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2019 Spring Semester

Please note that this list does not include composition and technical writing classes (such as ENGL 101, 201, 277, and 379).


100-200 level

ENGL 210.01: Introduction to Literature


Katie O'Leary, JD

Readings in fiction, drama, and poetry to acquaint students with literature and aesthetic form. Prerequisites: ENGL 101. Notes: Course meets SGR #4 or IGR #3.


ENGL 222.01: British Literature II 

TU/TH 9:30-10:45 am 

Dr. Nicole Flynn

In this course, we will read a variety of texts from the Romantic period, the Victorian period, and the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  As we read these texts, we will situate them within their historical and literary contexts, identifying the major characteristics of the literary periods and movements that produced them. These 200 years witnessed the modernization of British society: the apex and gradual decline of Britain’s imperial power; the long and culturally significant reign of Queen Victoria; the liberalization of voting laws and women’s suffrage; the increasing role of the British parliament and the diminished role of the monarchy; the Industrial Revolution; two World Wars; the independence of Ireland, India, and other British colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere; and new waves of immigration from former colonies, bringing new ethnic and cultural diversity to the British Isles. These events all produced major shifts in British culture and British identity, and the literature in this survey will reflect these shifts. Authors will range from Wordsworth and Coleridge to Wilde, Woolf, Stoppard, and beyond. You will learn and examine the terms associated with British literature between 1800 and 2000: Romanticist, Gothic, Victorian, Modernist, Postmodernist, Post-colonial. You will read literary works that exemplify these (and other) movements and that represent a broad array of significant literary forms, including poetry, plays, novels, short fiction, and essays.                    

Required Textbook: 

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th edition, Volumes D, E, and F


ENGL 242.01: American Literature II

TU/TH 1:30-2:45pm

Dr. Seth Studer

Background to and survey of major works from the Civil War to the present. ENGL 241 and 242 need not be taken in sequence. Prerequisites: ENGL 101. Notes: Course meets SGR #4. Please check back as the semester approaches for a fuller description of our topic.


ENGL 249.01: Literature of Diverse Cultures

TU/TH 11:00am - 12:15pm 

Dr. Katherine Malone

In this course, we will read fiction about what it means to live between two cultures. We will consider how individuals are shaped by overlapping and sometimes competing identities, including nationality, ethnicity, race, class, gender, or sexuality. We'll also consider the politics of representing minority experiences in literature and who gets to speak about or for a community. The tentative reading list includes Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Exit, West by Mohsin Hamid, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, as well as short stories by various authors. In addition to engaging in lively, thought-provoking discussion, students will write weekly responses and two essays.


ENGL 283.01: Introduction to Creative Writing

MWF 11:00 - 11:50

Amber Jensen

This course introduces students to the craft of writing, with readings and practice in at least two genres (including fiction, poetry, and drama). Prerequisites: ENGL 101. Notes: Course meets SGR #1.


ENGL 284.01: Introduction to Criticism

MWF 11:00 - 11:50

Dr. Paul Baggett

This course introduces students to selected traditions of literary and cultural theory and to some of the key issues that animate discussion among literary scholars today. These include questions about the production of cultural value, about ideology and hegemony, about the patriarchal and colonial bases of Western culture, and about the status of the cultural object, of the cultural critic, and of cultural theory itself. 

To address these and other questions, we will survey the history of literary theory and criticism (a history spanning 2500 years) by focusing upon a number of key periods and -isms:  Greek and Roman Classicism, The Middle Ages and Renaissance, The Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Formalism, Historicism, Political Criticism (Marxism, Post-Colonialism, Feminism, et al.), and Psychological Criticism.  We also will “test” various theories we discuss by examining how well they account for and help us to understand various works of poetry and fiction.


