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English and Theatre



ENGL 203. Introduction to Poetry and Short Fiction. (3) A study of the nature, types, and forms of poetry and short fiction, including both traditional and contemporary examples of each. No prerequisite.

ENGL 204. Novels around the World. (3) Exemplary novels as reflection of society and values in cultures around the world.

ENGL 206. Zombie Apocalypse. (3) This course will trace zombie genealogy from its earliest introduction in horror movies including Bela Lugosi's performance in White Zombie (1932) and George A. Romero's post-war Night of the Living Dead (1968), to present day apocalyptic zombie wars featured in novels and poems and other literature including Max Brook's Zombie Survival Guide and excerpts from classic works including T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, George Orwell's 1984, Haitian voodoo zombie lore, African cannibalism accounts, and Center for Disease Control guidelines for surviving a zombie apocalypse. From fictional depictions of zombies with their expressionless eyes, staggering bodies, and carnivorous desires, we will move beyond zombies as mere monsters, re-examining zombie lore through the lens of present day apocalyptic scenarios concerning old disease resurgence, drug addiction effects, increasing wars, violence, and exploring chances for human survival when resources are few and laws are non-existent. In a modern culture dominated by virtual reality and questions about "identity," students will engage in philosophical and ethical discussions about what it means to be fully alive, or human, in an increasingly desensitized society and how individuals would respond if faced with a real-life zombie apocalypse. (COMP 131 prerequisite)

ENGL 209. Bad Girls in Literature: Speaking Up and Acting Out. (3) The girl next door, tomboys, good girls, bad girls – these familiar stereotypes point toward ways that females have been characterized and classified in literature and a variety of American cultures. But what defines a "bad girl?" This course will examine that term by exploring texts about females by women. How have conceptions of gender and race changed throughout U.S. history? How do different cultures define girls and women and their roles and value? What can cultural/historical contexts explain about the labeling of girls and women? What role does sexuality play in the labeling of females in a patriarchy? How does a writer convey values through characterizations, settings, and other tools of the craft? A series of critical reading and writing assignments will explore these questions.

ENGL 233. Medieval Life. (3) What was it like to live and believe in England in the Middle Ages (450-1500 A.D.)? How did the people who actually lived then and there deal with love, sex, religion, and monsters? Find the answers in their stories, poems, and plays translated into modern English about knights and ladies, warriors and lovers, pious Christians, and scoundrels. Beowulf fights the monster Grendel and a dragon. King Arthur enjoys Camelot while Queen Guinevere sneaks off with Sir Lancelot. The liberated Wife of Bath makes her happy way through five husbands and misogynist preaching, and much more.

ENGL 250. Creative Writing. (3) A course in writing fiction, poetry, drama, or the personal essay. Prerequisite: COMP 131.

ENGL 252. Poetry Writing. (3) In this course, we will both read and write poetry. The class will introduce students to poetry from around the world. Students will discover the power and diversity of the written and spoken word. They will develop a vocabulary of literary terms and analytical skills to examine published poems as well as to critique their peers’ poetry and their own. Writing and revising their original work throughout the semester, students will produce a portfolio of their own poems by the end of the semester.

ENGL 309. Vampires and Vixens in Gothic Literature and Film. (3) Vampires and Vixens, explores the beginnings of the traditional gothic in England, noting the origins of the vampire, then the resurgence Gothic literature in America, and finally examine the explosion of both vampires and gothic themes in popular culture. What is the appeal of the vampire that keeps society revisiting them in a technologically-fueled, modernized world? (COMP 132 prerequisite).

ENGL 371. American Lives: Surviving and Striving in the Margins. (3) A course in contemporary autobiographies. Students will read the stories of gay, lesbian, and transgender teens who become homeless when their families kick them out. They will follow a Jesuit priest as he helps Los Angeles youths struggling to escape gang life. Readings will be supplemented by documentary films and guest speakers.