Graduate Courses, Spring 2000

English 624:  African American Literature
Professor Carol Allen

This is a survey that covers African American Literature from the eighteenth century to the present.  The course will provide general information about the major writers and texts that have contributed to African American Letters.  In addition to literary texts, assignments include criticism from noted scholars such as Houston Baker, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Hortense Spillers, Deborah McDowell, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, and others. Fiction writers to be studied are Douglass, Hughes, Hurston, Wright, Brooks, Ellison, Walker, Morrison, and more. The aim is to provide not only a sense of the African-American literary tradition but also of where it stands in relation to Western humanities. Required texts: The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Henry Louis Gates, ed. al. eds.; Black Literature and Literary Theory, Henry Louis Gates, ed.; and course handouts.    

English 641:  Literacy & Basic Writing
Professor David Tietge

This is a graduate course that will examine the theoretical and practical questions surrounding the development of literacy, particularly in relation to basic writing, multicultural contexts, and the urban student writer. It is designed for advanced students who are interested in developing strategies for teaching the basic writer, but it will also provide a theoretical backdrop for understanding and applying those strategies. We will begin by examining the history of composition instruction in order to understand where and how it is situated in the academy, and will quickly move to studying some of the leading thinkers in fields such as composition, education, rhetoric and linguistics. Though we will attempt to master a considerable amount of theory in this course, it will not be at the expense of the practical concerns of teaching writing; there will be a good deal of "hands-on" experience as well.  Therefore, this course is especially important for those who currently are, or who someday hope to be, teachers of writing. The course will be useful not only to English instructors, but to any teachers who intend to use writing as a primary learning tool in their classrooms.

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