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Deptarment of English graphic

Upper Division Courses - Spring 2009

Welcome

Please note: the following list is subject to change and may not be comprehensive. Please check the online course listing for the full roster along with information on class days/times and room numbers. The course location is at UHD Main Campus unless otherwise noted. 

Course Titles

ENG 3302 - Business and Technical Report Writing

ENG 3311 - Studies in Poetry

ENG 3311 - Studies in Poetry

ENG 3312 - Studies in Fiction

ENG 3313 - Studies in Dramatic Literature

ENG 3315 - Studies in Science Fiction: British SF

ENG 3320 - History of the English Language

ENG 3367 - Nineteenth Century British Literature & Culture

ENG 4314 - Major Authors: Wharton and Cather

ENG 4314 - Major Authors: Richard Wright and James Baldwin

ENG 5340 - Project Management

 


Course Descriptions

English 3302 - Business and Technical Report Writing

Wayne Schmadeka, Ph.D.

Three sections:

MW 8:30 am - 9:45 am (CRN 20764), room S-1099

MW 10:00 am - 11:15 am (CRN 20765), room S-1099

TR 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (CRN 20775), room N-637

Prerequisite

Three credit hours of English literature.

Description

Students will study and practice writing the types of documents frequently used in the workplace, including cover letters and resumes, proposals, progress reports, formal reports, and PowerPoint presentations.

Objectives

  • Research, design, create, and prepare informal and formal documents suitable for the workplace
  • Balance visual and verbal elements of communication in documents and oral presentations
  • Use current technology to search for and report information
  • Edit documents for correctnessRespond usefully to others' writing

Major assignments include writing

  • Cover letters and resumes in response to job announcements
  • A proposal for a recommendation/feasibility report
  • A progress report
  • A recommendation/feasibility report

Recent examples of reports include

  • Recommending implementation of JROTC programs at HISD junior high schools
  • Evaluating whether it is better for a student to remodel her existing home or build a new home
  • Recommending enhancements to security for UHD students, staff, and faculty
  • Recommending expansion of recycling in Houston

Textbook

Jones, D., and Lane, K.Technical Communication. 7th ed.New York : Pearson Education, 2002. ISBN: 0205325211.

English 3311 - Studies in Poetry

Bill Gilbert

MW 7:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m., room A-434

CRN: 21638

This is a course in reading and writing ABOUT poetry, rather than a creative writing class. It assumes no prior knowledge of poetry. One of the three required genre courses for English majors, ENG 3311 introduces students to ways of appreciating and analyzing a wide variety of poems written from medieval to present times. In addition to learning about poetic forms and techniques, students apply a chosen literary theory to the work of a poet of their choice. There are four required essays of explication, one using research, and one presentation of a poem or poems to the class. Online journaling through Vista is part of daily class preparation.


English 3311 - Studies in Poetry

Dr. Caroline Kimberly

TR 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.

CRN: 21884

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” – Emily Dickinson

What makes poetry “poetry”? How has poetry changed over the years? Does it speak to the heart or to the head? Can it address both, and if so, what tools can we use to understand it more easily? This class will serve as an overview of the poetic form as a literary genre, giving students both the tools and the historical context necessary to better understand poetry on a variety of levels. Most importantly, this course hopes to make poetry more accessible and interesting to the student, both through an analysis of content and study of the poets themselves. Beginning with Renaissance works and continuing through the twenty-first century, we will cover both British and American canonical poetry and noncanonical authors of increasing importance. Course requirements will include class discussion and in-class work, in-class presentations, essays, and a midterm and final exam.


English 3312 - Studies in Fiction

Paul Kintzele

TR 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m., room A-622

CRN: 21689

"When I started to write, the idea was very small, just an image, not an idea actually. A man who is 30, cooking spaghetti in the kitchen, and the telephone rings -- that's it. It's so simple, but I had the feeling that something was happening there." This class will focus on the distinctively modern literary genre of the short story. We will read a variety of examples, starting from the early 19th century, and as we move forward chronologically and expand out geographically, we will see how new generations of writers tailored the genre to fit their needs. We will investigate why short stories emerged in the way they did in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the particular challenges of writing in this format. In order to provide students with a conceptual foundation in the study of fiction, this course will offer introductions to several common critical methodologies, including narratology, psychoanalysis, and various sociological schools of criticism. To instill the habit of attentive reading, there will be special emphasis on the late structuralist analytical method of Roland Barthes, as demonstrated in his book S/Z. Authors may include: Balzac, Chekhov, Poe, Melville, Kafka, Joyce, Woolf, Wright, O'Connor, and Murakami (who is quoted above). Requirements: three essays and weekly quizzes.

