Summer 2021 Courses

Undergraduate English Courses
Graduate English Courses
Undergraduate Writing Courses
Graduate Writing Courses

Course descriptions subject to change based on instructor submissions. If the instructor has not submitted a course description, please refer to the PSU Bulletin for more information.

Summer 2021 - Undergraduate English Courses

ENG 300 001 LITERARY FORM AND ANALYSIS

Instructor: Josh Epstein
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

“During these challenging times”—this phrase has become almost a cliché over the past year, the start of every email and the official signal that we are all in the throes of a shared crisis. Well and good; but what if we take the next step, and think about the virtues of reading “challenging” texts in “challenging” ways? What if we consider the possibility that literary texts, at their best, push us toward difficult and unfamiliar kinds of reading, thinking, and argument—ones that suit our “challenging times” precisely because they refuse to be easy and comfortable? At a moment when every corner of our lives (including our educational lives) gets couched in empty technocratic slogans (“robust future-forward thinkfluencing competencies”), might we find a different kind of value in rich and strange forms of expression that resist euphemism and cliché? What better time to sharpen our critical understanding of the language we use to read, write, and reimagine our way through the world?

A core class in the PSU English major (though not limited to English majors), ENG 300 aims to prepare students for upper-division coursework—and, ideally, for a lifetime—of thinking carefully and patiently about the challenges and pleasures of the written word. We work on analyzing texts for both content and form—both what these texts convey and how they are put together—so that we can engage in rigorous critical analysis of how works of art speak to their contexts, and to ours. We will talk about a range of genres—poetry, drama, and maybe one film—that render these pleasures and difficulties in their most intense and concentrated form, and that invite careful “against-the-grain” reading. Students will leave the course prepared for advanced coursework across a wide range of topics, and ready to confront the challenges of studying literature and writing in and beyond the “classroom.”

There are two required books: Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Manjula Padmanabhan’s play Harvest. Other readings will be posted to D2L. The course is fully online and asynchronous.

ENG 301U 001 TOP: SHAKESPEAREAN ROMANCE

Instructor: Keri Behre
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

In this course, we will undertake a close study of Shakespeare’s four romances, once termed “tragicomedies” for their unique and whimsical plot structure. We will pay close attention to the complex romance genre, the ways Shakespeare’s romances are situated within the trajectory of his career, how the plays responded to their historical contexts, and how they might be relevant or meaningful in our current cultural moment. Our text will be The Norton Shakespeare: Romances and Poems, 3rd Edition as well as some film versions of the plays we’ll study. Course work will include multimodal responses, discussions, and multiple drafts of a final interpretive essay.

ENG 305U 001 TOP: AFRICA IN WESTERN FILM

Instructor: Sarah Lincoln
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

"The cinema is war pursued by other means." —Sylvère Lotringer

Since the earliest days of cinema, the ""dark continent"" has fascinated filmmakers and audiences, and provided a setting or subject for hundreds of Hollywood films, from big-budget epics to now-forgotten ""B"" movies. This century, with films like Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, The Constant Gardener, The Last King of Scotland and Black Panther, Hollywood has once again turned its attention to Africa.  Why Africa, why now?

In this fast-paced 4-week summer course, we will be studying representations of Africa and Africans in Western film and television during the twentieth century, looking at the ways that myths, stereotypes and assumptions about the continent have persisted, been reinforced, and evolved over time. Comparing films made during the British Empire with later works that tackle Africa's place in the ""war on terror,"" we will consider the relationship between film and imperialism, and the changing role of the media in shaping popular ideas about war, wealth, individualism, the environment, intervention, and ethics.

We will work ONLINE in the first four-week summer term. Each week’s work will include viewings of films (available online and on reserve in the library), as well as discussion of the films and supporting perspectives from theoretical, historical and critical works. Course requirements include semiweekly keyword journal essays, active contributions to online discussion, and a final exam. Previous experience with film analysis is recommended but not required.

Required Films: (all available electronically)

  • Kony 2012 
  • Tarzan, the Ape Man, dir. W.S. Van Dyke (1932) 
  • Zulu, dir. Cy Enfield (1966) 
  • Out of Africa, dir. Sydney Pollack (1985) 
  • Gorillas in the Mist, dir. Michael Apted (1988) 
  • Black Hawk Down, dir. Ridley Scott (2001) 
  • Blood Diamond, dir. Edward Zwick (2006) 
  • Black Panther, dir. Ryan Coogler (2018)

ENG 305U 002 TOP: MASTERPIECES OF CINEMA

Instructor: Michael Clark
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

ENG 306U 001 TOP: AMERICAN LIT AND CULTURE

Instructor: Michael Clark
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

This is a class in which we will read great short stories to try to understand American culture. Period. That is our starting point. That is, indeed, the whole point.

