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The English Department at UAF is the oldest in the state and one of the largest departments in the College of Liberal Arts.  Our faculty's emphasis on the creation and critical analysis of literature and on the importance of good writing makes our contribution to the college's liberal arts mission unique.

Latest/Breaking News

Dr. Chris Coffman, Associate Professor of English, has published a new article in Arizona Quarterly 70.4 (winter 2014) entitled "Visual Economies of Queer Desire in Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. 
Dr. Sarah Stanley, Assistant Professor of English, has two new publications: an essay "The Road Not taken: John Dewey and Sentences as Limit Situations" in Radical Pedagogy (Vol 11 no 2) and an article "Noticing the Way: Ty and Translingual Possibility" has just been published in JBW (Vol 32 issue 1).
Dr. Johnny Payne has a new book being released soon by Mouthfeel Press. VASSAL " is richly descriptive, energetically ironic and playfully anachronistic" according to Reginald Gibbons, Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities.
VASSEL tells the story of Odysseus since he washed up on  shore on Ogygia...it seems everybody wants a piece of Odysseus.  His sailors, one in rehab, plot to mutiny.  Calypso, Circe and Nausikaa demand sex.  In Itaka his sarcastic son fumes at his fathers absence.  In the underworld, the great tactician's mother blames Odysseus for her death.  There is no rest for an aging warrior with arthritis and possible PTSD.  All he dreams of is Penelope's arms, as he rebuilds his ship and outwits gods for whom he's a cosmic Joke.  In a poem cycle well-versed in Homer, varied in form, imbued with humor, melancholy, epic reach and tender quiet lyricism, Johnny Payne gives us a fractured hero, valiant by necessity and held toget5her only by the glue of his wily grit.
 Visiting Assistant Professor Sean Hill has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. Here's the bulletin, announced today (12/2):
"Thirty-six poets have been selected to receive an NEA Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing. This $25,000, non-matching fellowship allows published writers to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and career advancement. NEA fellowships are highly competitive. The NEA received more than 1,634 eligible manuscripts in this round."
And here's the list of the poets awarded NEAs:

Congratulations, Sean!

Recent News

The English Department is pleased to welcome Johnny Payne to the faculty.  Professor Payne is a Kentucky native, a novelist , poet and playwright.  His novels include Kentuckian, Second Chance, the Irish epic Silver Dagger, and most recently, La muerte de Papi, his first novel written in Spanish.  His teaching philosophy can be summed up by the phrases "compassionate rigor" and "planned spontaneity."  He is partial to multimedia and has taught a number of courses online.

Professor Sean Hill is a finalist in the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association Awards for his recent poetry book, Dangerous Goods.  The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association advances the success of independent bookstores, fosters partnerships that create a strong bookselling and publishing community, and celebrates the vital literary culture of their region.

MIBA is a regional nonprofit trade association established in 1981 to promote retail bookselling and support independent booksellers throughout our region. Their members include locally owned and operated independent bookstores; book publishers, distributors, reps, and vendors who do business with their bookstores; and other individuals and businesses allied to the book industry, such as media, librarians, and teachers. With over 225 members, including nearly 200 bookstores, we represent a substantial portion of the region. Their member states include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Additional member stores are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. - See more at: http://midwestbooksellers.org/about-miba/#sthash.FIgEgYXt

Dr. Gerri Brightwell, Associate Professor of English, has just had her short story "The Billet" accepted by Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction.

Ryan Bateman, MFA graduate student, just had a piece of flash fiction published in the online journal Monkeybicycle.

The following people have been awarded grants from the College of Liberal Arts Collaborative Arts Council:

Sean Hill, Assistant Professor of English, and Nathan Hokenson, Academic Advisor for UAF Student Support Services for their proposal "UAF Broadsided".

Sarah Stanley, Assistant Professor of English, for her proposal "Digital Storytelling for Science Education".


Eric Parker and Heather Warren, MFA graduate students, for their proposal "Geologic Processes".