ENGL 363.01 / HON 383.04: Why We Read

W 6:00-8:50

Dr. Katherine Malone (English) & Dr. Matt Badura (University College)

In this course, we will explore the history of readers and reading. How have literacy and the act of reading been valued at different times and places? What kinds of reading (and readers) are valorized and what kinds deemed dangerous? What effect is reading supposed to have on an individual’s body, mind, or morals? We will also consider how reading practices have changed and what they mean for the future of our society. Why were novels once viewed as damaging to intellectual growth, and why are children now encouraged to read more? Are we moving toward a post-literate society in which images and memes supplant the written word? Or does reading occupy an essential role in what we call the human experience? Besides reading an exciting mix of literary and popular fiction, we will approach these questions through a range of disciplines, including literary criticism, philosophy, history, sociology, and neuroscience.


ENGL 383.01: Creative Writing I

MWF 2:00-2:50pm

Dr. Christine Stewart 

Dr. Stewart’s Creative Writing I, or “The World of the Real Writer,” focuses on strengthening poetry, creative nonfiction, and/or fiction writing skills by developing longer/more complex projects. Through the processes of writing and revising creative texts, the class helps students learn more craft concepts and develop more sophisticated applications for them. Large-group workshop sessions will challenge students to expand and strengthen their practice of peer response. Students will also self-select texts to read as a writer and use to contextualize their creative work. Finally, reading submissions for a state-wide poetry and prose contest will give them real-world editing experience. 

ENGL 383 differs from ENGL 283 in that it does not fulfill an IGR or SGR credit. Because it primarily draws majors from English and affiliated fields, it focuses on the relationship between creative work and the study of literature. While research-based projects are welcome, they are not required.

Required texts: 

·      Sellers, Heather. The Practice of Creative Writing, 3rd edition        

·      One contemporary mentor text of the student’s choice.

·      Student work


Honors 383.02: The Work of Creativity 

M 3:00-5:50

Dr. Christine Stewart

This course will explore the nature of creativity across fields of study and in intersecting planes of human existence—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Inquiry questions include: What is creativity? Can it be taught or facilitated? Should we strive to be creative individuals? What does creativity “look like” in engineering? biology? architecture? art? music? nutrition? health care?  Many class meetings will feature a guest speaker from a specific discipline to help us answer these questions; concurrently, we will draw from theory in the texts we read and from our own creative practices. 

At the successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. articulate your working theory of creativity and how it can be taught/facilitated (or why not) with reasons;
  2. explain various theories of creativity, the importance of creativity in our world, how it (can) impact(s) the lives of individuals, and/or any other insights about creativity that emerge from your reading and guest speakers in this course; 
  3. make connections among various theories and practices of creativity that we learn about from texts, guest speakers, etc. 
  4. demonstrate experimentation with creative practice;
  5. produce artifact(s) of your creative practice in this course; 


  • Creativity in Science: Chance, Logic, Genius, and Zeitgeist: Dean Keith Simonton 978-0521543699
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • The Artist’s Way: Julia Cameron



ENGL 479.01: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lore of his Rings (Capstone)

W 3:00-5:50pm

Dr. M. Nagy

J. R. R. Tolkien’s extraordinary literary and linguistic accomplishments have recently earned for him the title of “Author of the Century,” and rightly so. This fact is perhaps never more apparent than in his engaging (and sometimes brooding) novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, for there Tolkien truly showcases the extent of his genius, and not simply by spinning a good yarn. Indeed, in those works, Tolkien draws upon an imposing array of ancient languages, literatures, prosodic forms, and styles in order to construct both Middle Earth and those who inhabit it. Yet, despite Tolkien’s rather daunting range, his works nevertheless entertain rather than intimidate the reader for they seamlessly blend history and mythology, fact and fantasy, and philosophy and philology into labyrinthine tales of remote lands, times, and peoples, ones whose darker sides often seem disturbingly modern and familiar. 

