Courses

English Courses (ENG)

ENG-100   College Writing3 credits

Prerequisites: Placement

A course in the essential elements of critical thinking and rhetorical strategies necessary for effective college writing. The course emphasizes writing as process and focuses extensively on revision

ENG-210   Shakespearean Comedy3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course will trace the development of Shakespearean comedy through representative plays from all stages of the dramatist's career. In the process, the class will explore the literary, theatrical, religious, political, and cultural significance of comedy, both in general and in its Shakespearean form.

ENG-211   Weird Shakespeare3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course explores the Shakespeare nobody told you about, using some underexposed plays and poems studied on their own terms (rather than as anomalies or mere background for better-known plays) and situated in their literary, theatrical, historical, and cultural contexts.

ENG-212   Introduction to Shakespeare3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

Through careful scrutiny of representative plays in several genres and from different periods in Shakespeare's career, this course will test popular perceptions of English literature's most overexposed figure by situating him in his literary, theatrical, historical, and cultural contexts.

ENG-213   Introduction to Arthurian Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course surveys changing literary responses to the legend of King Arthur, from its misty historical origins in early medieval Britain, through the flowering of Arthurian romance in the High Middle Ages, to various post-Romantic re-imaginings of the Arthurian material. We will ask, among other things, why this material retained its tenacious hold on the Western European (and, later, the American) imagination, and especially how authors continued to find new uses for stories long separated from their originating cultural conditions.

ENG-218   World War I and Modern Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

World War I, the most literary war in British history, altered the landscape of British literature. This course will examine the war poets' verse; soldiers' and nurses' autobiographies; Virginia Woolf's modernist novel Mrs. Dalloway; T. S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land"; and Pat Barker's recent novel Regeneration, the fictional account of the relationship between military psychiatrist William Rivers and shell-shocked poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.

ENG-219   Thief-making and Thief-taking: Nineteenth-century Crime Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

The nineteenth century was immersed in defining criminality and, through the gradual professionalization of the police, constructing the criminal's nemesis, the detective. Through popular crime fiction, newspaper accounts of an actual criminal case, and articles from nineteenth-century periodicals, we will explore how the nineteenth-century fascination with crime and detectives was shaped by preoccupations with the construction of gender, class dynamics, and the tension between the didactic and entertainment functions of these literary forms.

ENG-220   Regionalisms of the British Isles3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

The British Isles, covering only approximately 120,000 square miles, have historically been home to numerous geographically defined cultures, traditions, and dialects. Travelers past and present have been quick to note that traversing what Americans would consider a short distance positions one in a new place. This course will explore regionalism as articulated through literature, considering local identity, nationalism, and nostalgia as key forces shaping geographically formed expressions of the diversity of the British Isles. Regions emphasized will vary from semester to semester.

ENG-225   Asia through its Movies3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

Students will analyze contemporary Asian cultures through movies from Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Genres will include wu-xia, anime, sci-fi, musicals, yakuza narratives and "art house" movies. Course readings will include cultural studies theory, short stories, and the directors' and artists' essays and commentaries.

ENG-226   Postmodernism and Human Rights Activism3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course explores contemporary theories, fiction, poetry, and movies by ethnic and indigenous peoples in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. This course will feature authors who violate literary forms and genres as methods of resistance and empowerment. Topics may include Arab nationalism, the Intifada, the Bangla Language Movement, the Cultural Revolution, and apartheid.

ENG-230   Literature of the American West3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course examines the American West as imagined and depicted by twentieth-century writers. How do individualism, racial difference, aridity, competition over natural resources, and environmentalism shape the way Americans imagine the West? How does the West in its conflicts, diversity, and complexity epitomize in a dramatic way what we imagine as deeply American? These are just some of the questions that we will attempt to answer through our reading of novels, short stories, poems and essays by American westerners.

ENG-231   Native American Fiction3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course will explore the last forty years of Native American and First Nations fiction. We will begin by examining the social climate of the late 1960s that surrounded the beginning of the literary period known as the Native American Renaissance. Our survey will then take us forward to the present as we explore the adaptation of indigenous story traditions and conventions into contemporary novel forms in fiction which is funny, tragic, and suspenseful.

ENG-232   The Literature of Slavery3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course focuses on the literary history of chattel slavery, particularly as it pertains to the United States, and on how slavery and its legacy have shaped--and functioned within--literary and cultural traditions. We will concentrate on the period of 1700-1861 in American literary history, and readings will include letters, poetry, fiction, and autobiographical narratives about the slavery experience, as well as various writings that both denounce and support the institution of slavery. As we will see, the literature of slavery and the issues it raises are both political and personal, both historical and contemporary.