Latest Updates Fall 2014:

Professor Jennifer Schell just published an article entitled, "We Account the Whale Immortal': Fantasies of Ecological Abundance and Discourses of Extinction in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick" in the book Critical Insights: Moby-Dick."

Professor James Ruppert recently published an article entitled "Native Literatures of Alaska" in The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature edited by James Cox for Oxford University Press.

Dr. Chris Coffman, Associate Professor of English, recently published an article entitled "The Migrating Look: Visual Economies of Queer Desire in The Book of Salt" in Texas Studies in Literature and Language 56.2 (Summer 2014). 


Course Descriptions for Spring 2015

Please take a moment to find the class that is right for you.

Also, please come back over the next couple of weeks to see what new course descriptions have been added.


English 111x-F05 Intro to Academic Writing

T/R 8a-9:30a  Gruening 413

Instructor: Wahl

In this section we will explore the components and processes involved in writing an essay, from identifying rhetorical strategies to evaluating and gathering resources, to crafting throughout the writing process.  Students will write several smaller essays, which will eventually culminate in one larger essay displaying their proficiency of the writing and researching process.


English 200x-F02  World Literature

T/R 2p-3:30p  Gruening 413

Instructor: Mellen

This course explores various cultures and historical periods through the in-depth study of fiction, drama,  and poetry.  Throughout the semester, we will be literary space and time-travelers, leaping from 19th century Europe and Asia back to ancient Mesopotamia, and then forward to the 20th centuries in Africa, India, and Latin America. We will be examining different literary movements and exploring how one artistic epoch leads into another, keeping any eye toward the cyclicality of art and literature.

English 200x-F03  World Literature

MWF 2:15p-3:15p  Gruening 208

Instructor:  Wharton

This course is an introduction to world literature.  We will explore works from Japan, the Marshall Islands, Europe, Africa and South America.  We will touch on post-colonial social justice, coming of age and even the origins of the universe.   


English 200x-F06 World Literature: "Heroes and Anti-Heroes"

T/R 3:40p-5:10p  Gruening 206

Instructor: Payne

A madman thinks he's a knight. An alcoholic Laguna Pueblo war veteran goes on a vision quest.  A comical monkey takes Buddhist scrolls for India to China.  Two trickster brothers survive the Mayan undead in the underworld.  A transvestite stars in the Chinese Opera.  A soldier lives on the losing side of the Civil War.  A barrio Chicana wanders through surreal landscapes, facing up to middle age.  The hero has many faces.  We'll discover and explore our eternal fascination with heroism (and anti-heroism) through epic poetry, novel, satire and song.


English 200x-FE1 World Literature: "Heroes and Anti-Heroes"

T 6p-9p Gruening 202

Instructor: Payne

A madman thinks he's a knight. An alcoholic Laguna Pueblo war veteran goes on a vision quest.  A comical monkey takes Buddhist scrolls for India to China.  Two trickster brothers survive the Mayan undead in the underworld.  A transvestite stars in the Chinese Opera.  A soldier lives on the losing side of the Civil War.  A barrio Chicana wanders through surreal landscapes, facing up to middle age.  The hero has many faces.  We'll discover and explore our eternal fascination with heroism (and anti-heroism) through epic poetry, novel, satire and song.


English 211x-F01 Acad Writing about Literature

T/R 2p-3:300p Bunnel 410

Instructor: Hill

This course, English 211x, is the second of the two writing courses required for the bachelor's degree.  This writing course is designed to provide students with instruction and practice in writing effectively about literature. We will read short stories, poems, essays, and plays, and it is my hope that this course will deepen students' understanding of literature while building their appreciation of the literary arts.  Through class discussions, in-class writing exercises, explications, creative and critical responses, research papers, and oral presentations students will develop the skills necessary to analyze, respond to, and think critically about literature.  Emphasis will be placed on writing as a process of generating ideas, drafting, revising, and editing; it is work that hopefully students will find rewarding.


