Master of Arts in English
Course Descriptions (EN)

Courses that are offered fully or partially on-line are so designated in the listing of courses offered in a given semester.

414 Writing and Editing for Magazines The course offers a practical introduction to the consumer magazine industry and aims to equip students with the basic skills and understanding necessary to pursue a full-time or freelance career as a magazine writer or editor. Students examine all forms of magazine writing from short front-of-book items to department stories to features, perform critical analyses of individual magazines, learn how to develop story ideas into compelling magazine prose, and write effective query or pitch letters. In addition to an overview of the industry, the course also provides an understanding of the basic structure of magazines, the different types of stories magazines publish, and the economic forces driving magazine publishing today.

415 Technical Writing This intensive study of technical documents for various careers covers catalogue descriptions, descriptions of mechanisms, instructional and procedural manuals, bids, requests for bids, proposals, reports, memos and letters responding to customer inquiries. It emphasizes preparation of effectively written documents for various audiences (from expert to non-expert) and purposes. It presents the integration of graphic and copy elements in well-structured and designed documents. It includes individual and group assignments from a problem-solving approach. It requires portfolios of work in progress and two spoken presentations.

416 Writing for the Health Industry In this intensive writing workshop which gives an overview of the health care communications field, students become familiar with research tools (including online databases), interview techniques, and the integration of graphics to enhance text. They also develop an understanding of audience and an appreciation for the knowledge base of the intended reader. This course covers the writing and editing of peer-reviewed technical journal articles as well as marketing materials, press releases, newsletter articles, feature and advertising copy.

418 Journalism II Students learn the setup of the newsroom, practice the conventions of news and news features, such as profiles and issue-oriented stories. Fieldwork includes coverage of some live events with emphasis on writing the more complex story, with style, color, flair.

420 Studies in Classical and Medieval Europe This course is a selective study and appreciation of texts from Western antiquity and the Middle Ages that remain influential and alive in our own time. These texts are considered within the cultural contexts from which they sprang and to which they helped give definitive shape. Typically, readings include plays and epics of ancient Greece, Roman authors such as Virgil, Augustine, and Boethius, and such medieval works, genres and authors as Beowulf, the Arthurian romances, Dante and Chaucer.

421 Renaissance and Enlightenment Literature This course is a selective study and appreciation of texts from 16th, 17th, and 18th century European literature with a focus on the English tradition and a consideration of the historical contexts of the works studied. Readings are drawn from Renaissance essayists and novelists such as Thomas More, Montaigne, Bacon and Cervantes, Jonson, Shakespeare, and Webster; Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Donne, and Marvell; major works from later 17th century and Restoration authors such as Milton, Dryden, Congreve, Pope, Swift, Voltaire, Defoe, Fielding and Sterne.

422 Modern British Literature Critical readings are of major British works of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries in the context of cultural history. Writers include Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Bronte, George Eliot, Conrad, Woolf, and others.

423 Modern American Literature Critical readings are of major American works of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, approaching the texts as products of a specific place and historical experience. Authors include Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, Douglass, Jacobs, Twain, Dickinson, James, Faulkner, Miller, Sexton, Bogan, Morrison and others.

427 Discovery of Adulthood in British and American Fiction This course will explore, through novels and short stories, the cognitive, moral, social and psychological complexities of adolescent and early adult experience. It will also deal with the literary problems involved in portraying these stages of human development. The aim both of the readings and of the class activities will be to enhance awareness of the magnitude of change implied in the term “growing up.” While the overall focus will be thematic in nature, the specific day-to-day focus will be primarily literary, although there will be some brief side-excursions into related fields, especially psychology.

428 William Faulkner In this intensive study of the work of one of America’s most important fiction writers, readings include five major novels and several short stories. In addition to understanding Faulkner’s extraordinary achievement as an experimental novelist, students look at his presentation of themes such as race, slavery, family and the natural world.

429 Narrative Form in Fiction and Film This study is of narrative forms and structures in film and fiction. Close reading of texts reviews conventional and experimental form guided by narrative theory. There are opportunities for critical and creative responses.

430 Black Cinema This course examines the cinematic productions of Black filmmakers, including works from Africa and the Caribbean by such filmmakers as Oscar Micheaux, Camille Billops, Ngozi Onwurah, Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Jon Singleton, and Tsitsi Dangaremba. Students analyze and critique the films for their artistic and thematic value, while interrogating the politics of production and distribution specific to black filmmaking.

431 Literature of London This is an intensive study of literary works about London. Readings include masterpieces by English literary greats such as Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, who lived in and wrote about the capital city.

