Courses

Undergraduate Courses

(available as potential teaching opportunities  for doctoral students)

ENGL 3820 – Literature for the Young Child

An exploration of human and literary values in the best of children’s works for the very young through age nine. Emphasis is on critical sensitivity and techniques necessary for interpreting and evaluating works representative of the major forms of children’s literature. Discussion will focus on how literature is first learned through adult-child interaction and how interaction creates changes that are influenced by time period and culture as well as the personal dynamics inherent in the oral tradition. Visual reading through picture books will be examined as well as the evaluation of good picture book literature. Developmental issues related to a child’s reading capability and narrative skills will be considered through an examination of transitional reader (chapter books) and novels. Poetry, both in its oral form and its written form, will be considered as will be mythology and folklore: its versions, variants, and adaptations (both in book and film form).

ENGL 3830 – Literature for the Intermediate Reader

An exploration of human and literary values in the best of children’s works for preadolescents. Emphasis is on critical sensitivity and techniques necessary for interpreting and evaluating works representative of the major forms of children’s literature for the older reader. Discussion will focus on narrative forms and on how the more experienced reader comes to prose and poetry. Novels will be explored both in terms of literary structure and content and in terms of what makes a piece of literature work for children. Genres such as historical fiction, realistic fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, and survival literature will be considered. Ever growing complexity in structure and content will be evaluated as they relate to child’s biological, psychological, and mental development, and in thecontext of cultural and historical change. How media influence literature will be explored as well as the changing population of child-readers and what that means for book production.

ENGL 3840 – Adolescent Literature

This course focuses on an analysis of literature for adolescents from a variety of critical and culturally diverse perspectives. It emphasizes the adolescent experience as reflected in literature, the history of adolescent literature and media, and the distinguishing features of classical and contemporary works.

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ENGL 4840 – Multi-Cultural American Literature for Children

A course designed to develop an understanding of the cultural diversity of the American experience through multi-cultural oral and written literature for young people. Attention will be paid to developing criteria for selecting and evaluating literature which reflects diversity within the American heritage.

 

 

Graduate/Upper Division Undergraduate Courses

ENGL 5820 – Studies in Children’s Literature

A study in depth of significant themes, movements, types in children’s literature. Course focus rotates with offerings. Recent courses have included “Children’s Literature: Image and Theory.”

ENGL 5830 – Multi-Cultural Literature for Adolescents

Critical analyses of literature read by young adults, with special attention paid to American and world literatures that reflect the diversity of the increasingly global community.

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ENGL 5970 – Studies in English and ENGL 5550 – Studies in Major Writers

These special topics course frequently features topics related to children’s literature and comics, including the following course offerings in recent years:

ENGL 5970 – Introduction to Comics Studies

ENGL 5970 – The Coming of Age Narrative

ENGL 5550 – JK Rowling

 

For Current Course Offerings, Visit:  WMU Course Offerings

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