Click here for a full list of graduate courses offered in the 2019-20 academic year.


Spring Term 2020


ENG 545 Studies in Nonfiction: True Crime (Craft)

CRN: 59145

Instructor: Justin St. Germain

This graduate craft course will focus on one of the most popular forms of American nonfiction: true crime. In the sixty years since Truman Capote’s In Cold Bloodfirst popularized the genre, true crime has become what one critic calls “a scale model of modern society,” one that reflects its preoccupations and pathologies; and yet it’s often ignored by critics and literary writers, dismissed as formulaic pulp. In this course, we will read, watch, and discuss prominent examples of American true crime works, analyzing their approach to craft and truth, and how they relate to the cultural beliefs and anxieties of their eras. Assignments will include a presentation of one of the course texts, as well as a final project with critical and creative components. This course is open to MFA students only--others must have instructor permission to enroll.


ENG 554 Major Author: Dante (Pre-1800) 

CRN: 59144

Instructor: Chris Anderson 

A reading of the whole Divine Comedy in ten weeks!  The Inferno, the Purgatorio, and The Paradiso in fell swoop, in relation to each other.  Focusing on just understanding what’s going on in the text—what are the details? What’s happening?  What are the major themes?  For everyone who’s tried to read Dante and given up.  Work:  three shorter essays. Text:  Ciardi, translator, The Divine Comedy.


FILM 552 Studies in Film: Road Trip to Nowhere: Hollywood Encounters the Counterculture (MA Experience)

CRN: 57840

Instructor: Jon Lewis 

The business of making movies in the sixties and seventies was characterized and complicated by an intellectual, spiritual, and political gap evinced not only between moviemakers and the moviegoing audience but as well between artists caught up in the times and a corporate establishment rather clinging to a studio system (its business model and mode of production) despite the clear markers of its collapse. Road Trip to Nowhere: Hollywood Encounters the Counterculture will focus on Hollywood moviemaking and (inevitably, as well) the larger American popular culture between 1967 and 1976. At stake will be an interdisciplinary cultural history encompassing film, TV, and other visual arts; music, and literature. Weekly screenings to include: Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967), Monterey Pop (Pennebaker, 1968), Wild in the Streets (Shear, 1968), Easy Rider (Hopper, 1969), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (van Peebles, 1971), Wanda (Loden, 1971), The Parallax View (Pakula, 1974), The Conversation (Coppola, 1974) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Tarantino, 2019). 


ENG 575 Studies in Criticism: Feminist Analysis 

CRN 56088

Instructor: Elizabeth Sheehan 

This course introduces graduate students to current methods of feminist textual analysis with a focus on application. It explores feminist approaches to key topics and terms within literary and cultural studies (including form, aesthetics, agency, affect, and subjectivity) as it examines methods used or developed by feminist critics, such as ideology critique, historicist analysis, and phenomenological or reader-response approaches to texts. Much of the scholarship we read comes from affect studies, and we will explore how different methods emerge from and function within that field. Since a central goal of class is to prepare students to apply these ideas and methods in their own work, we will practice using them to analyze a range of cultural phenomena in different genres and mediums, including fiction, poetry, photography, and film. 


WR 562 Environmental Writing 

CRN 60041

Instructor: Tim Jensen 

From early conservationism to monkey-wrenching to deep ecology to climate science to indigenous rhetorics—this class will journey through a forest of diverse voices, while also journeying through actual forests (with waterproof notebooks in tow). We’ll explore how environmental issues get communicated—and why that matters—by reading works from leading-edge environmental writers, tracing histories of environmental writing in America, and by composing our own works along the way. We’ll learn how conceptions of nature, earth, and sustainability get shaped through communication and practice techniques for reshaping them through creative and critical compositions.  


WR 575 Rhetorics Race 

CRN 59154

Instructor: Ana Ribero 

By exploring the interrelated concepts of race, racialization, and racism, Rhetorics of Race problematizes race as a taken-for-granted phenomenon. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we study racial formations as historically specific and analyze contemporary forms of racism in the US. As rhetoricians, we pay close attention to how rhetoric and discourse have the power to reproduce and challenge white supremacy and race-based oppressions. Emphasizing the intersectionality of oppression—that racism necessarily takes place at intersections with other forms of subordination including sexism, homophobia, ablelism, etc.—Rhetorics of Race draws from Queer Black Feminism, Chican@ Feminism, and Critical Race Theory.


WR 519 Teaching Practicum: WR 222 

CRN 60118

Instructor: Kristy Kelly 

This teaching practicum provides assistance and support to graduate students teaching Writing 222 (Argumentation) for the first time. It is an opportunity to gather resources, exchange ideas, and troubleshoot common problems while teaching the course. The teaching practicum also provides the opportunity for graduate students to engage in curriculum development, and to assist in the instruction of graduate teaching assistants who will be teaching the course in future terms. Meetings will take place both in the larger group and one-on-one with the instructor, according to availability and need.    


WR 521 Teaching Practicum: Fiction Writing

CRN 52045

Instructor: Marjorie Sandor 

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 Teaching Practicum: Poetry Writing

CRN 56100

Jennifer Richter 

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 

CRN 57843

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 Advanced Fiction Writing 

CRN 50529

Marjorie Sandor 

In this graduate level fiction-writing workshop, students will be expected to produce two full-length stories or novel chapters. Students will also be graded on the quality of their written and oral critiques and class participation. We will, in addition, be reading and discussing professional short stories, selected by students, as the term progresses. These stories will constitute the course text. 


WR 540 Advanced Nonfiction Writing 

CRN 57994

George Estreich 

Our class is primarily a workshop, but we will also discuss 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 contemporary literary nonfiction. 


WR 541 Advanced Poetry Writing 

CRN 51478

Jennifer Richter 

WR 541 is the MFA graduate poetry workshop: a course focused on rigorous discussions of student work and in-depth studies of published collections as models and inspiration for the thesis and subsequent collections. Please note: enrollment in this course is limited to graduate students who have been accepted into Oregon State University's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing.


WR 593 The Rhetorical Tradition and the Teaching of Writing (MA Experience, Pedagogy, pre-1800) 

CRN 59155

Ehren Pflugfelder 

This MA Experience course focuses on major theories of written communication throughout history, and considers their application to writing and the teaching of writing. Students will read primary texts from Greece, Rome, Latin America, Africa, and China, among other rhetorical traditions, and consider the role of these theories and practices of persuasion in their original context and today. The course offers opportunities to conduct research on rhetoric at different times throughout human history and asks students to engage with the complexities of historiography. Students will also present on unique topics, journal about their readings, and engage in robust class discussion.


WR 599 Special Topics: STEM 

CRN 55770

Ehren Pflugfelder 

This course assists students who are in the writing stages of their thesis or dissertation. We will first identify the expectations of a quality thesis 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 also 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. The course also emphasizes group discussion, workshops, and conferences.


WR 599 Technical Writing 

CRN 59248

Liz Delf 

Technical Writing will prepare you to produce instructive, informative, and persuasive documents aimed at well-defined and achievable outcomes. Technical documents are precise, concise, logically organized, and factually based. The purpose and target audience of each document determine the style that an author chooses, which includes document layout, vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and visuals. Hence, this course will teach processes for analyzing “writing contexts” and producing effective, clean, and reader-centered documents efficiently. You can expect to gather, read, and present the technical content of your field to various audiences in attractive, error-free copy, as well as to learn strategies for presenting that content orally.