• There are no prerequisites for 200- and 300-level English courses
  • 300-level course topics marked with an asterisk [*] have the option of being taken in the 430-433 range to fulfill a 400-level English major requirement. Students enrolled in the 400-level versions of these courses will, as part of their coursework, conduct independent research appropriate to an advanced-level seminar. Students should consult the descriptions below and myPugetSound for the ENGL 400-level number that corresponds to each designated topic.



Laura Behling - TuTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

This course for non-majors focuses on graphic narratives, which bring together the verbal and visual as a way of telling a story.  The course begins by investigating the nature and grammar of comics: How do graphic narratives work? What techniques and strategies do writer-artists use to produce meaning? In what ways do colors, shapes, panels, borders, gutters, perspective, page-layout, and speech bubbles influence content? What is the role of the reader in constructing meaning from these verbal and visual texts? How does literary analysis inform our readings of the verbal and visual?  As in other English courses, Graphic Narratives aims to provide insights on language and meaning,  culture and history, the self and other.  Readings will be primarily historical and contemporary graphic narratives and critical scholarship about graphic narratives will offer perspectives on the readings’ responsiveness to contemporary social currents.  In addition to written analytical responses, class engagement and discussion and presentation, a final project for the course will offer students the opportunity to create their own graphic narrative.  

Attributes: This course does not satisfy a requirement for the English major or minor. 



William Kupinse - TuTh 11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

This course explores why English matters and what it means to study English at the university level.  It will help you to read actively, critically, and creatively, and it will guide you in channeling this reading acuity into original and compelling literary analyses—skills that are essential to further study in English.  In addition, we will consider personal, cultural, and ideological claims about what “literature” is and explore why, in an era dominated by STEM approaches, English is more important than ever.

The course foregrounds questions central to the discipline: What is a literary text? What is genre? Who decides what “counts” as literature, and why? How do literary texts relate to social contexts?  The chances are good that this course will challenge the assumptions and beliefs you have about what it means to be an English major, about the value of different kinds of texts, and about the politics—cultural, academic, ideological—that influence the discipline.  Course requirements include short analytic essays, a creative writing assignment (with the choice of genre open), a group presentation, and a final essay with a research component.

Attributes: Required of all English majors and minors.



Laura Krughoff - MWF 10:00-10:50 a.m.

In this course, students will be introduced to the fundamental techniques of fiction writing. We will read, discuss, and analyze the work of master short story writers in addition to reading selections from a helpful book on craft. These readings will be used to model various literary styles and techniques, and the first half of the semester will be spent developing and honing these skills through scene writing. In the second half of the semester, students will write, workshop, and revise two complete short stories. Students will participate in observation-based workshops of their peers’ fiction, a workshop strategy we will discuss in detail in class. There will also be regular quizzes, short writing assignments, and a midterm exam.

Attributes: Creative Writing; Artistic Approaches; IPE Pathway, “Artist as Humanist”



Tiffany MacBain - TuTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

This course is an introductory workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction, a genre that includes memoir, biography, travel writing, historical nonfiction, longform journalism, and the literary essay. Our focus this semester will be on the latter, with special attention to the personal essay—that is, nonfiction shortform writing that reflects your own experiences and thoughts. A literary essay need not make reference to, or be about, literature. Rather, the essay is itself literary, the result of careful attention to style and to elements of composition like structure, exposition, and storytelling. To become familiar with a range of approaches to the personal essay, students read and respond to model essays, and they discuss and experiment with the professional and artistic advice of experts in the field. Writing well takes careful thought and ongoing revision, so the course emphasizes process writing and peer/faculty review. ENGL229 counts toward the Interdisciplinary Humanities Emphasis pathway, The Artist as Humanist.

Attributes: Creative Writing; Artistic Approaches; IPE Pathway, “Artist as Humanist”



George Erving - MWF 2:00-2:50 p.m.