Required texts:

The Art of the Short Story.Ed. Dana Gioia.Longman.ISBN: 0321363639.

Roland Barthes.S/Z.Hill and Wang.ISBN: 0374521670.

Edgar Allan Poe. The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings.Penguin.ISBN: 0141439815.

Flannery O'Connor.The Complete Stories.Faber.ISBN: 0571143806.

Murakami, Haruki.The Elephant Vanishes.Vintage.ISBN: 0679750533.


English 3313- Studies in Dramatic Literature

Dr. Sandra Dahlberg

Two sections:

MW 1:00-2:15 CRN 21653 (Downtown)

Tuesday 10:00-12:45 CRN 21656 (The University Center)

This course will examine the origins and characteristics of drama, as a genre. While the course will cover the breadth of dramatic literature in Western culture, it will focus on the themes of alienation and colonization. We will begin with classical Greek drama (Euripides’ Medea), move through medieval European plays such as Everyman and The Second Shepherds’ Pageant, and then Shakepeare’s The Tempest and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz’ Divine Narcissus in the early modern era. More recent works will include Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children, Churchill’s Cloud Nine, Césaire’s A Tempest (a rebuttal to Shakepeare’s play), Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, and Wilson’s Fences.

There is one anthology for the course: The Wadsworth Anthology of Drama. Papers will address dramatic issues such as dramaturgy and performance, as well as critical analysis.


English 3315 - Studies in Science Fiction: British SF

Dr. Nicole LaRose

TR 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Aliens, monsters, intelligent machines, apocalypse, and disaster may be the subjects of science fiction, but the genre has traditionally used these speculative subjects as a way to deal with historical turmoil. Industrialization, politics, war, totalitarianism, and revolution are therefore the actual subjects of science fiction. In this course we will survey British science fiction with a focus on the ways the novels and films address their historical moments. The interrogation of history results in a rethinking of the meaning of humanity and the potential for utopian thought. The survey may include Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, John Wyndham, J.G Ballard, Martin Amis, Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, and films based on novels by these authors. Readings will also be drawn from theorists and critics of science fiction. Students will be expected to complete regular response papers, one short paper, one longer research-based paper, and a final exam.


English 3320 - History of the English Language

Michael Dressman

MW 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

CRN: 21648

This course is a study of the English language, as it has developed from a variety of German, spoken in northwest Europe in the fifth century, into the major world language it is today. One major benefit from the course is that you can learn to analyze language as a systematic human process, not just a jumble of words and rules with mysterious reasons for being “right” or “wrong.”

We begin with a brief overview of human language and the method of studying it. At many universities, as at UHD, this course serves for many students as an introduction to the formal study of language, which is called “linguistics.”

Next, there is a progressive study of the various stages of English from its Germanic beginnings to its modern varieties as spoken in the United States, Great Britain, and other countries. We will pay attention to changes in the sound systems, development of vocabulary and word forms, and dialect differences based on social and regional differences. The discussion of dialects includes a review of regional and ethnic varieties of American English.

In addition, there will be discussion of semantic change, which covers such topics as sexism in language, the adaptation of English to modern communication needs, and the history and uses of the dictionary.

The purpose of the course, then, is to (1) familiarize you with linguistics and its various areas of study and (2) familiarize you with the historical development of the English language. Your becoming knowledgeable of linguistic terms, procedures, and reasoning will aid you in your perceptions about human society.

There will be three exams of equal weight, and two projects: (1) an inquiry into some facet or variety of English; and (2) an analysis of a film in English, but not American English.


English 3367 - Nineteenth Century British Literature & Culture

Paul Fortunato

TR 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

CRN: 21676

Through the course of the nineteenth century, Britain experienced extreme changes that brought it into the “modern” era: industrialization, colonialism, and the rise of consumer culture are just three major developments. One main theme we will examine is how consumer culture is related to art, and how these two “twins” were put at enmity with each other, even as they became inseparable friends joined at the hip. As we do this, we will be able to reflect on our current cultural situation. Authors may include: Wilde, Austen, Dickens, R.L. Stevenson, Wordsworth, Blake, Coleridge, Byron, E.B. Browning, Christina Rossetti and Rosamund Marriott Watson. Requirements: three medium-length essays and bi-weekly quizzes.

Required texts:

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings (Bantam Classics). ISBN: 05532 1254 9.

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility. ISBN: 0141 43966 2.

