The English Department at NDSU

The mission of the English Department at North Dakota State University is to cultivate understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the English language, its speakers and writers, and its literatures and cultures, such that students and department members use the language creatively, critically, and effectively to participate ethically in civic and professional life.

Click to read our Fall 2020 edition of the Department Newsletter, Pen & Pixels!

Apply for Scholarships beginning on December 1st

Scholarships for current NDSU students to apply for will go live on Tuesday, December 1st.   Click here, on or after December 1st to apply.  The deadline to apply for a scholarship is March 1, 2021.

ENGLISH Course Offerings for Spring 2021

All courses will take advantage of NDSU's new HyFlex model which allows in-class and/or remote attendance by students and professors. Courses may draw on a combination of synchronous and asynchronous content.

English Course Descriptions for Spring 2021

English 150: Being Human (The Monster Within)
Instructor: Anastassiya Andrianova 
Contact: anastassiya.andriano@ndsu.edu 
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: MWF 11:00-11:50AM

Bulletin description: Explore diverse cultures and contexts through fiction, non-fiction, visual, or other texts.

Course description: Our culture's obsession with monsters is complex and fascinating, and a clue to the social and political anxieties haunting us. Every era has its signature monster: mutant animals and giants in the 1950s; impersonal disasters and slashers in the 1970s; decadent, bisexual vampires in the 1980s and '90s, and zombies in the 2000s. M. Night Shyamalan could single-handedly populate a monster universe, reminding us, in Split (2016), that the scariest monsters may be those living inside ourselves. Fad diets, eating disorders, plastic surgery, and body modification offer distorted mirrors reflecting back internalized monstrosities. What best depicts this decade's monstrosity? And does it feed on social, political, or psychological (pathological?) forces, or all of them monstrously combined?

In this course, subtitled "The Monster Within," we will examine the pervasiveness of monstrosity and monsters, both fictional and real, within and without, in literature and popular culture. We will look at The Monster as an embodiment of difference: that which terrifies, terrorizes, disgusts, and confuses us in others, as well as a projection and displacement of sameness: that which terrifies, terrorizes, disgusts, and confuses us in ourselves. We will explore maternal ambivalence that includes the very real fear of producing monstrous offspring (hello, Frankenstein's Monster!) and the sometimes murderous ramifications of postpartum depression. We will draw on literary analysis, cultural studies, and psychological (including psychoanalytical) and sociological approaches to trace and understand the various troubling and intriguing dimensions of monstrosity as a cultural phenomenon. You will develop a final project on any aspect of monstrosity in a genre of your choice, from comic books and graphic novels to feature films; creative projects with accompanying analyses welcome.

Required texts (in addition to electronic resources): Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus. Mass Market. ISBN-13: 978-0743487580.Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Signet/Mass Market. ISBN-13: 978-0451532251.

English 213, 313, and 413: Literary Publications I, II, and III
Instructor: Eunice Johnston
Contact: eunice.johnston@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: MWF 2:00-2:50PM

Bulletin description: Theory and practice in the process of producing a literary magazine. Prereq: ENGL 120.

English 220: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Amy Gore
Contact: amy.gore@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: MWF 9:00-9:50am

Course description: Why does literature matter? Our course will examine the social power of stories and the ways in which stories construct our worlds, our bodies, our identities, and our communities. While learning literary skills across a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and prose, students will also learn to apply the valuable and highly transferable skills of rhetorical analysis, close reading, and interpretation to any type of communication. By taking this class, students from any major will improve their skills of reading, writing, and analysis.

English 229: Introduction to Creative Writing
Instructor: Brady Bergeson
Contact: brady.bergeson@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class Meets: MWF 11:00-11:50AM (in person) / MWF 1:00-1:50PM (online)

Bulletin description: Introduction to the craft of creative writing with an emphasis on exploring multiple genres and developing a strong cultural awareness through readings and discussion.

English 240: World Literature Masterpieces
Instructor: Adam Goldwyn
Contact: adam.goldwyn@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: TTh 2:00-3:15PM

Bulletin description: Study of representative cultural and literary materials from the ancient world to modern times

English 252: British Literature II
Instructor: Anastassiya Andrianova 
Contact: anastassiya.andriano@ndsu.edu 
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: MWF 1:00-1:50PM

Bulletin description: Survey of major works and writers in British literature from the Romantic Age to the present. 3 credits.

