Inquire at Marygrove College
Visit us at Marygrove College
Apply at Marygrove College
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z #

English, Graduate

Go to the English Website

Meet the Faculty

Darcy L. Brandel, Ph.D.
Madame Cadillac Building, Room 262
Direct: (313) 927-1447
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Administrative Assistant
Laurie LePain Kopack, M.A.
Madame Cadillac Building, Room 259
Direct: (313) 927-1383
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Programs Offered
Master of Arts, English

Potential Careers

Communicator in: Business, Government, Industry • Law • Medicine • Journalist • Creative Writer • Speech Writer • Teacher • Technical Writer


Audrey Becker, Ph.D.
Darcy Brandel, Ph.D.
Donald E. Levin, Ph.D.
Michael T. Martin, M.A.
Jerry Petersen, Ph.D.
Patricia Pichurski, Ph.D.
Frank D. Rashid, Ph.D.
Loretta G. Woodard, Ph.D.
Steve Engel, Ph.D.
Nikhil Gupta, Ph.D.
Lourdes M. Torres, Ph.D.

Professors Emeritae
Maureen DesRoches, M.A.
Barbara Johns, IHM, Ph.D.
Lynne Schaeffer, Ph.D.

In Memoriam
Chae-Pyong Song, Ph.D.

Administrative Assistant

Master of Arts, English


Audrey Becker, Ph.D
Program Coordinator
Madame Cadillac Bldg., Room 288
Direct: (313) 927-1272
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Master of Arts (M.A.) in English


The Master of Arts in English is designed to provide both theoretical and practical foundations for teaching English in community colleges or high schools and/or preparing for advanced graduate study in the field. It is a 33-credit-hour program whose courses are offered in the evening and on weekends. Two required core courses will give a solid base for graduate English studies, while two 600-level advanced seminars will offer rigorous opportunities to explore various disciplinary topics in depth. The flexibly conceived Master’s Project will provide an opportunity for students to further explore their topic of interest in literary works or in teaching composition.


The Master of Arts in English is open to any applicant who has successfully completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. In addition to the admission requirements as explained in the “Graduate Admissions” section of this catalog, all applicants should submit two letters of recommendation and a substantial writing sample that demonstrates adequate preparation and potential for graduate work in English. After reviewing the completed application package, the Graduate Coordinator will schedule a personal interview.


To complete the master’s degree, students must complete 33 credits of approved coursework from the following requirements:

Required Courses (6 credits)

ENG 501 Foundations of Graduate English Studies (3)

ENG 514 Literary Criticism (3)

Electives (21 credits)

Select a minimum of 21 credits from the following list in consultation with your graduate coordinator. Must choose at least 6 credits of Advanced Seminar coursework (600 level). No more than 3 credits of Independent Study may be counted toward graduation requirements.

ENG 510 Detroit in Literature (3)

ENG 520 Dickinson and Frost (3)

ENG 521 Adolescent Literature: Realism, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction (3)

ENG 524 Selected Topics (3)

ENG 525 Contemporary Drama 1970-Present (3)

ENG 529 Studies in African American Literature (3)

ENG 530 19th Century Novel (3)

ENG 534 Studies in Modern British Literature (3)

ENG 535 Studies in Multi-Ethnic Literature (3)

ENG 538 The Romantic Poets (3)

ENG 539 Witchcraft and Gender (3)

ENG 541 Approaches to Composition (3)

ENG 542 Practicum in Teaching Writing (3)

ENG 551 Shakespeare: Text and Theory (3)

ENG 561 Shakespeare on Film (3)

ENG 565 Writing Creative Nonfiction (3)

ENG 570 Literature by Women (3)

ENG 601 American Modernist Poetry (3)

ENG 603 Postcolonial Re-imaginings: “The Empire Writes Back” (3) 

ENG 604 The Harlem Renaissance (3)

ENG 605 Studies in Medieval Literature: Women Writers of the Middle Ages (3)

ENG 606 Experimental Literature by Women (3)

ENG 610 Nineteenth Century American Authors (3)

ENG 620 Novel and Nation (3)

ENG 691 Independent Study (1-3)

Master’s Project (6 credits)

ENG 660 Directed Reading (3)

ENG 665 Masters Project (3)

Master of Arts, English Course Descriptions

ENG 501: Foundations of Graduate English   3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course introduces students to graduate studies in English literature and language. It focuses on current professional issues in the field, various contemporary theoretical approaches to literature and language, their practical implications in writing and teaching, and the principles and procedures of scholarly research.

ENG 510: Detroit in Literature                        3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course examines representations of Detroit in poetry and fiction produced between the 1930s and the present. By reading and discussing works of such authors as Robert Hayden, Harriet Arnow, Dudley Randall, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Levine, Lawrence Joseph, Jim Daniels, Jeffrey Eugenides, and others, the course studies the translation of a familiar environment into literature and “places” Detroit in modern American culture.