This will be a reading-intensive course designed both to introduce students to several Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse texts (all in translation), and to read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and several of Tolkien’s shorter prose and poetic works in light of these texts. Various themes we’ll cover include cultural relativity; the origin and nature of evil; religion and its fairytale and folktale motifs;  philology; the use and abuse of power; ecological theory; mythology and the modern day; and the corruptions and continuities of language, to name a few.


  • The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology.  Trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999.
  • The Saga of the Volsungs.  Trans. Jesse L. Byock. London: Penguin, 1999.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R.  The Hobbit.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
  • —.  The Lord of the Rings.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
  • —. The Tolkien Reader.  New York: Ballantine Books, 1966,


ENGL 491.02: Literary Publishing Practicum

Independent Study

Dr. Christine Stewart

A hands-on, semester long introduction to literary publishing centered on, but not limited to, the production of SDSU's literary journal Oakwood, founded in 1976. Our work will involve soliciting, editing, producing, and promoting the magazine, as well as an overview of the publishing industry and an opportunity to craft a publishing resume. Ideal for Creative Writing concentrators and Professional Writing minors, this class will give you demonstrable experience with workplace practices applicable in fields from editing to corporate communications. Please note that this is cross-listed as an Experiential Learning (EXPL) course and will count toward the Experiential Learning Scholars certificate. This will be conducted as an independent study course, though we will arrange for common meeting times based on the schedules of those involved. Please note that this course may also include graduate students enrolled in ENGL 791. Book: Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson


ENGL 491.02: Peer Tutoring

MW 8:30-9:45am

Nathan Serfling

Since their beginnings in the 1920s and 30s, writing centers have come to serve a number of functions: as hubs for writing across the curriculum initiatives, sites to develop and deliver workshops, and resource centers for faculty as well as students, among other functions. But the primary function of writing centers has necessarily and rightfully remained the tutoring of student writers. This course will immerse you in that function in two parts. During the first four weeks, you will explore writing center praxis--that is, the dialogic interplay of theory and practice related to writing center work. This part of the course will orient you to writing center history, key theoretical tenets, and practical aspects of writing center tutoring. Once we have developed and practiced this foundation, you will begin work in the writing center as tutors, responsible for assisting a wide variety of student clients with numerous writing tasks. Through this work, you will learn to actively engage with student clients in the revision of a text, respond to different student needs and abilities, work with a variety of writing tasks and rhetorical situations, and develop a richer sense of writing as a complex and negotiated social process.

Prerequisites: Students wishing to enroll in this course must be of junior or senior standing and needs to provide the name of an English department faculty member who will serve as a reference for them.


ENGL 492.01: Classical Mythology

MWF 12:00-12:50pm

Drs. M. Nagy and G. Wrightson

Modern society’s fascination with mythology manifests itself in the continued success of novels, films, and television programs about mythological or quasi-mythological characters such as Hercules, the Fisher King, and Gandalf the Grey, all of whom are celebrated for their perseverance or their daring deeds in the face of adversity.  This preoccupation with mythological figures necessarily extends back to the cultures which first propagated these myths in early folk tales and poems about such figures as Oðin, King Arthur, Rhiannon, Gilgamesh, and Odysseus, to name just a few.  English 492, a reading-intensive course cross-listed with History 492, primarily aims to expose students to the rich tradition of mythological literature written in languages as varied as French, Gaelic, Welsh, Old Icelandic, Greek, and Sumerian; to explore the historical, social, political, religious, and literary contexts in which these works flourished (if indeed they did); and to grapple with the deceptively simple question of what makes these myths continue to resonate with modern audiences. Likely topics and themes of this course will includeTheories of myth; Mythological Beginnings: Creation myths and the fall of man; Male and Female Gods in Myth;  Foundation myths; Nature Myths; The Heroic Personality; the mythological portrayal of (evil/disruptive) women in myth; and Monsters in myth.