This version of English 232 focuses on literary art of the Romantic Period (1780-1830), especially its exploration of enduring philosophical questions about the origin and nature of human consciousness: to what extent does the mind create the reality it experiences? What is the mind’s relationship to the body and the external world? What is the significance of creativity, imagination, and art for understanding the various kinds of consciousness that shape human experience? The course then explores the legacy of Romanticism in the cultural movements of the Beat Generation and the 1960s Counterculture, before examining Romanticism's relation to contemporary ideas in philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, religion, and the emerging field of psychedelic studies.

Attributes: Literature; Humanistic Approaches; Literatures and Cultures Before 1800



Alison Tracy Hale - TuTh 12:30-1:50 p.m.

In this course, we’ll tread the haunted halls of Dark Academia, focusing on the literary manifestations of what emerged in the past decade or so as a popular internet aesthetic. We’ll consider Dark Academia as an offshoot of the Gothic genre and explore its complicated relationship to the elite liberal arts education model it depicts. We’ll also examine what it means that a fascination with such an exclusive, Eurocentric, and frankly white tradition emerges alongside and in conversation with demands for greater educational inclusivity and in relation to the growth of the university as a corporate and neoliberal space. Of course we’ll read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History—how could we not? —while spending time on other haunted campuses. Additional texts may include Rebecca Makkai, I have some questions for you; M.L. Rio, If We Were Villains; Mona Awad, Bunny; Farida Abike-Iyimide, Ace of Spades; Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House; and possible films include Dead Poets Society (naturally) and Master (2022, Mariam Diallo). Together we’ll pursue truth, knowledge, tweed, v-neck sweaters, and the meaning of life.

Attributes: Literature



William Kupinse - MW 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This hybrid literature/creative writing/hands-on mechanical skills course explores the connection between imaginative writing and the many cultural transformations wrought by the humble bicycle.  We begin by attending to the bicycle's contribution to feminist history and activism. As we will see from our reading of Elizabeth Robins Pennell’s A Canterbury Pilgrimage (1885) and Olive Pratt Rayner’s The Type-Writer Girl (1897), bikes were central to both the suffrage and New Woman movements.  The bicycle also played important role in the fight for racial equity in professional sports.  In the 1890s, Marshall “Major” Taylor was among the first Black athletes in the US to gain national attention, and his autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World (1928) illuminates how sports achievement and sports writing can serve as acts of cultural intervention.  

Although the bicycle initially rose to prominence in Europe and the US, bikes and bike culture quickly spread throughout the globe.  Notwithstanding a few well-publicized bike-friendly cities in Europe/the US (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Portland), the majority of riders who rely on bicycles as their main mode of transport today live in the Global South, with India and Indonesia have particularly large percentages of daily bike commuters.  Where the bicycle thrives, so does bicycle literature; as revolving spokes unwind the road, bike writing's turning pages unfurl nuanced and intricate stories of nations, communities, and individuals borne on two unmotorized wheels.  Such is the case with Taiwanese novelist Wu Ming-Yi's The Stolen Bicycle (2018), in which the narrator's search for his absent father's Lucky brand bicycle uncovers family history lost amid the Chinese Civil War.

Rider-writers continue to turn to the bicycle today as a vehicle of self-authorization, as witnessed by short fiction foregrounding intersectional queer identity in the indie-published anthologies Bikes Not Rockets: Intersectional Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories and True Trans Bike Rebel (both 2018).  We'll read texts that consider the bicycle as an instrument of climate justice, and others that address its public health potential.  We'll read writing by famous bicyclists—including former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne—and we'll do some cycle-inspired creative writing of our own.

Complementing the course’s literary and historical focus is a distinctly hand-on dimension: over the course of the semester, we will build a working bicycle from recycled parts—sourced from the bins at the non-profit Second Cycle in Hilltop and/or donated from the course instructor's own burgeoning parts horde—which we will then give to someone who needs it for transportation.  Topics to be covered in this hand-on experiential component of the course include wheel-building, headset installation, derailleur and brake servicing/adjustment, and more.  Participants will leave the course with enduring skills of literary and cultural analysis, creative writing, and zero-carbon vehicle fabrication/repair.  

No previous literary, cycling, or mechanical experience is needed to register for this course.  There is no additional materials fee beyond the cost of the required course texts.

