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English Course Offerings- Fall 2024

Group shot of faculty in English and Philosophy

Note for Students

Registration begins April 1st. Advising week is March 25-29th. We encourage you to meet with your advisor or Dr. Thomas Klein, our undergraduate director. His email is: thomasklein@isu.edu.

Please note there could be some adjustments in delivery mode options, like an additional SO section associated with an in-seat class. These changes may not be reflected in this listing but could be found in the online schedule when it goes live on March 18th.

For a full listing of all the courses offered in English, please see the undergraduate catalog or graduate catalog.

Also, did you know that ISU has millions of dollars in scholarships available every year? Register in the Bengal Online Scholarship System to receive updates on scholarships relevant to your major and interests. Sign up today.

English also offers scholarships specific to our program for undergraduate students and TAships/Fellowships for graduate students. You can find information about these awards here.


Delivery Mode Legend

SO courses are online courses that meet Synchronously Online (have a specific day/time meeting pattern).

AO courses are online courses that meet Asynchronously Online (are done anytime on your schedule).

BL courses are blended courses whose in-seat time has been reduced due to a strong online component.

DL courses are distance learning courses that have sections on different campuses such as Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and/or Meridian as well as a possible online option.

If no delivery mode is indicated, this is an in-seat only course.


ENGL 1101/1101P (Objective 1): Writing and Rhetoric I/Plus

Multiple sections offered, see BengalWeb class schedule.

In this course students will read, analyze, and write expository essays for a variety of purposes consistent with expectations for college-level writing in standard edited English.


ENGL 1102 (Objective 1): Writing and Rhetoric II

Multiple sections offered, see BengalWeb class schedule.

Writing essays based on readings. Students will focus on critical reading, research methods, gathering ideas and evidence, and documentation.


ENGL 1107 (Objective 7): Nature of Language

01: TR 11-12:15 SO with Elizabeth Redd (CRN: 12825)

This course is an introduction to the field of linguistics. We will look at how the study of language is approached by linguists within the discipline of linguistics and by linguists within the discipline of anthropology, as well as exploring how other fields utilize linguistics for their own interests while impacting the whole field of linguistics in the process. Because this is a survey course, we only examine a portion of the many areas within linguistics without going into great detail in any one area.


ENGL 1123: Advanced Academic Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English

01: TR 11-12:15 with Omotomilayo Lawanson (CRN: 11678)

Introduction to the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing) and concepts such as audience, purpose, and thesis. Continued emphasis on development of grammar and vocabulary.


ENGL 1126 (Objective 4A): Art of Film I

01-03: Thurs. 6-8:30 pm DL with Carlen Donovan

Art of Film I examines the creative process, aesthetic principles and historical background of cinematic arts. The course will introduce you to important movements, critical approaches, and technical aspects of film. Our class goal is that you analyze and evaluate film texts critically for yourself, both in class and beyond, and that you develop a greater understanding of the human condition through the art of film.


ENGL 1126 (Objective 4A): Art of Film I

05: MW 11-12:15 with Roger Schmidt (CRN: 13507)
06: TR 1-2:15 with Roger Schmidt (CRN: 13508)

A history of film from its early years in Hollywood to the most recent Oscar winners, with emphasis on aesthetic principles, technical aspects, and the creative process. Classic films in a variety of genres and from each era will be watched and discussed.


ENGL 1175 (Objective 4A): Literature and Ideas: Literature and the Natural World

02: AO Late 8 Session with Curtis Whitaker (CRN: 11679)

Humanity’s relationship to the natural world has figured prominently in literature from the earliest days to the present. Questions about how we connect to animals, to plants, and to the larger systems of nature that surround us are perennial ones that artists have explored in stories, poems, and films. This introductory course will consider how these engagements happen over time in diverse landscapes from Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., with an eye toward the environmental crisis we face in the present.


ENGL 2206: Creative Writing Workshop

01: TR 11-12:15 with Bethany Schultz Hurst (CRN: 10021)
02: MWF 10-10:50 with Bethany Schultz Hurst (CRN: 10851)

This class will introduce you to the study of creative writing craft in the genres of poetry and the short story. We’ll read a variety of contemporary texts from a craft- based perspective to learn how authors construct their work. We’ll also practice elements of the creative process, from generating material to revising polished drafts, with the goal of creating works that are valuable to and rewarding for an audience of readers. In class-wide workshops of student works, we’ll practice giving and being receptive to critical feedback. We’ll also have fun with discussions and collaborative activities designed to encourage creative thinking.