Literary works are an embodiment of the human condition. Such works are a time machine – an expression of the spirit, struggles, potentialities, and failures of a society at any given moment.

This course will trace the relationship between the historical, political, economic, and other social forces that are expressed in American literature during the late 20th and early 21st century. We will study these forces by reading great short stories by great writers. We will begin with a survey of some of the mid-20th century masterpieces of American short story writers, works that capture the transformation of America from a largely rural and isolationist country to an urban, global power. As we read these stories, we will study the effects of economic, political, and ideological changes that have transformed American life since 1950 (roughly). This will include issues like changes in family structures, the uncertainty of a transforming economic world, and the accommodations and rebirths that (sometimes) follow such changes. We will discuss issues like gender, identity, class, race, the myth of the American dream, the vast geographical and regional span of American life, and more. All the authors we will be reading are established greats.

The beginning of the 21st century saw even more and different kinds of transformation in American cultural life. The transformative effect of the automobile in American life in the 20th century was supplanted by new models of selfhood, new models of family, new economic challenges and, of course, the advent of digital culture. The world in 2021 is radically different from the world of, say, 1975. As philosopher Michel Foucault put it some 50 years ago, we are in the midst of a fundamental transformation in the structures of life – on material, emotional, political, and cognitive levels. Or, as the philosopher Thomas Kuhn puts it, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in our cognitive and social life.

The question we will ask again and again is simple: With all this change in the material conditions of culture, as shown by these short stories, are we still facing the basic questions of the human condition: happiness, security, self-knowledge, creativity, love?

Class Format: This is an online reading class. It is designed to teach through the reading of great literature. Our goal is to read, to enjoy, and to learn. I will present weekly podcasts that outline the central themes and issues of the week, and of the stories under review. You can follow and participate in my podcasts by joining discussions through the blogs – the blogs are a central component of your grade; they are informal and are intended to permit you to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and me. I will include approximately one critical essay per week (commentaries, in essence) for you to read. I will make clear which additional reading is required. We have only 8 weeks, so I’m trying to maintain a reasonable workload.

Grades: There are no examinations in this class. Examinations are antithetical to literary understanding.

Journal: Weekly, informal, journal entries in which you record your thoughts on the stories we’re reading that week. You will hand these in at term’s end. They can be informal – even rough (jottings, quick notes, questions, “ughs!” and so on). You will submit this at the term’s end.

Blogs: Seven (7) blogs – one per week, about one or two paragraphs in length. I will provide a framework for the discussions. You will interact with fellow students in the blogs, commenting, riffing, agreeing, disagreeing. The blogs should be understood as our class discussion period.

Final Essay: ONE Reflective essay on the totality of the works we have read. Five to six double-spaced pages. I will provide questions and guidance. This essay is intended to be a personal commentary, akin to a personal essay, based on your reactions to the stories we will read and the social, political, and personal issues these stories brought to the forefront of your thinking. This will not be a traditional academic essay. It can be a “creative project,” if you wish. I’ll even accept short stories of your own.

The blogs are 50% of your grade. They are intended to be open discussions. The other two components of your grade (25% each) are personal commentaries in which you reflect on your reaction to the stories we have read (you will pick one or two stories to focus on). Again, the bulk of your time and energy will be spent reading great stories, which is as it should be. I am not creating a class that asks “test questions” about these works. Instead, you will learn about literature and culture by reading great stories by American authors.

To illustrate how this will work:

  1. Each week you will read two short stories (you are welcome to read more).
  2. Each week you will jot down notes in an e-journal (informal, rough, no rules) about the stories.
  3. Each week you will join the blog/discussion, prompted by my question (one to two paragraphs).
  4. Each week I will offer a podcast where I comment on your blogs.
  5. At the end of the term you will write a reflective or personal essay (or even a creative work) about the journey this reading set you on.

Notes:

  1. I do not “grade” the blogs. I read them, comment on them, and give general feedback via a podcast (where I summarize various observations and comment on them in various ways). If you complete all the blogs, you get an “A” on that part of the course. Period. If you’ve ever had a class with me you know that I enjoy and learn from your blogs. I take them seriously.
  2. Journal: I do not “grade” the journal, either. It’s a notebook of your journey. If you hand in the journal you get an “A” on that section of the course. I will read your journal and offer comments.
  3. Final essay: Due the last week of class.

I don’t want worries about grades to interfere with your enjoyment of these great stories.