English 211x-F07  Acad Writing About Literature  "The Transformation of Fairy Tails"

MWF 10:30a-11:30a  Gruening 303

Instructor: Kirk

From long-haired heroines locked away in towers to fast-talking wolves masquerading as grandmothers, fairy tile literature has produced a long line of familiar faces and situations.  These stories have become embedded in our collective imagination, but they haven't always taken such familiar forms.  Far from being static stories, fairy tales have changed drastically over time and across cultures.  This course will be an exploration of the fairy tale genre's evolution, cultural construction, and modern significance.  Throughout the semester, fairy tales will be used to examine societal values and expectations, as well as the collective nature of storytelling itself.  As a class,  we'll discuss topics ranging from hidden story morals to gender roles.  The reading list will feature a range of fairy tales from multiple cultures, bloody offerings from Grimm and Andersen, and contemporary retelling from writers such as Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter.


English 211x-F09  Acad Writing about Literature "True Stories, Well Told: Nonfiction narratives"

T/R 8a-9:30a Gruening 303

Instructor: Hinckley

Spend the semester exploring the world of the nonfiction narratives.  We will read a variety of essays from authors from different centuries and backgrounds.  Selected texts will include: JoAnne Beard's The Fourth State of Matter, Annie Dillard's Seeing, George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster, Michael deMontaigne's Of a Monstrous Child, and others.  Through our close reading of these and other texts, we will develop an understanding of how the nonfiction narratives are constructed.  We will then produce an analysis-driven paper and a research paper in response to these texts.


English 213x-F01  Acad Writing about Soc & Nat Sciences: Hyphenated Americans: Writing about Race and Ethnicity.

MWF 11:45a-12:45p  Duckering 342

Instructor:  Kim

This course will encourage students to investigate the ideology of the melting pot and the ongoing sociological and historical discourse surrounding comparative race relations among African Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos in the contemporary United States.  Readings will explore racial paradigms such as colonialism, slavery, immigration, internment and expatriation that continue to influence twenty-first century Americans

Students will be asked to form a definition on the social construction of race and what Connie Wolfe calls the "zeitgeist of one's upbringing," conduct research on a 2,000-word paper investigating a topic of race using scholarly methods and combine critical race theory with genealogical research applied to their personal lives in a 1,500-word political autobiography addressing their experiences (or lack of experiences) as racialized beings.  Through an examination of identity differences, students will become familiar with the concepts of diversity, self-awareness and empathy; in which their continuing efforts to understand culturally different others will illuminate the possibilities and range within human experience.


English 213x-F04 Acad Writing about Soc & Nat Sciences: "Links and Citations"

T/R 2p-3:30p   Gruening 204

Instructor: Stanley

Our semester will be focused on the concept of the "link."  What's the difference between a hyperlink, an anchor link, and an in-test citation?  Can we use the link in more innovative ways?  What contributes to a link fail?  What links do we notice in our learning, in disciplinary conversations across campus?  Are links superficial connections that can easily fail because they are so one-sided?  What does effective linking look like for the reader's perspective?  Writing for this class will involve digital and print texts which link.  Together, we will create, examine, and disrupt existing and emerging links in our thinking.


English 213x-F07 Acad Writing about Soc & Nat Sciences  "Biodiversity and Extinction"

MWF 9:15a-10:15a Gruening 203

Instructor: Schell

We will examine a series of non-fictional and interdisciplinary texts that address issues of biodiversity and extinction.  First, we will engage with Georges Cuvier's and Charles Lyell's theories of catastrophism and uniformitarianism.  Then, we will talk about the discovery of fossils in Alaska and the extinction of Pleistocene-era megafauna.  Next, we will discuss section of Paul and Anne Erlich's Extinction and consider controversies over the enactment of the Endangered Species Act in Alaska.  Then, we will interrogate E.O. Wilson's notion of "biophilia" and discuss subsistence hunting in Alaska.  Last, we will examine selections from Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction and address the current research of Arctic climate change scientists.  The five writing assignments will require careful analysis of the texts under consideration.  The research project will involve producing an extinction history for a threatened, endangered, or extinct organism. 


