English Seminars

Urban Legends of the Supernatural (Adam Andrews) (Full)
In this course you will read scholarship about various belief traditions, legends, and narratives of encounters with the supernatural, do your own original research on belief traditions and narratives among your own family and friends, and write a final project paper that uses class concepts to analyze and make sense of those narratives and beliefs.
Applying Philosophy & Creating Your Life’s Meaning (C. Prescott Sobol) (Full) 
In this course, we will assume that at UWM, and in life in general, it is not merely what you do, but how, why, and with whom you do it, that creates a sense of purpose and meaning. We will study psychology, fiction, poetry, music, philosophy, history, and memoir—a wide variety of sources that describe how we can make our lives more meaningful and satisfying.
Translation Game: Hidden Meanings in Language (Jennifer Mattson) (Full)
In this course, we will explore hidden and (mis)understood meanings between males and females, between advertisers and consumers, between politicians and voters, between Caucasians and African-Americans, between internationals who speak English as a second language and native speakers, between mainstream speakers of American English and non-mainstream speakers.
Beat, Bop, & Buddha (Jeffrey Perso)
This innovative and unique course, paired with a course on Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, part of the Living and Learning Communities program, fuses an examination of the convergence of Beat literature, jazz improvisation, and the Historical Buddha with the tools of musicology and cultural studies, potentially leading to a Rock 'n Roll Certificate.
Representations of the American Dream (Liana Odrcic)
What *is* the American Dream, anyway? Has it changed over time? Does the definition of the Dream change according to who’s defining it? How is the Dream defined and portrayed in different literary works, film, and non-fiction texts? Does everyone have access to the American Dream, or is its accessibility limited? Is the American Dream a myth? A reality only for some? How so?
Going Green: Literature and Film (Kristin Terwelp)
In this course, we will trace the history of the “Green” movement beginning with texts by Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and several Native American writers and ending with films and texts by Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, and Al Gore. We will also examine “green” advertising and do some virtual window shopping at a “green” Wal-Mart.
Multicultural Milwaukee (Gregory Jay) (Full)
Whether you were born in Milwaukee or are a newcomer, this course will offer you an exciting range of discoveries as we explore the city’s history, current events, neighborhoods, landmarks, and diverse communities. Milwaukee has always been multiethnic and multiracial, from its array of indigenous cultures through the arrival of English and European ethnic groups to the modern rich addition of African Americans, Latinos, and the people of the Hmong diaspora (to name just a few).
Wiki Nation: Producing the Internet (Mary Brehm) (Full)
In this class, we will ask big questions about “network enabled social tools” and try to answer them. We’ll engage in both traditional classroom activities and hands-on work, producing a class wiki and personal blogs. You don’t need to have experience with the “tools and patterns” that are used to produce the internet – just a willingness to try and to think critically about your experiences.
Travel Writing (John Mulvihill) (Full)
The only freshman seminar that asks you to get out of town (or at least to a different part of town). We’ll read good examples of travel narratives, writers traveling by car, bus, train, plane, boat, motorcycle, bike, or shank’s mare (on foot), and analyze these to see common themes and elements and successful writing techniques. Then you’ll be asked to travel somewhere you haven’t been before (or at least not for a long time), perhaps with a companion, and keep a journal and maybe take photographs.
Aspects of Hell (Brian Marks) (Full)
We’re going to start off by going to the source, way back to pre-Christian accounts of journeys to the underground and gradually make our way up to conceptions of hell in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Hmong American Life Stories (Mary Louise Buley-Meissner)
This seminar emphasizes active learning through extensive reading, collaborative class work and individual research projects as we look into the dynamic development of Hmong American identities from the 1970s until now.