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University of Oregon

Spring 2017


ENG 104 Introduction to Literature: Fiction

Upton, Corbett

This course offers students a broad introduction to the study of literary fiction. Focusing on the works of major writers, students develop analytical skills that will allow them to think, write, and speak intelligently about fiction. The course addresses basic questions about the nature of prose narrative and the interrelated activities of reading, writing, and interpretation. What is a story, and what role do stories play in our cultural and political lives? What validates a particular interpretation of a literary text, and how do various interpretations contribute to our understanding of a story’s meaning?


Narrative technique, point of view, character development, and other elements of fiction are examined in the course. Weekly readings are substantial in scope and difficulty. Students will be tested on course content and will practice close reading and analysis skills in class discussions and writing assignments.  As a basic introduction to a major genre in the field of literary studies, this course satisfies the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 104 Introduction to Literature: Fiction

Clark, Stephanie

Reading two novels, including John Crowley’s classic post-apocalyptic fantasy novel Engine Summer, and a variety of short stories, ENG 104 addresses basic questions about the nature of prose narrative and the interrelated activities of reading, writing, and interpretation. Most of the course will focus on detailed study of the technical elements of narrative such as plot structure, narrative voice, characterization, etc. We will further consider how each of these elements opens up methods of interpreting and understanding narrative in ways that should deepen students’ understanding of literature and enhance their enjoyment of it. The major writing for the course will consist of a series of targeted notebook entries allowing students to closely interact with and analyze the narrative techniques of the readings.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 108 World Literature

Godwin, Hannah

This is one of three courses that form a three-part chronological survey of international trends in literature from its archaic and classical origins to the present. These courses can be taken as a yearlong sequence, or they can be taken individually. All works are read in English translation. There are no prerequisites, and no background knowledge of international literary history is expected. ENG 108 spans the period from the European Renaissance to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. In this course, we will ponder the following questions: what is world literature? Why do we read it? What effect does it have on us? What cultural power does it possess? We will attempt to address these questions through experiencing and analyzing various prose, poetic, and dramatic forms from different global perspectives and locations. We will pay careful attention not only to each work’s historical context, but also to how form influences and shapes content and meaning. Some of our readings will be more experimental than others and will thus challenge our established modes of reading and comprehension. The thematic current running through our readings is organized, rather broadly, around the concepts of love, the erotic, and alternative expressions of desire. You’ll explore literary analysis not only through writing but also through in-class, in-person, rigorous discussion. Together, we’ll explore what it means to think critically, read consciously and closely, and write effectively.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 109 World Literature

Shankman, Steven

This is one of three courses that form a three-part chronological survey of international trends in literature from its archaic and classical origins to the present. These courses can be taken as a yearlong sequence, or they can be taken individually. All works are read in English translation. There are no prerequisites, and no background knowledge of international literary history is expected. All three courses seek to give students a truly global sense of literary history by incorporating works in various genres from Asia, the Near East, Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. ENG 107 begins with the archaic period and ends with the late Middle Ages in Europe. ENG 108 spans the period from the European Renaissance to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, focusing on cultural relations between the Near East and Europe. ENG 109 covers the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on the emergence of global cultural movements such as Romanticism, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. All three courses seek to juxtapose Western and non- Western readings, challenging students to locate “classic” literary works within a global perspective. Weekly readings of short stories and novels are substantial in scope and difficulty, and students will be asked to compose critical essays of varying length, totaling at least 8-10 pages. With their comparative focus on various literary traditions, all three courses satisfy the University Multicultural Requirement in the International Cultures category. In offering students a broad introduction to college-level literary studies, ENG 107, 108, and 109 also satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 110 Introduction to Film and Media

Cheney, Zachary

“Survey of US Cinema”: We will screen a sampling of films associated with US/American cinema through its relatively short history since the sound era—-beginning with important “genres,” progressing into cinematic “modes,” and ultimately examining how movies in our national context reflect ideological dispositions rooted in their own histories. This entry point will launch an introductory yet substantial investigation of an important and identifiable sector of film and media, with the goal of developing an analytical understanding of cinematic techniques, film history, production background, and visual culture.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 199 Special studies: True Fiction