ENGL 2210 (Objective 9): American Cultural Studies: 'That's Entertainment' in American Culture

01: AO with William Donovan (CRN: 11679)

Learn about American Culture through what entertains us: ghost stories, Disney animated features, and attending elite cultural events. Textbooks available free as pdf downloads.


ENGL 2211: Introduction to Literary Analysis

01: MWF 10-10:50 with Matthew VanWinkle (CRN: 10022)
02: MWF 10-10:50 SO with Matthew VanWinkle (CRN: 12193)

Writing that lives in our memories often does so because it has caught something particularly intricate or enduring about experience. This course provides a vocabulary for writing about these representations of complexity, these compelling insights into what abides, in more detailed, discerning, and persuasive ways. It offers methods in close reading, and in recognizing interpretive possibilities. It also provides a vocabulary for describing significant features of literary craft, and how attending to these features can help form and refine decisive responses to the choices offered by challenging and evocative texts. Taken together, these methods and vocabularies afford the opportunity to read and write about literature with greater interest, enjoyment, insight, and skill.


ENGL 2215 (Objective 4A): Survey of World Mythology

01: MWF 1-1:50 with Michael Stubbs (CRN: 13509)
02: MWF 1-1:50 SO with Michael Stubbs (CRN: 13526)

This course is a broad survey of mythologies from multiple cultures and regions of the world from ancient times to the present. Students will analyze, discuss, and write about world mythologies and their relationship to contemporary cultures.


ENGL 2215 (Objective 4A): Survey of World Mythology

03: TR 9:30-10:45 with Alan Johnson (CRN: 214741)

This is an introductory survey of ancient and medieval mythic tales from around the world, including Greece and Rome, India, Japan, Mesopotamia, Northern Europe (Norse, Celtic), and the Indigenous cultures of the Americas. We will also consider why we continue to read and re-tell these myths, whether for entertainment, religious, or philosophical reasons. We’ll consider the role of heroes and heroines, written and oral epic traditions, and myths about creation and disaster. We’ll read up-to-date translations of select tales, as well as at least one re-telling, and watch clips of film adaptations. As we do so, we’ll ponder questions like: What is the relationship between humans and the natural world? What roles have these mythic tales played in different cultures, both past and present, and how have they reflected regional and ethnic group identities? We’ll consider how and why certain patterns, or archetypes, are repeated across cultures, and the storytelling devices various authors have used to construct their stories. To help us do this, we’ll apply some well-known analytical lenses to our readings of these stories in order to help us more deeply understand and enjoy them. Requirements include short reflection papers, an essay, reading quizzes, and class discussions.


ENGL 2267: Survey of British Literature I

01: TR 2:30-3:45 with Curtis Whitaker (CRN: 10023)
02: TR 2:30-3:45 SO with Curtis Whitaker (CRN: 12673)

This first half of the British literature survey treats works from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century, about one thousand years in total.  We will pay particular attention to the history of the English language, from its Anglo-Saxon roots to its modern form, observing how major poets in English—such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton—left their mark on the words we speak today. 

A further concern of 2267 will be the history of ideas in literature, as attitudes toward nature, social class, and human rights changed rapidly with the development of capitalism and science in the Renaissance. The course will end with the study of the Enlightenment, a period during which the ideals of many modern political systems were first expressed, even as British colonialism and slavery were at their height.


ENGL 2277: Survey of American Literature I

01: TR 11-12:15 with Margaret Johnson (CRN: 10024)

The U.S. Declaration of Independence famously states that “all men are created equal” and they have “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” How well does the vision of America shown through its literature demonstrate these ideas? English 2277 surveys American literature from its beginnings through the end of the Civil War. We will explore major themes, genres, and forms central to early American writers; and we will discuss social, historical, and aesthetic concerns to which the literature responds. We will trace American literature from its origins, considering how the wide range of literary texts and their viewpoints contribute to as well as challenge our understanding of American literature and history.


ENGL 2280: Grammar and Usage

01: TR 11-12:15 SO with Sonja Launspach (CRN: 12194)

This course is a basic introduction to the grammar of standard English. Through preparation and participation, students should be able to use grammar terminology appropriately, identify the lexical categories of words, and analyze the different components of grammar, such as phrases and clauses. The class uses a Team Based Learning approach. Part of our discussion may include the historical development and use of grammatical forms. Assignments will include individual knowledge application exercises, skills-based mastery, team concept explorations, practice exercises, textual analysis and a final grammatical analysis.


