Department of english case western reserve university

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Fall 2011


Roger Zelazny (’53) wrote fantasy and science fiction, winning numerous Nebula and Hugo Awards. His most well-known work is the The Chronicles of Amber, the first of which is Nine Princes in Amber.

Department of English

Case Western Reserve University

Course Listing Spring Semester 2011
Tentative Course Descriptions (subject to additions, deletions and revisions at a later date.)
* Check Registrar’s listing for course times
For courses listed as “300/400,” undergraduates should list only the “300” number on their registration forms; graduate students should list only the “400” number.
Organized courses and tutorials for non-undergraduates are available to those for whom English is a second language. These are offered by permission of the Writing Center Director only. Contact Dr. Megan Jewell at the Writing Center, 104 Bellflower Hall (368-3798) or at the English Department, 220 Guilford House (368-3799).

ENGL 148

Introduction to Composition Staff

M 10:00 –11:00

English 148 is an introductory, three-credit course designed to help students develop basic academic writing skills. The course is appropriate for both native speakers and those for whom English is not a first language.  Students will develop strategies for reading texts critically, and effectively communicating their views in writing. Course goals include acquiring greater ease in organizing, focusing, and developing ideas. Classes are small and a great deal of individual tutorial work is provided along with formal instruction. There is a limited enrollment of 12 in each section.

ENGL 148

Introduction to Composition Jewell


See description above. This section is reserved for graduate students, staff, and faculty. Enrollment is by permit only. For more information, e-mail

ENGL 150

Expository Writing Staff

MWF 3:00—3:50

As a course in expository writing, English 150 requires substantial writing. The goals of English 150 are:

  • To give students guided practice in forming compelling and sophisticated claims for an academic audience and in supporting those claims with appropriate evidence;

  • To help students recognize, formulate, and support the kinds of claims prevalent in academic writing;

  • To help students internalize the standards for strong academic prose;

  • To teach students the academic conventions for quoting, summarizing, and citing the words and ideas of other writers and speakers;

  • To guide students in locating, evaluating, and using different kinds of research sources;

  • To improve students’ abilities to read and respond critically to the writing of others;

  • To help students develop coherent strategies for the development and organization of arguments;

  • To foster students’ awareness of the importance of stylistic decisions; and

  • To provide students with effective techniques for revision, and to cultivate habits of comprehensive revision.

Topics, readings, and writing assignments vary across individual course sections. Students enrolled in SAGES are not required to complete the English 148/150 sequence. Enrollment limited to 20 in each section.

ENGL 150

Expository Writing Staff

MWF 9:30—10:20

See above.

ENGL 155

Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Speaking Doll

MW 9:00—10:15

In this course you will learn how to develop and deliver different kinds of speeches, becoming familiar with theories of rhetoric and with the arts and skills of delivering oral presentations. The assignments will

a) Introduce you to the traditions and core principles of "canons of rhetoric," from Aristotle's Rhetoric to Cicero to Kenneth Burke
b) Sharpen your public speaking skills, but also your research and writing and

c) Give you opportunities to practice several different types of speeches, both as a speaker and as a professional speechwriter would for a client in business or politics.

ENGL 180

Writing Tutorial (1 credit) Jewell


English 180 is a one-credit writing tutorial class designed to develop students' expository writing skills through weekly scheduled conferences with a Writing Resource Center Instructor. Goals are to produce clear, well-organized, and mechanically acceptable prose, and to demonstrate learned writing skills throughout the term. Course content is highly individualized based on both the instructor's initial assessment of the student's writing and the student's particular concerns. All students must produce a minimum of 12 pages of finished writing and complete other assignments as designed by the instructor to assist in meeting course goals. 