O’Kelly, Brendan

Ever since The Blair Witch Project (1999) was marketed as “found footage” documenting the last few days of missing—and presumably dead—film students, the horror genre has been dominated by an endless barrage of films pretending to be discovered footage of actual events. These films have been so popular that the “found footage” style has expanded to include a wide range of genres, from police procedural and science-fiction to romantic comedy. While the “found footage” trend is ostensibly a 21st century phenomenon, fiction posing as truth is nothing new. This course will trace the development of such fiction, whether written or filmed, from its prominence in 19th century prose to documentary-styled novels, films, and radio programs that span the 20th century. We will conclude with an extended examination of the predominance of “found footage” films in the new millennium that arguably parallel the rise of reality television, YouTube, and the camera phone.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 199 Craft of the Sentence  (will convert to ENG 209)

Clark, Stephanie

Grammar is a tool for describing how written sentences work and figuring out and explaining why they don’t work. In this course students will learn the language of grammar: the technical terms and the conceptual principles needed to describe the grammatical structure of sentences. Students will learn sentence diagramming in order to help see the patterns behind grammatical concepts. We will pay careful attention not only to the rules of grammar but also to the logic behind those rules. Students will learn about the historical development of some of those rules–why, for instance, English sentences are punctuated the way they are, why the passive voice should be avoided, and whether it is acceptable to ever split an infinitive. Along the way, we’ll consider further questions about the nature of spoken vs. written language, dialects, and standardized language. As we will see, knowledge of grammatical concepts can help writers think through their own written ideas more effectively, revealing logical gaps and places where they are not communicating as effectively as they might.


For spring term Craft of the Sentence is listed under ENG 199. ENG 209 Craft of the Sentence is still in the final process of approval. Once approved, ENG 199 will automatically be converted to appear on student transcripts as ENG 209 Craft of the Sentence.

Major I: Lower-Division Elective; Major II: Lower-Division Elective, Writing Requirement


ENG 200 Public Speaking as a Liberal Art

Horton, Kathleen

While the primary emphasis of this course will be students’ frequent practice and evaluation of their own public speaking, we will also discuss theories of rhetoric; the identity, characteristics, and relationship of speaker (self) and audience (other); the importance of listening as an aspect of speaking; the role of gender, culture, and context in public discourse; and the common challenges and barriers humans face and overcome when engaged in public speaking. In addition, we will explore ethics and morality as foundational concerns in any arena in which speakers seek the assent of others.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 205 Genre: Fantasy

Wheeler, Elizabeth

This genre course traces key figures of fantasy literature such as the quest, portals, magical creatures, talking animals, and humans with supernatural powers from the early modern era to the twentieth century. We will read Malory’s King Arthur tales, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Alice in Wonderland, two Harry Potter novels, and Nalo Hopkinson’s Sister Mine. The curriculum assumes a working knowledge of the Harry Potter universe before the term begins. Repeatable once for a maximum of 8 credits when topic changes.

Major I: Lower-Division Elective; Major II: Genre Requirement


ENG 205 Genre: Autobiography

Wood, Mary

This course will examine the development of autobiography as a literary genre from the spiritual narratives of medieval women mystics to the graphic memoirs and blogs of twenty-first century writers.  Along the way we will consider a range of autobiographical forms, including slave narrative, immigrant autobiography, illness narrative, disability narrative, personal-political essay, autobiographical novel, memoir, and letters.  Questions addressed may include:  How did spiritual autobiography enable women mystics to sidestep charges of heresy?  Why did former slaves working in the abolitionist movement find the genre of autobiography useful as they fought for universal freedom and equality?


How have race, class, gender, and citizenship status shaped life stories in the American context?  How have life stories reproduced, intersected with, and resisted dominant narratives?

Major I: Lower-Division Elective; Major II: Genre Requirement


ENG 208 Shakespeare

Pyle, Forest

This course, which focuses on four of the later plays of Shakespeare’s career, is designed as an introduction to the language, themes, contexts, and implications of Shakespeare’s most mature work. Though our close reading of these plays will lead us to consider any number of the many topics which are developed throughout Shakespeare’s work, I have chosen these four plays with special attention to their depictions and “stagings” of psychic, cultural, and social extremities. You need not have taken ENG 207 to appreciate this course: no prior familiarity with Shakespeare or Renaissance literature is required or expected. The plays we will be reading are Othello, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Shakespeare; Major II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 241 Introduction to African American Literature