433 Teaching English as a Second Language This is an introduction to ESL teaching methods that provides background in lesson planning, cross-cultural communication, selecting English-as-a-second-language materials, and conducting lessons. Field tutoring experience in practicum with adult literacy learners or international students.

434 Introduction to Linguistics and History This examination of the historical development of the English language and the various approaches to acquisition and use of language includes psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, phonology, morphology, schools of grammar, semantics, syntax and stylistics. It surveys contemporary theories, such as speech act theory, concerning the interpretation of language.

435 Special Topics in American Literature In this advanced course in American Literature, topics vary. Possibilities include Transcendentalism, Race in the Literary Imagination, Literature of the Early 20th Century, The Jewish Novel, Between the World Wars, American Women Poets, and others.

437 Disaster, Death and Madness The central objective of this course is to help students to enter imaginatively into the condition of people caught in extremis by disaster, death, or madness—or any combination of the three. The course is an intensely collaborative experience for the student and the instructor. Students give a seminar report on a public disaster that has been researched, review drafts of fellow-students’ work, write an original play, and participate in the production of the “class play.” The three common texts used in the course are John Hersey’s familiar Hiroshima; Kai T. Erikson’s Everything in Its Path; and Norman Maclean’s powerful—and posthumously published—Young Men and Fire.

441 The Slave Narrative Students in this course read major slave and neo-slave narratives of the 19th and 20th centuries and examine these works from the dual perspectives of social testimony and literary phenomena. Some of the issues addressed include the genre’s evolving response to the conditions of slavery and to the Abolitionist movement, the relation of the slave narratives to the rise of realism in American fiction, and the influence of the slave narrative’s form on the evolution of African American fiction.

442 Ireland in 20th Century Film and Literature This is an intensive study of the myths and realities of 20th century Ireland as represented by seminal works of film and literature. In addition to its examination of the culture of Dublin over the past 100 years, the course guides students through cinematic and literary works exploring such themes as migration and the myth of the West, colonial and post-colonial political struggles, and the role of women in Irish culture.

443 Writing for Children This is an intensive writing workshop focused on the production of publishable fiction and nonfiction for the children's market. The course provides an exploration of the creative process, including invention techniques, drafting, and revision. Plotting, characterization, and the writing of dialogue and description are examined. Students also engage in an in-depth study of the magazine and book publishing markets so they can effectively target their writings to specific publishers. The course includes such practical considerations as the writing of query letters, working with editors and agents, and preparing manuscripts for submission.

444 Special Studies Seminar This seminar on advanced topics in literature provides an opportunity for intensive study in areas of special interest. Topics vary.

445 International Literature This is an introduction to the works of representative Third World writers in English from Africa, India and the Caribbean. It studies characteristics of post-colonial discourse.

446 Russian Fiction This is a survey of Russian fiction, of its themes and narrative techniques, with special emphasis on works of Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgeniev, Babel, Pasternak, and Solzhenitsyn. Russian history, from the founding of the Kievan State to the emergence of the new Russian Republic, is studied. The course approaches individual works as cultural artifacts of their times.

447 Language and Violence This course examines the phenomenon of language and harm from the point of view of contemporary theories in linguistics and rhetoric. Topics include language and violence in literature, hate speech, cursing, verbal conflict, interrogations, and negotiations. Students are exposed to a variety of theories on the subject, including speech act theory and other theories of conversational logic.

450 Major Authors Seminar This in-depth study of the significant work of one or more authors focuses on an author's literary development, as well as the relationship between the author's life and his or her work. May be taken more than once when topics vary.

451 Jane Austen A study of Austen’s six major novels with attention to the culture of Regency England, the enduring popularity of Austen’s works and the growing library of film adaptations of the novels. This course may be taught in a traditional classroom format or fully online.

452 Alfred Hitchcock’s American Films This is an intensive study of the major film works of one of the best 20th century studio directors, Alfred Hitchcock. Focusing on the cinema produced in his American period, 1943-1963, the course guides students through discussion and analysis of such important films as Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds, examining them both as works of cinematic art and as documents reflecting the culture of mid-century America.

453 Mark Twain In this intensive study of one of America’s most famous writers, students read a selection of his novels, stories and essays to get a sense of how complicated a writer he was. The course also views Ken Burns’ documentary. This course may be taught in a traditional classroom format or fully online.

459 Literature After War This course focuses on literature written after wars in the 20th century. Some of the texts are about experiences in war, but many are not, instead reflecting the perspective of the war time or post-war writer on mortality, moral decision-making, concepts of heroism, marriage, sex, politics, patriotism, race relations, psychic health, and in general the mood of the community.