ENROLLMENT: Course times are based on both the student's schedule and instructor availability. After enrolling, students are responsible for contacting the Writing Resource Center to begin the scheduling process. Students may e-mail, or call the Director, Dr. Megan Swihart Jewell, at 216-368-3799.
ENGL 181

Reading Tutorial (1 credit) Staff


English 181 is a one-credit individualized tutorial that students can take for a total of three semesters.  Enrollment does not have to be continuous.  Students enrolled in English 181 may work on sharpening their critical reading strategies as well as other related academic strategies that increase reading efficiency and effectiveness.  Students enrolled in English 181 must come to the Educational Support Services office the first week of class to select the time for meeting weekly with the instructor.  English 181 is offered only in the fall and spring semesters.  Questions about English 181 should be directed to Judith Olson-Fallon, Director of Educational Support Services (Sears 470,

ENGL 183

Academic Writing Studio (1 credit, offered Pass/Fail only) Staff

Th 11:30—12:20

This course offers practice and training in various aspects of academic writing in a small group workshop environment. This course provides supplementary instruction to help students meet First Seminar writing objectives. Please note: only one semester hour of English 183 will count toward a degree, but the course may be repeated. English 183 is offered each semester – for more information, please contact

ENGL 183

Academic Writing Studio (1 credit, offered Pass/Fail only) Staff

M 12:30—1:20

See above

ENGL 184

Research Writing Studio (1 credit, offered Pass/Fail only) Staff

Th 11:30-12:20

This course offers practice and training in various aspects of research writing in a small group workshop environment. This course provides supplementary instruction to help students meet SAGES University Seminar writing objectives. Please note: only one semester hour of English 184 will count toward a degree, but the course may be repeated. English 184 will be offered each semester – for more information, please contact


Literature in English Oster

MW 12:30—1:45

This course introduces students to the reading of literature – both fiction and poetry. Questions of the semester (most often implicit, and not definitively answered!): What is literature? Why do we read it? How do we read it? What's in it for us? What does it ask of us? We'll be doing a lot of reading, and a lot of talking about what - and how - we read. Requirements: Informal responses; three papers (5-8 pp), or two papers and a graded reading journal. No exams.

ENGL 203

Introduction to Creative Writing Emmelhainz

M 3:00—5:30

This course aims to introduce students to the subtleties of the craft of writing poetry and prose while also giving students practice in critical reading, thinking, writing, and discussion of such creative works. Because successful writers of all types read avidly, in this course we will read a variety of poetry and short fiction, and discuss the specific creative writing techniques and characteristics the writers employ in their works. One of the goals of such reading and discussion is to not only to engage with these texts but also to understand how they function in order to draw from these texts for our own work.  

ENGL 204

Introduction to Journalism Sheeler

MW 9:00—10:15

Students will learn the basics of reporting and writing news stories, but also the traditions behind the craft and the evolving role of journalism in society. Instruction will include interviewing skills, fact-checking, word choice and story structure—all framed by guidance on making ethically sound decisions. Assignments could include stories from a variety of beats (business, entertainment, government, science), along with deadline stories and breaking news Web updates, profiles and obituaries.

ENGL 214

Introduction to Poetry Writing Gridley

Tu 2:45—5:15

This is a course for students who are relatively new to the practice of poetry. Its purpose is to engage students critically and creatively with the primary elements of a poem: its form, music, syntax, diction, tone, imagery, and tropes. It is designed to function as a workshop, which means student poems will be the focus of weekly critical attention from peers. The work for this course involves writing and critiquing poems; in-class writing exercises; the close study of poetic models; readings in poetic craft and theory; memorization and recitation; a midterm project; and a final portfolio. Students will receive regular feedback in the form of written comments and conference sessions. Grading determined by portfolio evaluation.


The Novel Staff

MWF 2:00—2:50

Introductory readings in the novel. May be organized chronologically or thematically. Some attention to the novel as a historically situated genre.