Whalan, Mark

This course is a survey of writings by African American authors. Studying fiction, essays, and poetry, we’ll close read representative texts to identify formal and thematic elements that characterize the African American literary tradition. We will consider how these works exemplify and complicate lived and literary identities. In other words, how do these texts fit into or defy ideas about race, gender, and class on the one hand and classifications of genre, period, and literary style on the other. We’ll study relationships among these works to uncover how they reflect on, depend on, or revise one another. We will also look for relationships between these works and other art forms, such as blues, jazz, folklore, and visual arts. The goal of this course is to help you engage with African American literature, improving your writing, reading, and critical thinking skills in the process.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 242 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Li, David

As indicated, this class is an introduction to the literary production by American authors of Asian descent. We shall read classic texts from this ethnic American literary tradition to understand the unique histories that shape it and to appreciate the people’s struggles and aspirations within the American grain. Main requirements: two essays, a mid-term, a final, indefinite number of quizzes and attendance and participation.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 260 Media Aesthetics

Seid, Danielle

This course aims to develop your media literacy by providing you with a precise set of critical tools for analyzing moving image texts. Although our primary focus will be on the formal analysis of image and sound rather than media history or social issues, we will study the interplay between artistic and social conventions and the role of ideology in shaping the meaning of media texts. We will view and critique numerous film and television clips, as well as several feature-length films. Online group projects will enable students to shape course content by choosing media clips that illustrate concepts covered by readings and lectures. While not oriented toward the technical or industrial aspects of media productions, the course builds skills that are beneficial to both media producers and consumers.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 267 History of the Motion Picture

Gopal, Sangita

This course together with 266 & 267 forms a chronological survey of the evolution of cinema as an institution and an art form. The courses can be taken individually or as parts of an integrated sequence. ENG 265 moves from the origins of cinema in the late 19th century through World War II.  The primary texts for the course are the films themselves, but supplementary readings will also be assigned. Students will submit a media journal and a term paper, and there will be two exams. The aim of each course is to develop interpretive skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of major movements in Hollywood and world cinema. As a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues that are central to the study of film, both courses satisfy the university’s Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


ENG 280 Introduction to Comic Studies

Tanner, Rachel

This class is conceived as an introduction to the art of comics, and to the methodologies of the new academic discipline of Comics Studies. Course content will vary from term to term, according to the specialist interests of the individual instructor, within the following parameters. Students will be exposed to a spectrum of comic-art forms (i.e., at a minimum, three of the following archetypal forms: the gag cartoon, the editorial cartoon, the newspaper strip, the comic book, the graphic novel, the web comic.) Students will be exposed to a historical range of comic texts, ranging from (at least) the early 1900s to the present. Students will be required to read several professional critical or theoretical essays over the course of the term alongside the primary materials the instructor of record assigns.  These essays will be drawn relevant academic peer-reviewed sources.  Scott McCloud’s influential book, Understanding Comics, will be required reading for all versions of the class.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective; CCS


ENG 300 Introduction to Literary Criticism

Sayre, Gordon

This course provides training in reading and analyzing literary criticism. We will read many articles and essays published from the 1960s to 2000s, most of them about five literary works that we will use as case study texts: John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-coloured Man. Through these texts we will acquaint ourselves with several of the major strains of literary criticism, including feminist, reader response, psychoanalytic, structuralist, deconstructionist, post colonial and cultural studies approaches.

Major I: Literary Theory/Criticism: Major II: Theory/Rhetoric


ENG 303 Foundations of the English Major: Text

Ginsberg, Warren; Kaufman, Heidi; Ovalle, Priscilla

The Foundations of the English Major is a three-course sequence (ENG 301, ENG 302, ENG 303) that introduces students to the discipline of English as it is practiced at the University of Oregon. The entire sequence provides English majors with a common intellectual experience and a foundation for future coursework in literatures, media, and folklore. The course provides a solid foundation in the histories, theories, debates, and critical reading practices used to study different kinds of texts. The department strongly encourages students to take these courses sequentially. If necessary, however, students may begin the sequence with ENG 301 or ENG 302, but not with ENG 303.


