Fall 2016 Graduate Course Offerings

If you want more information about a course, please contact the faculty member.



ENGL/LING 510. Introduction to Computers in Applied Linguistics

Instructor: James Ranalli

Use of applications software for language teaching, linguistic analysis, and statistical analysis. Issues and problems in applied linguistics related to computer methods.

ENGL/LING 511. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis

Instructor: Elena Cotos

Principles and methods of linguistic analysis with emphasis on phonology, morphology, and syntax. Description of linguistic variation and current theoretical approaches to linguistics.

ENGL/LING 513. Language Assessment Practicum

Instructor: Volker Hegelheimer

Advanced practicum in language assessment

ENGL/LING 518. Teaching English as a Second Language Methods and Materials

Instructor: Karina Silva

Introduction to approaches, methods, techniques, materials, curricular design, and assessment for various levels of ESL instruction. Attention to issues related to the teaching of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture.

ENGL 518XW. Teaching English as a Second Language Methods and Materials

Instructor: Jim Ranalli

Introduction to approaches, methods, techniques, materials, curricular design, and assessment for various levels of ESL instruction. Attention to issues related to the teaching of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, pronunciation, and culture.

ENGL 520. Computational Analysis of English

Instructor: Sowmya Vajjala

Concepts and practices for analysis of English by computer with emphasis on the applications of computational analysis to problems in applied linguistics such as corpus analysis and recognition of learner language in computer-assisted learning and language assessment.

ENGL/LING 524. Literacy: Issues & Methods

Instructor: Tammy Slater   Cancelled

Theoretical and practical issues and techniques in the teaching of literacy in a variety of contexts, involving children and adults at basic skill levels and teens and adults in academic and vocational programs.

ENGL 530X. Technology and Oral Language

Instructor: John Levis

This course will explore the linguistic description and analysis of oral language and will examine technological tools that applied linguists need to know to successfully use technology in oral language research, descriptions of oral assessment of proficiency and in curricular decision-making and pedagogical activities. Students will examine how oral language is described and analyzed, with particular attention to phonetics, phonology, conversation analysis, transcription and analysis of oral language, and variability of oral language in registers and dialects. We will explore programs and tools that allow us to understand and exploit basic elements of the technology used in oral language research, learning the uses and limitations of measurement tools such as spectrograms, waveforms, and fundamental frequency contours. We will also examine and critique exercises for the description and analysis of oral language for computer and web-based applications.

ENGL/LING 537. Advanced Grammatical Analysis: Corpus Approaches to Grammar

Instructor: Bethany Gray

This course focuses on the analysis of grammar using authentic, representative language data and methodologies from corpus linguistics. Using a major corpus-based reference grammar paired with hands-on analyses, we will explore language in terms of its form, grammatical function and discourse function, in conjunction with how grammar varies across register. We will gain practical experience in using corpus methodologies to learn about grammar in language use. Although we will focus primarily on English, the techniques and methods we’ll practice in the course can be (and have been!) applied to the grammar of any language. In addition to gaining extensive and in-depth knowledge of grammar, we will also explore different approaches to grammar that are often paired with corpus-based grammar analyses to contribute to practice, research, and theory in applied linguistics. The overarching goal of the course is for you to be confident in analyzing and explaining grammar so that such knowledge can be applied in your teaching and research. The course will focus on descriptive corpus-based grammatical analysis techniques, with attention to Systemic Functional Grammar, Pattern Grammar, and Pedagogical Grammar approaches.

ENGL/LING 588. Supervised Practice Teaching in Teaching English as a Second Language

Instructor: Tammy Slater

Intensive observation of ESL instruction and supervised practice in teaching learners of English in a context appropriate to the student teacher’s goals. ENGL 588 cannot be used for teacher licensure and cannot be taken during student teaching.

ENGL/LING  630A. Seminar in Technology and Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Carol Chapelle

Topic changes each semester. Topics include advanced methods in natural language processing, technology and literacy in a global context, feedback in CALL programs, technology and pronunciation, and advances in language assessment.

ENGL/LING  630B. Seminar in Technology and Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Gary Ockey

Topic changes each semester. Topics include advanced methods in natural language processing, technology and literacy in a global context, feedback in CALL programs, technology and pronunciation, and advances in language assessment.

ENGL/LING  688. Practicum in Technology and Applied Linguistics

Instructor: Volker Hegelheimer

Day/Time To Be Arranged
Focus on integrating theoretical knowledge with practical expertise. Assess client needs; develop, integrate, and evaluate solutions. Practical understanding of computer applications used in multimedia development. Create web-based or CD-ROM-based multimedia materials. Work with advanced authoring applications.


