This course explores the managerial aspects of theatrical production, in both the WPI campus and the professional theatre world. Students will investigate the challenges involved with the process of bringing a script to the stage through reading, discussion, and exploration of ongoing productions. Topics covered may include study of the structure of theatrical organizations, recognizing planning techniques for the production process, discovery of organizational dynamics within the theatre environment, and detailed exploration of various managerial tasks within theatrical productions. Students will use knowledge of previous experiences within the theatre, along with readings and assignments, to aid in the discussion that comprises the majority of the course. Recommended background: experience in theatre at level of EN 2222 (Theatre Workshop) or appropriate Drama/Theatre independent studies.
Cat. I This introductory course will give the student an understanding of the forms of drama, the styles of theatre performance and production, and the emergence of new forms and styles. Research and writing projects, and performance activities will offer the student experience in the theory and practice studied in the course.
Cat. I This course is an introduction to Shakespeare, his theatre, and some important concepts of his world. Students will have the opportunity to sample representative Shakespearean tragedies, comedies, and histories. In addition to class discussions and scene work, students will be able to enhance their readings by analyzing video recordings of the plays.
Cat. I This survey course covers American literature from its beginnings in the colonial period through the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne in the early nineteenth century. Students will read literary works in a variety of genres (narratives, poems, sermons, plays, stories, and novels) that reflect the emerging nation?s struggle for cultural self-definition. Topics will include the literature of travel and discovery, the faith of the colonial founders, the quest for a distinctive national literature, and the rise of early American fiction.
Cat. I This course surveys the poems of our language. From the Anglo-Saxon poems to the popular verse of Tennyson, the songs and the poets are legion: Chaucer, Raleigh, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Herrick, Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, and Hopkins. The England that nourished these writers will be viewed through their ballads, lyrics, sonnets, epigrams, and epics. ?Not marble nor the gilded monuments of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme.?
Cat. I This course introduces the student to a variety of critical perspectives necessary to an understanding and appreciation of the major forms, or genres, of literary expression (e.g., novel, short story, poetry, drama, and essay). Writing and class discussion will be integral parts of this course.
This course examines the formation and history of the African American literary tradition from slave narratives to contemporary forms in black popular culture. The course will explore some genres of African American writing and their relation to American literature and to black cultural expression.
Cat.I This course will serve as a gateway into the Professional Writing major but will also be open?and useful?to any student interested in learning about the standard written genres of professional, workplace communication. Students will analyze the history, purposes, conventions, and social consequences of a variety of professional communication, focusing on digital and print correspondence, reports, and proposals directed to internal and external audiences. Students will learn about the culture of a professional environment and the role of writing in structuring identity and relationships within that context. Classes will be conducted as interactive writing workshops in which students assess and respond to rhetorical scenarios and sample texts from a variety of professional worksites. Students will create portfolios, producing professional writing samples they may use on the job market.
Cat. I. This course is designed for students who wish to work intensively on their writing. The course will emphasize the processes of composing and revising, the rhetorical strategies of written exposition and argumentation, and the reading and citation practices central to academic inquiry. In a workshop setting, students will write a sequence of short papers and complete one longer writing project based on multiple source texts; learn to read critically and respond helpfully to each other?s writing; and make oral presentations from written texts. Where applicable, the topical theme of the class will be provided via the Registrar?s office.
Cat. I The course is for students who may wish to make careers in journalism or communications and for those who wish to understand the history, function, production and contemporary challenges of print journalism. Students will analyze articles from newspapers, magazines and Web sites. They will learn and practice the skills of the journalist: finding the story, researching, interviewing, writing on deadline, copy-editing and proof-reading. Classes will also cover matters such as objectivity, fairness, ethics and libel, as well as wider issues of mass communication such as agenda setting, citizen journalism and the implications of converging media.?To give students a more keen sense of audience, work will be read and discussed in class. Students will be urged to write for the college newspaper. Publication beyond the campus will be strongly encouraged.
This foundational course in creative writing aims to help students develop or improve the skills of written expression, emphasizing presentation and discussion of original work. Offerings may include generally themed courses covering multiple genres of interest or more specialized workshops in single genres of focus such as fiction, poetry, playwriting, or short prose forms.
