Program Courses

Please note that course schedules may be amended due to low enrollment, faculty availability, and/or other factors.

Online Sync Sessions are an integral part of the online learning experience. Additional information about learning concepts and assignments may be discussed and sync sessions offer valuable opportunities for students to interact with their faculty and peers during the term. We encourage all students to attend live, but if they are unable to, sync sessions will be recorded and posted within Canvas to allow for an asynchronous model of success as well.

MCW 490-0 : Broken English: How Writers Defy, Fracture, and Reinvent Language


In her 1993 “Nobel Lecture,” Toni Morrison declared that “Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.” This multi-genre course begins with an investigation of the ways the English language (or monolingualism in general) is oppressive — how it has the capacity to violate, restrict, exclude, demonize, shame, divide, bamboozle, silence, and erase voices, identities, lived experiences, communities, and histories. Yet it will look at how language can also be a means toward liberation, recognition, and empowerment. We will examine how writers resist the marginalizing power of English by bending, breaking, and mending the language — by resisting its restrictive “rules,” by inventing new styles and modes of expression, and by embracing not only multilingualism but also translingualism. In addition to studying the works of several groundbreaking poets, novelists, playwrights, and essayists such as Morrison, M. Nourbese Philip, Layli Long Soldier, Jos Charles, Luis Valdez, Marwa Helal, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Kamau Brathwaite, Myung Mi Kim, and William Shakespeare, we will explore ways we too can “break” English as we strive to expand the richness, range, expansiveness, and innovative spirit of our own writing.

(This course is an elective, but may also be taken as a poetry workshop with the advance approval of the instructor and the student’s academic advisor.)

^ Back to top ^