ENG-233   The Literature of Immigrants3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course examines nonwestern immigrant experiences in North America and Britain through fiction, poetry, personal memoir, and letters. Topics may include generational conflicts, hyphenated identity, racial discrimination, and immigrant rights. We will study the emergence of immigrant activism and the effects of twentieth-century wars, foreign policies, and immigration laws on domestic civil rights movements.

ENG-235   Prose and Cons3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

Through careful examination of selected works of primarily American prison literature, this course investigates a vision of America from the bottom up, explores the American prison, and considers critically the possible meanings of imprisonment and punishment, discipline and freedom. Authors may include Malcom X, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ken Lamberton, Agnes Smedley, and Richard Shelton.

ENG-236   Literature and Comedy3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

In this course we study the evolution and variety of comedy in literature, from classical Greece to contemporary United States. Along the way, we examine different comedic categories, such as the picaresque, absurdism, parody, satire, and black comedy. We examine the rhetoric of comedy: What makes a particular work funny? Why do we laugh? What are the motivations for comedy; when is it meant as "comic relief" from reality, and when is it meant as subversive critique of society?

ENG-237   Money in Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

Sampling several centuries, countries, and literary genres, this course traces the love-hate relationship between literary art and financial calculation, a relationship which raises questions regarding what has value and what doesn't, what is real and what isn't, what humans in society owe to one another, and what purpose artistic endeavor is supposed to serve in a world where such endeavor rarely pays.

ENG-238   Old and New: Premodern Texts and Modern Responses3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course will pair influential premodern works with modern reworkings of them as a way of thinking about how writers use the literature they inherit to stimulate new creation.

ENG-239   Visions of Environment3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

This course focuses on writers who have shaped thinking about the environment in the United States. The course first examines the historical and philosophical bases for American conceptions of nature, and then analyzes literary treatments of concepts such as bioregionalism, wilderness, sense of place, and environmentalism. Authors include Henry David Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and others.

ENG-245   Poetry Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

In this workshop students will both study examples of and write various kinds of poetry, such as lyric, narrative, dramatic, and prose poems. Students will critique the work of their classmates and analyze that of published authors. Special emphasis will be given to studying the forms and strategies of poetry, critically responding to others' work and generating and revising one's own work.

ENG-246   Fiction Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

In this workshop students will write literary fiction and study contemporary novels and short narratives. Students will critique the work of their classmates and analyze that of published authors. Special emphasis will be given to studying the forms and strategies of literary fiction, critically responding to others' work, and generating and revising one's own work.

ENG-247   Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

In this workshop students will both study examples of and write various kinds of creative nonfiction, such as memoir, travel writing, nature writing, cultural criticism, and literary journalism. Students will read the work of their classmates as well as that of published authors. Special emphasis will be given to understanding the forms and strategies of creative nonfiction, critically responding to others' work, and generating and revising one's own work.

ENG-280   Theory and Methods of the Study of Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101 and ENG-200-Level literature course (any version)

By introducing major movements and theories informing scholarly studies in literature, this course helps prepare serious students of literature for advanced study and research in the field. Students explore and apply major twentieth-century literary theories, thereby observing both how literature lends itself to different forms of interpretation and how the formal study of literature has changed over time. Students also write a substantial literary analysis grounded in literary-theoretical approaches. Topics of discussion may include new criticism, structuralism, psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism, deconstruction, post-structuralism, gender studies, new formalism, race and ethnic studies, cultural studies, queer theory, new historicism, postcolonial theory, phenomenology, and eco criticism.

ENG-294   Independent Study1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101, Instructor permission.

A special research project on a selected topic. Independent studies cannot substitute for specific course requirements in the major or minor. See independent study guidelines. See independent study guidelines.

ENG-306   The Seventeenth-Century Lyric3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

An intensive study of English lyric poetry in one of its most flourishing periods, from the late 16th Century to the Restoration. We will study the lyricists both as literary craftsmen and as participants through their literary work in the political, religious, and social upheavals of the age.

ENG-307   Origins and Traditions of English Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

A survey of landmark poetry and prose from the Anglo-Saxon Era to the Enlightenment, with special emphasis on how the assumptions, concerns, and techniques of these texts came to be seen as the kernel of a coherent national literary tradition.

ENG-308   Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course will study the three most influential dramatists of the Elizabethan and Jacobean theater, each of whom responded complexly to the example of his predecessor. In addition to reading some of the plays and poems by each man that respond to, or elicit response from, one of the others, we will also consider the social, theatrical, and literary milieu which made such a convergence of talent possible.

ENG-309   The Epic Tradition3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course considers how the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid modeled supreme literary achievement in Europe for more than two millennia and how postclassical European writers wrestled with this daunting, but also inspiring, legacy of classical epic.