460 Contemporary American Autobiography This course introduces students to the important genre of the memoir. It explores how the memoir explicates childhood, alienation in a multicultural land, alternative (and mainstream) sexuality, homelessness, mental illness and aging. Readings include a selection of recent American autobiographies and memoirs. Students may practice writing their own memoirs.

461 Seminar: Modern Drama This exploration of the styles and techniques of modern theater includes selected British, American and Continental plays by modern dramatists, such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Synge, O'Neill, Pirandello, Brecht, and Pinter.

462 A Few Great Novels This exploration of the novel as a literary genre that has eluded precise definition focuses on works that represent major stages in the evolution of the genre. Readings may include works by Austen, James, Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison, Pynchon and Byatt, Ellison and essays by modern theorists who have attempted to identify the generic characteristics of the novel.

463 Seminar: Modernism and Postmodernism This course is a critical reading of selected texts, both artistic and rhetorical, to explore the differences between modern and postmodern styles, methods and attitudes in the 20th century. It includes such modernist works as Joyce's Ulysses (selections), Eliot's The Wasteland, poems by Yeats and Stevens and Beckett's Waiting for Godot, as well as essays by Wimsatt and Jung; postmodern works by poets W.C. Williams, R. Lowell, Plath, Levertov and Rich; film directors Fellini, Resnais, W. Allen and essays by Altieri, Fish and Barthes.

464 Seminar: The Lyric This exploration of lyric poetry from the ancient world to the present, with emphasis both on what makes language poetry and on the theory of the lyric form, includes a historical survey of highlights of the English lyric. Students write critical and analytic papers and some poetry.

465 The Contemporary Moment This course introduces upper-level undergraduate and graduate students to today’s literary scene with works by exciting writers who are currently practicing their craft. The course focuses primarily on American writers, although British writers and authors of other nationalities writing in English also may be considered. Students in this course get to help shape contemporary literary taste. The genres covered are the novel, the short story, poetry, memoir, and the creative nonfiction essay.

466 Kerouac and His Sources A study of central works of Jack Kerouac and several key literary sources he drew on. Includes On The Road, The Dharma Bums and the poetry collection Mexico City Blues. Influences include others in the Beat Movement like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Diana di Prima, American predecessors like Ernest Hemingway, Jack London and Walt Whitman; the French Symbolist poets (in translation) Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Bauselaire; and finally the Romantic visionary William Blake.

468 Tell It Slant: Memoir Writing Workshop This course focuses on the writing and reading of memoir and the cultural issues surrounding this genre. Through the study of writing elements and craft, students have the opportunity to shape memoirs that will be meaningful for the writers themselves and their audiences. In addition, students enrich the course through creating a presentation project on a chosen established memoirist.

469 Young Adult and Children’s Writing Workshop (Intermediate Level) This course further develops writing skills and knowledge of the children’s and young adult markets with a concentration on the student’s own work---in-progress. This course differs from the introductory course in several ways: by offering more intensive, full-class peer review; by providing additional technique workshops and one-on-one conferencing; and by being more student-directed via journaling and student-teacher conferencing. The emphasis is on the student’s own writing output, as well as on distinct characteristics of the genre.

472 Special Studies in Writing In this advanced seminar course in writing, topics vary according to the needs and interests of students and faculty. Possibilities include poetry writing workshop, feature writing, editing, professional writing and critical writing.

473 Writing for the Law This course teaches students the basics of legal research, reasoning and writing. Students learn how to conceptualize research and write various forms of legal documents, including objective legal memoranda, case briefs, client correspondence, research exercises and persuasive legal briefs. Students review the intricacies of the judicial system and statutory interpretation.

474 Grant Writing for Non-Profits This course introduces the elements of fundraising through grant proposal writing for nonprofit organizations. Students identify and work with a nonprofit organization to produce a viable grant proposal. In the process, students develop skills in the areas of needs assessment, program development, budgeting, conflict resolution and negotiation, development planning, and discerning organizational strengths and weaknesses. The course also develops an understanding of the philosophy and practice of philanthropy in the United States. Instructional formats include lecture, group work, writing practice, guest speakers, media analysis, online discussion, and field experience.

475 Fiction Writing Workshop Students critique one another's works-in-progress, consider works of fiction by professional writers, and participate in workshops on the fine points of writing fiction. Each student must complete a body of work that comprises four finished short stories as well as a series of exercises required of all students.