Required Text:

We will use only one text this term:

  • The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story; Editor: John Freeman; ISBN: 978-1984877802

This is a new and highly diverse collection. It’s one of the best out there right now.

Note: This is a schedule of approximately two stories per week. I will provide the commentary and an occasional essay on the social conditions of American writing and culture over the past fifty years. These essays will be available through PSU’s library database (no additional cost). We will read no more than five such essays.

ENG 326 001 LIT COMM DIFF

Instructor: Prof. Anoop Mirpuri
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

What is the relation between a literary text and its author? How did our society come to share the assumption that a work of literature is the “expression” of an author’s “voice”? What historical processes have enabled us to assume that works of literature represent the “experience” of the identity group (i.e., “community”) to which an author belongs? And what can be gained (as readers, as social beings, and as political subjects) by questioning these assumptions? 

This course will address these questions through a close study of a small but critical selection of literary theory. We will also test out some of their theories, insights, and interpretive strategies through a reading of Herman Melville’s novella, Benito Cereno (1855). Ultimately, the aim of this course is to develop a critical understanding of: a) the kinds of “work” that literature does in shaping or challenging our notions of “community,” and b) the role that reading can play in expanding the living potential and itinerary of literary texts.

This course fulfills the “Culture, Difference, and Representation” component of the PSU English Major.

ENG 343U 001 ROMANTICISM

Instructor: Tracy Dillon
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

The PSU catalog has this to say about ENG 343: “Selected works of Romantic literature; introduction to themes, genres, history, and culture of Romanticism.” Beyond these objectives, you should expect to come away from the course with an enhanced understanding of the function of poetry (as Romantic poets attempt to explain it), a sense of the historical continuity that constitutes “a poetic tradition” (a Euro-western one, anyway), and emerging expertise on authors or topics of your choice related to the very broad historical and aesthetic movement commonly referred to as “Romanticism.”

Texts:

I try to construct the course in such a way that you can have access to the the amazing canon of Romantic poetry online without having to pay pay pay. Having said that, just about any healthy anthology of Romantic poetry will serve, as well as a standard scholarly edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. (It's not like these dead poets are writing anything new....)

I recommend the following editions.

The Perkins text is damned expensive but seminal. I'll understand if you want to purchase or borrow something else:

David Perkins, English Romantic Writers.
Last year, it was $202.95 new. OUCH!!! It was also listed at between $6.40 (an absolute steal for a used text) and $180, but some sellers will go lower. So, steal it if you can afford it.

A good alternative is Blackwell's Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology.

My recommended edition of Frankenstein is the Bedford/St. Martin's edition edited by Johanna Smith.

Questions? dillont@pdx.edu

ENG 385U 001 CONTEMPORARY LIT

Instructor: Susan Reese
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

Our texts are listed below, and they are one novel (Murakami, one of my favorite books), two short story collections (Adjei-Brenyah and Portland writer Drake), and a collection of writings from around the world edited by John Freeman. I am an admirer of all of these writers, and they will provide us a great deal to discuss. The overarching theme is an amalgamation of my appreciation of a quote from Karl Marx "I was listening to the cries of the past, when I should have been listening to the cries of the future." That said, the past is continually present, and dealing with and surviving it is an ongoing endeavor, while the future needs our attention, but is what Marx says really possible, at least without the past also crying to us? I tend to love magic realist fiction, and I've come to realize it's largely because the past, present and future fold over onto one another and all exist simultaneously. (and we will experience that in Murakami's book). That makes sense to me. So each of these works asks similar things of us (perhaps all books do), and I can't wait to share them with you and read your words on how they impact you and your thinking. I'll see you soon, on D2L!

Books:

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (a particular favorite of mine)
  • and then because I just didn't think we should read too many novels in summer:
  • The Folly of Living Life by Portland Author Monica Drake
  • Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
  • Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World edited by John Freeman

And that should keep us busy, and hopefully interested and happy! I look forward to meeting you!

ENG 464 001 ADV TOP: AMERICAN LIT: 20 C

Instructor: Tom Fisher
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

In this class we'll read a range of key texts of American Modernism, which we'll date roughly from the first decades of the 20th century to the end of WWII. Often eclipsed by British and European Modernism of roughly the same period, American Modernism includes fascinating texts that reveal and complicate central aspects of US social and cultural life of the first half the 20th century.

 


Summer 2021 - Graduate English Courses

ENG 564 001 ADV TOP: AMERICAN LIT-20TH C

Instructor: Tom Fisher
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

In this class we'll read a range of key texts of American Modernism, which we'll date roughly from the first decades of the 20th century to the end of WWII. Often eclipsed by British and European Modernism of roughly the same period, American Modernism includes fascinating texts that reveal and complicate central aspects of US social and cultural life of the first half the 20th century.

