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English

Current Courses

ENG 100 Introductory Topics in Literature

Content: Emphasis on a particular theme, genre, or movement in literature. Topic will be announced each time the course is offered. Recent topics have included literary representations of childhood, Gothic literature, experimental fiction, and films adapting fiction. May be taken twice for credit with change of topic.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 105 The Art of the Novel

Content: Major works in English, American, and European fiction, from the 17th century to the present. Goals include increasing awareness of the particular kinds of knowledge and perception that the novel makes available; considering the variety of ways in which novels braid moral and aesthetic concerns; understanding how novels respond both to everyday human experience and to previous literary history; and heightening appreciation for the range of pleasures that the novel can afford. Writers may include Cervantes, Sterne, Austen, Flaubert, Kafka, Woolf, Nabokov, Kundera, Pynchon.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Alternate Years.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 200 Fiction Writing 1

Content: The first in a sequence, this class studies the work of 25 contemporary fiction writers. These stories pair with weekly craft exercises, which consider story writing through the lens of scene structure, subtext in dialogue, and a variety of other viewpoints. By semester’s end, students write and revise a complete short story.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 201 Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Writing

Content: Elements of poetry such as imagery, rhythm, tone. Practice in the craft. Frequent references to earlier poets.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 204 Masterpieces of Ancient Literature

Content: Study of stories from antiquity that have influenced countless generations of artists and that continue to shape our culture. Along with introducing students to some of the greatest (and most alluded to) works ever written, this course also helps students investigate the origins of Western ethical systems, explore related constructions of selfhood and the cosmos, grapple with tales of gods and monsters, and better understand such foundational genres as epic, tragedy, and lyric. May include the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod, Homer, Sappho, the Book of Job, Genesis, Sophocles, Horace, Virgil, the Gospels, and Ovid.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 205 Major Periods and Issues in English Literature

Content: Introduction to ways of reading and writing about literature; historical development of English literature. Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 206 Major Periods and Issues in English Literature

Content: Introduction to ways of reading and writing about literature; historical development of literature in English. Romantic period to the present.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 208 Prose Writing: Creative Nonfiction

Content: Writing in the genre known variously as the personal essay or narrative, memoir, or autobiography. Introduction to traditional and contemporary voices in this genre. Daily writing and weekly reading of exemplars such as Seneca, Plutarch, Montaigne, Hazlitt, Woolf, Soyinka, Baldwin, Walker, Hampl, Dillard, Selzer, and Lopez.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 209 Introduction to American Literature

Content: Selective survey of American literature in English from the colonial period through the present. We will discuss the development of peculiarly American ideas, questions, genres, and styles, as well as the ways they have changed through time. We will also consider what it means to categorize literary works by nation in the first place; i.e., what is at stake in the concept of a national literary tradition.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 235 Topics in Literature

Content: Focused study of a particular theme, genre, or movement. Topic will be announced each time the course is offered. May be taken twice for credit with different content; registration for subsequent sections must be done via the registrar’s office.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Every third year, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 240 The Brontës: Legends and Legacies

Content: Exploration of the mythology that has attached itself to Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, including how they simultaneously contributed to and distanced themselves from mid-Victorian literary culture, as well as negotiated cultural expectations and anxieties about the growing feminization of the novel. Includes reading of their novels, letters, journal entries, poems, and juvenilia.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Every third year, fall semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 241 Text and Image

Content: How writers and artists have understood the relationship between words and images. Topics may include image texts (e.g., decorative alphabets, medieval devotional images, graphic novels); iconoclasm; literature in dialogue with the visual arts (e.g., ekphrasis, William Blake’s poetry); past theorizers about the nature of art and literature (e.g., Horace, Pope Gregory the Great, Giorgio Vasari); and modern critics (e.g., Ernst Gombrich, Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag).

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 243 Women Writers

Content: Varies according to instructor. May focus on the common themes and patterns of influence in British, American, or international literature by women, or on close scrutiny of two or more authors.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 244 Practicum

Content: Content: Literary Review (1 credit): Production of a first-rate literary review. In weekly workshops, students become familiar with all the processes involved (editorial, layout, printing, business, distribution) and develop advanced skills in at least one of these areas. May be taken four times for credit. Content: Peer Tutoring in Writing (2 credits): Designed for any student interested in learning theories and methods for teaching writing one-on-one; required of students interested in becoming tutors in the Writing Center. Content: Senior Poetry Broadsides (1 credit): A course of five evening sessions, resulting in a single-poem broadside written, designed, and printed by each student in the Advanced Poetry Workshop (ENG 401). The broadsides are featured at the Senior Poetry Reading at the end of the semester. Content: Watzek Archive (1-2 credits): Students engage in a variety of projects involving the Watzek Library Archives. A member of the Special Collections staff acts as supervisor. Interested students should contact Watzek Special Collections.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Sophomore standing and consent required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 1-2.

 

ENG 281 From Scroll to Codex: Working With Medieval Manuscripts

Content: History of the development of the book from scroll to printing press; paleography and editing; history of manuscript illumination in the West, of reading practices, and of how social developments changed the nature and uses of books. Students work with medieval manuscripts and early printed books.