ENGL 550. Creative Writing: Craft and Professional Practice

Instructor: K. L. Cook

A multigenre craft course required of all incoming students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment. Students develop an understanding of craft and environmental writing across genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) as well as learn about editing and publication practice through the lens of a working literary journal, “Flyway: A Journal of Writing and Environment.” Other course activities include presentations on the production practices of leading literary journals, individual editing projects, pragmatic tips for finding publication outlets for polished creative work, and a field trip to publishing houses.

ENGL 555. Workshop: On Place & Travel: World Building in Nonfiction Writing

Instructor: Debra Marquart

In this nonfiction workshop, we will focus on how to evoke entire worlds while narrating our personal stories. We will explore the idea of homeground—how first landscapes can imprint themselves on us through their geological, historical, anthropological, political influences—and then we’ll look at the ways that travel and movement, a kind of willful disorientation through encounters with new landscapes, might allow us to see place and home in new ways, possibly illuminating our own story. We’ll analyze the idea of milieu—how to recreate the remembered dream of a place—and we’ll cover various subthemes that arise in stories about travel and movement, such as immigration, flight, exile, expatriation, tourism, exploration, adventure, and wanderlust.
Each week, class participants will write either short (postcard-size) or long creative pieces that will be discussed in large and small group workshops. Each week, we will also work through a course packet of salient, well-chosen excerpts from published texts that will allow us to observe how other writers have meditated on homeground and travel, as well as accomplished world building in their published work.
A starting list of texts that will likely be excerpted in the course packet include the following: Barry Lopez (Arctic Dreams); MFK Fisher (Long Ago in France); Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories of the City); Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place); Anatole Broyard (Kafka Was the Rage); Barbara Hurd (Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains); Gretel Ehrlich (The Solace of Open Spaces); William Kittredge (Hole in the Sky); John McPhee (Oranges); Alain De Botton (The Art of Travel); Kristen Iverson (Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats); and Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer).

ENGL 557.  Studies in Creative Writing: Screenwriting

Instructor: David Zimmerman

This course is a soup to nuts introduction to the art of screenwriting.  Although this is a workshop based creative writing class, much of the semester will be spent learning the craft, format, and history of screenwriting.
The semester will be split into three aspects.  The first section will cover the process of creating a screenplay.  We will go over everything from the basic format of a screenplay to creating lively, realistic dialogue to the importance of research.  The second section will deal with deep analysis of films. Each student will choose a film, discuss an aspect of craft, and reverse engineer a scene back into screenplay form.  The third section will be devoted to the writing of a full length screenplay and workshopping drafts of the resulting script. Some of these assignments will run concurrently.
This will be a practical, hands-on class.  Much of our time will be spent discussing aspects of craft and screenplay structure, working on exercises that will help you understand the basic parts that make up a good script, and then watching films that demonstrate these things. We will also read three or more screenplays, including but not limited to China Town, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Thelma and Louise. The choice of screenplays is still in flux.

ENGL 560.  Environmental Field Experience

Instructor: Debra Marquart

Students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment register for three credits and spend a term on a project that requires environmental fieldwork. Fieldwork experiences might include the following kinds of activities: working for a federal, state, or private non-profit environmental organization; partnering with an environmental activism organization or advocacy organization working toward a cause of interest for the student’s research; or living and working in a specified natural area and engaging in environmental fieldwork that enhances the student’s understanding of environmental issues.
A proposal must be submitted to and approved by the English 560 field experience coordinator prior to the commencement of fieldwork. Students should confer with their advisors or the field experience coordinator prior to writing the proposal. An informational document, “MFA Guidelines for Completion of English 560,” and the approval form, “MFA Environmental Field Experience Proposal,” are both available for download on the following website: https://engl.iastate.edu/graduate-students/forms-2/. (See the links for the two 560 documents under the subheading, “Program Specific POS Forms.”)
The 560 field experience culminates in a formal public presentation of the student’s experience and a short creative reading of work that demonstrates the way the field experience has informed the writer’s work. A final portfolio of the writing samples and other documentation will be submitted to the field experience coordinator as a final requirement of the 560 Environmental Field Experience.

ENGL 589: Supervised Practicum Literary Editing

Instructor: Debra Marquart

Students assume editorial duties for Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, a nationally distributed journal of writing and environment. Prereq: English 550, a least one graduate creative writing workshop, and permission of instructor.