In this final segment of the Foundations series students will have opportunities to learn how to close read texts—a reading skill that has remained at the core of our discipline since its inception. Building on work from 301 (Contexts) and 302 (Theory), English 303 will provide opportunities to learn about and practice the creation of well-informed close readings that draw from an understanding of the way meaning is made through the interplay of form and content.

Major I & II: Major Requirement


ENG 321 English Novel

O’Fallon, Kathleen

The 18th century ushered in a new and “dangerous” form of literature in England: the novel. Novels took various forms, including the epistolary novel, the picaresque novel, the gothic novel and the novel of manners. We will discuss how the culture of the time shaped the literature– particularly in matters of class, gender and race—and we will also look at how the novel began to influence culture. Ultimately, we will tackle the problem of creating a working definition for a genre that—from its very beginnings—was anti-conventional and diverse.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: 1500-1789


ENG 323 English Novel

Quigley, Mark

Twentieth-Century British Novel

In this course, we will read five twentieth-century novels by writers from Britain and spaces around the world that were once part of the British empire. Looking at the work of writers such as Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Samuel Selvon and Michelle Cliff, we will explore how the novels give us access to the ways different communities and artists responded to some key moments in twentieth-century history including the two World Wars, the collapse of the British empire, the development of a multi-ethnic British society and the rise of the “globalized” world of today. As we consider the ways that novels provide a unique access to the shifting world-views of different moments over the last hundred years, we will trace how the novel form itself changes during this period as we move from modernism into postmodernism.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I & II: 1789+


ENG 330 Oral Controversy and Advocacy

Horton, Kathleen

Oral Controversy and Advocacy asks students to practice and evaluate effective oral argumentation in controversial matters of public concern with attention to fundamental theories of ethics and rhetoric. For our purposes, oral advocacy is an act of inquiry and a search for shared understanding, not a debate tournament with winners and losers. Dialogic engagement is essential. This means you have to listen as carefully as you speak. Students will develop practices of listening, speaking, responding, discussing, and researching to enhance their invention of arguments and their positions as informed advocates in a discourse community of thinkers and inquirers. Further, students will cultivate habits of noting, examining, and responding to the various and multiple reasonable and unreasonable positions one can take on controversial matters. To discern what divides “reasonable” and “unreasonable” will be our ongoing challenge.

Prereq: WR 122 or equivalent; not open to freshmen.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Theory/Rhetoric


ENG 340 Jewish Writers

Wood, Mary

This course will examine the constellation of history, memory, and family that informs so much of Jewish-American literature. While we will read a handful of pre-2000 texts to get a sense of the wider history and contexts of Jewish literature, the focus of the course this term will be on twenty-first century Jewish fiction and memoir across a range of genres, including short story, novel, speculative fiction, graphic memoir, autobiography. In particular, we will look at the ways that writers–through innovative uses of form, history, and story—have created new versions of what it means to be Jewish in America. Writers may include Abraham Cahan, Mary Antin, Philip Roth, Ellen Galford, Dara Horn, Amy Kurzweil, and Kate Bornstein.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity


ENG 380 Film, Media, and History

Aronson, Michael

ENG 380 looks at the history of the American film and media industry not just as the sum of its products (i.e., films designed for mass consumption), but also as a complex cultural, economic and aesthetic system that produced complex cultural products. Although literature, for example, also consists of products (of various publishers, authors who write for a living, etc.), it is not an industrial art form on the scale that motion pictures are. From early in its history, Hollywood dominated, and continues to dominate, the world in a way in which no other cultural producer has dominated an industry or art form. This course is about the Hollywood film and its relationship with the American film industry, and about the ways in which Hollywood has historically responded to challenges, whether global, social, cultural or technological. In order to more fully understand the relationship between Hollywood, American culture and its films, this course will emphasize viewing, discussion and analysis. ENG 380 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been defined by historical inquiry. By examining specific works of American film and media within the historical context of their original production and reception over time, the course will enable students to engage with major issues within the field, including star studies, technology, and censorship.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture


ENG 381 Film, Media, and Culture (Contesting “The Indian” in Native American Film)

