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

We look forward to seeing you in Winter 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.

Winter 2023

ENG 505, section 2
Transatlantic Symposium – Transatlantic Space(s): Interstitial Ties between Utopia and Reality

CRN 40938
F 15:00-16:50
Philipp Kneis

The 21st Transatlantic Students Symposium will bring together students and faculty from Oregon State University, Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Warsaw and other partners. Students will be prepared by seminars held at all participating campuses. We are looking forward to a joint field trip in spring of 2023.

The symposium will provide a chance for critical reflection and analysis of social and political relations throughout space and time, at the backdrop of the multitude of crises affecting our world today, be they the ongoing global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, climate change, social upheaval, the changing role of the transatlantic relationship, and the increasing efforts to come to face with the legacies of colonialism. We will explore the influence and significance of spaces, the cruelty and affordance of spaces, the liberation and limitations through spaces in society, politics and culture.

More details: http://www.trasym.org/trasym21.html

ENG 507, section 1
Literature Teaching Practicum

CRN 33407
R 17:00-17:50
Megan Ward

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts, techniques, and practices of teaching literature. We cover topics ranging from course design to planning discussion to grading. By the end of the course, students will design a class of their own.

ENG 530, section 1
Studies in Early Modern Literature

CRN 39850
F 10:00-13:50
Rebecca Olson
MA Experience/Pre-1800

This course interrogates intersections of race, disability, and sexuality in five early modern dramatic texts (Titus Andronicus; Dido, Queen of Carthage; The Tragedy of Miriam; The Winter’s Tale; and Samson Agonistes). Designed to be an experiment in the application of a triple lens, the seminar seeks to identify and develop methods that help readers resist the urge to focus on a particular aspect of representation. We will ask: What supports scholars who want to bring into dialogue disparate conversations in fields including early modern critical race studies, queer theory, and disability studies? What might early modern texts—and perhaps the period’s playtexts in particular—have to offer any scholar interested in complex performances of identity?

ENG 565, section 1
Studies in the Novel: Fiction in a Time of Climate Change

CRN 39856
TR 10:00 -11:50
Evan Gottlieb

For decades, we’ve known that the world is warming rapidly, with increasingly catastrophic (albeit uneven and unpredictable) effects and worse likely to come. Whereas Big Oil has denied and deflected, and politicians have dithered, artists and activists have sought to raise public awareness of global warming via a variety of media and techniques. Accordingly, fiction writers have begun to produce a new subgenre: Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction), which encompasses everything from realistic accounts of contemporary climate anxieties to post-apocalyptic tales of the world after environmental disaster. As it grows in popularity however, Cli-Fi faces a unique set of problems and challenges. In our time of the Anthropocene, which is teaching us (among other things) the long-term dangers of assuming that human needs automatically take precedence over other planetary considerations, should novels abandon their traditional focus on human psychology and behavior? Can they do so without losing their appeal? Which narrative strategies can best make a global process spanning centuries comprehensible to readers? What will it take for fiction not only to effectively reflect our current situation but also to begin to offer imaginative resources for surviving it? To address these questions, we’ll study several recent eco-theoretical approaches to narrative fiction, and we’ll read a wide variety of recent examples of Cli-Fi that may (or may not) prove effective at conveying both the perils and possibilities of life (but whose life?) in and after the Anthropocene. Authors include Fredric Jameson, Jenny Offil, and Kim Stanley Robinson. Recognizing global warming requires much more than assenting to scientific data. Humanity has discovered itself to be implicated in a geological transformation of the Earth, with profound implications for nearly all our reference points in the world. If culture can be used to denote human styles of building, interacting with, and relating to the world, the Anthropocene also indicates a cultural transformation that cannot be described through a rubric of belief. Setting aside questions of fact, how has the immense discourse of climate change shaped culture over the last forty years? What tropes are necessary to comprehend climate change or to articulate the possible futures faced by humanity? How can a global process, spanning millennia, be made comprehensible to human imagination, with its limited sense of place and time? What longer, historical forms aid this imagination, and what are the implications and limits of their use? What is impossible or tremendously difficult for us to understand about climate change? How does anthropogenic global warming challenge the political imagination or invite new organizations of human beings to emerge? How does living in the Anthropocene reconfigure human economies and ecosystems? And finally, how does climate change alter the forms and potentialities of art and cultural narrative?

ENG 570, section 2
Studies in Poetry: Studies in Juxtaposition

CRN 37832
F 10:00-13:50
David Biespiel

Studies in Juxtaposition is for fiction writers, nonfiction, and poets interested in pursuing the study of juxtaposition as a foundational mode of thinking as a writer, building individual pieces, and re-conceiving your writing from the art of craft to the art of sequencing. We’ll examine histories and relationships of juxtaposition, and how learning more about these relationships can help you renew your originality and verve. Writing will be exclusively generative, allowing you to explore new pieces (as well as revise previous ones) without the consequences or pressure of finishing work, such as you might in workshop. Readings include novels, personal essays, and poems, as well as watching films. Studies in Juxtaposition is focused on exploring pathways of thinking as a writer, developing strategies of arrangement and sequencing, and also studying passages of existence in human experience to arouse your interest in your own subjects, forms, identity, and voice — a quadroika of considerations, if not qualities, expected of every writer. Our questions will be: 1) What is associating with what? 2) How is juxtaposition an ordering principle? 3) Where do coherences emerge and where can they be fashioned? 4) What is the new experience of all that? 5) How can you accommodate these ideas into the shapes that make your own writing. The approach will also be geared toward finding ways to fashion your experiences through new writing, principally through what we will call: thinking juxtapositionally. Studies in Juxtaposition is the kind of 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: First Person Narration