English 521: Teaching of Literature and the Literature Curriculum

Instructor: Donna Niday

How do I begin to create or revisualize a semester’s literature course? Should I teach chronologically or thematically? Should I use literature circles, literature portfolios, dialogue journals, or online exchanges? How do I incorporate more multicultural texts into the curriculum? In this course, we will discuss text selections, discussion techniques, and strategies to encourage class members to read and think broadly and deeply as current or future teachers. Class members will read and discuss several pedagogical texts, connect theory and pedagogy, complete several short assignments throughout the semester, and conclude the course by composing an appropriate syllabus with unit plans. This course is appropriate for individuals who are-or may someday be-teaching at the middle school, high school, community college, or college/university level.
Texts: Contact Donna Niday at dniday@iastate.edu for a complete list of texts.

English 531: Topics in the Study of Literature

Instructor: Matt Sivils

Imagining Apocalypse: Narratives of Environmental Catastrophe
From nuclear Armageddon to horrifying pandemics to the quiet cataclysm of greenhouse emissions, the popularity of narratives about the end of our world seems to rise in step with our ability to make such predictions come true. Once merely victims of natural disasters, our species has since become complicit in large-scale environmental destruction. Humanity is the disaster. In this course we will investigate imagined environmental calamity so that we may better understand, and perhaps better remedy, our all too real impact upon the Earth. “Apocalypse,” writes Lawrence Buell, “is the single most powerful master metaphor that the contemporary environmental imagination has at its disposal. . . . for the rhetoric of apocalypticism implies that the fate of the world hinges on the arousal of the imagination to a sense of crisis” (Environmental Imagination 285). We will spend the semester investigating how authors of apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian fiction incite this “sense of crisis.” Along with filmic texts such as Stanley Kramer’s On the Beach (1959), Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia (2011), and AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010-present), we will read Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake; P.D. James’s The Children of Men; Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home; Richard Matheson’s, I Am Legend; Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos. We will enrich our discussion of these texts by reading a selection of critical sources devoted to literary apocalypticism, ecocriticism, natural disasters, disease studies, and related issues. Assignments include leading a class discussion, short written responses to readings, and an article-length critical paper of publishable quality.

English 538: Fiction

Instructor: Barbara Ching
Ivy Leagues, Red Bricks, Land Grants: Academic Fiction and Educational Access
In this 3 credit course we’ll read at least 3 “academic novels” and other documents such as the Morrill Act, Northrop Frye’s brief critical essay “The Mythos of Spring,” and sections of a memoir, From the Basement of the Ivory Tower by Professor X, and journal articles on the assigned novels. We will start with Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1954) set in a provincial English red brick university established to educate students whose backgrounds did not lead them to Oxford or Cambridge. The second novel is Jane Smiley’s novel Moo, set in a very recognizable land grant university. Our reading of these texts will be informed by both genre theory and by historical and rhetorical perspectives on the ways in which educational access and college and university rankings have been created, defined, (de)valued, and imagined. You will select a third novel from a set of choices to be determined by student interests and you will present your reading of the novel to the class. Grades will be determined by participation (20%), class presentations (40%) and a final paper (40%).

English 540: Drama

Instructor: Linda Shenk

Shakespeare, Performance, and the Rhetorical Tradition
In this course on drama, we will study some of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays alongside texts from the rhetorical tradition—a combination that unlocks the clues Shakespeare gives for the actor; the way that persuasion & negotiation are naturally theatrical; and the way that we can, as teachers, engage students when teaching plays and rhetoric. In class, we will often stage scenes, follow early modern practices of identifying rhetorical figures to examine character, and read critical essays from various perspectives and disciplines. Although this hands-on seminar is not a theater or rhetoric course, its focus is designed to appeal to graduate students from a range of sub-disciplines in the English Department who wish to study the theatrical-rhetorical craft of Shakespeare’s plays. Attention will also be given to how techniques we study in the course can be applied in one’s pedagogy and job searches. All course participants will be able to tailor their final research projects to explore ideas related to their individual areas of expertise.


ENGL 500.  Proseminar: Teaching English Composition

Instructors: Barb Blakely, Barbara Haas, Michelle Tremmel, Amy Walton

Required of all new English Department ISUComm Foundation Courses graduate teaching assistants.  Introduction to the teaching of ISUComm Foundation Courses.  Foundational and relevant newer composition theory and pedagogical methods related to ISUComm Foundation Courses objectives and their classroom enactment, including development of communication assignments and supporting activities, and evaluation of student communication projects incorporating visual elements and oral presentations.  Specifically, the proseminar will have the following objectives: 1) to familiarize the new TA with course objectives and procedures for ISUComm Foundation Courses at Iowa State University, as well as give the TA practical guidance in managing the classroom; 2) to introduce the new TA to theories and their resulting pedagogical approaches relevant to teaching ISUComm Foundation Courses; 3) to give the new TA guidelines for developing assignments, teaching materials, and syllabi consistent with the goals and objectives of English 150/250 at ISU.