Attributes: Literature; ENVH elective



Priti Joshi - TuTh 3:30-4:50 p.m.

In this class, we will all get to be detectives…of objects we cradle in our hands frequently, but don’t often stop to think about: the book! (As we’ll discuss early and often, “book” is used here as a shorthand for “books, scrolls, and tablets, pamphlets, newspapers, and broadsides, in manuscript, print, and pixels” and more). The class will turn our standard relationship to the book on its head: rather than focus on the contents – what the words and images say – we’ll focus on the materiality of the object itself: its cover, pages, binding, typography, etc. The goal  is to mine the object for clues to the history of the many people and communities who often-silently and largely-invisibly labored to create books, whether with quill-parchment-and-ink or with a wooden press and types or with woodblocks. Books – in their many forms such as handbills, newspapers or newsletters, even zines – have in some cases survived hundreds of years, and we will use these material objects to learn about the societies and cultures that gave rise to them and that they left an indelible impact on. As befits the material focus of this class, we be hands-on with books, newspapers, paper, type, blocks, etc. Our class will take place in the Archives and Special Collections seminar room in Collins library and we will handle objects that are old and in some cases delicate (no gloves needed!). We’ll also spend time learning to make or replicate some of the component parts or features of a “book”: paper, printing, folding, and binding.

This class will be of interest to students in English, History, Art (studio or history), Education, or anyone interested in “getting their hands dirty”!

Attributes: Media and Non-Literary Analysis; IPE Pathway, “Visual Culture”



William Kupinse - TuTh 2:00-3:20 p.m.

The Fall 2024 semester of Advanced Poetry Writing will bring an ecocritical approach to the study of poetry and to the writing of poems by workshop members.  Working from the recognition that all poems—whether they acknowledge it or not—invoke a worldview with ecological implications, we will consider a range of environmental topics: ecopoetics, Indigenous rights, climate justice, queer ecology, ecofeminism, and much more.  We will consider how poetry engages with the world around us and how innovative forms of expression can bear witness to both individual and collective experience during times of ecological crisis.  

Since our writing develops to the fullest when we study the example of other writers, we’ll consider a range of poets, both established and emerging.  We’ll begin with Tommy Pico’s book-length Nature Poem to think about how a writer negotiates their relationship to tradition, particularly when components of that tradition are hostile to the writer’s own identity and commitments.  For the greater part of the semester, we’ll be working our way through selected poems in the recent collection Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology.  All the while, we will be writing and revising our own poems, with assignments that balance opportunities for reflection on environmental topics of each poet’s choosing with open subject, open form assignments.  As a culminating experience for the course, we'll end the semester with an off-campus poetry reading of student writing.

Attributes: Creative Writing



Alison Tracy Hale - MW 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course explores the emergence and increasing significance of the novel in the United States, from the late 18th Century through its cultural dominance in the 19th and 20th centuries, and into the present. It’s a critical truism that the novel and the American nation share a timeline, as both developed through and in service of the cultural dominance of the activities, beliefs, and experiences of the “common,” middle-class, democratic individual. We’ll consider how and why the novel has served as a central cultural form in US history, and what kinds of concerns and voices the tradition has helped to foreground. We’ll focus our exploration through the following questions:

  •  What are the formal/thematic/aesthetic elements of the novel? How do they emerge and change over time? How do individual authors interpret, resist, or transform the formal dimensions of the novel? 
  • How does each novel relate to its specific historical, social, political, and cultural moment? How does it respond to or intervene in the pressing issues of its era? How do a novel’s context and content interact with its formal/aesthetic concerns? 
  • What does it mean to consider a tradition as fraught as that of the “American novel” in 2024? What can these works help us to understand about the politics—broadly writ—of “representation” in both literary and, well, political terms? How and why has the novel as a genre both reinforced and articulated a particular vision of the nation? How has it provided space and inspiration for authors beyond the hegemonic narrative of white America, and how have such authors transformed that tradition to tell their own stories? 