ENGL 3307: Professional and Technical Writing

Multiple sections offered, see BengalWeb class schedule.

No matter what field you are going into, communication both written and oral will be a major part of your daily life. This course will teach you how to communicate professionally through various documents such as proposals, emails, reports, webpages, resumes and more. Course content will enable students to tailor documents for readers and users within their chosen fields of study. Additionally, since most people will be working collaboratively in the professional world, team work is stressed. Students often remark that this is one of the most valuable courses they have taken because it prepares them for work beyond the university.


ENGL 3308: Business Communication

Multiple sections offered, see BengalWeb class schedule.

An advanced course in conventions of business communications, emphasizing purpose and audience. Focus on style, semantics, research skills, format, persuasion, and critical analysis and synthesis of data.


ENGL 3311: Literary Criticism and Theory

01: TR 1-2:15 with Gibette Encarnación (CRN: 11156)

In this writing-intensive course you will continue honing your close-reading skills and building on these skills by exploring the major critical and theoretical patterns of thought in literary scholarship. Taking a global approach, we will read both critical essays on each trend and literary texts that can bear such theoretical scrutiny. This course will provide not only an introduction to major literary theory trends--including New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Queer Studies, Marxism, Historicism and Cultural Studies, Postcolonial and Race Studies, and Reader-Response Criticism--but also the opportunity to practice using these varied theoretical approaches to analyze literary and cultural texts.  


ENGL 3323: Studies in Fiction: How Novels Work

01: MW 11-12:15 with Matthew Levay (CRN: 14743)
02: MW 11-12:15 SO with Matthew Levay (CRN: 14761)

What is a novel? How is that literary form uniquely suited to representing social experience, individual psychology, and the cultural climate of a particular time and place? How have authors experimented with the novel’s conventions, and how have those efforts pushed the form in new directions? How has the novel changed over its history, and how has it remained the same? Why are novels still so popular among readers? Examining a diverse range of novels from multiple countries, we will consider the formal elements of the novel, the history of the novel as it developed from the nineteenth century to the present, and the cultural work that novels perform. By the end of the semester, we will better understand why the novel remains so relevant in the twenty-first century.


ENGL 3354: Studies in Black Literatures: Black Literatures of the American West

01: TR 11-12:15 with Amanda Zink (CRN: 14744)
02: TR 11-12:15 SO with Amanda Zink (CRN: 14762)

In the aftermath of the Civil War, newly freed African Americans were on the move. In the 1870s alone, an estimated 40,000-60,000 people left the South for the West to find new opportunities to create new lives. This course will trace this migration through a wide variety of texts: history, biography, fiction (novels and short stories), film, and song lyrics. We’ll consider the ways African Americans - from Nat Love to Beyonce – have helped shaped American literature and western spaces.


ENGL 4405/5505: Creative Writing in the Schools

01: TR 9:30-10:45 with Susan Goslee (CRN: 13511/13528)

English 4405/5505: Creative Writing in the Schools is structured as a hybrid pedagogy seminar/creative writing workshop.

In the pedagogy portion of the class, students will draft, workshop, and revise brief creative writing lesson plans. Then, under the course professor’s supervision, students will share these activities with a local fourth grade class. Rotating groups of three students will visit the 4th graders once a week for ten to twelve weeks.

Because southeastern Idaho’s elementary schools serve children from a range of economic and cultural backgrounds, in the creative writing portion of the course, we will investigate issues of identity and marginalization in published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Candidates for our reading list include When My Brother Was an Aztec (Diaz), Best Barbarian (Reeves), Sabrina and Corina (Fajardo-Anstine), How Much of These Hills Is Gold (Zhang), Night of the Living Rez (Talty), and American Born Chinese (Yang). Students will complete short critical papers on these assigned readings in addition to writing creative works and participating in peer workshops on polished drafts.

At the end of the semester, students will revise their lesson plan based on their classroom experience and a few of their creative works. 


ENGL 4407/5507: Topics in Professional and Technical Communication: The Rhetoric and Design of Board Games

01: M 7-9:30 pm with Robert Watkins (CRN: 11447/14763)

Board games explore complex economic, philosophical, literary, and rhetorical concepts. This course will analyze them and produce their documentation. The analytical goal will consist of playing the games, reading theory, discussing ideas from the games, and writing interpretive analyses. The production goal will consist of creating original instructional manuals for an existing game or original game relying on visual rhetoric, document design, UX studies, and technical communication. 