Likely Texts:

  • Dalley, Stephanie, trans.  Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford World’s Classics, 2009.
  • Faulkes, Anthony, trans.  Edda.  Everyman, 1995.
  • Gregory, Lady Augusta.  Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster.Forgotten Books, 2007.
  • Jones, Gwyn, Thomas Jones, and Mair Jones.  The Mabinogion.  Everyman Paperback Classics, 1993.
  • Larrington, Carolyne, trans.  The Poetic Edda.  Oxford World’s Classics, 2009.
  • Matarasso, Pauline M., trans.  The Quest of the Holy Grail. Penguin Classics, 1969.
  • Apollodorus, Hesiod’s Theogony;
  • Hesiod’s Works and Days
  • Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Homeric Hymns, 
  • Virgil’s Aeneid, 
  • Iliad, Odyssey, 
  • Apollonius of Rhodes Argonautica,  
  • Ovid’s Heroides. 
  • Greek tragedies: Orestaia, Oedipus trilogy, Trojan Women, Medea, Hippolytus, Frogs, Seneca's Thyestes, Dyskolos, Amphitron.


  • Clash of the Titans 
  • Hercules
  • Jason and the Argonauts 
  • Troy (and recent miniseries)
  • Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?


 ENGL 492.02: Writing for the Legal Professions

TR 9:30-10:45am

Katie O’Leary, JD

"Thinking and writing like a lawyer” begins with honing one’s reading and writing skills. Indeed, the practice of law closely aligns with the practice of writing. As a future attorney or paralegal, you will craft closed case memos, client letters, motions in limine, and appellate briefs, among many other documents. In addition to thinking critically about your client’s case, you will be expected to advocate on their behalf (in front of a judge or jury) and problem solve their case in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. In this course, you will learn and apply techniques for effective communication in the legal field by preparing legal documents (memos; letters; motions; briefs); completing Bluebook citation exercises; participating in peer review sessions; conducting a simulated mediation session; and advocating for your client on appeal in an oral argument. Specifically, after taking this course, students will:

  • Write argumentative, creative, and reflective texts that demonstrate focus, content, structure, evidence, style, and grammar appropriate to their legal contexts;
  • Conduct scholarly research that incorporates the use of library resources and databases related to legal studies; the evaluation and integration of secondary sources; and the documentation of primary and secondary sources using appropriate discipline styles;
  • Apply key legal theoretical ideas, concepts, and methodologies to the reading and writing of texts;
  • Understand the social and ethical issues of the legal profession, including the promotion of justice;
  • Apply course material to improve problem-solving and critical thinking skills; and
  • Develop an awareness of communication across gender, social, and cultural lines.

ENGL 492.03/MFL 492.01 Topics: Semantics

TU-TH 11:00-12:15

Jeremy Rud (Department of  Modern Languages and Global Studies)

What does it all mean? Does language affect the way I think and interpret the world? In this course we will explore language and its relationship to meaning from a linguistic perspective. This includes in-depth analyses of the linguistic meaning of our utterances (semantics) as well as their contextual meaning (pragmatics). Through reading, discussion, self-reflection, and experimentation we will examine the following topics: signs and signifiersprototypes, categories and exemplarsmetaphor and metonymyhomonymy and polysemyspace, embodiment, and cognitionlinguistic relativitydeixis and anaphoraspeech actsconversational implicaturepresuppositionentailment, and conversation analysis. Overall, this course aims to widen students’ perspectives of language and challenge taken-for-granted conceptualizations of human understanding and language use.

Required text: Saeed, J. I. (2016). Semantics (4th Ed.). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.



ENGL 704.01: Introduction to Graduate Studies

W 3:00-5:50pm

Dr. Sharon Smith

English 704: Introduction to Graduate Studies is required of all first-year graduate students. The primary purpose of this course is to introduce students to modern and contemporary literary theory and its applications. Students will write short response papers and will engage at least one theoretical approach in their own fifteen- to twenty-page scholarly research project. In addition, this course will further introduce students to the M.A. program in English at South Dakota State University and provide insight into issues related to the profession of English studies.