ENG 514: Literary Criticism 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will focus on examination and application of the theoretical concepts and contexts that are critical to success in graduate literary studies, including such concepts as deconstruction, formalism, new historicism, and Marxism.

ENG 520: Dickinson and Frost 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the work of two New England poets who share not only the imagery of a common natural landscape but also a set of common philosophical and literary traditions. Course sessions will consist of close reading and explication of individual poems by the entire class and discussion of the issues raised in them.

ENG 521: Adolescent Literature: Realism, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will concentrate on analyzing literary works whose primary audience is middle and high school age students. The course will focus on works in the genres of realistic fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy/science fiction. Literature will be broadly defined to include printed texts, films, television, and games, including works by authors such as Lois Duncan, Rosa Guy, Virginia Hamilton, S.E. Hinton, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mildred D. Taylor, and Cynthia Voigt.

ENG 524: Selected Topics 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

In-depth study of major authors, periods, or topics as chosen by the instructor.

ENG 525: Contemporary Drama 1970-Present 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course examines works of influential drama from the 1970s to the present.

ENG 529: Studies in African American Literature 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the work of influential black writers of the 20th century such as Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Dorothy West, Paule Marshall, Charles Johnson, Clarence Major, and John Edgar Wideman. The course provides a window into how these innovative writers have documented, critiqued, and responded to the major historical and literary movements that have shaped their ideologies and informed their world views.

ENG 530: 19th Century Novel 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will examine canonical novels of the European 19th Century, such as Crime and Punishment, Madame Bovary, Sons and Lovers, and selections from Dickens, Hardy, Thackeray, Zola, Bronte, and others.

ENG 534: Studies in Modern British Literature 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course introduces the student to the historical, intellectual, and formal aspects of British literary modernism. The course will attempt to provide a broad, if necessarily selective, picture of modernist literary works in all its considerable variety, and will also focus on modernism’s recurrent preoccupations, particularly its concern with modernity itself. Readings might include selected works of authors such as Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Forster, Ford, West, Ishiguro,and Bowen.

ENG 535: Studies in Multi-Ethnic Literature 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore a range of texts that reveal the ethnic diversity of North American literature, asking readers to consider both common themes and cultural specificities found in diverse “minority” literatures. The course will explore themes and theories of alienation, fragmentation, dislocation, hybridity, borderlands/border crossing, appropriation, resistance, and generational difference. The course will pay particular attention to language and the role it plays in defining reality, exploring the ways ethnic writers both resist and appropriate dominant languages in an attempt to formulate their own modes of communication.

ENG 538: The Romantic Poets 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will survey the major poets and poetry of the British Romantic period (roughly 1789-1832), with an emphasis on how the poetry responded to the turbulent social, emotional, intellectual, and political dislocations of the times. The course will provide the key terms and texts for the study of Romanticism as both a period of literature and a set of aesthetic practices that may be applied beyond that period.

ENG 539: Witchcraft and Gender 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore early American notions of gender, especially as they relate to and inform the infamous witch hunts in Salem and beyond. The course will examine relevant early American literature to connect and complicate the relationship between conceptions of womanhood and the hysteria of the witch-craze.

ENG 541: Approaches to Composition 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course examines important contemporary critical theories and questions that have shaped the conversations of writing teachers and researchers, particularly over the last four decades.

ENG 542: Practicum in Teaching Writing 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course provides the guidance and support necessary to the practical work of teaching English. Topics for discussion include exploring major theories of teaching writing and how they inform practice, incorporating rhetorical practices in the classroom, crafting successful assignments, evaluating and responding to student writing, creating a learning community in the classroom, and developing a philosophy of teaching English.

ENG 551: Shakespeare: Text and Theory 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course introduces the graduate student to Shakespeare’s dramatic and poetic works by approaching the canon with attention to Shakespeare’s language, to historical context, to pedagogical issues, and to major approaches from literary criticism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

ENG 561: Shakespeare on Film             3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will examine texts and contemporary film interpretations of such works as Hamlet (Branagh, Zeffirelli, Almereyda), Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli and Luhrmann), Branagh’s versions of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labours’ Lost, and Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night.

ENG 565: Writing Creative Nonfiction 3 credits

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore how to write alternative forms of nonfiction beyond the traditional academic essay. Using readings, discussions, and class workshops, students will use elements from fiction and poetry to write creative nonfiction such as memoirs, personal essays, nature essays, and personal cultural criticism.

ENG 570: Literature by Women 3 credits

Prerequisites: none 

This course considers some established traditions in writing by women, while paying close attention to how these traditions are both revisited and revised by subsequent writers. We will examine how the texts are in dialogue with one another as well as whose voices and experiences remain silenced in various texts.  Using the historical context of the various waves of the women’s movement, along with the framework of feminist theory, the course seeks to highlight both the establishment of and resistance to traditions in literature by women.

