CURRENT & RECENT OFFERINGS
Survey of British Literature (LIT 302)
This course considers the evolution of British literature from its Anglo-Saxon origins. Individual sections focus on a specific theme and how that theme develops over time, for example, epic and romance, Tolkien’s medieval sources, and food and literature. The British Literature survey is one of my favorite courses to teach. This particular version of the course has grown out of my enjoyment of teaching the material through the lens of a variety of adaptations and reflections. Early English literature echoes all around us. In this course, we will read and discuss literary works by medieval, Renaissance, and eighteenth-century men and women, paying close attention to both genre and historical context. We will also consider how we can use each of these texts to engage and understand the culture we live and participate in today. Coursework will include class participation, short response papers, a term paper, and a final exam. We’ll include short clips of media to engage questions of relevance, theme, and critical issues of appropriation for each text. This course is perfect for anyone who needs or wants to understand more about early English literature. No prior background in the subject matter is required. 4CR.
Introduction to Literature & Writing: Fairy Tales (WR 222)
WR222 is a rigorous introduction to the English Literature and Writing major. This class will ask you to reflect upon what it means to engage in the study and writing of literature and, in the process, introduce you to the history of, conventions within, and controversies surrounding literary studies as an academic field. It is a rich field of study. We will use the lens of fairy tales, both classical and contemporary, to develop skills in analyzing poetry and prose, to establish a working vocabulary of literary terms, to consider historical context as part of the reading experience, to critically analyze film, and to encounter several of the major theoretical approaches to reading and writing about literature practiced by contemporary scholars. We will read a variety of fairy tales, and will follow the thread of one tale through the term: Aarne-Thompson type 709, Snow White. We will also read literary theory about the tales we read. Learning about theoretical approaches to literature will help you better understand secondary sources that you encounter as part of your research. All the while, you will practice writing academic arguments based on close reading, interpretation, and careful research. By the end of the term, you will effortlessly impress your friends, family, and love interests with your stunning command of literary knowledge and rhetoric. (If you think I’m joking, just wait!) 4CR.
Graduate Research Writing (FSS 500)
In this course, we will utilize a workshop format to review and build upon academic writing and research skills. Taught closely with FSS 501, we will go through all the steps for an annotated bibliography and mock research proposal, workshop your KIT papers, and sharpen your handling of analytical structure. 4CR.
Academic Writing: The Research Paper (WR 323)
This advanced course will help students fulfill the requirements for professional and academic writing. Students will learn how to define and focus their information needs in a subject area, how to access and evaluate needed information, and how to transform information into the foundation for an original academic argument. Thesis, organization, process and documentation will be emphasized; issues such as writing across disciplines and avoiding plagiarism will be included. Emphasis will be placed on producing a substantial research paper with a well-supported thesis. Prerequisite(s): WR 221 or LRN 305, or equivalent with a grade of C- or better. MU Core Category: Writing. 4CR.
Early Modern Literature & Culture: Shakespeare’s Sister (LIT 379)
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf evokes a character – “Shakespeare’s sister” – to illustrate the myriad ways that women writers have historically been rendered invisible. In this course, we will explore the concept of this character through literary works written by, for, and about the Early Modern English woman. Aided by the theoretical approach of the “hidden transcript,” we will use reading, writing, early modern journaling practices, and our own curiosity and experiences to delve into the complexity of early English women’s literature, where Shakespeare’s sister awaits. 4CR.
Senior Thesis (LIT 498)
In this course, you will choose a paper that you have written in another class for your major and expand that paper into an analytical thesis. In addition to producing a work of original scholarship this term, you will also create a coordinating creative digital project which showcases competence with digital media. The completed thesis serves as the capstone for the major in English literature and new media, and is included as part of the student’s ePortfolio. The portfolio is aimed to help you look outward, past graduation, to the way your ELNM degree will serve your future path. Finally, we will work carefully and conscientiously to create or polish a professional website as well as our “googlesumés.” Marylhurst Core category: Senior Core Project. 4CR.
Drama (LIT 326)
Theater reflects our individual and collective psyche as it entertains, provokes, and informs. This course presents the major subgenres of tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy across the historical and multicultural continuum with a focus on the depiction of characters in ambiguous and ethically paradoxical situations. It provides an overview of the development of theatrical representation and stagecraft from the ancient Greek festival of Dionysus to the feminist and postmodern theater. In this course, we will learn how to understand, appreciate, and enjoy drama as a literary genre and also as a performance. Through reading the plays, watching live performances throughout the quarter, and writing about what we read and see, we will become informed critics who understand interpretations of plays and the meanings behind those interpretations. We will explore how drama reflects our personal and societal issues, emotions, and desires through the study of 1) historical periods, 2) genre distinctions, 3) directorial choices, and 4) actors’ performances. The study of drama as text and as performance will allow us to grow as critical thinkers, interpreters, and writers. It will also enable our educated participation in theatre experiences long beyond this course. 4CR.
Critical Analysis (LIT 204)
This course will build community and introduce students to the English literature and new media degree program. Students will also begin thinking about the intersection between literary content and interface, working carefully with several texts (written and visual) across multiple media. The stories we tell ourselves are important. This course is about those stories – about how our stories mesh together as a community, and about how we can look more closely at the stories we will approach in the coming quarters. Literary texts have value because they reflect and affect our humanity in surprising and often uncomfortable ways. And the best stories, the best arguments, the best theory – all of these things speak to us only when we speak to them. This weekend we will begin that process, together. Marylhurst Core Category: Entering Student Seminar. 3CR.
Topics in Literature and Film: Food (LIT 346)
This course explores narrative in film and literature and the issues of adaptation. Course topics vary from term to term. In this weekend class, we will journey into a variety of narratives and arguments in which food figures prominently. We’ll contextualize these works both historically and culturally, situate them within literary and cinematic theory, engage them with the stories we carry in our own narratives, and seek a greater understanding of the meaning of food in all of these instances. We’ll do this through close reading and viewing as well as through sharing stories and food (we’ll have at least one potluck lunch and a “high” tea, among other opportunities for sharing). The final project may be a traditional academic argument essay, a deeply reflective creative work from your own food history, or a hybrid of these. If you’ve ever imagined a weekend of bookish and epicurean indulgences – for credit! – this is your chance. 3CR.
Topics: Food Discourse in Literature & Culture (FSS 560)
The stories we tell ourselves about food matter profoundly. In this class, we will undertake analysis of a variety of literary and popular narratives and arguments– from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle to popular bloggers– in which food and either justice, morality, or righteousness figure prominently. We’ll contextualize these works both historically and culturally, consider them through lenses of critical theory, engage them with the stories we carry in our own narratives, and seek a greater understanding of their meanings, limitations, and contradictions. This class will give you the skills with which to make thoughtful, intelligent, and educated responses to any of the arguments about food that have captured the cultural zeitgeist today – as well as the doubtlessly different arguments that are bound to do the same for years to come. Readings will generally be short or excerpted so that we can focus on skill acquisition and ultimately turn our focus from the curated list on the syllabus to what we notice about food discourse in the world around us. The two major projects will consist of 1) a formal discourse analysis of a literary or cultural text you choose yourself (not on our syllabus) and 2) a deeply reflective creative work from your own food history that consciously resists the limitations (namely oversimplification and overemphasis on personal responsibility rather than systemic deficiencies) that we’ve studied this term. This course is designed for Food Systems & Society graduate students but interested English majors seeking undergraduate credit are also eligible and encouraged to enroll. 3CR.