 


Summer 2021 - Undergraduate Writing Courses

WR 121 001 COLLEGE WRITING

Instructor: Dustin Prisley
Instructional Method: Remote - No Specific Meeting Time

Study and practice of critical writing, with focus on analyzing and adapting to different contexts. Designed as a foundation for college-level writing.

WR 121 002 COLLEGE WRITING

Instructor: Anton Jones
Instructional Method: Remote - No Specific Meeting Time

Study and practice of critical writing, with focus on analyzing and adapting to different contexts. Designed as a foundation for college-level writing.

WR 212 001 INTRO FICTION WRITING

Instructor: Ari Rosales
Instructional Method: Online

WR 213 001 INTRO POETRY WRITING

Instructor: Dave Jarecki
Instructional Method: Online

WR 222 001 WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS

Instructor: Adam McDonald
Instructional Method: Remote - No Specific Meeting Time

WR 227 001 INTRO TECHNICAL WRTG

Instructor: Jacob Tootalian
Instructional Method: Online

WR 227 002 INTRO TECHNICAL WRTG

Instructor: Henry Covey
Instructional Method: Online

People take WR 227 for different reasons, but this professional writing course is essentially for any major/discipline/field/career, which can include any profession, including science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, as well as medicine and public health, finance and business administration, writing, fine arts, et al.—anyone with technical content to communicate.

Experience varies among course members as well. In addition to first- and second-year students, juniors, seniors, and post-baccalaureates are common. Ages have ranged from 18 years old to 60+, and there are people in this course who hail from all over the world. As a result, we are a collection of many different perspectives and voices. Whether you’re a self-directed learner, or someone who welcomes more course scaffolding, the one of the goals for this and every WR 227 course is to provide opportunities for any level of experience, from beginner to advanced and everyone between. This course is also an opportunity for those with technical communication experience to share their knowledge with those who might not have as much.

This course uses the IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields by Drs. Bernadette Longo and David Kmiec, the digital version of which is freely available through your pdx.edu account.

WR 301 001 WIC: CRITICAL WRTING ENGLISH

Instructor: Sarah Lincoln
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

"There is no document of culture that is not at the same time a document of barbarism." —Walter Benjamin, 1940

The course provides a rigorous introduction to the methods, approaches and questions necessary for advanced scholarly work in English, including close reading, historicism, research and argument: consider it boot camp for English majors! This is not a survey of theoretical perspectives, though we will read and discuss some important examples of literary theory along the way. Rather, the class prepares you for upper-division scholarship by asking what it is that we “do” as readers and critics—what English is “for,” why literature matters, and how encounters with the strangeness of literary language reflect and model other sorts of strange encounters.
 
A careful reading of J.M. Coetzee’s 1980 novel Waiting for the Barbarians serves as a basis for our broader consideration of the ethical and political significance of reading, interpretation, and translation; we will also put the novel in dialogue with other works of literature, including Camus’s “The Guest”; Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden; Kafka’s "In the Penal Colony"; DH Lawrence, “Snake”; and Cavafy’s “Waiting for the Barbarians""; along with theoretical perspectives from Derek Attridge, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault and others. 

As a Writing Intensive Class (WIC), the course will also focus on the strategies, conventions and techniques of scholarly writing. Reading and responding to other students’ work; drafting, revising and polishing written assignments in response to feedback; and improving grammar, style, clarity and argument will all form part of your work in the class. 

Required Books:

  • Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (Penguin Ink)
  • Dorfman, Death and the Maiden (Penguin)
  • Graff & Birkenstein, They Say/I Say (4th ed.)

WR 323 001 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Susan Reese
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

Text: The Best American Essays 2020; Edited by André Aciman; Published by Best American Paper, 2020; ISBN: 03548359910

We will read and discuss essays from the text and use them as a base from which you will write your own essay, each structured somewhat differently, all geared toward Critical Inquiry. You will write three five-page essays over the course of the term, each of which will be submitted to a peer review process and feedback from me before submission for a grade. There will be a fourth, reflective essay on your process over the term that I will not collect before the end of term, along with any essays revised after my comments, for final grading. I know this sounds quite dry, but I'm planning on having a lot of fun, and plan for it to be contagious as much as possible. I look forward to meeting you on D2L! See you soon!