476 Writing for the Web and New Media Writing for the Web and New Media draws on current usability research and explores key differences in print vs. electronic writing, details rhetorical strategies for new media formats, and helps students understand how to integrate visual and written elements. Students analyze, construct and write multimedia text in various assignments, creating a portfolio of electronic writing samples.

477 Advanced Editing Workshop The Advanced Editing Workshop aims to develop understanding of grammar and rhetoric in varied written applications (academic, creative, professional), with particular emphasis on editing techniques for these different types of writing. Workshops focus on appropriate editing styles applied to student work.

478 Poetry Writing Workshop This course equips students with the fundamental tools needed to write effective poetry and to read poetry intelligently. Emphasizing the craft of poetry in a workshop setting where students’ efforts are critiqued, the course also includes a careful consideration of the works of accomplished poets, poetic theory, and the rules of prosody.

479 Corporate Writing An intensive study of rhetorical and structural principles of the larger, more complex documents of business and industry, the course covers business plans and proposals, grant proposals, reports, and more. A study of critical essays enhances understanding of rhetorical principles and informs students about the workings of non-profit organizations.

486 Creative Writing Institute This is an intermediate to advanced course wherein students refine their skills in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction or a combination of the above. The students and faculty meet in person for one weekend to participate in workshops, lectures and presentations. Then the course continues online for the following four weeks and includes peer-review workshops on Blackboard and one-on-one work with a professor.

500 Critical Writing for Success Intended to strengthen students' critical writing skills for graduate-level work, this course combines intensive practice in the art of writing literary criticism with some introduction to contemporary critical theory. It gives students an opportunity to consolidate their technical command of the written language. This course counts as a foundation course in the M.A. in English program and can be taken as an alternative to Linguistics and Language History.

510 Theories of Writing This course is an exploration of current theories and research in written communication and university composition. It examines writing as a process, a form of communication, a technology and a social practice. It emphasizes independent student research.

540 Special Studies in Discourse This is a seminar course that offers an opportunity to study intensively either a specific kind of discourse or a specific kind of discourse or a specific aspect of discursive production. Topics vary in response to the needs and interests of both students and faculty. Possible topics include Contemporary Critical Discourse: From Poetics to Rhetoric; Writing in Business and Industry; The Small Press in America; Editorial Practices; and Advanced Technical Seminar in Fiction Writing. May be taken more than once when topics vary.

542 Teaching the Writing of Fiction This is an intensive introduction to the art of fiction writing, designed to address both the needs of serious writers and the pedagogical interests of high-school and college teachers who wish to introduce fiction writing into their curricula. Students do varied exercises in fiction writing, produce a final portfolio of four short stories, read and critique stories by professional writers, and submit their fiction to their peers for discussion and judgment. No prior fiction writing experience is required.

543 The History and Teaching of Rhetoric This survey of rhetoric, composition, speech, literature and occupational writing includes readings from Aristotle, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perlman and others. Pedagogical projects are optional.

546 Teaching Writing This investigation of some important theoretical and practical problems in the teaching of writing as a process includes such issues as designing assignments, sequencing assignments, evaluating writing, teaching invention, teaching revision and teaching editing.

625 American Humor This course is a survey of the folk origins, the rhetorical features, and the literary influence of American humor, examining ephemeral publications and works of literature.

626 From Romanticism to Modernism This is an intensive study of the major characteristics of the poetry of Romanticism, Symbolism and Modernism. Insights into the complex connections between Romanticism and Modernism are gained through reading, analysis and critical writing.

633 Shakespeare’s Jacobean Dramas This is an intensive study of Shakespeare's plays written during the first years of the reign of King James I, including three of his greatest tragedies: Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. It includes reading and discussion of selected critical commentaries, along with some library research, reports and short papers involving historical and biographical background and theatre history.

634 Crime and Deviance in Renaissance England This graduate-level seminar uses both prose and dramatic literature and critical responses to these texts to explore how Early Modern English society maintained and disseminated standards of conduct and behavior. Students read closely to unpack the role that these texts, as well as theater and literature in general, played in this process. They pay close attention to three different forms of crime or social deviance: roguery, cross-dressing and witchcraft.

638 The American Short Story This chronological examination of some of the best examples of the American short story from its beginnings to the present day emphasizes an historical perspective of changing forms and expressions of the genre and tests the validity of contemporary critical methods. It concentrates on prominent works of the following writers: Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, James, Crane, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Porter, Oates and others.

640 Special Studies in Literature This is a seminar course that offers an opportunity to study intensively either a period of literature, a genre, or a major author's canon. May be taken more than once when topics vary.

