Fall Term 2021

ENG 514, sec 01

Intro to Graduate Studies

CRN 13183, TR 1600-1750

Megan Ward     

Welcome to your graduate studies at OSU! This course familiarizes student with the requirements and timelines of the MA degree; surveys the methods of academic inquiry in literary studies, film, and rhetoric and composition; engages with a variety of criticism and methodologies in those fields; and practices the conventions of academic writing in different genres. The final product of this class will be a mini-thesis, or a first foray into students’ individual areas 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. I’m excited to kick off your graduate study with you.                            


ENG 540, sec 01

Studies in Modern Irish Literature

CRN 19450, MW 1200-1350         

Neil Davison

This course will conduct an in-depth study of three of the four major works of the 20th Irish writer James Joyce. We will examine these works in the contexts of Modernist aesthetics, Irish cultural and political history, and discussions of race, class, gender, and religion as these become essential sites of arguments over empire, nation and art. On the formalist level of Modernist experimentation with traditional literary conventions, we’ll explore Joyce’s progress as a technical innovator of the short story and novel genres. We’ll also examine the critical implications of his work pertaining to cultural-assumptions of pre-Holocaust Europe and colonial Ireland—especially as regards the politics of race and gender. We will focus on these issues through close-readings of a selection of stories from Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), and Ulysses (1922). By the term’s close, we may also touch on select passages of Finnegans Wake (1939) as well. Contextual readings from sources such as Joycean biography, Irish history, Irish-Jesuit Catholicism, and fin-de-siècle anti-Semitism will be mandatory Canvas file readings. We will also rely on two traditional guide-book studies to help us conduct our examination of Ulysses. Students will be evaluated through a take-home essay mid-term exam and a major term-paper that focuses on an episode or two of Ulysses. We may also opt for graded oral reports.                        


ENG 545, sec 01

Studies in Nonfiction (Craft/Hybrid)

CRN 19461, W 1700-1950

Justin St. Germain

This graduate craft course will focus on the art and craft of interviewing. Conducting interviews is a crucial skill for writers working in most forms of nonfiction, as well as other research-based forms such as documentary poetry, historical fiction, or multimedia storytelling. This course will discuss and analyze examples of professional interviews, instruct students in the use of relevant technology, and examine the ethical considerations attendant to interviewing. Students will also plan and conduct their own short- and long-form interviews, and participate in the final group project, an interview-based podcast for publication on the SWLF Media Channel. This course is open to MFA & MA students only—others must have instructor permission to enroll.                              


ENG 580, sec 02

Studies in Literature, Culture, and Society: Research and Imagination (Craft/Hybrid)

CRN 16930, MW 1000-1150

Nick Dybek        

Convincing your readers that they should care about something that never happened to characters who never existed is a difficult feat even when a writer draws on personal experience, but what if a writer wants to look forward into a speculative future, far back into history, or askance into a parallel universe? What investigative methods and sources might we draw on to make worlds whose properties are unlike our own come to life, or to make the false, far-off, or fantastic feel true? How much research is too much or too little, and how do we integrate what we’ve learned into our own texts in a way that feels essential? Moreover, how might we “research” a world or experience that only exists in fantasy? This term we will attempt to answer these questions by reading work by Richard Yates, Colson Whitehead, Pat Barker, and others, placing special emphasis on how to conduct and incorporate investigation into our fiction.                               


ENG 580, sec 01

Studies in Literature, Culture, and Society: Pandemics in America, A Literary History

CRN 16930, TR 1000-1150

Raymond Malewitz

This course is designed to introduce students to the diverse means by which North American culture has represented viral outbreaks from the “Spanish flu” of 1918 to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. As the disastrous US response to COVID-19 makes clear, viruses are and have always been cultural as well as biological actors, shaping American understandings of the value of human and animal life, the nature of its political, medical, and economic systems, and its attitudes towards marginalized communities. Students will explore the contested, uneven American literary history of the virus through a variety of generic perspectives including drama, essay, fiction, and film.  In addition to a shorter midterm paper, at the end of the course, students will create and deliver a conference paper on one aspect of this literary history.                            


WR 511, sec 01

The Teaching of Writing (WIC/Pedagogy/Hybrid)

CRN 19460, TR 1200-1320

Ehren Pflugfelder

In WR 411/511, 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 517, sec 01

Teaching Practicum: English Composition

CRN 10158, M 1700-1850

Tim Jensen        

This is a required practicum for graduate students teaching WR 121. Whereas orientation serves as an overview of the curriculum—its objectives, assignment sequence, and theoretical trajectory—this course provides GTAs with more practice in and support for the week-by-week teaching of WR121.                            


WR 524, sec 01

Advanced Fiction Writing (Hybrid)

CRN 10594, R 1400-1650

Keith Scribner

Enrollment in this workshop is limited to graduate students who have been accepted to the MFA program in fiction.                               


WR 540, sec 01

Advanced Nonfiction Writing (Hybrid)

CRN 13906, T 1730-2020

Elena Passarello               

WR 540 is the graduate creative writing workshop for students admitted to the MFA program in nonfiction. Students not enrolled in the MFA nonfiction program must contact the instructor and submit a sample for approval before registering. For this particular section, students will draft several versions of the same essay project under a series of constraints. These will receive “open” workshops, leading up to the creation of one longer piece near the end of the term, which will receive a more formal workshop.                            


WR 541, sec 01

Advanced Poetry Workshop (Hybrid)

CRN 12872, T 1400-1650

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 2021: Forms of Desire, Longing, and Wonder. 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 building upon, and laying the foundation for, recent and upcoming graduate poetry workshops.                   


WR 575, sec 01

Rhetorics of Race (MA Experience)

CRN 19968, MW 1400-1550

Ana Milena 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 599, sec 01 

Special Topics: Dissertation Writing

CRN 17292, TR 1600-1720

Sarah Perrault  

This course assists students who are in the writing stages of their thesis or dissertation. We will identify the expectations in your respective fields, analyze how they are met through writing, and develop achievable plans to meet those expectations. The course also emphasizes the cultivation of productive, healthy habits of writing, including strategies for self-assessment and for managing the mental and physical stresses that accompany such a major project. We will have group discussions, workshops, and individual conferences with the instructor.                         


WR 599, sec 02

Special Topics: The Literary Writing Process

CRN 19140, F 1500-1550

John Larison

This 1-credit course helps prepare MFA candidates to achieve their literary goals at OSU and beyond by 1) introducing them to the creative processes used by accomplished poets and writers, 2) helping them identify and refine their own best practices as a literary artist, and 3) providing supportive strategies for balancing creative output against the demands of a graduate education. The course consists of five meetings spread over fall term and two low-stress assignments that are graded on a pass/fail metric and returned to the student with helpful feedback.