Required text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors, edited by Stephen Greenblatt. 10th ed. Vol. 2. ISBN: 978-0-393-60309-5

English 262: American Literature II
Instructor: Alison Bertolini 
Contact: alison.bertolini@ndsu.edu 
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: TTh 11:00AM-12:15PM

Bulletin description: Survey of major works and writers in American literature from the Civil War to the present. Includes traditional as well as experimental, innovative, and counter-cultural works and authors. 3 credits

Required texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1865-present (shorter 9th Edition); Larsen, Nella. Passing. Penguin Classic Edition. New York; Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. Scribner Edition. New York.

English 272: Literary Analysis
Instructor: Emily Wicktor
Contact: emily.wicktor@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: 11:00-11:50AM

Bulletin description: Introduction to traditional and contemporary literary and critical theory and to the fundamental skills required for the analysis of literary or other texts. Prereq: ENGL 120.

ENGL 275: Introduction to Writing Studies
Instructor: Mary McCall 
Contact: mary.mccall@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: TTh 9:30-10:45AM

Bulletin description: A broad history of writing and rhetoric as well as an introduction to spheres of writing studies: creative, academic, professional/technical, and public writing. Prereq: ENGL 120. In this section of English 275, we'll be working on both content and skill development within the subfield of writing studies, a specialization within the larger field of English.

Course description: The course has been designed around a theoretical model called threshold concepts. Our textbook Naming What We Know Classroom Edition: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies provides some structure for the class, and in working through those threshold concepts-or key ideas, doorways into thinking like writing studies scholars-you'll be delving more deeply into some of the scholarship by compositionists, creative writers, and other writing specialists who have built the foundation of knowledge for the field.

English 301: Peer Tutoring and Writing in the Disciplines
Instructor: Mary Pull
Contact: mary.pull@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meet: MWF 3:00-3:50

Bulletin description: Introduction to individual writing instruction and conventions of disciplinary writing. In addition to classroom work and assignments, students will complete a practicum in the Center for Writers. Recommended for prospective educators, writing specialists in all fields, and peer tutors in the Center for Writers. Prerequisite: ENGL 120.

Course Goals: Students will gain knowledge and experience to (a) conduct effective one-on-one writing conferences, (b) provide feedback on genres from a variety of disciplines across NDSU (c) work with English language learners to improve their written and oral communication skills, and (d) improve their own writing ability. Students who successfully complete the course may apply for a paid position as an undergraduate writing consultant in the Center for Writers.

English 213, 313, and 413: Literary Publications I, II, and III
Instructor: Eunice Johnston
Contact: eunice.johnston@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: MWF 2:00-2:50PM

Bulletin description: Theory and practice in the process of producing a literary magazine. Prereq: ENGL 120.

English 322: Writing and The Creative Process
Instructor: Cynthia Nichols
Contact: cindy.nichols@ndsu.edu
Class format: Online

Bulletin description: Exploring genres that fuel creativity and critical awareness. Emphasis on flexibility and inventiveness in realizing any personal or professional project. Products may range from poetry/fiction to blogs to student-designed assignments based on major. 3 credits.

Course description: This class focuses on deepening your abilities as a creative thinker and creator. We will study the creative processes of great artists and thinkers from literature, art, dance and science. At the same time, you will come to understand and refine your own creative process through practice in a variety of forms, from fiction to found poetry to collage art. We will consider where ideas come from and how to nurture your own process. Each of us write, work and learn differently, so there is no prescribed method to creation and invention. But there are a lot of practices and habits that you can use to develop a process and lifestyle that fosters your creativity. You'll come to see that creativity is more about doing the work, going through the process, than it is about some sort of divine inspiration (although that couldn't hurt). The more you develop your own creative process and put it into practice, the more it becomes a part of who you are and how you think.

A few specific goals for the course include:
• understand and refine your own creative process
• see yourself as a creator and maker, in writing and other media
• apply creative thinking in your professional life
• increase your observational skills
• use a variety of genres and forms to accomplish goals and complete tangible projects

Required texts: TBA. An eclectic range of e-literature on creativity.

English 322: Writing and the Creative Process
Instructor: Jamee Larson
Contact: jamee.larson@ndsu.edu 
Class meets: TTh 9:30AM-10:45AM and 12:30PM-1:45PM
Class format: HyFlex

Bulletin description: Exploring genres that fuel creativity and critical awareness. Emphasis on flexibility and inventiveness in realizing any personal or professional project. Products may range from poetry/fiction to blogs to student-designed assignments based on major.

