Dr. Joe Kraus

Professor, Department Chair
B.A., University of Michigan
M.A., Columbia University
Ph.D., Northwestern University



Dr. Kraus teaches the following courses:

3 cr. (CL)

An exploration of the nature of prose fiction, its elements and techniques. The emphasis is critical rather than historical. The range of works and the specific selections may vary with the individual instructor.

3 cr. (CL)

Mythic materials are examined to discover the underlying heroic archetypal patterns. Then modern literature is examined in the light of the same mythic patterns.

3 cr. (FYS, CL)

The hardboiled tradition stretches from 1920s Hemingway to today's James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, Clint Eastwood, and Coen Brothers. This class traces the way the genre has imagined detectives, gangsters, cowboys, and superheroes as representatives of the American experience, and it examines novels, stories, and films that define the tradition's evolution.

3 cr. (CL)

An exploration of fiction, poetry, and drama. The approach is inductive; the aims are a greater understanding of literature, and an introduction to techniques of literary scholarship, theory, and research.

3 cr. (Area A-2)

Study of a select group of major American authors from the Civil War to the present. Included are Twain, Crane, Fitzgerald and Vonnegut. The historical and cultural milieu and the development of major American themes and attitudes are reviewed. (Offered Spring Semester Only)

3 cr. (EPW, CL, D) (Area G)

Readings will be drawn primarily from Native American, Asian American, African American and Latina/o writings. The class will trace common themes and questions such as what it means to be "American," gender identity, the conflict of cultural identities, alienation and assimilation.

3 cr. (CL, W, Area A-3, Prerequisites: ENLT 140 or the equivalent; any ENLT 120 & 179, inclusive)

A survey of American fiction from 1950 to the present. requirements include participation in class discussion, oral presentations, and sustained consultation with the instructor on the writing and revision of several critical essays.

3 cr.

Syllabus forthcoming for Fall 2021.

3 cr. (W)

The topics of these writing-intensive seminars vary from semester to semester. Based largely on student writing, presentations, and discussion, this capstone course is required in the major and culminates in the student's development of a seminar paper. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 15 students per section.

3 cr.

Designed to increase students' skills in writing short fiction, this course augments frequent practice in the genre with attention both to theories of short-story composition and to diverse examples. In a workshop atmosphere, students will read and discuss one another's work as well as fiction by well-known authors. Photocopying fee. 

3 cr.

Designed to develop skills in writing creative nonfiction prose, this course employs a workshop format and requires intensive reading and analysis of student work as well as work by noted practitioners such as Orwell, Baldwin, Didion, and Dillard