Special Topics and Course Descriptions

Fall 2016

EN 385: Stratford Festival

Instructors: Professor David Wood, Department of English dwood@nmu.edu

 & Associate Professor Chet Defonso, Department of History


This class will be offered as part of the Fall 2016 semester course offerings, but our travel will take place during the week just before the regular Fall 2016 semester begins. Students may thus take advantage of NMU’s flat rate tuition plan. For more information, please follow this link. In order to apply for participation in this course, we are requiring interested students to submit a letter of application (maximum 500 words), explaining how participating in this class fits into their respective educations at NMU and plans for the future. The deadline for the letter of application is Friday, January 29, by 5pm, and it should be sent as a Word attachment via email to dwood@nmu.edu





Winter 2016

EN305: Tutoring Writing

Instructor: Heidi Stevenson hstevens@nmu.edu or 906-227-2762


This class explores the theory, pedagogy, and practice of one-on-one writing instruction. This two credit course, previously available only for newly hired writing tutors at the NMU Writing Center, is now open to all undergraduates.

The individualized and decentralized writing instruction studied in EN 305 has been proven to be a successful component of writing instruction in a variety of environments, with a variety of populations.

If you think you are interested in working in any one-on-one writing-intensive instructional environment including the NMU Writing Center, other writing centers including community and high school writing centers, or any elementary, secondary, or higher education writing classrooms, consider adding EN 305 to your Winter 2016 schedule. If you have any questions or concerns contact Heidi Stevenson. She is the current Director of the NMU Writing Center and holds a Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric and has worked in multiple university writing centers.


EN311Z: Topics in World Lit: Postcolonial Caribbean

Instructor: Will Arighi warighi@nmu.edu


This course will focus on how literature written after 1945 in Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Dominica has used melodramatic forms to narrate national histories. Melodrama is particularly concerned with the unintended effects of the past on the present, and seeks to narrate the logical necessity of these effects. Looking at Caribbean literature from the past seventy years, we’ll question whether the past is always inevitably related to the present, or if it just looks that way from where we are now. We’ll start with classic readings in melodramatic theory, and then move to novels and short stories by the likes of Jacques Roumain, Jean Rhys, Julia Alvarez, Rosario Ferré, Edwidge Danticat, Mayra Santos-Febres, and Marlon James, as well as the movie West Side Story. Secondary readings will include writings by Edouard Glissant, Sylvia Winter, Mimi Sheller, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Shalini Puri, and Stuart Hall. This course will pay particular attention to questions of colonialism and imperialism, migration, and gender.


EN495/595 Literature and Photography

Instructor: Russ Prather rprather@nmu.edu


Photographic historian Helmut Gernsheim described the timing of the invention of photography in the early nineteenth century as “the greatest mystery in its history.” The mystery is why there was such a surge of interest in the medium at that particular historical moment, even though photography’s optical and chemical principles had been known already for some time.

This interdisciplinary course begins by grappling with this mystery, considering specifically how Romantic literary and visual sensibilities at the turn of the eighteenth century may have spurred on the nascent medium of photography. The course will then go on to consider not only how photography was influenced but how in turn it informed and altered precepts and practices of literature (as well as painting) over the course of the nineteenth century. The seminar will end with an examination of the role of photography in early twentieth century Modernism.


EN511/ED595: The Teaching of Reading for the English Professional

Instructor: Wendy Farkas wfarkas@nmu.edu or 906-227-3220


“An examination of techniques used to teach developmental reading, comprehension, and vocabulary, stressing practical applications to the classroom. Although intended for secondary and college-level English teachers, the techniques are adaptable to teaching in the content areas.” This class counts toward English MA (Pedagogy Track or open elective in any track), TESOL elective, or Reading Specialist K-12 elective (with advisor approval).