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ENGL-110 - Literature and Composition - Adam Kaiserman

Course:Literature and Composition
Professor:Adam Kaiserman
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Adam Kaiserman Profile Pic

My name is Adam Kaiserman, and I am Professor of English at College of the Canyons as well as the chair of our Humanities Program. Before coming to College of the Canyons, I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine. I have been teaching at COC for eight years now.

Course Description

My goal in this class is to teach you all how to be write about literature, primarily, but not exclusively for the English major. To do so, I’m going to teach you how to write incisive and interesting literary criticism. But what makes something interesting, at least to your English professors? At the heart of this class is the idea that English professors value certain forms of analysis and not others. Unfortunately, these values are often left implicit and obscure to many undergraduates. I want to make these secrets visible. To demystify what makes for good literary analysis, we will be reading Joanna Wolfe and Laura Wilder’s Digging into Literature. This textbook draws on Wilder’s research where she read copiously from across the field and cataloged how literary critics made their academic arguments. She then sought ways to make these moves explicit to students. This clarity is what we are after in this class. 

To give the class greater depth, I have designed the class with a focus on representation. The dames of film noir get deconstructed in Chelsey Minnis's poetry collection Baby, I Don't Care. A town goes silent when a deaf boy is executed by an invading army in Ilya Kaminsky's poetry collection Deaf Republic. Kristoffer Diaz shows how professional wrestling perpetuates racial fantasies in his comedy The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. In his National Award Winning-book, Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu shows how the limited representation afforded to Asian Americans shapes Asian American identity. We will also examine how we depict the problem of environmental degradation and its human connections.


I look forward to teaching you over this semester and to hearing from you soon.


What to Expect in this Course

  • Canvas modules follow a week by week organization with discussion boards based on the reading.
  • Generally, each assigned reading will have a discussion board question due on Friday and you will be expected to respond to two of your classmates by the close of MOnday. You will then follow up with the discussion board on Tuesday for a final comment.  You can expect four reading assignments per week.
  • There will be a three major papers.
  • Quizzes will be pegged to our reading and lecture material.  

Types of Assessments

  • Three academic essays
  • Final
  • Lecture quizzes

Textbook Information

  • Joanna Wolfe and Laura Wilder, Digging into Literature  ISBN: 9781457664892

    Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic ISBN 978-1555978310


    Charles Yu, Interior Chinatown IBSN 978-0307948472

    Kristoffer Diaz, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity IBSN 978-0573699672

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 11/16/2021 Sub#: 232