Course description: This class focuses on deepening your abilities as a creative thinker and creator. We will study the creative processes of great artists and thinkers from literature, art, dance and science. At the same time, you will come to understand and refine your own creative process through practice in a variety of forms, from fiction to found poetry to collage art. We will consider where ideas come from and how to nurture your own process. Each of us write, work and learn differently, so there is no prescribed method to creation and invention. But there are a lot of practices and habits that you can use to develop a process and lifestyle that fosters your creativity. You'll come to see that creativity is more about doing the work, going through the process, than it is about some sort of divine inspiration (although that couldn't hurt). The more you develop your own creative process and put it into practice, the more it becomes a part of who you are and how you think.

A few specific goals for the course include:
• understand and refine your own creative process
• see yourself as a creator and maker, in writing and other media
• apply creative thinking in your professional life
• increase your observational skills
• use a variety of genres and forms to accomplish goals and complete tangible projects

Required texts: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon and The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

English 323: Creative Writing
Instructor: Cynthia Nichols
Contact: cindy.nichols@ndsu.edu
Class format: Online

Bulletin description: Creative Writing with a focus on one genre: Fiction in the fall semester, and Poetry in the spring. 3 credits.

Course description: We will spend this semester writing poems of all kinds, from sonnets to slam performances, and investigating the poet as maker, moaner, mad seer, and bard. We will value both process and craft, innovation and tradition, inspiration and perspiration. You'll read a wide variety of mostly contemporary poets, keep an active writer's journal, engage in workshop discussion of your classmates' (and even your teacher's) work, and complete a chapbook of polished poems at the end of the semester. You'll tackle some mandatory projects, but a good chunk of what you write will be of your own choosing. An important aim is to help you locate your own centers of interest in an environment both supportive and challenging.

Required texts: Michelle Boisseau, Writing Poems. Pearson, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-205-17605-2. Kim Addonizio, Ordinary Genius. Norton, 2009. ISBN: 9780393334166. Kim Addonizio, Wild Nights: New and Selected Poems. Bloodaxe Books, 2015. ISBN: 9781780372709.

English 323: Fiction
Instructor: Ryan Christiansen
Contact: ryan.christiansen@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class Meets: TTh 3:30-4:45PM

Bulletin description: Creative writing with a focus on one literary genre. May be repeated for credit. Prereq: ENGL 120 and any one of the following: ENGL 229, ENGL 275 or ENGL 322.

English 324: Writing in the Sciences
Instructor: Julie Sandland
Contact: Julie.sandland@ndsu.edu
Class Format: Online

Bulletin description: The study and practice in written conventions of the sciences for academic, scientific, and public audiences. Prerequisite: English 120, junior standing.Required text: Angelika Hofmann, Scientific Writing and Communication, 4th ed.

Course description: This course will involve working on job search materials, including a letter of application; literature review; working on documents for the public; and a group proposal. We will focus in particular on the current communication challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the scientific communities.

English 325: Writing in the Health Professions
Instructor: Natalie Smith Carlson
Contact: natalie.smith@ndsu.edu
Class meets: online

Course description: As a healthcare professional, you will encounter writing situations that require you to communicate with diverse groups of people from varied backgrounds and experiences; many leaders and organizations are now calling for health students to learn a wider set of skills so they can use their writing and work to advocate for health justice. This course will focus on helping you practice your writing skills through their application to topics like health literacy, social and structural determinants of health, and bioethics, while considering how to expand health equity. In order to enhance your professionalization, you will study, practice, and reflect on writing elements like purpose, audience, bias, research, style, and design through community profiling and policy analysis.

English 326-01 (7594) - Writing in the Design Professions
Instructor: Julie Sandland
Format: Online
Contact: Julie.sandland@ndsu.edu

Bulletin description: This course provides intensive practice employing the conventions of those professional genres needed to write for professional contexts and audiences in design fields. Prerequisite: English 120, junior standing.

Required text: Tom Spector, How Architects Write, 2nd ed.Course description: This course will involve working on job search materials, including a resume and letter of application; a research report and space reflection; and an electronic portfolio of your work. It will also involve participation in a group design project called ReImagine NDSU, in which you will work with your peers to research and design a new learning space for a program of study on the main campus. The project will involve a period of field work, which will involve a site visit, interviews, and research on best practices in campus design. This project is designed to give you practice with design work in an actual space, field work, and work in sharpening your persuasive skills.

English 336: Literature and the Environment
Instructor: Amy Gore
Contact: amy.gore@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: MWF 10:00-10:50am

Bulletin description: Milestones of American writing about nature and culture from Thoreau to the present. Reading and analysis of literary encounters with place and issues that arise when the local is global. Prereq: ENGL 120.