English 213x-F09   Acad Writing about Soc & Nat Sciences  "Writing for Alaska"

T/R 3:40p-5:10p  Gruening 412

Instructor: Lewis

This non-fiction composition class will focus on living in Alaska, with units on the natural sciences, history and biography, and general interest of Alaska.  Students will not only learn about living in our great state, but also how to write for natural and social sciences, and different methods of researching for each project.


English 213-F10  Acad Writing about Soc & Nat Sciences:  Misinformation in the Media

MWF 10:30a-11:30a  Gruening 204

Instructor:  Liebl

In this class we will be examining stories, tragedies, and information as it is spread throughout media; I hope to engage in the ways we share and discuss current and past events.  We will examine re-contextualizing information in different media formats, focusing on why certain pieces of information are shared on certain platforms (a catchy tagline on twitter, or a controversial headline on a news site), and the audiences those websites are trying to reach.  By examining these relatively new, consumed-by-the-masses mediums, the class will explore information sharing, and develop tools for critically analyzing these new texts we engage with in our everyday lives.  The class will watch examples of misinformation in the media in documentaries, listen to podcasts and a few TED talk's, read outside articles (including one which explores the misinformation effect) and read You are Still Being Lied to: The Remixed Disinformation Guide to Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths.


English 271-F01  Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction

T/R 2p-3:30p Gruening 304

Instructor: Brightwell

Have you always wanted to write stories?  Do you have some on your hard drive that you got stuck on and never finish?  Help is at hand!  This course will help you to shape your writing.  We'll be going exercises, looking at the work of published writers, and having you submit your work for discussion.


English 271-FE1  Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction

M 6:00p-9:00p Gruening 304

Instructor: Mellen

In this course, we'll be studying the basic foundations of creating emotionally moving stories: establishing complex characters, developing conflict and tension, portraying vivid settings, using language to make a story come to life, structuring a narrative, and revising toward completed, final drafts.  Our main focus will be on students' own original stories, which we will workshop in both small and full-class settings.  We'll also be studying stories by writers including Bonnie Jo Campbell, Raymond Carver, Andre Dubus, Susan Minot, Lydia Peelle, James Salter, and others Students will complete two original stories, writing exercises, responses to readings, and an end-of-the-semester artist statement bout their work.


English 272-F01 Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry

T/R 9:45a-11:15a  Duckering 354

Instructor:  Hill

Apprenticeship: Inspiration through Imitation

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the art and craft of poetry and to develop a level of sophistication when engaging poetry.  In this course students will analyze published poems for specific strategies and discuss the ways the poet uses these various techniques to establish motivation and emotional depth, and create linguistic music.  Following thorough discussions in class, students will write poems that are modeled after or inspired by the poets we have been discussing.


English 273-F01  Introduction to Creative Writing: Nonfiction

MWF 11:45a-1:00p Duckering 354

Instructor:  Farmer

In this course, students will write stories from their own lives in the genre known as creative nonfiction.  This includes adventure and travel writing, environmental writing, memoir, personal essay, and literary journalism.  We will spend the semester writing about our own lives and experiences and working to give them shape, structure, design and individual voice.  The class will include readings of published work, peer-workshop, course blogs and the production of a digital anthology of work produced in the class.


English 309-F01  British Literature, Romanics to Present

T/R  9:45a-11:15a

Instructor:  Stice

Do you want to brush up on your knowledge of British literature, but fear having to wade through a huge anthology?  Well this class is for you!  Think of it as an anti-anthology course.  We will start with the Romantics, move to the Victorians, continue on to the Modernists, and finish up in Contemporary Britain.  The reading list includes some of the best poetry, drama, and fiction these periods have to offer, but we won't be taking a whirlwind tour.  We will also be sampling several works that are not traditionally included in this sort of class (or in an  anthology).  Some of it will be comic, like George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion.  Some will be scary, H.G. Wells' Time Machine, and some will be downright disturbing, like George Orwell's Animal Farm or Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber.  You will leave this class with a clearer understanding of the social, historical, and political forces that have helped to shape British literature in the last 250 years.  Best of all, you'll have fun doing it.


