Spring Term 2019
Course Title: Studies in Shakespeare
Course ID: ENG 435/535
Instructor Name: Barbour
Course Description: The important presence of the ocean throughout Shakespeare’s works grants us an especially rich opportunity to historicize the sea while also enriching our understanding of the playwright’s engagement with, and artful repurposing of, the ocean as a force of both nature and culture. For Shakespeare, the sea is both a great wind-driven watery expanse and a mysterious transnational medium of exchange and transformation. Taking impetus from the recent “bluing” of environmental and “green” studies, this course will apply ecocritical to oceanic concerns while exploring the human uses of the sea in Shakespeare’s day and ours. Along with a few sonnets, excerpts from several plays, early modern texts that describe and theorize the ocean, and selected essays of literary criticism, we will concentrate on The Merchant of Venice, Pericles, and The Tempest. Course requirements include a class presentation, a critical essay, a research paper, and a final exam.
Course ID: ENG 470/570
Course Title: Critical Reviewing: Writing & Publishing Book Reviews
Instructor Name: Biespiel
Course Description:This course offers students an inside track to writing and publishing book reviews about new fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, journalism, literary studies, history, poetry, and more. What is the role of the book reviewer? What is the role of book reviews? What are the latest issues, opportunities, and pitfalls facing the contemporary book critic? We’ll be studying various lengths for reviewing books and practicing these approaches. We’ll be getting to know the book reviewing landscape, from online to print, as well as assessing the growth of book reviewing in contemporary literary culture. We’ll be meeting via Skype with current and former book review editors of major periodicals who can offer insights about the landscape of writing about books for publication—including telling us “what they’re looking for in a book review.” Above all, our primary focus will be writing dynamic, readable, thoughtful book reviews. Practical applications include: querying editors of publications, developing strategies for writing and placing reviews, and handing the writing of shorter vs. longer reviews. Students should prepare for a lively, discussion-focused class with several writing assignments, writing experiments, creative revision, and, for the graduates, presentation about book+reviews of recent publications.
Bacc Core Requirement(s) Fulfilled: Core, Skills, WIC
Course Title: Studies in Criticism: Feminist Analysis
Course ID: ENG 575
Instructor Name: Sheehan
Course Description: This course introduces graduate students to current methods of feminist textual analysis. It explores feminist approaches to key topics and terms within literary and cultural studies--including form, aesthetics, agency, affect, and subjectivity--as well as 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 will read engages with affect studies, and we will explore how different methodologies 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 works in a range of genres and mediums, including short stories, poems, photographs, films, and new media.
Course Title: Studies in Literature, Culture, and Society
Course ID: ENG 580
Instructor Name: Dybek
Course Description: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 her character or experience. In this class, we will examine this technically demanding point-of-view, fraught with pitfalls and possibilities, by closely reading texts that make expert but varied use of this rich perspective. Special attention will be paid to texts that experiment with first-person point-of-view, and attempt to extend the notion of the “I” by creating narrators who transcend expected limitations. By discussing these texts and experimenting with first-person point-of-view in our own writing, we will engage a variety of topics, including but not limited to: unreliable narrators, retrospective narrators, “voicey” narrators, narrators who are placed at a distance from the central action, and narrators who not only inhabit their own stories but imagine or tell the stories of other characters. Though this course is centered on fiction, we will also discuss non-fiction and poetry, and the reading list may be adjusted to suit the expertise and interest of enrolled students.
Course Title: Literature and Pedagogy
Course ID: ENG 488/F341588
Instructor Name: Helle
Course Description:Literature and Pedagogy is designed for students who may be interested in teaching college or secondary English classes in reading and literary studies. Topics to be considered: reading/writing connections; “transactions” with flesh-and-blood readers, writers, texts, and contexts; affect, empathy, and emotion in pedagogy; cultural and critical pedagogies; reading complex texts; teaching graphic novels. We will study these topics through workshop “practices” in reading/writing connections that model challenges and opportunities of everyday pedagogy and case studies of theory-into-practice. Graduate students will be expected to write extended papers, conduct research, and make a presentation on an area of interest.
Course Title: Studies in Film: Digital Flesh and the Virtual
Course ID: FILM 552
Instructor Name: Zuo
Day: R lecture
Course Description: What is “the virtual”? What do virtual girlfriends, surveillance technologies, smart phones, aliens, and CGI special effects have in common? In this course we examine various manifestations of “artificial intelligence” in global digital cinemas to analyze the ways in which virtual bodies and utopic/dystopic spaces are constructed by new media technologies. Drawing on posthuman, feminist, queer, critical race/ethnicity, film and media, and new materialist theories, we interrogate how virtual performance elicits new modes of mediated bodily contact and perception, even as it may reify conventional representations of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and class. Films include Strange Days; Blade Runner 2049; Air Doll; I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK; Ex Machina; A.I.; eXistenZ; and Ghost in the Shell.
