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 here to read our 2020 edition of the Department Newsletter, Pen & Pixels: "The 2020 Quarantine Edition"

ENGLISH Course Offerings for Fall 2020

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 209 Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)

Instructor: Dr. Bruce Maylath

Course Description: This entry-level course imparts knowledge for the scientific study of language, including such topics as phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics, grammar, social and cultural dimensions, acquisition, variation and similarities among languages of the world, and related cultural history. It is designed to acquaint you with 1) the structure of the English language, 2) the history of its evolution, 3) the richness of its variations, 4) the nature of its relationships to other languages, 5) the processes by which humans acquire and use language as they listen, speak, read and write, 6) the methods for analyzing language, including phonology, syntax, and semantics, 7) contextual factors that influence linguistics behavior, including pragmatics and sociolinguistic principles.

English 220 Introduction to Literature, Section #5299 (3 credits)

Class meets MWF 10:00-10:50 a.m. in ABEN 208
Instructor:  Mary Pull                                                                                                                                                           

Bulletin description: Reading and discussion of representative examples of poetry, drama, and fiction, with emphasis on the use of common literary terminology. Classic and contemporary works. Focus on enjoyment and appreciation of verbal art. (ND:HUM)
Required texts: Meyer, Michael and D. Quentin Miller. Literature to Go. 4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2020.
Outcomes: As we examine a wide variety of short stories, poetry, and drama from diverse cultures and time periods, we will discuss the writer’s craft and gain insight into literary techniques and effects.  ENGL 220 fulfills two General Education categories:  Humanities & Fine Arts (A) and Cultural Diversity (D).

English 222 Introduction to Poetry (3 credits)

Instructor: Dr. Sean Burt

Course Description: Introduction to major aspects of the study and appreciation of poetry. Students will learn fundamentals of sound and line in English-language poetry, as well as English and non-English poetic forms such as the sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, sestina, and haiku. The class will also focus on poetry as the expression and creation of voice and image, and on how poems can address big issues like the self, the body, religion, nature, and politics. Students will encounter a wide range of poems, including classic English and American poetry, ancient poetry, international poetries in translation, contemporary writers, spoken-word performance, music, even Instagram poets. Students will do some small-scale creative writing activities, but this course is focused on understanding and responding to poetry, and is not primarily a course in creative writing.

English 251 British Literature I (3 credits)          

*Note that this course may be listed as English 315 British Literature I (3 credits) on Blackboard and in the NDSU Course Bulletin

Class meets: MWF 3-3:50pm in Minard Hall 308
Instructor: Dr. Verena Theile (she/her/hers)                                       

Course description: British Literature I will expose you to a breadth of English literature in a relatively short period of time. As such we will be leaping through the centuries quite rapidly, studying representative cultural and literary materials from the ancient world to modern times. To take full advantage of the technology the new HyFlex model provides, the course will draw on as many contemporary interpretations of these classic texts and materials as we can: in TV shows, movies, podcasts, and graphic novels. This multimodal study will augment our learning experience and lead not only to a deeper appreciation of early English literature, but also allow us to critically engage with its afterlife, interpretations, and uses in modern culture.

Course goals: At the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Contextualize and historicize texts and materials from a variety of literary periods.
  • Respond to cultural and literary materials from a variety of literary genres.
  • Examine cultural interpretations of early English literature through our study of texts, films, and graphic novels.
  • Construct and support critical arguments about the literature we read together.
English 272: Literary Analysis (3 credits)

Class Meets: TR 9:30-10:45 in South Engineering 118
Instructor: Dr. Emily D. Wicktor (she/her/hers)

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

Course Description/Statement of Purpose: What reason is there to study literature?  To be entertained by a compelling narrative?  To gain some degree of “culture”?  To get a sense of history?  Certainly.  But more importantly, literature provides us with the opportunity to develop multiple strategies of close, critical reading and interpretation—and to employ these specific critical strategies of interpretation both in our academic and everyday lives.  This course is premised on the belief that literary study should not be devoted solely to the “appreciation” of great works or authors; rather, that literary analysis should also serve as a means to a more thoughtful, analytical, and critical understanding of the cultural wallpaper of the world.  To this end, students will be introduced to several theoretical approaches which they will employ to better—and more expertly—read literature and culture.