WR 323 002 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Hildy Miller
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

In this upper division writing course we will focus on developing a more sophisticated understanding of our own writing processes, reflect on the concept of academic discourse and how to express abstract ideas, and see how writing in your discipline will require certain conventions and that, as you leave the university, the writing tasks that lie ahead will require others.  Includes formal and informal writing, responding to a variety of readings, sharing writing with other students, and reflecting on writing. Our class will run as a workshop in which you’ll be collaborating with other students throughout phases of both your and their writing processes.

WR 323 003 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Kirsten Rian
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

Writing 323 is designed to improve and enhance the writing skills you already possess, while enriching your critical thinking skills by focusing on reflection and inquiry. Assumptions should be avoided. We will use formal and informal writing to explore and study the assigned readings, examine our own and other student’s writings, and reflect upon the nature of writing. The class will focus on the process of writing, effective use of language, the studying of well-written pieces by other authors, and revision.

WR 323 004 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Nada Sewidan
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

WR 323 005 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Rowan Reed
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

WR 323 006 WRITING AS CRITICAL INQUIRY

Instructor: Perrin Kerns
Instructional Method: Remote – No Specific Meeting Time

WR 327 001 TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING

Instructor: Aaron Bannister
Instructional Method: Online

WR 327 002 TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING

Instructor: Lezlie Hall
Instructional Method: Online

WR 327 003 TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING

Instructor: Julie Kares
Instructional Method: Online

WR 410 001 TOP: SUMMER TECH TRAINING

Instructor: STAFF
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

WR 410/510 Summer Technology Training. 4-credits, Remote with some synchronous sessions on Tuesday nights and asynchronous elements as well.

An 8-week "coding bootcamp" style course for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the sciences, social sciences and humanities who need coding and computer literacies to support their professional development and research activities. The course will generally follow the Harvard CS50 Intro to Computer Science curriculum (Available free on EdX), although after the introductory material students will be able to focus their interests to suite their professional goals (e.g., Python for data analytics or HTML, CSS and Javascript for web development). The instructor will support student learning, provide additional instruction and resources and support student projects. This course fulfills a Technical Communication Elective for students in the Master's in Professional and Technical Writing program and elective credit in other degree programs.

WR 410 002 TOP: INTL BOOK PUBLISHING

Instructor: Rachel Noorda
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

As the world grows increasingly globalized and interconnected, so does the publishing world, so that to be an informed and experienced publishing professionals in the United States, it is even more important to know how the publishing industry operates in international contexts. This course introduces students to the book publishing industries in three of the other major English-speaking markets: United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Top non-English-speaking markets will also be discussed (such as Germany and China). Various parts of the publishing process (editorial, marketing, design) and ecosystem (writers, publishers, distributors, retailers, etc.) in these countries will be covered. Students will earn four credits of WR 410 or 510.

Apply on the Education Abroad website.

WR 474 001 PUBLISHING STUDIO

Instructor: Robyn Crummer-Olson
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

WR 475 001 PUBLISHING LAB

Instructor: Robyn Crummer-Olson
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

 


Summer 2021 - Graduate Writing Courses

WR 510 001 TOP: SUMMER TECH TRAINING

Instructor: STAFF
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

WR 410/510 Summer Technology Training. 4-credits, Remote with some synchronous sessions on Tuesday nights and asynchronous elements as well.

An 8-week "coding bootcamp" style course for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in the sciences, social sciences and humanities who need coding and computer literacies to support their professional development and research activities. The course will generally follow the Harvard CS50 Intro to Computer Science curriculum (Available free on EdX), although after the introductory material students will be able to focus their interests to suite their professional goals (e.g., Python for data analytics or HTML, CSS and Javascript for web development). The instructor will support student learning, provide additional instruction and resources and support student projects. This course fulfills a Technical Communication Elective for students in the Master's in Professional and Technical Writing program and elective credit in other degree programs.

WR 510 002 TOP: INTL BOOK PUBLISHING

Instructor: Rachel Noorda
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

As the world grows increasingly globalized and interconnected, so does the publishing world, so that to be an informed and experienced publishing professionals in the United States, it is even more important to know how the publishing industry operates in international contexts. This course introduces students to the book publishing industries in three of the other major English-speaking markets: United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Top non-English-speaking markets will also be discussed (such as Germany and China). Various parts of the publishing process (editorial, marketing, design) and ecosystem (writers, publishers, distributors, retailers, etc.) in these countries will be covered. Students will earn four credits of WR 410 or 510.

Apply on the Education Abroad website.

WR 574 001 PUBLISHING STUDIO

Instructor: Robyn Crummer-Olson
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings

WR 575 001 PUBLISHING LAB

Instructor: Robyn Crummer-Olson
Instructional Method: Remote - Scheduled Meetings