ENGL 710.01: Seminar in Rhetoric

TH 3:00-5:50pm

Dr. Michael Keller

This course has three objectives: 1) to inform you of the histories and theories of rhetoric; 2) to afford you the opportunity to respond to these histories and to apply, adapt or challenge these theories in ways that will increase your understanding of western culture past and present; and 3) to expand your repertoire of interpretive strategies. To pursue these objectives, we will study a variety of texts from a range of historical periods—from the classical period to the present day—that focus upon problems that have long beset those who think about communication and its relation to culture. These problems include the tension between philosophy and rhetoric and that between rhetoric and politics, the disparity between truth and representation, the figural nature of language, the tenuous divide between misleading and educating one’s audience, and the epistemological crises occasioned by the rise of mass audiences and mass communications (mechanical and electronic) and by the inducements of advertising and entertainment. 

Written work for the course will include four essays: one of 4 pages, two of 7 pages, and one of 12 pages—all of which will respond to course readings. In addition to class discussion, oral work will include two presentations. 

Prior iterations of the course have included the following texts: 


  • Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills 
  • The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in Journalism, Travel Writing, and Imperial 
  • Administration by David Spurr 
  • Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America by Jackson Lears 
  • The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information 
  • by Richard A. Lanham 
  • Magic, Rhetoric, and Literacy: An Eccentric History of the Composing Imagination 
  • by William A. Covino 
  • Speed Limits: Where Time Went and Why We Have So Little Left by Mark C. Taylor 

Essays, Addresses, and Dialogs 

  • Ion and Gorgias by Plato 
  • Book I of Rhetoric by Aristotle 
  • The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde 
  • “General Introduction” to The Rhetorical Tradition and “Introduction to Classical 
  • Rhetoric” by Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg 
  • “Rhetoric” by Stanley Fish 
  • “Declaration by Design: Rhetoric, Argument, and Demonstration in Design Practice” by 
  • Richard Buchanan 
  • “Tropology, Discourse, and the Modes of Human Consciousness” by Hayden White 
  • A History of the Royal Society (excerpt) by Thomas Sprat 
  • Inaugural Addresses of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump 
  • “Culture Industry Reconsidered” by Theodor Adorno


ENGL 729.01: Seminar in American Literature since 1900

TU 3:00-5:50pm

Dr. Jason McEntee

In this course, we will examine three significant novels from the late 1990s: David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996), Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon (1997), and Don DeLillo’s Underworld (1997).  This will be a course that involves close reading and intense discussion of that reading.  Attendance is mandatory.  Our initial discussions of each novel will be rooted in the contexts of “postmodernism/postmodernity” (and, of course, “modernism/modernity”).  After that, however, I expect that we will embark on a wide-ranging, organic discussion of the issues emanating from these novels.  Course requirements include: 1) reading (lots of it); 2) a presentation on your working definition of “postmodern literature” along with a “text inventory” that traces and illustrates your relationship to this period; and 3) a rigorously-researched final seminar essay of 15-20 pages (which also includes a required paper proposal and brief discussion with the class).


ENGL 791.01: Literary Publishing Practicum

Independent Study

Dr. Christine Stewart  

A hands-on, semester long introduction to literary publishing centered on, but not limited to, the production of SDSU's literary journal Oakwood, founded in 1976. Our work will involve soliciting, editing, producing, and promoting the magazine, as well as an overview of the publishing industry and an opportunity to craft a publishing resume.  This class will give you demonstrable experience with workplace practices applicable in fields from editing to corporate communications. It will be conducted as an independent study course, though we will arrange for common meeting times based on the schedules of those involved.

Graduate courses will work side-by-side with undergraduates enrolled in ENGL 491 but with a different grading rubric and set of responsibilities, including a class-length (50-minute) oral presentation and a written research report on a publishing topic developed by the student. Books: Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson