Selected Course Descriptions of some of the English Department’s Spring 2020 Courses

Please note that the schedule is subject to change

Tues/Thus 1:40-2:55

English 2110 is a one-semester writing course that explores questions, problems, and ideas related to the ways we analyze and create visual rhetoric in the 21st century. What constitutes good design, and how can design choices enhance the persuasiveness and overall message of a text? How might studying visual rhetoric help us to develop language to better describe our identities, our diverse communities, and the ever-changing world around us?

Tues/Thurs: 9:25-10:40 a.m.

In this class, we will cover nearly 100 years of British literature starting from the beginning of the 20th century through the present. The course is divided into several sections, and each section is organized around one or more significant historical, cultural, and literary moment/s. By studying novels, plays, poems, nonfiction, and short stories, we will attempt to understand the principal aesthetic and ideological concerns animating the previous century. 

Mon/Wed: 10:50-12:05 and 3:05-4:20 p.m.

ENGL 3000 sets the foundation for textual interpretation and analysis. In this course, you will study theoretical frameworks that are used to approach texts from different perspectives such as linguistics, narratology, psychoanalysis, and political theory. We won't just study these approaches in isolation but also examine how they’ve influenced and enriched each other. 

Tues/Thurs 12:15-1:30pm

Tues/Thurs 1:40-2:55pm

The goal of this class is that you will cultivate habits that enable you to respond effectively to any future rhetorical situation. To do this, we will turn away from “academic” genres and, instead, produce writing that responds to a variety of purposes, contexts, and occasions. Using rhetorical theory and concepts, you’ll develop a flexible, practical approach to making things happen with words.

Are you interested in writing a novel?  Have you already written a novel?  Have you tried and aborted the mission many times over?  Would you like to undertake or continue a novel-writing project in the company of others?  This class is designed to propel you into and through the novel-writing process—no excuses, no gridlock, no looking back.  The first part of the semester will break down the novel by its defining features and major techniques, and will focus on readings, craft discussions, and small-group workshops.  The second part of the semester will be devoted to full-class workshops of original novel excerpts written by students during the course of the semester.  Prerequisites: 1310, 2050, & 3050.

Tues 10:50-1:30

Students in this class are the editorial staff of UCCS's student literary and arts journal:riverrun. You will analyze aesthetic theory, different literary and art genres, and design principles to select submissions for publication and design and publish the journal. You will also draft and workshop a creative piece of your own for possible submission. 


This course introduces some of the significant movements, styles, authors, and publications in American literature from 1945 through the present. For this online section of the course, the theme is "Reading America": the readings and assignments are motivated by questions of why, how, and what we read in American literature.

Tuesdays 1:40PM-4:20PM

American Indian women were not granted the right to vote until 1924.  This course examines literature written by American women before 1924—before all American women were fully enfranchised citizens.  We will consider well-known writers in light of the profound disenfranchisement of women from national discourses of liberty and equality, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, and Emily Dickinson; the African-American writer Harriet Jacobs; the Yankton Dakota Sioux writer Zitkala-Sa. This course also invites students to delve into the legacy by exploring the vast field of American women writers before 1924 through digital archives and hands-on work at local archives at Colorado College’s Special Collections Library, culminating in a research paper. In so doing, we will examine the unique tensions faced by American women writers, and discover how those tensions are present in literary works across two centuries that interrogate such issues as aesthetics, authorship, citizenship, motherhood, class, gender, sexuality, race, and writing. Students must be able to meet at CC Special Collections (downtown) at least once. This course fulfills the Diversity requirement in the English department.

Tues/Thurs 10:50 am - 12:05 pm.

 This course provides a framework and forum for studying American cultural production across a range of genres and modes between 1880 and 1960.  Topics covered may include: naturalism, modernism, Reconstruction, literary regionalism, the First World War, industrialization and urbanization in American life, the rise of mass media, the Great Depression and the Popular Front, hardboiled crime fiction, documentary reportage, and the Second World War.  Throughout we will focus on the intersection of content, context, and form—that is, on the way assigned writers work to comprehend their distinctive historical situations by crafting new sentences, new forms, and new selves.

Thurs 10:50-1:30

This class is about making poetry meaningful in people's everyday lives. In it, you will read poetry, write poetry, write about poetry, and get involved with people outside of class through poetry. The course is friendly to skilled poets and those afraid of poetry alike. It is based on the project of the same name created by June Jordan. ENGL3410 fulfills a Diversity requirement in the English department.

Mon/Wed 10:50 – 12:05PM

C.S. Lewis says that Chaucer has “few rivals and no masters.” Learn why.

