Exciting summer classes

In the summer the English and Communications Program is offering classes that are both fun and analytical – they allow us to look at draws us to stories.

In The Role of Romance in Literature (MW 3 p.m.) you will discuss two light-hearted romantic comedies with your classmates.  You will also discuss a variety of movies, from classic black and white to recent offerings.  Some will be light, some serious; all of them will be delightful.  We will finish with one of Shakespeare’s most wonderful comedies, played by some of the world’s best actors.

In Narrative and Horror (TR 3 p.m.) you will read and see a number of scary stories, full of witches, demons, and psychos.  Our questions will be what makes something monstrous, why does it appeal to us, and what is its social role?

These courses will increase your reading, writing, and analytic skills.  Both will examine what makes a story a certain kind of story.  How do stories build up expectations?  How do they surprise and shock us?  How do we judge if they are successful or not?



2013-2014 English and Communications Major Fields Test Study Questions

  1. 1. When the case goes to trial a jury of twelve is selected, these people are randomly selected and have to watch the whole trial and come to a unanimous verdict without any outside influence. Describe how conformity, social identity theory and group dynamics can influence the decision making process?
  1. 2. Combining the readings on psychological traps and the behavior of successful negotiators, develop a profile of behaviors that you think a successful negotiator would practice. Please do not provide a list of bullet points, rather use prose.

3.     Analyze the relationship of the brothers in “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin.

4.     Analyze Gabriel Conroy’s character in “The Dead” by James Joyce.  How does it change in the course of the story and if it does, what changes it? 

5.     What values does Death of a Salesman promote?  What values does it attack?  How do the plot, the characterization and the language of the play represent these values?  How do the values Miller is representing fit with the American values of the late 1940’s?  Are there any inconsistencies in the way Miller presents these values?  Explain.

6.     Explain how one variety of English becomes more prestigious than another.  Give examples throughout history.  Which varieties of English are now more prestigious and which are less? Why? Give examples from all over the world.  Do varieties with less prestige have less grammar or worse grammar?  Explain you answer.  Is the prestige status of AAVE changing now?  Why or why not?

7.     Arguably, the two most important pieces of legislation affecting health care in this country were the creation of Medicare in the Johnson administration and the creation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the Obama administration.  Both presidents needed to persuade the country and both houses of congress to pass legislation that would create the health care systems. Analyze the rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) of both presidents’ speeches/news conferences in which they set forth their programs.  Compare and/or contrast those rhetorical situations from the viewpoint of a congressional supporter of the programs and from a congressional opponent of the programs. 



Public Relations and Marketing Project

Intern’s responsibilities:

  • ·         Collect information around campus about upcoming events
  • ·         Interview student government members and club members about activities in clubs
  • ·         Take photographs to go with relevant interviews
  • ·         Interview faculty members about news in their academic life (once per quarter)
  • ·         Write news blurbs about all findings to be posted on the university website
  • ·         Regularly update Calendar on the website

A great hands on experience for students interested in marketing, advertising, public relations and journalism.


The intern will report to Dr. Maria Polski, and will be signed up for CP300 or CP 301 class with Dr. Stevenson.  This is an unpaid internship which is not eligible for  any IBHE grant funds.  If interested, please contact Dr. Polski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 630-885-0522.  

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