ENG 601: American Modernist Poetry 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

This course attempts to discover the primary characteristics of modernist poetry as reflected in the works of a group of American poets who came to prominence in the first two decades of the twentieth century, including Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Williams, Moore, and Hughes. The course considers the nature of “modernisms,” how their works define the nature of truth, what the works say about the individual’s relationship to the social world, what it means to be an artist in the context of modernism, and what historical, aesthetic, critical and cultural contexts gave rise to modernist poetry.

ENG 603: Postcolonial Re-imaginings: “The Empire Writes Back” 3 credits 

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

This course is designed as an introduction to a wide variety of both literary and theoretical works that cover the period of British colonial expansion and its postcolonial aftermath. It is conceived as a comparative literature/culture course—for instance, to put the First World literature in dialogue with that of the Third World or to re-read 18th-century literature with a 20th-century perspective. For such a comparative course, literatures from Africa, India, and the Caribbean as well as from England will be selected. Through these works, we will study what the globalization of modern culture has brought about in such areas as race, gender, language, and nationalism. 

ENG 604: The Harlem Renaissance 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

This course offers a detailed examination of selected works by major and minor literary voices of the Harlem Renaissance. Specifically, it analyzes these emerging writers in the context of varied cultural, social, and historical influences, which impacted their works. This course also discusses the contemporary scholarship of leading critics, literary and culture theory, and takes a virtual tour of Harlem, to prepare for final research projects and presentations.

ENG 605: Studies in Medieval Literature: Women Writers of the Middle Ages 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

This course is an advanced introduction to female authors of the twelfth through fifteenth centuries in England and Western Europe. Our primary texts include poems, treatises, letters, romance, autobiography, mystical and devotional writing.  Major authors represented are Marie de France, Christine de Pizan, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and the Paston women.

ENG 606: Experimental Literature by Women 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

Many artists believe that the way to accomplish art which creates social change in the world is to resist the traditional by utilizing new forms, styles, and approaches. Challenging any kind of established literary tradition, however, often results in marginalization; therefore, for an already historically marginalized group like women writers to experiment raises the risk of being silenced, discredited, and attacked. This course considers how various women writers across the twentieth century have experimented with literary form and explores the implications of this experimentation on the authors, on notions of gender, on the world.

ENG 610: Nineteenth Century American Authors 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

In this seminar, we examine important points of contention between nineteenth century American writers, including Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Douglass, Melville, Stowe, Dickinson, Whitman, and Twain.  Subjects covered might include war and territorial conquest; race and ethnicity, slavery and freedom; the influence of religious beliefs over behavior; gender roles and sexuality; the relationship between the individual and the community; the relationship between human beings and the environment; accumulation and consumption, wealth and materialism; and the growth of technology.

ENG 620: Novel and Nation 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

This course will examine literary works that attempt to re-figure the nation in the age of globalization. Some of the questions we will ask are: How is the nation represented in literature? What textual strategies do novels employ in order to disseminate the feeling of national consciousness toward readers? Conversely, what formal narrative elements do novels employ to disrupt or displace the official, hegemonic notion of the nation? What kinds of alternative notions of community and belonging are imagined? What are the political implications of postcolonial fiction that resists novelistic techniques that rely on linear notions of historical progression and economic development? How do the forces of globalization put pressure on the fictions of national culture? How have novels gone beyond national borders for paradigms of home(land)? In the end, students will enhance their appreciation of both the limitations and possibilities of a branch of novel theory that takes the nation-form as its primary object of inquiry. 

ENG 660: Directed Reading 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514

The directed reading gives students the opportunity for exploratory reading and research on the developing thesis project and serves as the precursor for the master’s project. Working in conjunction with the thesis advisor, the student undertakes preliminary research and writing, culminating by semester’s end in the approved thesis proposal.

ENG 665: Master’s Project 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENG 501, ENG 514, ENG 660

The master’s project is a requirement for the completion of the Master of Arts in English degree. Working with a project advisor, students are expected to complete a project that demonstrates original thought and substantial research, and that may take a number of forms: it may be a critical study of literary works and authors; a theoretical exploration of issues related to literature or writing; or an empirical study of composition and/or pedagogy (for example, a case study, composing process analysis, classroom ethnography, or other fieldwork). It is expected that before writing the thesis, students will have completed the majority of their program requirements.

ENG 691: Independent Study Variable credits

Prerequisites: none

The Independent Study gives students the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of particular authors, periods, genres, or issues. No more than 3 credit hours of Independent Study may be counted toward graduation requirements.

Grad Information

Science and Math

Socialwork Programs

Dance at Marygrove

MAT Program

English at Marygrove