Expect to read a lot! You will likely encounter some of the following authors/works as well as others I haven’t decided on yet: Foster, The Coquette; Brown, The Power of Sympathy; James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie; Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars; Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; Morrison, Beloved; Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

* Students who wish to study this topic in order to satisfy a 400-level requirement for the English major must enroll in the appropriate section of ENGL 431. This will not overlap with or repeat a previous section of ENGL 431 if taken with a different topic. See note at top.

Attributes: Literature; Literatures and Cultures Before 1800



Priti Joshi - TuTh 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course will focus on the variety and complexity of writing from India.  We will concentrate largely on novels, introduced to India by the British, and consider whether the genre, a colonial import, was ever “indigenized.” Our focus will be on the ways the novel form struggled simultaneously to absorb, distance, and refashion itself from the British. We will ask the following questions: what role, if any, did the novel have to play in colonialism, anti-colonialism, and nationalism?  Is the novel an appropriate form to represent “Indians”?  How do novels participate in definitions of what constitutes an “Indian” and do these definitions shift in the course of the century?  Can the Indian novel represent the concerns of “home” as well as it does nation?  Does the novel serve the interests primarily of men?  Why have women chosen to write short stories – and avoided colonial topics?  

Readings:  works by Rabindranath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Vikram Chandra, Amitav Ghosh, Sadat Hassan Manto, Vikram Chandra and others might be included. All readings will be in English.

Note: Asian Studies students are most welcome in the class; please contact Professor Joshi if you have questions

* Students who wish to study this topic in order to satisfy a 400-level requirement for the English major must enroll in the appropriate section of ENGL 430. This will not overlap with or repeat a previous section of ENGL 430 if taken with a different topic. See note at top.

Attributes: Literature; Centering Marginalized Voices; IPE Pathway, “Issues of Race and Ethnicity”; IPE Pathway, “Empire, Colonialism, and Resistance”



Tiffany MacBain - TuTh 12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course focuses on literary and theoretical productions of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, and centers Native-American texts of the continental U.S. Students develop an understanding of a long and significant literary tradition and gain awareness of cultural distinctions, historical contexts, and Indigenous epistemologies (ways of knowing) and approaches. Students also consider their own relationships to these traditions. Topics of study include origins/spirituality, survivance, queer Indigeneity, and decolonization, and assignments vary to encourage different interpretive approaches. Texts will likely include Black Elk Speaks (Black Elk and John Niehardt); The Surrounded (D’Arcy McNickle), House Made of Dawn (N. Scott Momaday), The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (Louise Erdrich), Whereas (Layli Long Soldier), and Jonny Appleseed (Joshua Whithead). 

 * Students who wish to study this topic in order to satisfy a 400-level requirement for the English major must enroll in the appropriate section of ENGL 431. This will not overlap with or repeat a previous section of ENGL 431 if taken with a different topic. See note at top.

Attributes: Literature; Centering Marginalized Voices; IPE Pathway, “Issues of Race and Ethnicity”; IPE Pathway, “Empire, Colonialism, and Resistance”



Julie Christoph - TuTh 11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

To repeat Foucault’s famous question, “What is an author?” The seemingly simple definition of authorship (the fact of having written a text) gets increasingly complicated on closer inspection, especially as AI writing tools become more common. Is every writer an author, or are only the “good” ones authors? Are ghostwriters authors? Are plagiarists authors? Is Chat GPT an author? Understanding contemporary authorship necessitates exploration into scholarship in such varied fields as literature, rhetoric, law, and cognitive science. Together as a class, we will build a shared knowledge base by reading some of the foundational and emerging theories of authorship from these fields, and we will consider these theories in light of literary as well as workaday writing, paying attention to how changing laws and social practices shift the meaning of authorship—and the value of individual texts. As the semester progresses, students will seek to apply and explore questions from critical scholarship, choosing primary texts that are relevant to their own individual research projects and making their own attempts at being authors—with and without assistance from AI.

* Students who wish to study this topic in order to satisfy a 400-level requirement for the English major must enroll in the appropriate section of ENGL 433. This will not overlap with or repeat a previous section of ENGL 433 if taken with a different topic. See note at top.

Attributes: Media and Non-Literary Analysis