English 317: American Literature I (3 credits)

Class meets: MWF 3-3:50, NDSU Ag & Bio Sys, Room 201 (location subject to change)
Hyflex (Synchronous in-person and Asynchronous remote)
Instructor: Dr. Amy Gore (she/her/hers)

Bulletin Description: Survey of major works and writers in American literature from the colonial period through the Civil War. Emphasis on the development of unique American values and literature.  Prereq: ENGL 120.

Course description: Beginning with some of the first moments of transoceanic cultural contact and ending with the Civil War, our class will survey the literary texts produced within the shifting boundaries of the United States. While reading widely, we will consider the new technologies of print and their role in shaping many types of early American literary production, including newspapers, literary journals and magazines, broadsides, pamphlets, and the bound book. The class will also provide hands-on experience with several different early American books and printing technologies. 

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 

  • Critically evaluate the periodization and canonization of American literature
  • Recognize the diversity of early American literature and its role in the development of national identities
  • Learn and apply the elements of rhetorical analysis to a variety of genres, identifying how writing style impacts content and reaches certain types of readers
  • Analyze a text through close reading, identifying how unusual words, phrases, or punctuation might reveal significant meaning 
English 320 Business and Professional Communication (3 credits)

English 320-07 (2699), English 320-08 (2700)

Course Info: Hyflex Synchronous
Instructor: Julie Sandland

Course Description: English 320 Business and Professional Communication is designed to provide “intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write for business and professional contexts and audiences.” Students will write in a variety of genres for different purposes and audiences. We will use an approach called scenario-based learning, in which you will imagine that you are writing for real-life situations in your industry. You will complete a total of 8 projects and 2 exams.

English 320 Business and Professional Communication (3 credits)  

Engl 320-06 (2698)

Course Info: HyFlex
Class meets: MWF 12:00-12:50am CST
Instructor: Kara Kenan

Course Description: English 320 is a three-credit course that provides “intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write for business and professional contexts and audiences.” The objective of this course is to help you learn to respond to a variety of professional writing tasks encountered in the workplace, paying close attention to the situation in which you are called upon to write. Students will engage in 4 units, each focused on professional writing tasks with different audiences and purposes. Students will engage in written work, create visual presentations, work individually and in small groups.  

English 321 Writing in the Technical Professions (3 credits)

ENGL 321-06 (3359), ENGL 321-07 (3385), ENGL 321-09 (3738), ENGL 321-10 (4530)

Course Info: Hyflex Synchronous
Instructor: Ryan Christiansen

Course Description: This course is intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write about technology development and use for expert, business, and more general audiences. Your goal for the semester is to rewrite and redesign a set of instructions. You will write a proposal for doing so, and then you will rewrite the instructions. You will then have others test your instructions, and you will write an empirical research report about the results of your testing and about how you should further improve your instructions; you will then incorporate those improvements. Along the way, you will write a progress report. 

English 321 Writing in the Technical Professions (3 credits)

English 321-01 (2702), English 321-08 (3446)

Course Info: Hyflex Synchronous
Instructor: Julie Sandland

Course Description: English 321 is a course designed to provide “intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write about technical development and use for expert, business, and more general audiences.” You will write in a variety of genres for different audiences and purposes. The course is divided into three units: the job search, the technical documents, and marketing yourself. You will complete a total of six projects: four (the job package, the technical definition/description, the text into visual, and e-portfolio) will be completed individually; one (the reference card) will be completed with a partner; and one, the group design proposal, will be a collaborative project that involves a number of nested documents.

English 323 Screenwriting (3 credits)

Course # 4297 

Class meets: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m., South Engineering 314
Instructor: Brady Bergeson

Course Description: In this class, you will go through the process of developing a story and writing at least the first act of a screenplay. We will start the process from the idea phase so no previous movie ideas are necessary. All that’s needed is an interest in film/television and storytelling. Throughout the screenwriting process, we will read and discuss several screenplays and focus on story elements like character, dialogue, conflict, scene, plot, and structure, as well as how to utilize screenplay formatting to tell a story for the screen.

English 325 Writing in the Health Professions (3 credits)

Instructor: Natalie Smith Carlson

Course Description: Assessing social and structural determinants of health, bioethics, and health literacy. Increasing health justice and professionalization through community profiles and policy analysis

English 325 Writing in the Health Professions (3 credits)

Engl 325-05 Section 3454, HyFlex/Asynchronous
Engl 325-07 Section 3993, HyFlex/Asynchronous

Instructor: Kara Kenan

Course Description: English 325 is a three-credit course that provides intensive practice employing the conventions of professional genres to write for professional health contexts with a variety of audiences in mind.  The objectives of this course are to help you learn to respond to a variety of workplace writing tasks and increase your knowledge of the health professions by designing appropriate documents and presentations.