Brown, Kirby

There is perhaps no image more widely recognized yet more grossly misunderstood in American popular culture than the “Indian.” Represented as everything from an irredeemable savage and impediment to progress to idealized innocent and new-age spiritualist, “the Indian” stands as an anachronistic relic of a bygone era whose sacrifice on the altars of modernity and progress, while perhaps tragic, is both inevitable and necessary to the maintenance of narratives of US exceptionalism in the Americas. Of course, the Reel Indians produced by Hollywood say very little about Real Native peoples who not only refuse to vanish but who consistently reject their prescribed roles in the US national imaginary, insisting instead on rights to rhetorical and representational sovereignty. Through a juxtaposition of literary, critical, and cinematic texts, the first third of the course will explore the construction of “Reel Indians” from early ethnographic documentaries and Hollywood Westerns to their recuperation as countercultural anti-heroes in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The last two-thirds of the course will examine the various ways in which Native-produced films of the late 1990s to the present contest—if not outright refuse—narrative, generic, and representational constructions of “the white man’s Indian” on the way to imagining more complex possibilities for “Real Indians” in the 21st century. ENG 381 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been shaped by the study of a broad range of identity categories including race, nation, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, and settler colonialism. ENG 381 also satisfies the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance multicultural requirement by enabling students to develop scholarly insight into the construction of collective identities in the mass media forms of film, television, and new media. To these ends, students will study the ways representational conventions, such as stereotypes, have resulted from filmmaking traditions that have excluded voices from varying social and cultural standpoints, and will consider alternative filmmaking practices and modes of reception that promote cultural pluralism and tolerance. By requiring students to analyze and interpret cinematic representation from these perspectives across a variety of formal and informal assignments, the course will promote an understanding of film as an art form that exists in relation to its various social contexts.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture, Empire/Race/Ethnicity


ENG 381 Film, Media, and Culture

Miller, Quinn

This course introduces students to critical thinking about the historical and economic factors influencing film, media, and cultural production in Hollywood and in response to Hollywood. Unconventional textual and contextual dynamics, understood as queer history, are the focus of the course. We examine fiction, feature film, experimental media, and more. Readings are about the entertainment business, aesthetics and interpretation, and queer transgender culture. ENG 381 satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been shaped by the study of a broad range of identity categories, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class. ENG 381 also satisfies the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance multicultural requirement by enabling students to develop scholarly insight into the construction of collective identities in mass media. It will study the effects of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination on mainstream and independent media. This version of the course focuses not on stereotypes but on the possibility of transcending stereotypes. Please note: readings and screenings include representations of nudity, sex and sex-positivity, expressive sexuality, violence, and culturally sensitive matters such as discrimination, oppression, social variance, coercive sex, and sex work.

Gen Ed (A&L); Multicultural; Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Media/Folklore/Culture, Gender/Ability/Sexuality


ENG 394 20th Century Literature

Quigley, Mark

Twentieth Century Literature (1895-1945)

This course examines how a range of writers from Britain, Ireland, the U.S. and the Caribbean responded to the huge transformations that shaped the period between 1895 and 1945. This was a period marked by two world wars, the beginning of the collapse of Europe’s empires, the rise of cinema and mass culture, and profound shifts in ideas about the ways that racial, gender, and class identities might shape societies and cultural networks. In an era that was at once exciting, transformative, and traumatic, we will explore how the very ideas of what constituted reality were being tested and challenged through aestheticism, modernism, a range of radical political movements, and the rise of a new mass culture increasingly mediated by Hollywood cinema. Sampling writers from European modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and the emerging culture industry of Los Angeles, we will consider the impacts of the First World War, the rise of fascism, and the proliferation of a more intensely mediated cinematic consciousness by looking at writers such as Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bowen, W.H. Auden, Wilfred Owen, Nathanael West, and Zitkala Sâ. Our explorations of these writers and their work will focus simultaneously on asking how they illuminate the development of the 1895-1945 period and what lessons they may have for our own era.

Gen Ed (A&L); Major I: 1789+; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity


ENG 399 Special Studies: Asian American Comics

Fickle, Tara

The growing acceptance of comics and graphic novels as “serious” literature owes much to the genre’s embrace as a powerful vehicle for memory, especially by minority writers seeking to showcase “non-normative” accounts of American life: the experiences of being gay, non-white, foreign, non-Christian, etc. This course offers an in-depth examination of one particular group – Asian Americans – which has gained especial prominence in the comics world in recent years. Artists like Gene Yang, Lynda Barry, and Adrian Tomine have begun to demonstrate how the combination of image and text can capture the unique position of Asian Americans as both racially hyper-visible and socially invisible. How do these texts define what it means to be Asian in America, and what counts as an “Asian American” work? How do they visually represent the experience of being seen as a “model minority,” or of being racially discriminated against? How, ultimately, do these texts change what we think – or what we think we know – about Asian American culture, but also about comics?