ENGL 504.  Teaching Business and Technical Communication

Instructors: Jenny Aune and Jo Mackiewicz

This class is the one you will need if you want to teach in the Advanced Communication program (English 302, 309, 312, and 314). You can take the class concurrent with teaching sections of Advanced Comm courses.
We have revised the course content so that it will also interest those who would like to teach business and technical communication classes in a community college (e.g., RCPC students after graduation) and those who are interested in teaching in industry (i.e., training). We’ll cover curriculum planning, assignment design, responding to student work, assessment of student work, and distance (online) teaching.

ENGL 542. Document Design for Professional Communication

Instructor: Geoff Sauer

Overview of the principles of desktop publishing as practiced in the field of technical communication. Focus on theories of print document design and project management, as well as digital prepress techniques employed to produce documents using external print services. Requires extensive use of current desktop publishing software.

ENGL 547. The History of Rhetorical Theory I: From Plato to Bacon

Instructor: Benjamin Crosby

Rhetorical theory from the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome through the Middle Ages to the early Renaissance; attention to its relation to the nature of knowledge, communication, practice, and pedagogy.

ENGL 587. Internship in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication

Instructor: David Roberts
Prereq: ENGL 507 plus 3 additional graduate credits in business and technical writing or composition and rhetoric, permission of instructor. Limited to master’s and doctoral degree candidates in the field of rhetoric and professional communication
An opportunity to write, edit, and design business and technical documents in a professional setting.

ENGL 592B. Core Studies in Rhetoric and Professional Communication: Visual Rhetoric

Instructor: Margaret LaWare

Prereq: 12 credits in rhetoric, linguistics, or literature, excluding ENGL 150 and ENGL 250
Seminar on topics central to the fields of rhetoric and professional communication or composition.

ENGL 611. Social Justice Rhetorics

Instructor: Abby Dubisar

In her December 2010 College Composition, and Communication review essay, “The Rhetoric of Social Movements Revisited,” Lynée Lewis Gaillet concludes with a call for action. This call, directed toward individuals who study social movement rhetoric, suggests, “we must become members of the organizations we critique, work from within our areas of interests and expertise, and embody our thoughts and opinions in order to have real agency or hope for sustaining social action. The future depends upon teaching and modeling for our students these engaged and performative skills.” In the spirit of this urging, students in this course will study historical and contemporary social justice rhetorics, addressing both our research and our teaching.
In an effort to better understand the political implications of studying rhetoric and the current theoretical perspectives available to address an increasingly changing and transnational rhetorical landscape, this course will engage with studies of the rhetorical dimensions of activism, social and political change, and issues of justice. This course will discuss the binary distinction of whether rhetoric and its study reinforces notions of the status quo or liberates and expands arguments to be used for radical and emancipatory ends. As well as studying sites of activism outside the academy (such as, depending on students’ research interests, the sustainable food movement, Black Lives Matter, the animal liberation movement, the antiwar movement, the movement for marriage equality, and more), this course will analyze the current influences on rhetorical theory and methodology of transnational feminist rhetoric, disability studies, and eco-composition, among others.
Potential texts:
Del, Gandio J. Rhetoric for Radicals: A Handbook for 21st Century Activists. 2008.
Dolmage, Jay. Disability Rhetoric. 2013.
Fleckenstein, Kristie S. Vision, Rhetoric, and Social Action in the Composition Classroom. 2010.
Gorsevski, Ellen. Peaceful Persuasion: The Geopolitics of Nonviolent Rhetoric. 2004.
Inoue, Asao B. Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a  Socially Just Future. 2015.
Kahn, Seth, and JongHwa Lee. Activism and Rhetoric: Theories and Contexts for Political Engagement. 2010.
Mathieu, Paula. Tactics of Hope: The Public Turn in English Composition. 2005.
Snyder, Sharon L, Brenda J. Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson. Disability   Studies: Enabling the Humanities. 2002.
Stevens, Sharon M. K, and Patricia Malesh. Active Voices: Composing a Rhetoric for Social Movements. 2009.