English 310-F01  Literary Criticism

MWF 10:30a-11:30a  Gruening 405

Instructor:  Heyne

This class is about the philosophy of literary theory, what we talk about when we talk about books, all the many splendid ways of relating to literature, from Plato's argument for censoring poets and Aristotle's analysis of drama to deconstruction, cultural criticism, and the lastest in cognitive narratology.


English 318-F01  Modern English Grammar

T/R 3:40p-5:10p  Gruening 405

Instructor:  Cooper

Although "grammar" means different things to different people, in this course we will focus mainly on how English words are put together into phrases and sentences: in other (fancier) words, the syntactic and morphological structure of the language.  Students will learn some terms and methods for describing a variety of phrase and sentence structures, learn how to argue for or against different grammatical analyses, learn how to diagram sentences, and occasionally stop to look at some practical applications of these ideas.  Students occasionally stop to look at some practical applications of these ideas.  Students should gain a greater appreciation for the grammatical knowledge is assumed: basic terms such as subject verb, preposition, and tense will be reviewed early on, but the course may be challenging for those who have never been exposed to these concepts.


English 350-F01 Literature of Alaska and the Yukon Territory

T/R 2p-3:30p  Bunnel 122

Instructor:  Heyne

Alaskan writing has boomed in the last thirty years, and we'll be sampling some of the many different kinds of writing by Alaskans and about Alaska, with a sprinkling of work by our Canadian neighbors to the east, including poetry, graphic fiction, mystery and suspense, and "literary" fiction and nonfiction.


English 371-FE1 Topics in Creative Writing:

Poets as Seers and Seekers: Verse Workshop

R 6p-9:00p  Gruening 301

Instructor:  Payne

From the raptures of Robinson Jeffers and the love dreams of Meo Yao Ch'en, to the wild laughter of Anna Swir and the "barbaric yawp" of Walt Whitman, the poet is above all a visionary and a wanderer.  This course in poetry writing seeks to set you on your own journey of discovery.  Reading short, lyric poems, both modern and ancient, we will learn enough technique to write in forms plain and fancy.  This is a chance to chart your own course to wisdom through words.


English 371-FE2: Topics in Creative Writing: Imagined History-Fictionalizing the Past

M/W 3:30p-5:00p  Bunnel 302

Instructor:  Mellen

The focus of this class is fiction based in history.  While not strictly historical fiction or biography, our readings and writings will tackle history in more individual and personal terms.  We'll be trying to get to the heart of a historical event, the soul of a historical figure.  We'll be imagining what could have happened, as opposed to what did.  The first half of the semester will be spent reading authors such as Ethan Rutherford, Jim Shepard, and Ben Stroud, while also completing the research we need to inform and shape our own work.  The second half of the semester will be spent workshopping student stories.


English 420-F01 Studies in Medieval and 16th Century British Literature: Representations of Monstrosity and Otherness.

MWF 2:15p-3:15p  Gruening 401

Instructor:  Harney

This course examines the depictions and constructions of mo9nstrosity and otherness in the Middle Ages.  Using primarily medieval English texts, select works from the continent, and ancient and biblical sources, the course will explore the literary presentations of monsters, foreign and marginalized peoples, and legendary races and beings and how these presentations develop and are portrayed in different time periods and contexts.  Topics explored include medieval perceptions of religion, masculinity and femininity, race, war, and social expectations.  In addition to examining a selection of influential texts across a range of literary genres, students consider the way historical and cultural occurrences and concerns are reflected in these primary texts.  Major genres will include travel literature, Saints' Lives, catalogs of women, and Crusade literature.


