn from working in the other genres will also teach you more than you’ve ever learned about writing in your “MFA” genre. The Art of Genre is the kind of class every writer wishes they took at some time in their lives, and it’s the class every writer needs: an experience to release you into new zones for new writing to emerge, and to learn how to activate your voice and your style.


ENG 580, section 1

Studies in Literature, Culture and Society: Archipelagic Thinking with Global Literatures

CRN 39402, TR 10-11:50 am

Olga Blomgren


Islands and archipelagos have long been disparaged for their openness, blending, and fluidity. Around the globe today, this form of continental thinking continues to provoke nationalist policies and efforts to curb human migrations and refugee movements. This course reconsiders these ideas. Archipelagic perspectives respond to urgent calls to rethink theoretical frames, ways of being, and forms of knowledge established and perpetuated by European colonial projects. As such, we will begin to think archipelagically. We will read and view texts about or set on islands, as well as texts that directly engage the concepts of archipelagos and archipelagic thinking. The authors and texts will be multilingual and from different parts of the world including Rosario Ferré, Édouard Glissant, Katherine McKittrick, Craig Santos Perez, Audra Simpson, and Ai Weiwei. The course will include discussion of how practices of language, translation, and multilingualism are lived and theorized archipelagically. Our goal is to explore and practice archipelagic thinking, discuss how archipelagic thinking may help us recognize an archipelagic poetics, and how this perspective engages decolonial epistemologies. Early archipelagic research was part of what has been described as the spatial turn, an organization of studies which can be understood as “above all, an attack upon grand narratives of modernity, colonialism, and development” (Pugh 12). Openness to a broad selection of concepts and theories is important because colonial histories remain present-day realities which continue to impact island societies and cultures. Amidst widespread global migration, increased human mobility, and critical geographies, we will ask how archipelagos can help us read, discuss, and understand literatures in a post-national era, as well as help us navigate continental borders and understand contemporary globalization.


ENG 585, section 1

Studies in American Literature: Manipulating Time in Narrative

CRN 36571, F 10-12:50 pm

Scribner, Keith



“Suppose that time is not a quantity but a quality.”

                                —Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams,

 “I began…to think of time as having a shape, something you could see, like a series of liquid transparencies, one laid on top of another.”

                                —Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

 In this craft class we’ll explore how time is manipulated to tell a better story and how narrative dramatizes those moments in our lives when we feel we’re living in the past, present, and future all at once. We’ll read novels and short stories that collapse, compress, fragment, and reverse time asking why these authorial choices make a more compelling story and more effectively reveal lived experience and perception. In writing exercises and a final project, you’ll model your own narratives on the published work we’re reading.


Enrollment in this class is limited to students accepted into the MFA Program in Creative Writing.


The final reading list is TBD but will be chosen from the following:   

The Art of Time in Fiction: As Long as it Takes, Joan Silber

Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates

Time’s Arrow, Martin Amis

A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest Gaines

The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Kindred, Octavia E. Butler

Jazz, Toni Morrison

Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman

Innocents and Others, Dana Spiotta

Further readings will be posted to Canvas.

FILM 552, section 1

Studies in Film: The Pleasure of Terror/The Terror of Pleasure: Horror Films, 1919-2023

CRN 38928, F 10-12:50 pm T 6-9:50 pm

Jon Lewis

MA Experience


The roots of the word “horror” derive from words that meant “to shiver” and to “stand on end.” And the enduring film genre follows suit, defined not by constituent elements but instead by a desired effect. This class will offer a look at a selection of horror films dating back to the early 20th century German expressionist classics The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu on to more modern iterations of the genre like The Babadook and Get Out, taking throughout an interdisciplinary approach, evincing philosophy, history, and theory. Weekly screenings to include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Frankenstein, Dracula, Rosemary’s Baby, Don’t Look Now, Carrie, Halloween, The Fly, The Blair Witch Project, The Descent, The Babadook, and Get Out. Readings selected from works by Carol Clover, Tania Modleski, Noel Carroll, Linda Williams, and Stephen King.

