ENGL 2890

ENGL 2890

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2019-2020.

This course offers guidance and an audience for students who wish to gain skill in expository writing—a common term for critical, reflective, investigative, and creative nonfiction. Each section provides a context for writing defined by a form of exposition, a disciplinary area, a practice, or a topic intimately related to the written medium. Course members will read in relevant published material and write and revise their own work regularly, while reviewing and responding to one another's. Students and instructors will confer individually throughout the term. Topics differ for each section.

When Offered Spring.

Permission Note Enrollment limited to: 17 students per section.
Prerequisites/Corequisites Prerequisite: completion of First-Year Writing Seminar requirement or permission of the instructor.

Distribution Category (LA-AS)
Satisfies Requirement This course satisfies requirements for the English minor but not for the English major. Taken with the instructor's permission, it satisfies First-Year Writing Seminar requirements for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. If counted toward First-Year Writing Seminar requirement, the course will not count toward LA-AS.

Comments For descriptions of each topic, please visit the course website.

View Enrollment Information

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Dead and Deadly Women: The Feminine Noir

  •  5941ENGL 2890  SEM 101

  • Darkly troubled women who circumvent our expectations and disrupt their assigned social positions abound in recent books and films. In this course, we will be examining fiction by authors like Ottessa Moshfegh and Oyinkan Braithwaite, poems by writers from Keats to Megan Levad, films like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and essays from writers like Alice Bolin and Tori Telfer, who provide fascinating commentary on the continuing appeal of the feminine noir in popular culture.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: TV Nation

  •  5940ENGL 2890  SEM 102

  • Television mediates our national and domestic life more than we may realize. From its origins, TV--even for those who consume little of it--has represented, even regulated, our experiences of childhood and adolescence, production and consumption, politics and citizenship. It seeks to define us as people, workers, and citizens. In this course, we will develop ways to read and to write about the small screen as a cultural text. In doing so, we will explore how the genres, institutions and ideologies of contemporary television both reflect and refract our national and domestic life.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: American Nightmare: Horror Films and Fictions

  •  5942ENGL 2890  SEM 103

  • Why do we like to be afraid? What kind of fear is intrinsically American and why? From the early fear of the cultural “other” in Universal Classic Monsters to the Satanic Panic of the 60s and 70s in Rosemary’s Baby to Cold War paranoia and unchecked consumer culture in Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead to contemporary race relations in Get Out, this course seeks to understand how horror films speak to, and perhaps against, our country’s past, present and, future. Possible texts may also include Poe short stories, works by Stephen King and Shirley Jackson, and Ling Ma's Severance. Assignments will include critical essays, written creative projects, and the making of a short-length horror film as a final project.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Apocalyptic Vision in Literature and Film

  •  5943ENGL 2890  SEM 104

  • Apocalypse" is the end of the world--or ourselves--but it also introduces new forms of being, desire and knowledge. In this course we'll analyze apocalyptic fantasies by writing critical essays: a skill (and art) that crosses disciplines. Course material includes the cult novel that inspired zombie apocalypse movies (I am Legend, by Richard Matheson), three accounts of apocalyptic desire (Polanski’s Chinatown, Tarentino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joan Didion’s The White Album) and three works staging the collapse of mundane reality (excerpts from The Autobiography of Malcom X, Allen Ginsberg's Howl, and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House).

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Creative Nonfiction: The Invented Self

  •  5944ENGL 2890  SEM 105

  • Especially since the rise of social media, the personal has not been private -- but that has been true of personal essays for a long time. Writers who share themselves through essays have always invented themselves by deciding what's private and what's public and what's created through the artifice of writing. In this course we'll go through a process of inventive self-discovery by reading the work of published writers and going through the steps of drafting, revision, and collaborative feedback. Writers we read may include James Baldwin, Maggie Nelson, Alexander Chee, and Joan Didion, among others.

Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 4 Credits Stdnt Opt

  • Topic: Writing Back to the Media: Essays and Arguments

  •  5945ENGL 2890  SEM 106

  • Good investigative journalists write well and use their reportage to argue effectively. How can we adopt features of their writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, academic and popular? Our weekly readings will include features from The New Yorker, The Atlantic, slate.com, and the New York Times, among others. Students will write essays of opinion and argument--in such forms as news analysis, investigative writing, news digests, and op-ed pieces -- on topics such as environmental justice, the value of an elite education, human rights conflicts, the uses of technology, gender equality, and the ethics of journalism itself. Coursework will include an independently researched project on a subject of the student's choosing.