English 425W, 02-F01  Shakespeare Comedies, N.D. Poetry

T/R 11:a-1:00p  Gruening 310

Instructor:  Reilly

We will read and discuss several comedies as well as some of Shakespeare's non-dramatic poetry, especially the sonnets.  This course is writing intensive and qualifies as one half oral intensive.


English 425W, 02-FH1  Shakespeare Comedies, N.D. Poetry

T/R  11a-1:00p  Gruening 310

Instructor:  Reilly

We will read and discuss several comedies as well as some of Shakespeare's non-dramatic poetry, especially the sonnets.  This course is writing intensive and qualifies as one half oral intensive.


English 427-F01  Studies in Film:  American Film Genres 

T 3:30p-6:00p and R 3:40p-5:10p  Schaible Auditorium

Instructor:  Ruppert 

This course will include a variety of American film genres to explore how these genres evolve, how they reflect their social milieu, and how they become central to the American cinematic experience.


English 465-f01  Genre: The Sonnet: Case, Kin, Permutation

T/R  9:45a-11:15a  Gruening 410

Instructor:  Cooper

This is a course on that small but powerful lyric form, the sonnet.  We'll look at the form itself: What are the rules?  How does it work? What makes a good one good?  How have recent poets stretched the possibilities?  What's a "crown" of sonnets?  We'll also step back and think about some bigger questions: Why, and how, has this particular form assumed such a major place in the literary imagination of English-speaking societies?  What is its symbolic value?  And where did it come from in the first place?  No matter which questions we address, we  will spend a lot of time closely reading terrific poetry, writing about it, and even trying our hand at it occasionally.


English 471W-FE1  Undergrad Writing Workshop: Advanced Creative Writing

T 6p-9:00p

Instructor:  Hill

This multi-genre workshop will focus on elements of creative writing--image, metaphor, rhythm, voice, character, setting, and story.  Students will master the skill of reading texts with an eye for these elements as writers do.  The course will give students the opportunity to practice using these elements in their own creative work.  Class discussions will focus on craft and techniques and student work.  Bye the end of the semester, each student will have completed at least one personal essay, one short story, and one poem.


English 472-F01 History of the English Language

MWF 1p-2:00p  Gruening 301

Instructor:  Cooper

This a course on the origins and development of the language we now know as English, from its prehistory as a Germanic dialect in Europe to its development as Old English in the early Middle Ages, to Renaissance English in Shakespeare's time, on through to its modern forms and its spread as a global language.  We will pay some attention both to external historical events that have influenced the way people speak and write (wars, migrations, inventions, etc.) and to internal details of the language as they have changed through the centuries.  These internal details include features such as pronunciation, meaning, the way words are formed, the way phrases and sentences are formed, and the ways the language differs among different groups of speakers.  Along the way, we'll look at examples of writing and (where possible) speaking from different periods and places, to get a sense of the language in use.


English 482-F01  Topics in Language and Literature: Moby-Dick and the Hunt for the Great White Whale.

MWF 11:45a-12:45p  Gruening 401

Instructor:  Schell

"Call me Ishmael."  And so begins one of literature's most famous (or infamous) novels.  This semester we will engage in intensive study of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.  We will examine its nineteenth-century contexts; we will scrutinize its critical history; and we will consider its twenty-first-century resonances.  Some weeks will be devoted solely to the novel, while others will be devoted to discussions of print culture, literary history, critical theory, and/or popular culture.  Among other things, we will discuss graphic novels, children's books, artwork films (Star Trek ll: The Wrath of Khan), and television programs (The Big Bang Theory and Futurama). In this way, we will explore the various factors which have contributed to Moby-Dick's complicated cultural and historical legacy and  its status as one of American literature's most beloved books.


