Fall Term 2020
ENG 514 Introduction to Graduate Studies
Instructor: Megan Ward
This course is an introduction to your graduate studies at OSU in many senses of that term. It will introduce you to the requirements and timelines of the MA degree. It will introduce you to the methods of academic inquiry in literary studies, film, and rhetoric and composition. It will also introduce you some of the criticism and theories in those fields – and, more importantly, prime you for the extensive reading that you’ll undertake during your time here. Finally, this class will introduce you to the conventions of academic writing by practicing different genres – the conference abstract, the thesis – as well as breaking down academic writing into its component parts. The final product of this class will be a mini-thesis, or a first foray into your area of study. But throughout we will work broadly, asking how best to ask questions, perform research, and create argumentative structures in order to enter into scholarly conversations.
ENG 535 Studies in Shakespeare: Inclusive Editing
Instructor: Rebecca Olson
In 2017-2018, OSU students created an online, open source textbook edition of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, published by Open Oregon State. The student editors wanted to ensure that everyone with an internet connection had access to a friendly, free, classroom-ready version of the play, and their efforts have rightfully earned them praise and attracted national interest. This course picks up where that project left off; in recognition of the fact that such a monumental project is nearly impossible to achieve in one academic year, and inspired by the OER’s flexible platform, we will re-vise that edition with the specific goal of increasing access. To do this, we will reconsider specific elements of the play in light of recent work in a variety of fields that advocate for “accessibility,” broadly construed, including (but not limited to) disability studies, critical race studies, working class studies, and adaptation studies.
ENG 538 Studies in Modernism: Fin de siecle to Interwar Years
Instructor: 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, and imperialist revisions of 19th century paradigms or what Francois Lyotard dubbed “master narratives” from a Postmodern perspective. As a studies course, we will not dwell long on the history of the era nor conduct a survey of various genres, but 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 these 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 some 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 exam, a formal longer essay (10-12 pages), and a final exam. Graduates may sit for the mid-term, but will be predominately evaluated through a graduate level research/analysis essay modeled on the standard article in the discipline. Texts: 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, Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927), Nathaneal West, The Day of the Locust (1939).
ENG 575 Studies in Criticism (MA Experience)
Instructor: Evan Gottlieb
This seminar aims to introduce and explore one of the most dynamic and influential developments in contemporary theory. Proving that announcements of “the death of theory” around 2000 were highly premature, the subsequent rise of affect theory has reinvigorated numerous areas of literary and cultural studies. Our goal in this course will be to understand affect theory’s by exploring its two genealogies: one stemming from Silvan Tomkins' work as popularized by Eve Sedgwick, drawing on psychoanalysis, and leading to feminist, queer, and queer-of-color critical variations; and the other growing out of Deleuze and Guattari's work with concepts adapted from Spinoza and Bergson, and informing post-Marxist political theory by contemporary critics like Brian Massumi and Erin Manning.
ENG 580 Studies in Literature, Culture, and Society: First Person Narration (Craft)
Instructor: Nick Dybek
Writing in the first-person can be a confounding and contradictory enterprise. 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.
ENG 589 Writing, Literature, and Medicine: Self-Examination: Bodies, Behaviors, and Beliefs (Craft)
Instructor: Jen Richter
In this multi-genre class, we’ll study contemporary poetry and nonfiction by authors who are also medical professionals or patients to explore where our lives intersect: our shared griefs and joys, our concerns and comforts, and our bodies’ failures and triumphs. In-depth class discussions and weekly writing prompts will encourage this practice of self-examination. Possible texts include Sarah Manguso’s memoir The Two Kinds of Decay, poetry by C. Dale Young, Rafael Campo, and Belle Waring, and selections from Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine. Poet C. Dale Young is a practicing oncologist; discussing his collection Torn in the Los Angeles Review of Books, a reviewer notes, “Like medicine, poetry may demand that we treat wounds, that we understand mortality, that we apply all possible skill to the often messy terrain of human life.” Each writer we study will offer us powerful, practical examples of how to approach the “often messy terrain” of our lives and our work. *Note: this split-level course is offered as both a core class for students earning Medical Humanities Certificates and a craft class for students enrolled in OSU’s Master of Fine Arts program.
WR 517 Teaching Practicum: English Composition
Instructor: Tim Jensen
This seminar continues GTA training in and preparation for WR 121 instruction, further exploring the pedagogical practices and principles introduced during orientation. Whereas orientation serves as an overview of the curriculum, its objectives, assignment sequence, and theoretical trajectory, this course is designed to provide GTAs with more practice in and support for the nitty-gritty of actually teaching WR121 from week-to-week. The course provides an opportunity for GTAs to discover and devise teaching skills, share strategies, and participate in guided reflection. Moreover, WR 517 provides opportunities to contribute to the ongoing development the WR 121 curriculum.
WR 524 Advanced Fiction Writing
Instructor: Nick Dybek
WR 524 is a graduate-level fiction workshop. We will discuss student fiction (and occasionally 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? This term, we’ll pay special attention to the aesthetics of style and form in the short story. Students will be asked to find and identify confluences in their own work and the work of their peers with music, painting, film and a number of other artistic mediums.
WR 540 Advanced Nonfiction Writing
Instructor: 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 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 Advanced Poetry Writing
Instructor: David Biespiel
Fall Workshop is limited to graduate students who have been accepted into Oregon State University's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. Fall Workshop is focused on writing in a “lab” environment, with less emphasis on traditional critique and critical feedback. Emphasis for Fall 2020: Memory and the Imaginary. Our focus will be on writing through observation, with discussion and demonstration-writing studies designed to include various techniques to experiment, to frame your future poems, to draw out the details of place, memory, and invention, to use images to make fresh comparisons, and to pay attention to landmarks that anchor your imagination. 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 laying the foundation for winter term’s Craft Class on the subject of the history and uses of metaphor.
WR 595 Introduction to Literacy Studies
Instructor Ana Ribero
This course introduces students to the field of literacy studies. The class approaches literacy from a critical perspective, looking to question dominant narratives about literacy and to unveil the ways such narratives are implicated in colonization and oppression.
WR 597 Digital Literacy and Culture
Instructor: Kristy Kelly
Digital Literacy and Culture examines the relationships between human expression and the technologies we use to mediate those expressions. This class will explore the various literacy practices that shape our experiences of writing, thinking, and meaning-making in this age of information. We will trace the historical and cultural lineages of digital technologies, thinking through the ways that social networks, smartphones, and digitized mass media have reshaped the means and ends of cultural production. While our focus will be on how literacies have both changed and been influenced by specific technologies, we’ll also address the production, reception, and transmission of cultural texts, both analog and digital. Beyond simply defining “new media,” we’ll consider how technologies affect subjectivity, agency, power, community, relationships, careers, and cognition.
WR 599 Special Topics: Thesis and Dissertation Writing
Instructor: Ray Malewitz
Students who enroll in this course must be at the writing stage of their project. This is not an introduction to the thesis or dissertation. Learning Outcomes:
You will learn and practice new habits of writing that help completion of a thesis or dissertation.
You will gain understanding of the purpose and rhetorical situation of a thesis.
You will draft, develop, and revise a specific section of your thesis.
You will participate in peer review with other thesis writers.
You will develop a schedule for the completion of your project and troubleshoot problems that have slowed you down.
You will learn methods for dealing with stress and paralysis.
You will learn to use self-assessment to discipline your writing process.
You will meet individually in conference with the professor at least every other week to examine your progress on the thesis and address problems.