ENG 560: Rhetoric Then and Now (Core Class)
Mondays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Dr. Owen Gilman
How do writers use rhetoric? How do we balance attention to genre, purpose, audience, context, and our own sense of style? In Rhetoric Then and Now, we will consider these and other questions, exploring rhetoric’s classical origins and studying the work of 20th and 21st century rhetorical theorists in order to understand how rhetorical concerns shape our own writing practices. This course will be discussion-based and include a workshop component. Students will write a series of response papers and conduct a semester-long project exploring the relevance of rhetorical theory to their own writing or area of interest. As we motor along in life, we see rhetoric at work every day, in a wide variety of ways–in political discourse, in advertisements, in public relations campaigns, in films, in poems–and always the goal is to have impact on an audience, to move the audience in some way. If you have writerly ambition, you and rhetoric will be mighty close kin. (Core Course)
ENG 673: Screenwriting Workshop (Area III)
Tuesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Professor Tom Coyne
In this class, we will learn how to present story in a specific, challenging, and rewarding format that may be unknown to you, but the fundamentals of good screenwriting are the same as all good creative writing — detail, dialogue, character, voice, precision, and imagination. We will develop and locate our most cinema-ready narratives, and learn how to tell them via camera and microphone. We will read screenplays, write screenplays, and discuss the craft and conventions of professional screenwriting. We will study three-act structure and the fundamentals of dramatic storytelling, and we will look at a number of professional screenplays to guide our discussion of form and craft. Each member of the workshop will develop his or her own screen project from an initial concept/pitch to a full-length, feature screenplay. The class will also look at the business of screenwriting and discuss the overall development of screen projects. No screenwriting experience required. (Area III)
ENG 620: Bestsellers and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace (Area I)
Wednesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Dr. Kersti Powell
Bestsellers and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace will give you an opportunity to explore the most recent trends in contemporary British and Irish fiction. By focusing on marketing and the literary canon, this course will give you an opportunity to reconsider contemporary literature from a new and exciting perspective. Each novel on our reading list will facilitate a case study of a different marketing issue. Thus, we will read John Banville’s Booker-Prize-winning The Sea in order to study literary prizes and their effect on marketing and to highlight the crucial part that literary reviews can play in “making of an author.” Zadie Smith’s and Arundhati Roy’s first novels will help us to investigate literary celebrity culture, race and gender; Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2015) to explore the rise of small publishing houses; and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004) to illustrate how daily talk shows can promote a difficult text to the status of a bestseller. We will finish the semester with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which returns us to such vital thematic issues as race and immigration but also allows us to study how the rise of young adult fiction caused the reconfiguration of bestseller charts. (Area I)