ENGL 290

Continental Masterpieces                                                                           Siebenschuh

MWF 9:30—10:20

This course introduces students to the great continental novelists of the nineteenth-century by close reading and discussion of representative texts. We will read novels by Stendhal (The Red & the Black), Balzac (Old Goriot), Flaubert (Madame Bovary), Turgenev (Fathers & Sons), Dostoyevsky (Crime & Punishment) and Tolstoy (Anna Karenina). Since these novels are directly engaged with the dramatic political events and the rich and turbulent intellectual currents of their time, we will be focusing not only on the texts themselves but also on the intellectual, political, and social contexts in which they were conceived and written and with which they are in more or less constant dialogue. Students who complete the readings and the course should, therefore, have an increased awareness of the literary achievement of particular authors in particular texts and of the social, cultural, and intellectual milieu in which the authors lived and wrote. Requirements include four short essays (3-5-pages) and a final exam. The essays will not involve research. Each will be a highly specific assignment whose purpose is to focus thinking either on an issue concerning a particular text or on the reading of novels in general.

ENGL 300

British Literature to 1800                                                         Siebenschuh

MWF 11:30—12:20

This course introduces students to a broad spectrum of British literature from the Middle Ages to the end of the eighteenth-century.  We will read selections from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Johnson, the early novelists—and a number of others along the way. One focus of the course from start to finish will be the changing ideas about what constitutes literature, what the creative process involves or should involve, and what the role of literature and the writer are in the culture. Another will be the way in which historical factors like changing levels of literacy and the coming of print culture influence all of the above. Requirements for the course include regular attendance, participation in discussion, two five to seven page papers, a mid-term and a final.

ENGL 305

Playwriting Orlock

Tu 2:45—5:15

This workshop-format course will consider & explore how a writer can combine the elements of story, imagination, structure, dialogue, theatricality, action, and desire to create an effective work for the stage, one that engages and connects with an audience.

The objective: through reading assigned texts, discussion, in-class writing exercises, and out-of-class etude assignments, students will acquire fundamental skills in crafting a one-act play.

Prereq: Any one of the following: ENGL 203 or ENGL 213 or ENGL 214, ENGL 303, ENGL 304. Cross-listed as THTR 312.

ENGL 308

American Literature

Pilgrims, Captives, Witches, Riches Marling

MWF 11:30—12:20

A survey of the best American writing, beginning with selections from Bradford, Bradstreet, Mather and Franklin. Major works will include Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, Melville’s Billy Budd, Thoreau’s Walden, Douglas’ Autobiography, Twain’s Huck Finn, James’ Daisy Miller, Chopin’s The Awakening, Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Faulkner’s Light in August, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, and Toni Morrison’s Sula. Ending with short selections from the work of O’Connor, Williams, Eliot, Frost, and Stevens.

Evaluation based on reading reactions or a reading notebook and several short papers. Class participation and attendance (taken randomly) count.
ENGL 324/424

Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romances Kuzner

MW 12:30—1:45

This course provides a broad survey of Shakespeare’s tragedies and late romances. We examine the plays in light of filmic adaptations, but the focus will be on Shakespeare as literature. The course is broken into four rough foci or units, all of which address the question of whether Shakespeare can be considered as “modern”—whether his works speak to the current moment in the history of humanity and human self-conception, and if they do, how they do. Can we regard Shakespeare as our contemporary—as speaking, somehow, to us—despite the fact that he died nearly 400 years ago? Or does his appeal (assuming he has one) derive from his difference from us, from the distance between our time and his? Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to: whether Shakespeare’s politics are of a forward-thinking republican cast or retrograde absolutist one; whether his characters possess “deep” consciousness, and if so, what value depth has; whether the dramatic world that Shakespeare makes seems defined by scarcity and the need for a calculating, detached approach to life (or whether, by contrast, his world seems defined by an abundance that renders calculation and detachment unimportant); what it is about desire, and the nature of intimacy, that lend themselves to tragedy; the difference between rational, “modern” forms of thinking and their irrational, “magical” counterparts, with focus on the relationship between how Shakespeare’s characters think and how their fortunes turn out; and, finally, how offering possible answers to these questions leads us to questions about generic difference.

