Courses

<< back

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.