English 360: Grammatical Structure/English
Instructor: Bruce Maylath
Contact: bruce.maylath@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: TTh 9:30AM-10:45AM

Course description: This course examines the system of the English sentence by comparing and contrasting the prescriptive grammar of standard English, both American and British, with the descriptive grammar of students' home language(s) and other regional and social varieties of English. The course emphasizes the structures and components of English, with special attention given to their application in language teaching (including writing instruction), literary stylistic analysis, and professional editing. You will be asked to consider what is likely to remain standard, what will disappear, and what may be added.

Course goals: When you depart ENGL-360, you should be able to...
• identify methods of sentence construction, including identifying constituent phrases and clauses, and demonstrate competency in clausal coordination, subordination, embedding, and modification;
• analyze parts of speech, their structures, and functions;
• describe the forms and functions of the English verb system;
• identify which linguistic features in standard English are likely to be rendered archaic.

English 380: Shakespeare
Instructor: Verena Theile
Contact: verena.theile@ndsu.edu  
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: TTh 3:30AM-4:45AM

Bulletin Description: Your course catalogue lists English 380 as a requirement for Theatre and English Ed majors and a 300-level elective for English majors and minors; it describes it as an "intensive study of selected works of Shakespeare."

Course Description: For us, this means that we will study a variety of Shakespearean works this semester, from a variety of perspectives, and with a variety of learning goals in mind: how do others/we think about unpacking, researching, performing, teaching, reading, and writing about Shakespeare. In terms of genres we will focus primarily on tragedies, but we will also study some of the comedies, histories, and romances. Together we will explore early modern culture and illuminate the social, political, and religious concerns that gave rise to Shakespearean plays, often painting an intriguing, authentic, and highly critical picture of his own life and times. Because much of Shakespeare's political agenda is hidden within the intricate syntax of his poetry, we will also spend quite a bit of time this semester unraveling language, sentence structure, idioms, and metaphors.

Together we will analyze how Shakespeare's portrayal of early modern culture is colored by his experiences and the world that surrounded and shaped him. And we will think about how his portrayal and interpretation of society, politics, religion, and humanity remains relevant and impacts us today.

At the end of this course you will be able to:
• Comprehend, contextualize, and historicize Shakespearean drama independently
• Locate, apply, and criticize scholarly articles on Shakespearean drama independently
• Write reflective, interpretive, and critical responses to questions about Shakespearean drama 

English 382: Film Genres and Styles
Instructor: Emily Wicktor
Contact: emily.wicktor@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: W 5:00-7:30PM

Bulletin Description: Study of one or more film genres, styles, or movements, focusing on aesthetic conventions, cultural context, socio-historical significance, and critical approaches. May be repeated with change of topic. Prereq: THEA 115 or ENGL 225 or ENGL 272.

Course Description: Course Theme: Legendary film-maker and provocateur, Jean-Luc Godard, allegedly stated that “all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.”  Despite the contested authorship of this statement, the sentiment unquestionably endures throughout decades of screen content in every film genre, particularly in connection to the sub-theme of women/girls and revenge.  This course explores the complex, intersectional themes of women/girls with guns (or a host of varied weaponry) on screen, but especially in narratives focused on revenge and vengeance.  Using feminist/film theory, sexuality studies, and genre analysis, students will investigate this theme in film noir, science fiction, action/thriller, horror, western, and other film genres.  This class is Rated R (for righteous, and for mature/adult content).    

Possible Films:  Lady from Shanghai, Gun Crazy, The Big Heat, Aliens, Barbarella, Ghost in the Shell, Planet Terror, The Machine Girl, True Grit, Cat Ballou, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Hush, You’re Next, Dead Calm, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Ms. 45, Lady Vengeance, Léon: The Professional, The Villainess, La Femme Nikita, G.I. Jane. 

English 213, 313, and 413: Literary Publications I, II, and III
Instructor: Eunice Johnston
Contact: eunice.johnston@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: MWF 2:00-2:50PM

Bulletin description: Theory and practice in the process of producing a literary magazine. Prereq: ENGL 120.

English 453/653: Social and Regional Varieties of English
Instructor: Bruce Maylath
Contact: bruce.maylath@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: TTh 3:30PM-4:45PM

Course description: Linguists now talk not about English as a language in the singular but rather World Englishes-linguistic varieties in the plural. This course examines today's global lingua franca for business, science, entertainment, and international diplomacy; its diffusion to territories throughout the world; and its local character wherever it takes root as its users adapt English to their own needs. The course will highlight essential linguistic features, including the tensions between language for communication and language for local identity; the geographic, social, economic, and political factors of isolation, which give rise to language differences; the status of English(es) in the 21st century; and the phonetic, morphological, and syntactical features that distinguish language varieties. Students will also be asked to examine emerging linguistic features in English at present and to consider where English is headed.