Charles Dickens, Christmas Carol, The Chimes & The Cricket on the Hearth (Barnes and Noble Classic). ISBN: 15930 8033 4.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories (Barnes and Noble Classic.). ISBN: 15930 8131 7.

Jonathan Wordsworth, Editor, Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry. ISBN: 01404 3568 9.


English 4314 - Major Authors: Wharton and Cather

Dr. John H. Hudson

MW 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

CRN: 21677

In this course, we will explore the work of two great women of American letters: Edith Wharton and Willa Cather. As writers, both authors wear many hats: social novelists, feminist writers, realists—some would argue even naturalists in some of their work. Both explore in their fiction the impact of environment on characters and women’s place in society. And the best work of both centers on their roots: Wharton’s Old New York and Cather’s frontier-era Great Plains. We will be reading several novels by each author—Wharton’s The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and Summer; Cather’s O Pioneers!, The Song of the Lark, My Antonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop—along with a selection of their short stories. Throughout the course, we will be considering a number of questions, including but certainly not limited to the following: through their pens, how does the fiction of Wharton and Cather become powerful social critique?; to what extent can Wharton and Cather be described as feminist writers?; and how does the naturalist turn in their writing enhance their credentials as feminist writers?

Students will be required to write a number of short (1-2 pg.) reaction papers, three medium-length (4-6 pgs.) essays, and a major paper (6-10 pgs.) on a research topic to be negotiated between instructor and student.


English 4314 - Major Authors: Richard Wright and James Baldwin

Dr. Chuck Jackson

MW 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

This course focuses on the writings (both fiction and nonfiction) of two of the most widely read, controversial, and critically acclaimed African American male authors of the twentieth century – Richard Wright (1908-1960) and James Baldwin (1924-1987). Both Wright and Baldwin were prolific writers, publishing a vast amount of all kinds of literature during their careers, which means, unfortunately, that we will not be able to read it all. Instead, we will focus on each author’s most famous works, with an eye towards why these works might make them “major” figures on the U.S. and global literary scene. Moreover, we will consider how each author boldly and, at times, controversially represents the concatenation of the body, racial identity, sexual desire, poverty, and national belonging, as well as how each articulates a vision of social and political justice.

We will begin with Wright, whose stories from the 1930s and 1940s about African American men broke the literary mold. Wright’s stories are notorious for their explicit representations of black male violence and sexual desire. Students will be asked to critically analyze not only why Wright might want to tell such stories, but also how these stories are told, in what context, and from whose perspective. During the second half of the semester, we will turn to the work of Wright’s protégé, James Baldwin. We will bridge our studies of the two authors by taking a close look at Baldwin’s nonfiction essays “Everybody’s Protest Novel” (1949) and “Many housands Gone” (1951), which not only critiqued Wright’s work, but also publicly and permanently dissolved their friendship. We will then move into Baldwin’s major fictions from the 1950s and early 1960s, keeping a critical eye trained on his ideological and aesthetic differences from Wright, including his intensive portraits of turbulent psychic interiors and his narrative explorations of male same-sex desire.

Students will also be required to read and discuss theoretical works on racial formation; gender and sexuality; and desire and disgust. Several short essays will be due throughout the semester, and one longer research paper that addresses works from both authors will be due at the semester’s end.

Required texts:

Baldwin, James. Early Novels and Stories. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998.

-----------. Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998.

Wright, Richard. Early Works and Later Works. Notes by Arnold Rampersad. New York: The Library of America, 1991.


English 5340 - Project Management

Wayne Schmadeka, Ph.D.

Thursday 5:30 pm - 8:15 pm, room S-1099

CRN: 21134

Prerequisite

Prerequisite is graduate standing or permission of the Department.

Description

ENG 5340 involves the study and understanding of project management, with primary emphasis on understanding the fundamental principles that apply to any project. Secondary emphasis is on understanding the principles and practices that are unique to managing documentation projects.

Learning Outcomes

By semester's end, you should be able to

  •  Understand the principles of project management
  •  Recognize the ethical tension in project management scenarios and consider courses of actions in response
  •  Understand the application of the principles of project management to documentation projects
  •  Understand some of the skills and practices documentation managers use to manage their projects, including resource management skills and leadership skills and practices

Textbooks

Belker, L. and Topchick, G. First-Time Manager. 5th ed. New York: American Management Association, 2005.

Lewis, J., Fundamentals of Project Management. 2nd ed. New York: American Management Association, 2001.

Dicks, S., Management Principles and Practices for Technical Communicators. New York: Pearson Education, 2004.

Note

Dr. Schmadeka has managed various product development and documentation projects since the early 1990s.

 

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Last updated or reviewed on 6/14/10

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