ENGL 328

Studies in the Eighteenth Century

Eighteenth-Century Film                          Flint

MW 9:00—10:15

This course introduces students to cinematic representations of the eighteenth century, mainly derived from fiction of the period, although we will begin with a film about the era that does not derive from a prior work, Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract. We will read the original texts, when applicable, in conjunction with the film versions. The goal of our discussions will be to illuminate the process of converting written stories into filmed ones and tracking how modern media and perspectives shape the past. But we will also treat the films as independent works governed by the technical and cultural demands of the cinema. The central document in this course will be Tristram Shandy, both the indefinable work written by Laurence Sterne and the peculiar film directed by Michael Winterbottom. Students considering this class are encouraged to preview Sterne’s novel (Penguin Classics ISBN [0141439777]) and Greenaway’s movie in order to assess their willingness to grapple with unusual works. Other text and movie groupings will likely include Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Luis Buñuel’s firm version of it, and Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away; one of Jane Austen’s novels and a film adaptation of it; and John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera and Bertoldt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera (which we will both read and watch as a film version).  Requirements: Regular attendance, reading preparedness, active discussion, several short assignments and one longer, researched essay. 

English 331/431

Studies in the 19th-Century

Gothic and Sensation Fiction Vrettos

TuTh 4:30—5:45

This course will study two of the most popular fictional genres of the nineteenth century, gothic and sensation fiction.  Beginning briefly with the roots of the gothic novel in the late 18th century, we will focus most of our time on novels and short stories written in the period between Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897).  Topics will include vampires and ghosts, murders and madness, transgressions of sexuality, gender, race and class, bigamy, drug addiction, spiritualism, hypnotism, hysteria, telepathy, and multiple personality.  In addition, we will study the relationship between gothic/sensation genres and popular cultural, political, and scientific issues of the period, the status of "popular" fiction in the literary marketplace, the role of women writers in the development of sensational genres, as well as the influence of gothic and sensation fiction on “canonical” writers such as Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, and Oscar Wilde.  We will read excerpts from Victorian murder trials, accounts of séances and psychical research, debates about lunatic asylums, as well as selected works of literary criticism, cultural history, and narrative theory.   Course requirements include class participation, the equivalent of three 5-7pp. papers, and a take-home final exam.  Graduate students will have extra readings, extra class meetings, and a 20pp. research paper.

ENGL  359/459

Studies in Contemporary American Literature
Beat Lit (The Beats) “Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind” Marling

MWF 2:00—2:50

This course delves into the culture and writing of a rebellious segment of the 1950s- 1960s American youth known as The Beats. We will do some background reading, watch several films, and read the central texts.

Background texts (Dr. Spock, Kinsey Reports, etc) supplied as pdfs.

Kerouac, On the Road

Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Charters, The Portable Beat Reader

Bukowski, Ham on Rye

Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Mailer, selected essays.

Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

Knight, Women of the Beat Generation

Baraka, Dutchman

Grades will be based on three papers and attendance/participation: Paper #1 on Bukowski or background – 25%; #2 on Kerouac’s On the Road – 25%; #3 on poetry or female writer(s) or the “gender troubles” of The Beats” – 25%. Class attendance and participation – 25% Attendance is taken on random days.
ENGL 365Q/465Q

Postcolonial Literature

Postcolonial African Theatre Seremba

TuTh 11:30—12:45

This course examines some of the work of Africa’s Anglophone canonical playwrights from the diverse regions of the continent. The first few weeks will be characterised by a deep immersion into the history and even context of a body of literature/s and theatre/s that is now simply referred to as African. The post-colonial itself as a critical methodology will be rigorously examined and even contested as well as applied to the texts at hand. This rigour will be extended to aspects such as mythology, ritual, proverbs, storytelling, dance, masks, make-up, song, irony and satire as well as other aesthetic elements and devices that come out of Africa’s diverse post-colonial heritage.

The issue of gender, the polarising questions of language, as well as the heated issue of nationstatism will also be discussed, particularly as they relate to the individual texts.

Students will be assessed by course work in combination with a final exam.

ENGL 367/467

Introduction to Film Spadoni

TuTh 2:45—4:00

Tu 7:00—9:30 (film viewing)

An introduction to the art of film. Each week we take an element of film form (editing, cinematography, sound, etc.) and look at film clips that illustrate how filmmakers work with this element to produce effects. Most weeks we’ll also screen a whole film and discuss it in light of the week’s focus. Films screened will include masterworks of the silent era, foreign films, Hollywood studio-era classics, and more recent US cinema. Students write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages) and take a scheduled quiz, a midterm, and a final exam. Grad students write a longer second essay and, in connection with this, submit a proposal and bibliography.

ENGL 368C/468C

Topics in Film: Watching Movies Spadoni

TuTh 10:00—11:15

Th 7:00—9:30 (film viewing)

What happens when we watch a film? This course examines three ways this process has been understood. First, theories of spectatorship look for ways films “position” viewers, often regardless of the type of viewer and even of the particular film. Second, historical reception studies examine how particular films have been viewed by particular audiences. Third, reflexive interpretations find ways individual films might be commenting on some aspect of the film experience, including its viewing. As we examine these three approaches to film viewing, we will watch and discuss films on a weekly basis. Students take a quiz, do occasional in-class writing exercises, write a short essay (5-6 pages), and write a longer one (8-10)—for which they conduct original historical research, write a proposal, give a presentation, and turn in an annotated bibliography. Grad students write a longer second essay and, in connection with this, submit a proposal and bibliography.

ENGL 368C/468C

Topics in Film: Great Directors Ehrlich

MW 12:30—1:45

Th 7:00—9:30 (film viewing)

This course offers the chance to look in depth into the films and careers of several world-class directors. The emphasis is on the range of styles available to directors, as well as on the ways historical and cultural factors help shape an individual artistic vision. We will also begin an exploration of issues other than authorship that might help us interpret films as informed viewers and critics.


Wharton, Teaching Auteur Study

Maynes, Claire Denis

Richie, Ozu

Kolker, Film, Form and Culture
ENGL 369

Children’s Literature: 1865-1910 Vrettos

TuTh 1:15—2:30

This course examines early classics of British and American children’s literature from the mid-nineteenth century through the first decade of the twentieth.  We will focus on narrative and thematic developments in the genre during this period, the historical contexts in which these stories were written (including 19th-century developmental psychology), interpretations and adaptations of these stories through film, and their influence on later writers.  Texts probably will include Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There; Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper; Sewell’s Black Beauty; Barrie’s Peter Pan; Kipling’s The Jungle Books; Nesbit’s Five Children and It; Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables; Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Ozma of Oz; Burnett’s The Secret Garden, and Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows.  Each student will choose a text on which to become an expert, studying its later adaptations (literary sequels by the same or other authors, theatrical performances, films, cartoons, video games, and/or television productions). Requirements include active participation in class discussion, an annotated bibliography of adaptations posted on Blackboard, and a choice of paper assignment plans (the equivalent of three 5-7pp. papers). There will, in addition, be an informal oral report on your research.

ENGL 372/472

Studies in the Novel (Narration and narrating) Stonum

MW 12:30—1:45

We will examine a wide range of narrative styles and techniques, from the 18th century to the 21st, asking questions both from the writer’s perspective (why tell a story one way rather than another) and the reader’s (how do such decisions affect understanding). The aim is to provide a fairly complete tour of narrative types, to read a number of major novels representing these types, and to introduce some of the key ideas of literary narratology (aka narrative theory).

We will read roughly seven novels or novel-like texts. Candidates include volume 1 of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Henry James’s Turn of the Screw, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Samuel Beckett’s Molloy, Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home. We may also examine both the screened and written versions of the “same” story: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness/Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Kazuo Ishiguro’s and James Ivory’s Remains of the Day, or Elizabeth Gaskill’s and PBS’s Cranford.

Undergraduate writing requirements will include regular Blackboard postings, a midterm on ideas and terms in narratology, a short paper analyzing narrative technique, and a term paper. The term paper will likely either synthesize the research on narration in one of our common novels or provide a hands-on analysis of narration in some other novel agreed upon by the student and the instructor.

Graduate students will do the regular Blackboard postings, the midterm, and both of the undergrad term paper assignments but will be excused from the shorter undergrad paper.

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