Thursdays 1:40 pm - 4:20 pm.

This course is a sustained yet accessible study of key thinkers, texts, and ideas in the tradition of critical theory that emerges from, and in conversation with, the works of Karl Marx.  Students will gain critical and theoretical tools for analyzing and interpreting diverse cultural and social phenomena, and will write in a variety of modes and genres related to this strand of theory, from more conventional practices of argument analysis and close reading to forms such as the manifesto and the aphorism.  The course will introduce students to central contexts and concepts, e.g., the dialectic, then will be organized around a study of selected writings by Marx, from his earliest writings to Capital, as well as of work by writers from the tradition after Marx, all addressing topics of both historical interest and contemporary import, e.g., postcolonialism, marxist feminism, and critical literary / media studies.  English 3000 (Critical Theory: Foundations & Practice) is a prerequisite for this course.

Mondays 10:50am-1:30pm

In this course, you’ll learn how to teach the English language to speakers of other languages and how to teach writing to multilingual writers. You’ll learn theories of second language literacy, of World Englishes, and of valuing and drawing upon language varieties in the writing classroom. The course will focus on teaching adult learners, but you will have the opportunity to focus on a teaching context of your choice in developing teaching materials.


English Education majors who are interested in learning methods for teaching students whose first language isn’t English in a K-12 environment are encouraged to take TED 4800: English as a Second Language for Educators.

Mon/Wed 8 – 9:15am

 Just because you speak English doesn’t mean you know the language. Learn how it has changed and where it may be going.

Thursdays 4:55-7:20pm

In this course we will consider how rhetoric fundamentally shapes our understanding of disability with significant political, medical, historical, and cultural consequences. We will begin by investigating how the social model of disability radically challenged typical approaches to disability by insisting that it was social structures and not bodies that “disabled” various groups of people. From there, we’ll engage a diverse array of secondary and primary sources (poetry, nonfiction, film, legal cases, statutes, advocacy, journalism) to expand our knowledge of and approaches to disability.

Mondays, 4:45-7:20

Since the term “rhetoric” was coined and taught systematically in Classical Greece, it has been dogged with questions about its ethics. In this course, you will learn about this critique of rhetoric’s ethics and examine the ways that rhetors, past and present, complicate and counter it. We will pay particular attention to the ethics and inextricability of appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos, taking care to situate our analysis of the appeals in our “post-truth” context. Finally, in keeping with the “summit” status of this course, you will create a final written text and make an oral presentation about a topic of your choosing that applies and exemplifies your rhetorical ethics.

Through our focus on four plays – Romeo and JulietAll’s Well That Ends WellKing Lear, and Pericles – containing extended scenes about caregiving, members of this course will delve into the discourse around healthcare as an entry into the worlds Shakespeare creates. Alongside coming to understand the plays themselves (both individually and as subset of his larger oeuvre) as a means of understanding, students will consider primary texts about disease circulating in print and transcribe from medical recipe books from his time.  Through depicting differing versions and divergent aspects of medical care, the playwright provides various models of intimacy and empathy for his audience. 

Wednesdays, 1:40-04:20PM

Helen Hunt Jackson (HHJ) is possibly the most famous writer to make a home in Colorado Springs. Her best-selling novel, Ramona, has never been out of print since it was first published in 1884. After HHJ embraced the cause of Indian rights in 1879, she set out to write something that would “move people’s hearts”; the result was Ramona. As she put it in terms that show the influence of her reading on her writing, “if I could write a story that would do for the Indian a thousandth part of what Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the Negro, I would be grateful for the rest of my life.” In other words, HHJ’s reading of other writers was essential to her success as a writer. Further, before she published Ramona, HHJ was well-known as a travel writer and poet. She shared a lifelong friendship with poet Emily Dickinson. This course considers Jackson as a careful and discerning reader and a prolific, well-connected writer who traveled frequently, was part of a transatlantic literary community, and who cared deeply about the rights of Indians. Finally, this course empowers students to build literary and cultural contexts through hands-on engagement with two important local archives. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (CSPM) is the home of the Jackson family library, a collection of hundreds of books; the CSPM also houses many artworks and other objects that were important to HHJ or her family. The Colorado College Special Collections Library (inside Tutt Library) houses Jackson’s papers, including a smattering of her books and a huge collection of letters. The final project will be a senior level research paper/digital project, written in two drafts, that makes use of local and/or digital archives and that may be suitable for public as well as scholarly dissemination. Since this course is a summit class, there is an oral presentation requirement as well. Students must be able to meet at the CSPM and at CC Special Collections (both downtown) on occasion. This class fulfills the Compass Summit requirement.