English 608-FE1 British Literature after 1900: Feminist Experimental Fiction

W  6p-9:00p  Gruening 410

Instructor: Coffman

This seminar will explore twentieth-century British fiction (as well as one American novel) by focusing on texts that break with conventions of language, genre and gender: that is, on feminist experimental fiction.  How do stream-of-consciousness narration, surrealism, the fantastic, and postmodernism contribute to these tests' challenges to established textual and social forms?  Our primary readings will span the entire twentieth century and will include Djuna Barnes's Nightwood; Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet; Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and Nights at the Circus; Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark and Wide Sargasso Sea; Dorothy Richardson's Pointed Roofs (from Pilgrimage); Jeanette Winterson's The Passion and Sexing the Cherry; and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and the Waves.  In addition to these texts secondary reading will explore psychoanalytic, poststructural, postcolonial, feminist, and queer perspectives on experimental writing.  Questions are welcome at cecoffman@alaska.edu


English 671-FE1  Writers' Workshop: Prose

W 2:15p-5:15p  Duckering 406

Instructor: Brightwell

We'll be focusing on discussion of students' work, both fiction and nonfiction.  Time permitting, we'll do writing exercises and talk about publishing.


English 684-F01  Forms of Nonfiction Prose

R 6p-9:00p  Duckering 406

Instructor:  Farmer

In this class we will examine the range and possibilities in nonfiction literature,  or as Jennifer Brice calls it, "the art and craft of transformi8ng life into art."  We will read and write in a variety of nonfiction forms and categories, and explore how those categories merge, expand and in some cases subvert the genre in new and interesting ways.  The course will begin with work toward a definition of the genre and of the various forms it can take.  Then we'll move to the essentials of quality writing, not only in terms of craft and technical skill, but especially in working toward an understanding of what separates a piece of writing that is merely competent from one that is a work of art that "breathes life"?  By the semester's end, you should have a sense of the range of creative nonfiction, the ethical and craft issues it raises, and hopefully, a body of your own work that you can pull from for future nonfiction writing workshops.


English 614-FE1  Seminar in Comparative Literature: Pacific Literature - Australia, New Zealand, Oceania or Paradise Regained

M 2:15p-5:15p  Gruening 309

Instructor:  Carr

Plan to spend Spring 2015 on a literary cruise through the Pacific.  Stopping first at New Zealand, your ship will lead you on to the island of Bougainville, then the Samoas, Hawaii, the Marshall Island,  Tonga, and then Australia.  A wealth of new experiences await you as you laugh aloud at the absurdities of contemporary Pacific life (Tales of the Tikongs), join civil war Melanesian style (Mister Pip), read pidgin poetry of Hawaiian adolescents (Saturday Night at the Pahala Theater), witness a young girl struggling against becoming an individual in a communal society (Where We Once Belonged).  And I am just getting started...

What will this literary excursion cost?  You will have to produce a response paper or two.  You will claim an island or set of islands as your own and develop an informative essay on that place.  The major writing project will involve writing a critical introduction to an imagined American edition of a primary work not on the syllabus.  You will also need to present an oral essay on one of the assigned texts, a short presentation that can then serve as springboard to further discussion.  By the  time you get off the ship in Australia, you will feel stimulated, renewed, fulfilled by your Pacific journey.  And by then, light and warmth will have returned to Alaska----

Barclay, Robert  Melal: A Novel of the Pacific.

Duff, Alan.  Once Were Warriors (or Grace, Patricia. Dogside Story.)

Flanagan, Richard.  Gould's Book of Fish.

Figiel, Sia.  Where We Once Belonged.

Frame, Janet.  The Carpathians

Grenville, Kate.  Lilian's Story.

Hau'ofa, Epeli.  Tales of the Tikongs.

Hooper, Chloe.  The Tall Man.

Jones, Lloyd.  Mister Pip.

Scott, Kim.  True Country.

Wendt, Albert.  Leaves of the Banyan Tree.

Yamanaka, Lois-Ann.  Saturday Night at the Pahala Theater.


For more information see catalog or contact: Rich Carr, Chair, English Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 7575720 | Fairbanks, AK 99775 | (907) 474-6361 | email: rscarr@alaska.edu

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