Special Topic Title: Digital Flesh and the Virtual
**MA Experience Course**
Course Title: Studies in Writing: Style & the Sentence
Course ID: WR 420/520
Instructor Name: Anderson
Course Description: An exercise class, like circuit weights or yoga, with lots of style and grammar exercises, including sentence-diagramming, sentence-imitations, and a sequence of exercises designed to make your own sentences clearer, better, and more powerful. Fun, I hope. A reveling in sentences. Also, a quick look at the theory and pedagogy of style, from classical rhetoric to contemporary composition studies. Work: three class projects, the first on clarity, the second on diagramming, the third on “grace.” Texts: Williams, Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace Montoux, Drawing Sentences: A Guide to Diagramming.
Course Title: Teaching Practicum: Fiction Writing
Course ID: WR 521
Instructor Name: Scribner
Course Description: This teaching practicum is open to MFA GTAs who will be teaching WR 224 next year.
Course Title: Teaching Practicum: Poetry Writing
Course ID: WR 522
Instructor Name: Holmberg
Course Description: WR522 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. During the term, students will prepare all the teaching materials necessary to teach WR241: Introduction to Poetry Writing: syllabi, reading packets, poetry assignment guideline sheets, and poetry prompts/exercises. Students will review a number of anthologies and optional craft books and choose what they’ll use in the classroom. Students will discuss and develop strategies for workshopping, commenting on student work, teaching prosody/scanning, teaching close-reading skills, and assessing individual assignments as well as final course grades. Near the end of the term, students will also be asked to write a statement of teaching philosophy for the teaching of poetry writing. This class is offered every spring, and must be taken by any poetry MFA student who wants to teach poetry writing in their second year.
Course Title: Teaching Practicum: Nonfiction
Course ID: WR 523
Instructor Name: Passarello
Course Description: This teaching practicum is open to MFA GTAs who will be teaching WR 240 next year.
Course Title: Advanced Fiction Writing
Course ID: WR 524
Instructor Name: Scribner
Course Description: This workshop is open only to gradute students who have been admitted to the MFA program in fiction.
Course Title: Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Course ID: WR 540
Instructor Name: Estreich
Course Description: 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 literary nonfiction. Readings this year will be distributed through Canvas and in class. Students from the poetry or fiction programs may enroll with instructor approval.
Course Title: Advanced Poetry Writing
Course ID: WR 541
Instructor Name: Richter
Course Description: WR 541 is the MFA graduate poetry workshop: a course focused on rigorous discussions of both student work and published collections. During the term, we’ll read three books of contemporary poetry; we’ll study these as models and inspiration for what’s possible in your thesis and subsequent collections. You’ll offer an oral presentation on one of those books, and at the end of the term you’ll turn in a final portfolio of revised poems. 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.
Course Title: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Course ID: WR 585
Instructor Name: Jensen
Course Description: This graduate seminar will examine scholars, concepts, and methodologies that have significantly shaped contemporary rhetorical theory and are influencing its future trajectories. We’ll use the theme of Rhetorical Ecologies to explore theories that are vital to current conversations in the field, including new materialism, affect theory, animal studies, ecological rhetorics, posthumanism, and racial ecologies. In addition to analyzing and evaluating these theories for how they articulate suasive forces, we’ll also develop our own perspectives and insightful arguments. Our writing efforts will center on generating an edited collection, for which each student will compose a chapter. Collectively, we’ll conceptualize the project, pitch pieces, and peer-review each other’s works. The book will subsequently be published in print and online.
Special Topic Title: Rhetorical Ecologies
Course Title: Scientific/Technical Writing for Graduate Students
Course ID: WR 599
Instructor Name: Pflugfelder
Course Description: Scientific and Technical Research Writing is for graduate students who are looking to practice writing and communicating about their research and learn more about how research writing is accomplished in their field of study. Students do not need to come into the course with a data set, though you do need to be actively engaged in research of some kind. We'll work on analyzing journals and thesis/dissertations in your field, writing about your research for a popular audience, and then you can choose to focus on the writing project of your choice. Some students will want to work on their thesis, others on a scientific article, others on grants, and perhaps some on generating a conference poster or presentation.
Course Title: Special Topic: Critical Race & Feminist Pedagogies
Course ID: WR 599
Instructor Name: Ribero
Course Description: This course will introduce students to some major feminist and critical theories of teaching, with a particular emphasis on how such approaches apply to the teaching of writing in higher education. Students will have the opportunity to explore practical applications and to draw on their disciplinary knowlege and interests to create tools and materials to apply to their own classrooms.
Special Topic Title: Critical Race & Feminist Pedagogies