WR 520, section 400

Studies in Writing: Writing Women's Lives

CRN 35994



How can we transform our lives from lived experience into written texts of many different forms: from autobiography, memoir, poetry, fiction, personal essays, and even academic writing? What moves us personally, politically and socially to write the stories of our lives or someone else’s, and how are questions of genre and form related to the stories we need to craft – and the dominant narratives we want to resist? In addition to reading great memoirs and engaging with stories across multi-media platforms, this is a writing course that includes both creative and critical projects, and it hopes to offer you a personal creative practice of memoir writing.


WR 521, section 1

Teaching Practicum, Fiction Writing

CRN 31352, R 6-6:50 pm

Sindya Bhanoo


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 spring 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, section 1

Teaching Practicum, Poetry Writing

CRN 31844, R 5:30-6:20 pm

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.


WR 523, section 1

Teaching Practicum, Nonfiction Writing

CRN 34229, F 5:30-6:20 pm

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, section 1

Advanced Fiction Writing

CRN 30109, R 2-4:50 pm

Sindya Bhanoo


R 524 is the graduate-level fiction workshop for MFA students. Our primary text will be student work. This term we will pay close attention to clarity and precision, essential ingredients in the creative endeavor, both of which allow truth and beauty to emerge on the page. What can we dial up or tone down in our work to present the most impactful, precisely distilled versions of our stories? In addition to workshopping student work, we will read and discuss one published short story every week.


WR 540, section 1

Advanced Nonfiction Writing

CRN 32468, W 2-4:50 pm

Estreich, George


In WR 540, we'll spend most of our time in workshop, with the remainder devoted to discussing published essays. The class has two main goals: giving you specific, practical help with your own writing projects, and providing a space in which to develop your ideas about literary nonfiction. Requirements include two submissions to workshop, weekly readings (distributed through Canvas), active participation, and a short oral presentation on craft.


WR 541, section 1

Advanced Poetry Workshop: The Chapbook

CRN 31849, T 2-4:50 pm

Karen Holmberg


In addition to being a generous and rigorous workshop for any poem you wish to have critiqued, this course will also explore the world of chapbooks, starting with a brief consideration of the history and origin of the form, then considering the chapbook as a versatile container for sequences, long poems, sustained meditations on a theme or subject, or immersions in a form or mode. We will also look at specific chapbook imprints and contests with an eye to understanding the submission process. Graduate writers will be asked to identify which of their poems may be pleading for expansion into chapbook form, as well as which obsessions and poetic preoccupations could develop into a chapbook. Readings will include five examples of chapbooks embodying various motivations, and poets will have the option of creating their own limited-edition chapbook through a mix of digital and letterpress resources, using the Moreland Letterpress Studio.


WR 573, section 1

Thesis and Dissertation Writing

CRN 37302, TR 12-1:20 pm

Dennis Bennett

If you’d like to alleviate some of the drama and mystery associated with writing your thesis or dissertation, then look no further. This course will assist students who are in the writing stage 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, analyze the ways they are met through writing, and execute an achievable plan to meet—and ideally, exceed—those expectations.


WR 593, section 1

The Rhetorical Tradition and the Teaching of Writing

CRN 38986, TR 12-1:50 pm

Sarah Perrault

Pedagogy/MA Experience

WR 593 covers major past and contemporary theories of written communication, their historical context, and their impact on writing and the teaching of writing. We will approach this from two sides. First, together we will read about and read texts from the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition that is the dominant force shaping the teaching of writing in the USA today. Second, we also will explore other rhetorical traditions, including but not limited to African American, Chinese, Indigenous, and Latinx rhetorical traditions. Individuals or groups will choose a tradition to focus on and will teach the rest of the class about that tradition and lead discussions about how we might draw on the tradition to enrich and improve our own writing pedagogies. Overall, we will use the Greco-Roman tradition to provide a common vocabulary and knowledge base, but our collective goal will be to use historical exploration to learn about the pedagogical affordances of a range of rhetorical traditions.