English 331 Contemporary Women Writers (3 credits)

Class meets: TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM  
Instructor: Dr. Alison Bertolini (she/hers)  

Course Description: This course will focus on female resistance to oppression in classic and contemporary literature written by women. The texts for the class, which will primarily include novels, short stories, and films, engage with the theme of resistance in a variety of ways. We will begin the class by watching the film Bridget Jones’s Dairy adapted from the novel by Helen Fielding (1996). This film will help set the stage for a semester-long discussion about how gender socialization and sexuality have and haven’t changed between the 1860s and today. While the first half of the course will focus on female resistance to gender roles and socialization, the second half of the course will broaden that angle by addressing female resistance on a wider level. Assigned books and films focus on girls and women from a wide variety of backgrounds, which will allow us to examine intersections between gender, race, class, sexual orientation, age, and nationality. We will situate these works within their relevant historical contexts as we explore what they have to say about the relationship between resistance and gender, sexuality, the body, identity, family, beauty, abuse, violence, victimization, and survival. 

English 333 Science Fiction and Fantasy (3credits) 

Class meets: MWF 11-11:50am in Ag & Bio Sys Room 208
Instructor: Dr. Verena Theile (she/her/hers)                                        

Course Description: In English 333, we will study fiction that is concerned with the impact of science and technology on the human imagination. To take full advantage of the technology the new HyFlex provides, we will examine Science Fiction through as many forms of media as possible: SF novels, short stories, TV shows, movies, documentaries, audiobooks, podcasts, and graphic novels. We will also explore the history of SF literature and its various subgenres, i.e., alternate histories, post-apocalyptic visions, utopias and dystopias, galactic explorations, space operas, time travel, new wave SF, cyberpunk, hard SF, and YAL SF. Our emphasis will be thus not only be with the text and its content but also with its medium.

English 399 Special Topics in Drama (3 credits) 

Class Meets: TR 2:00-3:15 Minard 212
Instructor: Dr. Emily D. Wicktor (she/her/hers)

Bulletin Course Description: A study of the known and established literature of a field, or other evidence, for purposes of scholarly development.  The focus for this special topics course is late 19th through early 21st century drama, including analysis of dramatic texts as literature and play-to-film adaptation.  Prerequisite: ENGL 120.

Course Description/Statement of Purpose: This Special Topics in Drama course allows students to read a variety of dramatic authors and dramatic literature from the long 20th century (~1890 through 2020).  This class is not focused on theatre or performance studies, rather it focuses on reading plays as literary texts, as well as on filmed adaptations of plays in stage-to-screen considerations of content.  The long dual history of both stage and screen censorship allows us to investigate play and film content in connection to the shifting cultural/social categories of what is deemed “offensive,” illegal, morally regulated/censored, or otherwise “cancelled.”  Course content focuses especially on representations of sexualities and race, as these two categories most often were subject to rules and regulations (both written and unwritten) on both stage and screen.    

This course offers English majors/minors (and other students) a chance to read a much wider variety of dramatic literature, and broadens the focus beyond a single author into diverse representations of playwrights and artistic contributors to both stage and screen.  The broad reading list enhances and diversifies options for student content exposure and coverage in their degrees and in general learning.  This course counts under the “Cultural Diversity” category in the English B.A. and B.S. degrees, or can also fulfill an "Upper Division Elective" category at the 300-level.

English 435/635 Young Adult Literature in a Multi-cultural World (3 credits)

Class meets: W 5:00-7:30 pm in Minard 308
Instructor: Dr. Kelly Cameron (she/her/hers)

Course Description: This course places young adult literature at the center of our focus as scholars and teachers. Primary sources will include The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, and Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler. Through whole group and individual reading, discussion, and research, we will think deeply about the importance of stories in our lives, our classrooms, and society.

English 474/674 Native American Literature (3 credits)

Class meets: M 4-6:30, NDSU Minard 210 (location subject to change)
Hyflex (Synchronous in-person and Asynchronous remote)
Instructor: Dr. Amy Gore (she/her/hers)

Bulletin Description: The development of literature by and about Native Americans is traced from 1850 to the present. Focus on Native American identity and contributions to the American culture.