Cat. I An investigation into the development of American drama from its beginnings to the present. The history of the emergence of the legitimate theatre in this country will be followed by reading important plays, including the works of O?Neill, Williams, Mamet, Norman, Henley, and others. Discussion of the growth of regional theatres and their importance to the continuation of theatre as a serious and non-profit art form will be included in the course. The student will investigate the importance of theatre practice in the evolution of the dramatic literature of the country.
Cat. I A workshop course which offers the student the opportunity to explore theatre through creative involvement with playwriting, design, performance, production, and criticism. Students will work in a laboratory situation functioning as a micro-professional theatre which could develop a production that would be staffed and dramaturged from the group.
The course focuses on conflicts between personal desire and societal responsibility in such plays as As You Like It, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter?s Tale. Through written work and in-class performances, students will examine how Shakespeare both maintains and subverts traditional ideas about marriage and sexual practice. These analyses will take into account contemporary views on gender roles and identity including the early modern cultural ?ideal? of the ?chaste, silent, and obedient? woman. Students will study Shakespeare?s work as literature and also through performance and film adaptations. The WPI library of video recordings will be available for such work.
This course begins with selections from John Milton?s provocative version of Adam and Eve?s original sin in Paradise Lost. Focusing on Milton, John Donne and others, we will examine the theme of sin?political, religious, and sexual? in early modern literature. The events of the English Reformation profoundly influenced these writers, and their personal struggles against societal institutions have greatly influenced subsequent literary expressions of rage and rebellion. Students will also be reading texts by contemporary writers such as David Mamet which address the theme of sin in the modern city.
Cat. I Emerson challenged the young nation in ?The American Scholar? (1837): If our writers were ?free and brave,? with words ?loaded with life,? they would usher in a ?new age.? The incredibly rich literature that soon followed created an ?American Renaissance.? This was the Age of Reform (1836-65) in more than literature. Writers were caught up in such burning issues as abolitionism, Union vs. secession, and women?s rights. Authors studied may include Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Fuller, Douglass, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson.
Cat. I This survey course covers developments in American literature, particularly the movement towards Realism, during the period of turbulent change between the end of the Civil War and the early years of the twentieth century. Topics will include the rebellion against post bellum sentimentalism, the rise of regional writing, the emerging literature of social protest, and literary responses to advances in science, industry, and urban life. Attention will be given to the works of Mark Twain, a prime exponent of turn-of-the-century literary trends, as well as to other pioneer realists (Wharton and Crane).
Cat. I This final survey course in American literature covers the modern and contemporary periods, from 1914 to the present, focusing on the literary response to the cultural, intellectual, and social, changes that mark the past century of ferment both within the United States and beyond. The course will include work by dramatists, essayists, novelists, and poets such as, William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, T. S. Eliot, Ralph Ellison, and Eugene O?Neill.
Selected works of fiction which appeared after World War I will be the focus of this course. Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, or other authors of the early modern period will be studied, but significant attention will also be given to contemporary novelists, such as Thomas Pynchon, Philip K. Dick, and Toni Morrison. The cultural context and philosophical assumptions of the novels will be studied as well as their form and technique.
Cat. I American writers from our beginnings have been preoccupied with ?The American Dream? as a benchmark for measuring the attainment of our highest ideals as a people. The course examines the political, economic, religious, and rhetorical roots of the concept, assesses its popular and commercial manifestations, and explores the ironies, paradoxes, and continuities that have shaped this national self-image for almost 400 years. Readings include works by Puritan and Revolutionary writers, Native American leaders, Horatio Alger, Jr., William Dean Howells, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Martin Luther King, Jr., Adrienne Rich, Studs Terkel, and Archibald MacLeish.
This course will examine the many ways in which dramatists, essayists, filmmakers, novelists, and poets have articulated ecological and environmental concerns. Topics to be discussed may include changing attitudes towards terms like `nature? and `wilderness?, the effects of technology on the environment, issues of conservation and sustainability, the dynamics of population growth, the treatment of animals, the production of food, and the presence of the spiritual in nature. Materials will include works by writers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Winona LaDuke, Wangari Maathai, Thomas Malthus, Arne Naess, Nicolas Roeg, and Gary Snyder.