Required Reading: All students, undergraduate and graduate, will read Wolfram & Schilling-Estes's American English: Dialects and Variation. In addition, undergraduates will read Hughes, Trudgill, & Watt's English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of English in the British Isles, which includes a CD of dialect voices, and Wolfram & Ward's American Voices. Graduate students will read Kortmann & Schneider's 4-volume Varieties of English: An Interactive Textbook, which likewise comes with a CD of dialect voices. Undergraduates and graduate students alike will discuss with each other in groups and in class what they have been learning from their respective readings so that each may gain insights from what the others are reading. All students will be assigned to read various topical articles and Websites posted on Blackboard.

English 456/656: Literacy, Culture and Identity
Instructor: Lisa Arnold
Contact: lisa.r.arnold@ndsu.edu 
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: T 5:00-7:30PM

Bulletin description: Reading, writing, research, and discussion of diverse types of literacy from functional to cultural to technological and their roles in culture and identity formation. Completion of related community projects. Prereq: English 120; junior status, unless special permission is given by instructor.

Course description: In this course, we will consider the relationship among literacy, culture, and identity, focusing especially on language diversity, language ideology, and literacy education. We will consider how various approaches to literacy education, particularly for diverse learners, carry a range of material consequences. In addition to weekly readings and responses, students will complete additional primary or secondary research on a related topic of their choice. Students will also be given the option to explore these issues in tandem with service in the local community or development of a multimodal project intended for a public audience.

ENGL 459: Researching and Writing Grants and Proposals
Instructor: Mary McCall
Contact: mary.mccall@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: TTh 12:30-1:45PM

Bulletin description: A rhetorical approach to researching and writing academic grants, business proposals, and related professional documents. Students develop a portfolio of professionally designed and edited documents as well as the vocabulary of grants writing and research. Prereq: ENGL 120 and Junior standing.

Course description: The course employs a rhetorical approach to writing proposals, focusing on using careful research to develop the best possible persuasive argument for a given audience and context. Proposals are texts that help explore opportunity and manage change; in this class, we will explore how to propose and manage change that makes lives better. In addition, the course creates opportunities for collaborative writing, understanding collaborative processes, oral presentations, document and presentation design, analyzing language choices, and learning the generic structures of proposals. Students will leave the course with a portfolio of polished, professionally designed and edited documents, as well as a vocabulary for discussing grants and proposal research and writing during the job search.

English 480/680: Medieval Literature
Instructor: Adam Goldwyn
Contact: adam.goldwyn@ndsu.edu 
Class format: HyFlex 
Class meets: W 5:00-7:30PM

Course description: Through close readings of works in a variety of genres (but primarily the romance, epic and travelogue) dealing with intercultural exchange (e.g. interfaith love, interfaith warfare, the Crusades, early national consciousness) this course will offer students the chance to read fundamental texts from roughly the 10th to the 17th centuries in a comparative context. While our primary goal will be to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of medieval literary aesthetics and literary style and how they are shaped by contact with other cultures, the course will also introduce students to historical and contemporary trends in medieval scholarship, and thus we will examine our works from a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives (e.g. Marxism, postcolonialism, gender and sexuality and ecocriticism).

English 755: Composition Theory
Instructor: Holly Hassel
Contact: holly.hassel@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class meets: Th 5:00-7:30PM

Bulletin description: Study of contemporary theories of teaching writing with frequent summary/response papers on assigned readings and a research paper on composition theory.

English 762: Critical Theory
Instructor: Sean Burt
Contact: sean.burt@ndsu.edu
Class format: HyFlex
Class Meets: M 5:00-7:30PM

Bulletin description: Study of contemporary literary theory and criticism.

Grad Studies in English

We are accepting applications

The English Department offers a PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture and an MA in English. Both degrees provide a robust core in rhetoric, writing, literary, and cultural studies, while including practical and immersive learning experiences alongside innovative strategies to specialize within the program of study. 

Our graduate students come to us from five continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America. Representing over 15 countries (such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Uruguay, Russia, Germany and Italy), our students create a diverse community of engaged scholars. Together we are committed to learning, collegiality, cultural exchange, world citizenship, civility, and social outreach.

Deadline: Review of applications begins February 1.

For more information email the Graduate Studies Director.

July 31 - August 2, 2020
North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND
Please click here for the CFP.

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Mailing Address

English Department
NDSU - Dept. 2320
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND  58108-6050

Physical Address
NDSU English Department
318 Minard Hall 
Fargo, ND  58102

Office Phone: 701-231-7143

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