CRN 37833
W 18:00-20:50
Nick Dybek

Writing in the first-person can be a confounding and contradictory enterprise: this point of view can feel simultaneously natural and unnatural, accessible and elusive, unconstrained and restricted. Who better to tell the story than a character who takes part in the action and can employ direct observation? Then again, who does that character think she’s talking to? And why is she describing her every action? The narrator speaks directly to the reader in an intimate and often conversational tone. But is he telling the reader everything or keeping some facts concealed? The narrator need not obey formal rhetorical conventions or grammatical rules. On the other hand, the same narrator is unable to use language that does not fit their character or experience.

ENG 585, section 1
Studies in American Literature

CRN 39857
MW 10:00-11:50
Ray Malewitz

One of the casualties of the “post-truth” world we all live in is our sense of a stable, agreed upon past that helps us to make meaning in the present. While polarizing debates regarding American and world history may seem to be a product of the last few years, similar debates crop up in a stylistically and conceptually diverse group of American literary narratives written after 1960 but set in the past. The key questions that we will ask in this course concern the relationship between historicity (the factual status of a given historical account) and these kinds of narratives. We will examine the ways that American postmodern artists recount the events and enduring effects of American slavery, the birth of modern capitalism, the Holocaust of World War II, and the Vietnam War. We will explore the ways in which postmodern skepticism towards “grand narratives” of history influence the plot and style of historical narratives. We will investigate the methods by which literary critics think and write about literature in the wake of this skepticism by bringing into dialogue historical, critical, and creative readings. Finally, we will contemplate ways that future teachers might integrate these ideas into high school and college classrooms to better understand our strange, “post-truth” era. Readings include E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Art Spiegelman’s The Complete Maus, and a variety of historical sources related to the narratives.

WR 511, section 1
The Teaching of Writing

CRN 39858
TR 08:30-09:50
Ehren Pflugfelder 


In WR 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 520, section 400
Studies in Writing: Writing Women’s Lives

CRN 38819
Liddy Detar

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 31721
R 18:00-18:50
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 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, section 1
Teaching Practicum, Poetry Writing

CRN 32361
R 17:30-18:20
Karen Holmberg

WR 522 is designed to help you prepare a syllabus and teaching materials (reading packets, guideline sheets, exercises, and workshop strategies) before you teach WR241, Introduction to Poetry Writing. It also requires you to think through and articulate your pedagogical goals. Practical matters we will discuss include choosing readers and handbooks, designing poetry assignment guidelines and relevant exercises, work-shopping strategies that address the high enrollment per section of 241, how to comment on student work, teaching prosody and close reading skills, and assessment of your course.

WR 523, section 1
Teaching Practicum, Nonfiction Writing

CRN 35617
F 1730-1820
Justin St. Germain

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 30135
R 14:00-16:50
Sindya Bhanoo

WR 524 is a graduate-level fiction workshop. We will discuss student fiction (and published fiction) with an eye towards answering two essential questions. First, what experience is this piece of fiction asking us to have? And second, how can that experience be made more potent or successful upon revision? Though we will discuss all elements of the craft of fiction, this quarter we’ll pay particular attention to style, form and aesthetic. Each student will be responsible for two brief presentations.

WR 540, section 1
Advanced Nonfiction Writing 

CRN 33195
T 18:00-20:50
Justin St. Germain

WR 540 is the graduate creative writing workshop for students admitted to the MFA program in nonfiction. For this particular section, students will generate five essays in quick succession in response to five creative 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, section 1

Graduate Poetry Workshop

CRN 32367
T 14:00-16:50
Karen Holmberg

Often, a poem strives for a still life or landscape effect through meticulous description of color, shape, arrangement of objects, setting. But when our subject is in motion, as so much of the world is, what resources does poetry have to capture the gestures and textures of its moving? In this workshop, in addition to giving writers a forum to discuss any poems they happen to write, we will focus on writing motion in several ways: we’ll sharpen our rendering abilities as we pay particular attention to capturing the actions, gestures, and motions going on in the world around us; we’ll consider the poem as a thing in motion both temporally and visually; explore writing poems about other media, practices, and art forms such as dance, sport, music, film, and kinetic art. We will also consider how poems move us, seeking to understand what keys poetry uses to gain access to our emotions. Our finale will consist of creating a poem in three dimensions that requires movement in order to be revealed and experienced. Our readings will include poetry by Ross Gay, Tarfia Faizullah, Rita Dove, and many others.

WR 573, section 1
Thesis and Dissertation Writing

CRN 40795
MWF 12:00-12:50
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.

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.