Cat. I By examining authors who reacted against the so-called ?genteel tradition,? this course attempts to show how various subjects (death, sex, war, slum life and racial prejudice) were treated more honestly in short stories and novels after the Civil War. Authors may include Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, W. D. Howells, Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, and twentieth century realists. (Formerly EN 3236. Students who have received credit for this course may not receive credit for EN 2238.)
Participants in this course will examine outstanding works of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English literature as these works raise the question: Who is man, and what is his relationship to God, nature, and to his fellow creatures? Writers covered may include Swift, Pope, Keats, Browning, and Dickens.
Cat. I Students in this course will have the opportunity to read two major masterpieces of English fiction the way they should be read: slowly, carefully, and with relish. Victorian novels are long and the term is short, but by reading novels in the way in which they were read by their original readers?serially?we can experience masterworks by Charles Dickens and George Eliot at comparative leisure, examining one serial installment per class session.
A survey of major modern British authors. The works of many of these writers reflect the political, religious, and social issues of the twentieth century. New psychological insights run parallel with experiments in the use of myth, stream of consciousness, and symbolism. Authors studied may include Hardy, Conrad, Owen, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats, and Orwell.
Participants in this course will examine outstanding works of 19th-century English poetry and fiction, and consider questions of identity, beauty, judgment, and social responsibility. Writers covered may include such figures as Jane Austen, John Keats, Charles Dickens, and Robert Browning.
Cat. I This course focuses on the problem of how to live in the modern world. Emphasis will be placed on the way moral issues evolve within the complications of individual lives, as depicted in fiction. Such authors as Conrad, Kesey, Camus and Ellison show characters struggling with the questions of moral responsibility raised by love, religion, death, money, conformity.
Cat. I This course surveys the ways in which modern literature has represented science and scientists. Beginning with Mary Shelley?s Frankenstein, the origin of what Isaac Asimov calls the ?damned Frankenstein complex" is examined. More complex presentations of science and scientists occur in twentieth-century works like Brecht?s Galileo, Huxley?s Brave New World, and Pirsig?s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The course covers major modern works of fiction and drama, including such literary forms as the play, the novel of ideas, and the utopian novel. Attention is focused on the themes (ideas) in, and the structure of, these works.
Cat. I Peer Tutoring in Writing introduced students to the theory and practice of composition. In this course, students research, read, and write about their own and others? literacy practices. Through reading and writing assignments, peer reviews, interviews, presentations, and a tutoring internship in the CCAC, students hone their communication skills while increasing their ability to examine critically the role of communication in the production of knowledge.
Cat. I Technical writing combines technical knowledge with writing skills to communicate technology to the world. This course introduces the fundamental principles of technical communication, and the tools commonly used in the technical writing profession. Topics include user and task analysis, information design, instructional writing, and usability testing. Students learn to use the technical writing process to create user-centered documents that combine text, graphics, and visual formatting to meet specific information needs. Students create a portfolio of both hardcopy and online documentation, using professional tools such as FrameMaker, Acrobat, and RoboHelp. Recommended background: EN/WR 2210, or equivalent writing course.
Cat. I This writing workshop focuses on the purposed and genres of writing about disease and public health. We will consider how biomedical writers communicate technical information about disease and public health to general audiences; how writers capture the human experience of disease and health care; how writers treat the public policy implications of disease; and how writers design publicity to promote public health. We will examine such genres as the experimental article, news reports, medical advice, profiles, commentary, and public health messages. Recommended background: EN 2211 or equivalent writing courses. Students who have taken EN 3215 may not receive credit also for EN/WR 3214.
Cat. I The purpose of this course is to help students develop or improve the skills of written expression. Small groups are formed in which participants present and discuss their original work in either fiction or poetry.