ENGL 4408/5508: Advanced Prose Workshop: The Lyric Essay

01: M 4-6:30 pm with Bethany Schultz Hurst (CRN: 12572/12573)

In the introduction to The Lyric Essay as Resistance, Zoe Bossiere describes the lyric essay as a “form-between-forms [that seems] to ignore the conventions of prose writing—such as a linear chronology, narrative, and plot—in favor of embracing more liminal styles, moving by association rather than story, dancing around unspoken truths.” In this way, the lyric essay looks away from what’s usually placed at the center. Throughout the semester, as we read examples of the lyric essay, study its craft, and produce our own drafts to consider in workshop, we’ll explore what this liminal form allows us to see in the margins and gaps between.


ENGL 4433: Methods of Teaching Literature

01: T 4-6:30 pm with Amanda Zink (CRN: 11567)
02: T 4-6:30 pm SO with Amanda Zink (CRN: 12670)

This course studies the objectives and methods of teaching literature and composition in the secondary schools (grades 6-12). It is ideally taken the semester before you do your student teaching. In this course you will learn strategies and techniques for teaching reading, writing, and grammar; you will become aware of and think critically about current problems in pedagogy; you will prepare to defend your pedagogical choices rationally and articulately while constructing unit plans.


ENGL 4462/5562: Studies in Medieval Literature: Medieval Texts and Travelers

01: T 7-8:15 pm BL with Thomas Klein (CRN: 14745/14765)
02: T 7-8:15 pm BL/SO with Thomas Klein (CRN: 14766/14767)

The course will explore cross-cultural approaches to the study of medieval literature. With readings ranging from medieval England and Northern Europe to the Mediterranean and Asia, we will explore patterns of travel and cultural contact in the Middle Ages, and the representation of other peoples in literature. With readings from Marie de France, Marco Polo, Margery Kempe, and many others, the course will shed light on the meaning of traversing cultural and geographical boundaries in the medieval world, and explore the fantastic lands that may live beyond those boundaries.


ENGL 4466/5566: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature: Romantic and Victorian Revenants

01: MWF 1-1:50 with Matthew VanWinkle (CRN: 14746/14768)
02: MWF 1-1:50 SO with Matthew VanWinkle (CRN: 14769/14770)

A variety of political, economic, and technological developments led nineteenth-century Britain to reconsider both its material and ideal boundaries, the conceptual demarcations by which it organized its understanding of the world. This wide-ranging reassessment at times grew so unsettling as to call into question one of the ultimate boundaries, as the line between life and death seemed more permeable than ever before…

This semester we will be reading literature that focuses on revenants in multiple senses. For nineteenth-century readers, a revenant is most frequently a ghost or some other unnatural apparition that has returned to the living from the land of the dead. In a more extended sense, the term could refer to any return after a lengthy absence. This class will focus on the poems and novels that represent and engage with such returns.


ENGL 4471/5571: Literature and the Environment: Floods and Forests in Fiction

01: TR 2:30-3:45 with Alan Johnson (CRN: 14747/14771)
02: TR 2:30-3:45 SO with Alan Johnson (CRN: 14772/14773)

This course introduces you to stories about forests and floods, both of which have shaped human lives and imaginations for thousands of years. Forests, for example, serve as settings and symbols in the earliest known epics, Gilgamesh and the Mahabharata; appear in numerous folk tales, such as “Robin Hood”; and animate a range of early modern and modern plays, novels, and poems. Cooper’s 1826 romance The Last of the Mohicans, Thoreau’s 1854 essay Walden; or, Life in the Woods, and Richard Powers’ award-winning 2018 novel The Overstory are samples of the many North American novels about forests. Floods are similarly important features of literary works ranging from Genesis, the Sanskrit Shatapatha Brahmana, and the Mayan Popul Vuh to later fiction like Émile Zola’s 1880 “The Flood” (“L'Inondation”), J. G. Ballard’s post-apocalyptic The Drowned World (1962), and Marcus Sedgwick’s Floodland (2000). Many of these works view forests and flood with mixed feelings, since both are life-giving and deadly; and the people, creatures and gods that reside in them vary in similar ways. In this course, therefore, we will look at the complicated relationship between humans and the natural environment as it is described in stories. We will also think about what these stories can tell us about this relationship.