ENG-315   The Supernatural in British Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

Full Title: Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-Leggedy Beasties: the Supernatural in British Literature. By examining the specters that have haunted the last two hundred years of British fiction, this course will explore the applicability of the supernatural as a vehicle for expressing transgressions against cultural and literary conventions. Canonical and non-canonical authors have imaginatively and effectively summoned the supernatural to animate tensions embedded in class structure, gender and family dynamics, imperial possessions, science and religion, realism and fantasy, and the permeability of language.

ENG-316   The Brontes3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë maintain a place among the most popular Victorian writers, and their lives have taken on a mystique of their own. This class will study their creative work within the contexts of nineteenth-century British culture, twentieth-century literary scholarship, and the phenomenon of persistent reinterpretations of their lives and environs.

ENG-317   Nineteenth-century British Fiction3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

In the nineteenth century, British fiction experienced a significant florescence. This course will acquaint students with major forms of nineteenth-century fiction including domestic realism, adventure-romance, fantasy, the gothic, and naturalism. We will study this literature in the context of nineteenth-century culture, particularly gender relations, perceptions of childhood, the tensions between individual desire and social norms, and the practices of literary production.

ENG-318   Prize Books3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course will examine British books in recent decades that have figured prominently in major literary competitions, exploring the role these awards play in shaping literary tastes and publishing trends. Readings will include a number of short-listed and prize-winning books, book reviews, and commentaries on these celebrated contests. Throughout the semester, we will consider the place these books may assume in future assessments and studies of the most influential and significant books of our era.

ENG-319   Nineteenth-century Literature of the British Isles3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This survey will concentrate primarily on fiction and poetry from the beginnings of Romanticism to fin de siècle decadence and naturalism. Attention will be given to literary texts’ power to reflect and shape British culture in the nineteenth century, a period which many observers, including the American Mark Twain, believed experienced more change than any previous century. We will also explore the impact shifting literary tastes and critical approaches have played in texts’ and authors’ reception and popularity.

ENG-320   Twentieth-century Literature of the British Isles3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

A survey of prominent texts of the twenty-first century. Authors studied may include Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Beckett, Heaney, Muriel Spark, Ian McEwan, and Ali Smith.

ENG-322   V. S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

An intensive study of the works of two major authors in postcolonial studies. Originally from the former British colonies and celebrated as Britain's finest contemporary authors, Naipaul and Rushdie are paradoxically housed and unhoused men. Speaking as decentered men, these authors explore and critique the legacies of colonialism and the birth pangs of postcolonial nationhood with force, humor, play, and melancholia, and along the way celebrate cultural confusion, fragmentation, hybridity, the cosmopolitan, and the reclaiming of self.

ENG-323   Postcolonial Studies3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

An intensive foundational study of colonial and postcolonial African, Arab, Persian, South Asian, and Caribbean literatures from 1800s to present, with focus on anti-colonial movements and the idealism of nationhood, euphoria of independence, and the chaotic reality of failed or emergent nation-states. Students will study the conflicted and contradictory roles played by the architects and visionaries of new postcolonial nations, the construction and deconstruction of the colonized man and of ethnic identities, and the repercussions of neocolonialism.

ENG-324   Narratives Against Oppression3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course focuses on the social justice and human rights activism aspect of postcolonial studies. Students will examine how authors from around the world use literature to comment upon, protest, or record various forms of oppression. Such literature is written in order to inspire people to see and know the world in which they live, and to that end, the course will include contemporary politics and world affairs. Topics may include the so-called War on Terror, civil rights movements, immigration rights, environmental activism, worker rights; globalization, and neoliberalism, and the fight against poverty.

ENG-325   Constructing World Literatures3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

A study of nonwestern authors from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as their works intersect, counter, or complement American and British academic and popular representations of non-White cultures and histories. Topics studied may include Arab and Persian literary genres, anti-colonial and anti-imperial movement, and American and British immigrant and transnational diasporic narratives.

ENG-329   Inventing America3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course explores the making of “America” (focusing primarily on the United States) through literature, from the age of discovery through the post-Revolutionary period. Our primary purpose is to explore the means by which settlement and national identity were invented through language. Our texts feature a range of “literature,” including transcribed Native American oral stories, colonial promotional tracts, sermons, speeches, captivity narratives, political pamphlets, personal letters, and slave narratives. The class will explore personal and cultural issues that concerned early Americans and discuss how texts both define and complicate some of the terms associated with the literature of this period, including “colonist,” “Puritan,” “Enlightenment,” “liberty,” and even “America” itself.

ENG-330   African American Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course is a survey of the periods and movements of African American literature. We study prose, poetry, and drama by various authors. Along the way, we seek to understand how African Americans have responded through literature to the oppressions of white America - slavery, segregation, violent and institutional racism - as well as how authors forge identity and create community through writing. We examine how these authors respond to their own literary tradition, how they shape form, style, and genre in response to their historical context, and how they use writing as resistance, subversion, self-realization and celebration.