This advanced seminar in creative writing includes sustained attention to the writing of fiction, poetry, and short prose forms among other genres, culminating in final projects (essay, play, poem, story, or some combination thereof) determined by individual interest and in consultation with the instructor. Investigation will also focus on the reading and discussion of exemplary works across genres, with an emphasis on contemporary practice. In the process, regular writing exercises and class visits from established authors will help to create a community of writers grounded in diverse methods. Suggested background: Introductory level creative writing (EN2219 (formerly EN3217) or equivalent).
The study of the major forms of world drama beginning with the Greeks and ending with contemporary works for the stage. Study will focus upon building skills to effectively analyze form and structure through dramatic content, and to create approaches to staging the plays from an informed understanding of the elements of theatrical style. The course will include plays by preeminent playwrights from cultures around the world. Texts to be studied will vary at each offering.
The study of the forms in modern drama through application of methods of theatre analysis for dramaturgical consideration and staging. Contemporary playwrights studied will include those from around the world whose work has been seen on international stages since the 1950s. Attention to theatre movements that reflect contemporary issues will be included, and producing groups that have operated with textual revision, minimal text, or no texts will be considered. Texts to be studied will vary at each offering.
This course would allow for the study of various Shakespearean topics in different years. Some representative subjects could include: ?Shakespeare and the Arts,? ?Shakespeare?s Contemporaries,? ?Shakespeare and Science,? ?Shakespearean Tragedy,? ?Shakespeare?s Roman Plays,? ?Shakespeare?s Histories,? ?Shakespeare on Film.? The topics will be announced before the seminar meets.
From the colonial period to the 20th century, New England writers have endowed the region?s people and its settings (fields, forests, buildings, factories, cities) with shapes of fear. This course will explore New England?s fascination with the supernatural from Puritan writings to the contemporary tale of terror. A primary focus of the course will be the genre of New England Gothicism and its literary conventions. Authors studied may include Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Freeman, Wharton, Jackson, Lovecraft, and King.
Rural, mid-19th-century Concord, Massachusetts, witnessed an unprecedented flowering of important and influential American literature. Why Concord? We sample writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry D. Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and Louisa May Alcott to explore matters of cultural background, biography, contemporary events, uses of the past, literary vocation, and sense of place. Emphasis is on these writers? friendships and their creative responses to intellectual and social forces of the day?factors that made Concord a community of highly individualistic writers. Students who have received credit for EN 2236 (New England Writers: Concord) may not receive credit for EN 3232.
Worcester has had a rich and varied literary history from Isaiah Thomas?s founding of the American Antiquarian Society in the early 1800s to the works of S. N. Behrman, Robert Benchley, Elizabeth Bishop, Esther Forbes, Stanley Kunitz, and Charles Olson in the 20th century. This course will examine selections from Worcester area writers in a number of genres (e.g., fiction, drama, poetry, essay, nonfiction memoir). Attention will be given to the local contexts of these writings as well as to each writer?s contributions to the larger continuum of American Literature. Students who have received credit for EN 2236 (New England Writers: Worcester) may not receive credit for EN 3233.
This course examines the poetries and poetics of various modern and contemporary American traditions, focusing on schools and styles from the Modernists and Objectivists through the Black Arts Movement, Confessional Poetry, the New York School, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Attention will also be given to recent innovations in digital poetry, multiethnic poetry, and performance poetry. The course will include poets such as Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, A.R. Ammons, Joy Harjo, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Myung Mi Kim, and Saul Williams.
Since 1851, readers of Herman Melville?s masterpiece have joined in the chase for the ?meaning? of the White Whale. After briefly examining the philosophical context of Emersonian idealism and the literary example of Hawthorne, the course is devoted solely to a close reading of Moby-Dick? one of the most innovative and mysterious novels in the English language. ?Whose? book is it, anyway? Captain Ahab?s? Ishmael?s? The Whale?s? The reader?s? We conclude by surveying major critical approaches to the novel.
Cat. I Participants in this seminar will examine the English novel from its origins in the eighteenth century to its twentieth-century forms, exploring the rich variety of ways a writer may communicate a personal and social vision. The novels treat love, travel, humor, work, adventure, madness, and self-discovery; the novelists may include Fielding, Austen, Dickens, Eliot, Wodehouse, and Woolf.