Montana State University

Department of English Graduate Program Courses

English 510: Studies in Critical Theory and Practice
(Required—3 credits)
Topics in critical theory and practice. Explores how historical and contemporary theories of literature have shaped the ways readers, teachers, and critics have thought about such fundamental questions as canon formation, pedagogical practice, and the goals and purposes of literary studies as a field.

English 530: Studies in Writing Theory and Practice
(Required—3 credits)
Topics in rhetoric and composition. Examines a variety of models that have historically governed composition theory and writing practice.

English 540: Studies in Theory and Practice of Literary History
(Required—3 credits)
Topics in the theory and practice of literary history. Examines debates in the discipline on topics such as the production and reception of literary texts, the practice of periodization, and the relationship between literary studies and historiography.

English 550: Focused Research Seminar
(maximum 6 credits)
Topics offered at the graduate level not covered in the required courses. Involves directed research resulting in a paper, as well as participation in preparing and presenting discussion material. Topics will vary.

English 570: Individual Problems
(maximum 6 credits)
Directed research and study on an individual basis.

English 575: Professional Paper
(maximum 6 credits)
A research or professional paper or project dealing with a topic in the field. The topic must have been mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her major advisor and graduate committee.

English 576: Internship
(1-12 credits)
An individualized assignment arranged with an agency, business, school, or other organization to provide guided experience in the field.

English 580: Special Topics
(maximum 9 credits)
Advanced study of topics in the discipline, in courses not required in any curriculum, including experimental offerings of visiting professors, trial offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.

English 590: Master's Thesis
(1-10 credits)
A thesis dealing with a topic in the field. The topic must have been mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her major advisor and graduate committee.


English 550: Youth Literary Criticism and the Figure of the Adolescent in American Literature and Pop Culture
Instructor: Robert Petrone

This course explores how the idea of adolescence and the figure of the adolescent has and continues to circulate in American culture through literary and popular culture texts. This course will cover the following topics: the “Adolescent Reform Novel,” the emergence of the genre “Young Adult Literature,” the historical development of age as an organizing mechanism in American society, the formation of youth organizations like the Boys Scouts of America and the Playground Association of America, the invention and circulation of terms such adolescence and teenager, the interplay between the role of literary texts within the secondary school curriculum and the increased social and psychological ordering of people between the ages of 12-19, and the rise of youth subcultures. Potential literary texts include Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Anne of Green Gables (1908), The Yearling (1938), Catcher in the Rye by (1951), The Outsiders (1967), and selections from Contemporary Young Adult Literature.  Potential theoretical/ secondary texts include: Act Your Age!: Cultural Constructions of Adolescence, Huck's Raft, The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950, Twain, Alcott and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel, Growing up Female: Adolescent Girlhood in American Fiction, and Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature.

English 550: Writing Theory and Practice - Literacy and Pedagogy
Instructor: Kirk Branch

This course will introduce students to the history, theories, and methods surrounding composition and rhetoric, with a special attention to issues of pedagogy and literacy.

Updated: 07/21/2014