ENGL 4476/5576: Shakespeare

01: M 4-6:30 pm with Jessica Winston (CRN: 11449/13041)
02: M 4-6:30 pm SO with Jessica Winston (CRN: 13042/13043)

Ben Jonson famously said that Shakespeare is “not for an age, but for all time.” But was Jonson right? We explore contexts in which Shakespeare wrote and how his plays have been interpreted in criticism and performance in Shakespeare’s time and the present day. We will emphasize adaptation and performance, both Shakespeare’s adaptation of previously existing stories and productions of Shakespeare in modern theatre. The class incorporates viewing productions of the assigned plays. Plays are: Merchant of Venice, Othello, As You Like It, and Henry IV, Part 1.


ENGL 4488/5588: Introduction to Sociolinguistics

01: TR 1-2:15 with Sonja Launspach (CRN: 14241/14242)

Sociolinguistics is the study of how language is used in different social contexts, both on an individual level and on a societal level. This course will present an introduction to the basic concepts and different areas of sociolinguistics studies. Topics to be covered include: language maintenance and language death, language and identity, language ideologies, multilingualism, code-switching, and language variation. The course material will be presented through various media: texts, primary materials and visual media.


ENGL 4499/5599: Old English II

01: TBD with Thomas Klein (CRN: 15439/15440)

This course provides an opportunity for students to continue developing their language skills in reading in Old English, to obtain direct knowledge of important early English literary texts, and to expand their knowledge of Old English dialects and the transition between Old English and Middle English. Readings may include selections from the Exeter Book riddles, Apollonius of Tyre, The Wanderer, and the Peterborough Chronicle. Prerequisite is ENGL 4486/5586 and you will need permission of the instructor in order to register.


ENGL 6612: Introduction to Graduate Studies in English

01: W 4-6:30 pm with Matthew Levay (CRN: 10027)
02: W 4-6:30 pm SO with Matthew Levay (CRN: 12669)

This course introduces new MA and PhD students to the debates and practices that make up the discipline of English studies. We will focus on questions of specialization (what is a field, and how do you get up to speed with its major journals, conferences, and intellectual currents?), research (what defines graduate-level research in English?), criticism and theory (what methods and thinkers have been most significant in establishing English studies as we know it today?), and professionalization (what are the best strategies for reading and producing academic writing in a variety of genres?). In an effort to answer these questions in personally meaningful ways, each student will complete a series of assignments tailored to their own interests within the program.


ENGL 6621: Seminar in A Major Literary Genre, Pre-1800: The Literary and the Rise of the Novel

01: Thurs. 4-6:30 pm with David Lawrimore (CRN: 14748)
02: Thurs. 4-6:30 pm SO with David Lawrimore (CRN: 14774)

In this course, we will consider the rise of the novel with a particular emphasis on the literary aspects of the genre. While the study of genre is necessarily historical, we will prioritize these novels’ aesthetic dimensions—their formal qualities, their affective impact, their role as works of art. We will build a vocabulary of concepts that is particularly focused on the “literariness” of the novel—fictionality, narratology, characterization, affect, autonomy, and others—and use these concepts to more fully appreciate a number of canonical and non-canonical works as aesthetic objects. While our focus will be on novels written before 1800, therefore, the topics and issues that we will explore will attempt to get to the heart of literary analysis and be applicable to works of literature across a range of time periods. Likely works include: Don Quixote; Robinson Crusoe; Pamela; Dangerous Liaisons; Tristram Shandy; Mary and Matilda; The Monk; and others. Longer works will be excerpted.


ENGL 6631: Seminar in Teaching Writing

01: W 7-9:30 pm with Margaret Johnson (CRN: 10028)
02: W 7-9:30 pm SO with Margaret Johnson (CRN: 12879)

What are the best practices for teaching college writing? What can instructors do to create an inventive and productive writing class? The Seminar in Teaching Writing will introduce students to the theory and practice of writing instruction, focusing on the ways in which various pedagogical models inform our methods of teaching. As part of the class, students will also learn about creating writing assignments and class activities, evaluating student writing, designing courses, developing syllabi, selecting texts, and performing other actions associated with teaching writing at the college level. Students will be responsible for a variety of oral and written work, including a textbook review, teaching portfolio, and seminar paper.


ENGL 6682: TESL Methodology

01: T 4-6:30 pm with Brent Wolter (CRN: 14750)
02: T 4-6:30 pm SO with Brent Wolter (CRN: 14775)

Building on the theoretical framework of ENGL 6681, students develop effective ESL materials and curricula, taking into account SLA research as well as the characteristics, needs, and motivation of learners. The class will involve a large practical component.