Multicultural; Major I: 1789+, FEW; Major II: 1789+, Empire/Race/Ethnicity; CCS


ENG 407/507 St. Louis Seminar: Literature of Black Atlantic

Bohls, Elizabeth

Slavery shaped the ecology, economy, and culture of the Atlantic Rim, including parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the long eighteenth century (1660-1838), British slavery on the Caribbean sugar islands reached its peak, was fought by the abolitionist movement and ended by Parliament. Meanwhile, a rather different slave society matured in the United States. We will study the literary production of early Black writers and the representation of slavery in the Anglophone literature of the Atlantic Rim, including historical contexts and influential critical approaches. Primary materials include travel narratives, slave narratives, planter histories, political tracts, diaries and ships’ logs, as well as a novel and assorted poetry.

Major I: 1500-1789, FEW; Major II: 1500-1789, Empire/Race/Ethnicity


ENG 427/527 Chaucer

Laskaya, Anne

ENG 427 invites students to engage selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, along with some of his shorter poems. Texts will include the more familiar comedic tales, like the Miller’s Tale but also the less familiar elegiac dream visions, like the Book of the Duchess, and several highly problematic tales, like the Clerk’s Tale.  Often called ‘the father of English literature,’ Chaucer will be read in the original Middle English, providing students a chance to engage rigorously with one of the most influential late medieval English authors. Students will also read (in translation) some materials from which Chaucer borrowed and which exerted considerable influence on his writing.


The course also exposes students to important interpretations of Chaucer’s work produced in our own time by scholars who read Chaucerian texts quite differently. This means that besides working on Middle English for the term, students will gain exposure to and negotiate the differences found within contemporary Chaucerian literary criticism.


Close reading, discussion, quizzes, papers, a short research project, and some informal writing will provide the basis for assessment in the course. Discussion, punctuated with occasional lectures, will focus most class sessions. A few lectures will provide literary, cultural, archival, and historical frameworks and will examine linguistic features of texts; however, most work in class–once students gain familiarity with the Middle English–will be discussion-based. We will probe the text, and our own interpretations, locating key interpretative questions and assessing our own assumptions from several different analytical perspectives.

Major I & II: Pre-1500


ENG 430/530 Old English III: dragons in Beowulf

Clark, Stephanie

This course will use the tools and knowledge acquired in previous terms of Old English to read the dragon section of Beowulf with critical and philological skill. We will pay attention to language, literary, and scholarly issues. To this end, please come to every class prepared to translate, parse, and comment on the assigned text.

Prereq: ENG 429; Junior standing

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective


ENG 436/536 Advanced Shakespeare

Dawson, Brent

Students in this course will closely read Shakespeare’s plays and poems, attending to Shakespeare’s rich language, nuanced characters, and persistent fascination toward topics of the self, desire, imagination, and group identity. In the first half of the course, students will look at examples from several recent critical approaches to Shakespeare, including animal studies, post-colonial studies, sense studies, and queer theory. In the second half, students will learn about how Shakespeare became “Shakespeare,” the iconic figure of popular and high culture, examining how different cultures and eras have re-interpreted his plays and biography. We will examine some contemporary films, short stories, and graphic novels that continue this process of re-interpretation.

Prereq: Junior standing

Major I & II: 1500-1789


ENG 461/561 American Literature to 1800

Sayre, Gordon

This course is an introduction to the literature of colonial America and the Early Republic in the United States. The readings do not emphasize the genres of poetry, novels and short stories that you will be familiar with from other English courses. Instead, we will be reading missionary relations, spiritual autobiographies, scientific tracts, and personal narratives of exploration and captivity, as well as two stage dramas. The course is designed around five recent feature films that we will screen during special evening class sessions: Cabeza de Vaca, Black Robe, Pocahontas, Jefferson in Paris, and Amazing Grace. These movies portray the experiences of sixteenth and seventeenth-century explorers and missionaries, and eighteenth-century politicians, and also enable us to discuss the political and cultural importance of certain texts and histories for contemporary audiences.