ENG-331   Gardens of American Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

Vita Sackville-West once said, “The more one gardens, the more one learns.” If this is the case, then a number of American authors must have been very wise individuals, since they were avid gardeners. In this course, we will consider the relationship between gardening, expression, and American literature. We will read a range of texts, including herbaria, records of natural phenomena, and “traditional” literature such as poetry and prose. We will also read scholarship devoted to literature and gardening. Authors may include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Celia Thaxter, and Alice Walker.

ENG-332   Adrienne Rich3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

An intensive study of the works of one of the major American poets of the last half of the twentieth-century and the first part of the twenty-first. The course will chart the progression of Rich's poetry as well as examine some of her works of nonfiction and critical theory, interrogating along the way some of Rich's key conceptualizations of nation, power, and women's sexuality.

ENG-333   Hemingway and Faulkner3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course pairs two literary giants of early twentieth-century American modernism: Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. Although they lived in the same period and were both enormously influential for later writers in the US and beyond, Hemingway and Faulkner had strongly contrasting prose styles. Studying them together in this course allows readers to understand their common roots in the innovations of modernism and American culture as well as what made their respective innovations radically distinct.

ENG-334   Ecopoetics3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This seminar will ask students to consider poets’ experimentation with form in response to their understanding and experience of the natural world. How do poets express ecological ideas in poetry? Poets we consider may include Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Robinson Jeffers, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Wilbur, Sylvia Plath, Gary Snyder, Seamus Heaney, A.R. Ammons, and Mary Oliver.

ENG-335   The American Renaissance3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course explores the literary movement that scholars have designated as crucial to the development of a truly “American” literature, focusing roughly on the years 1836 to 1865. In addition to studying canonical authors, students will explore those writers who worked, in the words of one critic, “beneath” the American renaissance, focusing on issues of concern to women, Native Americans, and African Americans. Authors will include Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Whitman, and Lydia Maria Child.

ENG-338   Postmodern Literature3 credits

Prerequisites: 200-level Introduction to Literary Studies course (any version).

This course introduces students to major trends in postmodern fiction, including metafiction, deconstruction, carnival and play, pastiche and intertextuality, post-structuralism, fragmentation, and phenomenology, and uses postmodern philosophies to understand, among other topics, counter-cultural movements such as the cyber and the pop phenomena.

ENG-345   Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original poetry and to engage critically and thoughtfully with their own and other writers’ poems.

ENG-346   Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original literary fiction and to thoughtfully and critically engage with their own and other writers’ fiction.

ENG-347   Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original work and to thoughtfully and critically engage with their own and other writers’ work.

ENG-446   Linguistics for Language Teachers3 credits

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing.

A study of the central concepts of linguistic theory. Includes the theoretical areas of pragmatics, semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology; and the applied areas of language variation, first language acquisition, second language acquisition, and written language. Students will acquire the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as an essential tool for disciplined examination of linguistic phenomena. Issues of socio-linguistics will be addressed as students wrestle with the relationship between language, thought, and culture, and the nature of the cognitive and brain systems that relate to language learning, language teaching, and language use. (Cross-listed as MFL-446 and EDU-446)

ENG-490   Literary Research Practicum1 credit

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

This course offers serious students of literature the opportunity to gain hands-on experience performing literary research and working with archived materials. Students will be introduced to some of the principles of literary research and, under the guidance of the professor, conduct research using primary materials.

ENG-494   Independent Study1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

A sustained and self-directed study of a particular topic under the guidance of a professor in the department. Independent studies cannot substitute for specific course requirements for the major or minor. See independent study guidelines.

ENG-496   Creative Writing Capstone3 credits

Prerequisites: Senior standing and Instructor permission.

A cross-genre course for Creative Writing majors in which students will propose and work on independent projects. Creative writers will approach writing and their works as professionals--i.e., thinking long term beyond the classroom and considering marketing their work. In addition to writing intensively, students will help design the reading list, contextualize their work and writing styles within a literary tradition and genre, and create a community of writers.

ENG-497   Internship1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

Individually arranged internship designed to provide practical editorial and writing experience. An extended analysis of the experience is required and periodic reports may be assigned. See independent study guidelines. See internship guidelines.

ENG-498   Senior Thesis Capstone3 credits

Prerequisites: Senior standing and Instructor permission.

A capstone course for senior literature majors designed to help students move toward post-college study. Students will propose, research, write, and revise a senior thesis for formal presentation. In addition, students will research and compose an individualized reading list based on their interests and post-graduate plans. Lists may focus on American, British, or world literature, graduate record exam preparation, or literature ancillary to secondary education teaching.