641 British and American Poetry A survey of the thematic and formal developments in British and American poetry from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Readings include theoretical essays by some modernists. The course approaches poems in their historical and cultural contexts before considering contributions of individual figures.

642 The Search for Self and Identity in the West Indian Novel The course traces the development of the West Indian novel from the 1930s to the present, focusing on the Caribbean’s search for self-definition. The novel reflects the growth of anti-colonial sentiment in the island societies, and the development of a philosophy that ranges from protest through Negritude and creolite to the present-day attempts at an Antillean literature and perspective.

643 Lawrence, Joyce and Virginia Woolf This seminar is devoted to a modernist reading of the major works of two or three of these authors. The course emphasizes textual analysis, with special reference to the theme and form of the works prescribed. Some background reading is a requirement.

644 Willa Cather This course is devoted to a study of six principal works of Willa Cather—O Pioneers!, My Antonia, The Song of the Lark, The Professor's House, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and the shorter novel, A Lost Lady. Students consider various aspects of Cather's literary career and investigate different facets of the world about which she wrote.

645 Shakespeare and the Self This is an exploration of the characteristics of composition in Shakespeare's 400-year-old plays and the Postmodernist concerns of a de-centered self. The course investigates contemporary critical inquiry into how Shakespeare represented models of the self at the beginnings of modernity.

649 World Literature in English A survey of the classics of English fiction from the old British colonies—Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa; India, Australia, Caribbean, and Canada. The course considers the postcolonial issues of identity, trans-cultural hybridity, diasporic writing, and globalization as aftereffects of Imperialism. Besides the works of three Nobel laureates (Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, and V.S. Naipaul), the course includes well-known texts of Chinue Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Salman Rushdie, George Lamming, Jamaica Kincaid, Margaret Laurence, and Margaret Atwood.

651 The Harlem Renaissance This course is a consideration of the social, political and literary factors leading to the flowering of black genius in the arts. Texts include classics by and about the Black Manhattan to be examined from the political as well as the aesthetic perspective. Writers include Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Rudoph Fisher and Sterling Brown.

655 Southern Fiction An exploration of the fiction of the American South, this course focuses on recurring themes in Southern literature. Authors may include Mark Twain, Faulkner, O'Connor, Lee, Warren, Hurston, Wright, Walker, Styron, Welty, and Jones.

658 Tragedy: Forms and Philosophy This interdisciplinary approach to the idea of tragedy in life and literature considers the questions of evil, free will, undeserved suffering and their literary expressions. It examines selected works of Aristotle, Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, Hegel, Freud, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Melville, Shaw and O'Neill.

659 Myth and Literature: Verbal Forms of the Unconscious This is a survey of myth theories of Frazer, Durkheim, Jung and Malinowski, followed by the study of select stories, poems, plays, novels and folklore. It examines various forms and functions of myth in ancient and modern literature.

670 Career Internship in English This is a graduate-level internship in a place of business that enables an M.A.E. student to explore a professional opportunity or field of work that is related to the discipline of English. Teaching positions are not acceptable for this internship. Student must have the approval of the Director of the M.A.E. program at registration time prior to the beginning of the internship. Limited to 3 credits. Students must have taken 9 credits of coursework in the M.A.E. program before they are eligible to apply for this internship.

689 Independent Research This is directed Individual study and research on an author, genre, or theme, culminating in a substantial paper. Available to students who wish to undertake advanced work following their first semester in the program. Prerequisites: Two graduate courses in literature at Arcadia University and approval of the Department. Not open to Special Status students.

697 Thesis Research and Writing (Variable credits) Students who do not complete the thesis/culminating project at the end of their coursework, or at the end of the semester or session in which they are enrolled are required to enroll in an ongoing thesis writing course until the work is completed and approved (1 credit for a 3-credit culminating project course, 2 credits for a 6-credit thesis course). A fee equivalent to 1 part-time graduate credit will be assessed for each semester or part thereof during which the thesis/culminating project is incomplete. (For these purposes, all the summer sessions together will count as one semester.)

698 Culminating Project The Culminating Project is undertaken on an individual basis under the supervision of a full-time member of the English Department. Prerequisite: Permission of the program Coordinator.

699 Master’s Thesis in English This is an individually initiated and directed set of experiences involving the writing of an acceptable proposal, the carrying out of a research project and the writing of a manuscript of professional quality. It is designed especially for students who wish to pursue advanced study beyond the master’s level. Prerequisites: 21 credits of graduate study and permission of the adviser and the Department. Obtain guidelines from Office of Graduate Studies. 

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