Prereq: Junior standing

Major I & II: 1500-1789


ENG 494 Reasoning, Speaking & Writing

Crosswhite, James

Application of advanced study in argumentation theory to selected public policy controversies, with particular attention to procedural standards of rationality developed in recent argumentation studies. In this course, you will review and explore important concepts in rhetoric and argumentation theory, and you will gain skill in discovering the questions that drive controversies and the arguments that can be made on different sides of an issue. You will also practice speaking, writing, and reasoning as a way to develop the strengths and the habits of mind and heart on which the best kind of reasoning, writing, and speaking depend. Be prepared to think and speak on your feet in class, to work in groups, to participate in debate, and to learn by practicing.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Theory/Rhetoric


ENG 496/596 Feminist Film Criticism:  Queer Trans TV and Media

Miller, Quinn

Critical analysis of film and television texts from a feminist perspective. Repeatable when topic changes. This term we will study the influence of feminist film criticism by examining sitcoms, tumblr production, and classics like Desperately Seeking Susan, focusing on genderqueer representation and theories of race, class, and intertextuality.

Major I: Literary Theory/Criticism; Major II: Theory/Rhetoric, Gender/Ability/Sexuality

Writing, Folklore, Honors College

WR 320 Scientific and Technical Writing

WR 320 emphasizes the content, form, and style of scientific, professional, and technical writing, including reports, proposals, instructions, correspondence, and the use of graphics and documentation. Students will learn the conventions of discourse in these areas and how they result from different kinds of scientific and technical modes of inquiry. Students will apply this awareness to writing in academic as well as vocational contexts.


Prereq: Completion of the University Writing Requirement and upper-division standing.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Writing Requirement, Upper-Division Elective


WR 321 Business Communications

WR 321 offers practice in writing and analyzing communication common to business, industry, and related professions. Students will develop a critical awareness of the conventions of discourse in these areas and how they result from interpersonal and organizational contexts encountered in these fields. As aspects of such business writing conventions, this course pays close attention to logical development and stylistic and format choices. The knowledge gained is applicable to academic as well as vocational situations.

Prereq: Completion of UO writing requirement and upper-division standing.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Writing Requirement, Upper-Division Elective


WR 423 Advanced Composition

Horton, Kathleen

The Essay: Structure, Style, and POV – we will explore the essay form by examining a number of strong essays and carefully detailing how authors construct these essays using a wide variety of structures, styles, and points-of-view. Through examination, analysis, and imitation of these essays, students will develop their own essay strategies, adapting the essay form to their own rhetorical and disciplinary goals. Emphasis on critical thinking skills and rhetorical strategies for advanced written reasoning in different academic disciplines.

Prereq: Completion of UO writing requirement; junior standing.

Major I: Upper-Division Elective; Major II: Writing Requirement, Upper-Division Elective


FLR 255 Folklore and U.S. Popular Culture

Wojcik, Daniel

Introduces students to the theories and methods used in the study of folklore and popular culture; examines a diversity of approaches to the description and analysis of “common culture,” including popular narratives, legends, rituals, ethnic and gender stereotypes, carnivalesque events, fan cultures, subcultures, DIY, and the commodification of youth culture. Special focus on the ways that folklore and popular culture reflect and shape dominant ideologies, and how people may use mass cultural products to create new, personal, and sometimes subversive meanings.

Major I & II: Lower-Division Elective


HC 421 Topic: Tolstoy’s Resurrection

Shankman, Steven

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is one of the greatest and most influential masters of the novel. The Russian literary classics of the nineteenth century, including the novels of Tolstoy, made a profound impression on Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), perhaps the greatest philosopher of ethics of our era. We will carefully read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, paying special attention to what the novel has to say about ethics understood in Levinas’s sense: my inescapable responsibility for a unique and irreplaceable other.


We will read Ethics and Infinity, a reasonably accessible and brief series of interviews with Levinas, and we will look for connections between Tolstoy’s fiction and Levinas’s thought. Among Russian novelists, it was Dostoevsky who was the main inspiration for Levinas’s thought. We will begin and end the class by reading Dostoevsky’s assessment of Anna Karenina in relation to what Dostoevsky sees as the peculiarly Russian (as opposed to Western European) view of human guilt and criminality.

Major I & II: Upper-Division Elective