Course description: Our course will consider the importance of literature to Native peoples, including the impact stories by and about Indigenous peoples have had upon the world and the use of stories in political and cultural advocacy. We will reflect upon literature and rhetoric as a unique political tool, and we will examine its efficacy and power in Native history. We will read a wide range of Indigenous writing across genres, including life narratives, short stories, poetry, essays, and novels, while contextualizing and deepening our knowledge of Native American history. We will read stories from vastly different cultures and geographical spaces, but we will take the time to focus on the impact of Indigenous writing in our local communities, especially NDSU, Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 

  • Gain a foundational understanding Native peoples, cultures, and history
  • Develop their skills of literary criticism and rhetorical analysis with a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres
  • Classify the major periods and events in Native American and American literature 
  • Develop an advanced research project situated within the student’s career interests and based on ethical, culturally-responsive research guidelines

Additionally, graduate students will be able to:

  • Situate their research within current Native literary criticism and theory
English 486/686 Romantic Literature (3 credits)

ENGL 486-01 (11333) & 686-01 (11334)

Class meets: Wednesday 5:00PM-7:30PM in Minard Hall 302
Instructor: Dr. Anastassiya Andrianova

Course Description: This course will focus on the genre of Romantic autobiography in British literature, but also examine it in the larger European and transatlantic context in related literatures, with attention to both central and marginalized perspectives. We will discuss the historical, social, and cultural contexts of the autobiographical mode and zoom in on concepts of selfhood, subjectivity, interiority, imagination, individuality, and nature.

We will proceed chronologically through primary readings while also bringing in contemporary readings and debates, thus researching, documenting, and debating the ongoing relevance of Romanticism, and especially Romantic autobiography, to today’s literary and cultural discourse.

ENGL 751 Tools for Academic Writing: Clarity and Style (1 credit)

8 Weeks: Oct 22 - Dec 10

Class meets: Th 5:30 – 7:00pm in Dunbar Labs, Rm 152
Instructor: Enrico Sassi

Course description: The main purpose of this course is for students to learn and practice using specific strategies for writing clear, correct, and audience-appropriate academic documents. In addition, students will investigate writing expectations and analyze academic writing in their own disciplines. The class structure will follow the lessons in Joseph Williams’s Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace.

English 752 Tools for Academic Writing: Writing Your Manuscript (1 credit)

Individual weekly meetings at the Graduate Center for Writers

Class meets: Individual times scheduled for each student
HyFlex Synchronous 
Instructor: Enrico Sassi

Course description: This course is based on the assumption that individualized feedback is the most effective tool for students to improve their academic writing. This course leads students through a semester of intensive academic writing with extensive individualized feedback. Students will do the following:

  • Develop a semester-long writing plan for a major paper or part thereof (e.g., disquisition, article for publication, grant application)
  • Obtain approval and guidance from their advisors
  • Write intensively, receiving weekly individualized feedback from a graduate writing consultant
  • Report to both their advisors and the Graduate CFW director to ensure they are progressing appropriately
English 760 Graduate Scholarship (3 credits)

Instructor: Dr. Adam Goldwyn

Course description: A number of organizations codify, organize, and discipline English Studies, including the MLA (Modern Language Association) and CCCC (Conference of College Composition and Communication), our two flagship organizations. In their publications and on their websites, we recognize a conversation about what constitutes good research and teaching practices. In order to enter this conversation, one must have the tools. This class will introduce you to the lexicon and ways of knowing that comprise the field of English.

English 765 Upper Division Writing: Pedagogy, Practice, Technology (3 credits)

ENGL 765-01 (11335)

Class meets: Tuesday 5:00-7:30 pm in Music Ed 113 and remotely via Zoom
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Kenzie

Course Description: This seminar provides a theoretical and practical foundation for teaching upper-division writing (UDW) courses. To that end, we will explore relevant scholarship in professional and technical writing, writing across the curriculum (WAC), and writing in the disciplines (WID), including topics such as ethics, intercultural communication, digital rhetoric, assignment design, online writing instruction, and teaching for social justice. You will also develop strategies and materials for a specific course as you observe others’ teaching, review textbooks and instructional documents, and explore your own pedagogical values and priorities.

By the end of the term, you should be able to:

  • Identify and analyze scholarly conversations about pedagogy in professional and technical writing, WAC, and WID;
  • Prepare professional materials for a UDW course, grounded in scholarship and presented for other teachers;
  • Observe, practice, and reflect on the components that go into an effective UDW course;
  • Connect your work to a community of teachers and to the work of writing programs; and
  • Articulate an informed rationale for your values, priorities, and practices in teaching UDW

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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