Prerequisites: None.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 300 Fiction Writing 2

Content: The second in a sequence, this class shifts from the reading of contemporary fiction to the emulation of these models, and students’ creation of their own work. Some exercises and free-writes are assigned, but the bulk of the course is focused on generating short stories to be workshopped by the class. The readings focus on the process of writing itself and its psychology.

Prerequisites: ENG 200.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 301 Poetry Writing

Content: Discussion of student work with occasional reference to work by earlier poets. Students develop skills as writers and readers of poetry.

Prerequisites: ENG 201.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 310 Medieval Literature

Content: Study of the literature and culture of the European Middle Ages, with an emphasis on England. Topics vary, but may include romance and epic; travel, including for trade, pilgrimage, and crusade; saints, devotional life, and mysticism; Jewish/Christian/Muslim interactions; human/animal relations; chivalry and humanism; autobiography and the self; the political, social, and religious contexts that affected the emergence of English as a literary language. English readings may include “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Pearl,” William Langland’s “Piers Plowman,” Margery Kempe’s “Book,” Julian of Norwich’s “Revelations,” the “Cloud of Unknowing,” “St. Erkenwald,” “Sir Orfeo,” “Mandeville’s Travels,” the “Croxton Play of the Sacrament,” and the poetry of Robert Henryson, as well as poems and plays by anonymous writers in Old and Middle English. Readings will be in the original and translation.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 311 Literature of the English Renaissance

Content: Developments in poetry, fiction, and drama during the Elizabethan period and the 17th century. Genres such as the sonnet and sonnet sequences, the pastoral, heroic and Ovidian verse, satire; examples from non-Shakespearean dramatists, comedy, tragedy. May include Browne, Donne, Herbert, Jonson, Marlowe, Marvell, Milton, Raleigh, Sidney, Spenser, Surrey, Wyatt.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 312 The Early English Novel

Content: The process by which, over the course of the 18th century, the novel became Britain’s preeminent genre. Topics include the relation of novel to romance, debates over the morality of fiction, claims of novels not to be novels, women as readers and writers, and the period’s various subgenres (e.g., epistolary novel, gothic novel, sentimental novel). Possible authors include Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Charlotte Lennox, Laurence Sterne, Tobias Smollett, Horace Walpole, Frances Burney, Jane Austen.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 313 Satire and Sentiment, 1660-1780

Content: An introduction to British literature written in “the long 18th century.” Covers the full range of the period’s genres—plays, poems, essays, prose narratives—and includes many of the period’s major authors (George Etherege, John Bunyan, Aphra Behn, William Congreve, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, Anne Finch, Alexander Pope, Eliza Haywood, John Gay, Mary Wortley Montagu, Thomas Gray, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith). Particular attention paid to the relation between satiric and sentimental depictions of human existence.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 314 The Romantics

Content: British writers circa 1785 to 1834, an era of “imagination” and “feeling” as well as of revolution, war, and social change. Authors may include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, Keats, the Shelleys, Byron, Hemans.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 315 The Victorians: Heroes, Decadents, and Madwomen

Content: Study of the literature and culture of the Victorian period (1837-1901). Juxtaposes fictional and nonfictional depictions of urbanization and class conflict; considers how the information explosion, industrial revolution, and resulting commodity culture created new anxieties about the meaning of art; examines tensions between Darwinian scientific theory and religious faith; explores the gender politics of Victorian sensation fiction and children’s fiction; and investigates how imperial expansion informed the literature of the period. Authors may include Charles Dickens, the Brontës, Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Wilkie Collins, Matthew Arnold, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oscar Wilde.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 316 Modern British and Irish Literature

Content: A survey of literary works that reimagine and expand the scope of the novel and short story, beginning with and emphasizing early-20th-century experiments with form and ending with consideration of recent and emerging new voices. Responses to crises and aftermaths of two world wars, major cultural changes, and global geopolitical shifts, producing fiction that gives voice to transition, instability, and possibility. Radical innovations by modernist writers such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf; novels that pose challenging philosophical and social questions; writing that pushes boundaries, reinvents tradition, and envisions new horizons. While emphasis is on fiction, some poetry will be included as well. Authors may include Joyce, Woolf, E.M. Forster, Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 317 20th-Century British Literature, Post-World War II

Content: Survey of British fiction after World War II, covering such topics as fictional form (realism, fantasy, metafiction); class relations; national identity and multiculturalism; narratives of sexual identity; the politics of country/city representations; writers and social responsibility; youth, age, generations; subcultures; postwar British cinema. Authors include Graham Greene, Iris Murdoch, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.S. Byatt, Jeanette Winterson.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 318 Modern Poetry

Content: Significant modern British and American figures and more recent poets. May include Owen, Auden, Kavanagh, Williams, Stevens, Moore, Bishop, Roethke, Plath, Levertov.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 319 Postcolonial Literature: Anglophone Africa, India, Caribbean

Content: Literary works and essays exploring the literary and cultural issues that arise from the questioning and collapse of the colonial world order. Topics include decolonization and national allegories; authenticity and the invention of tradition; constructions of race; the role of women in empire and the nation; adolescence and the novel of education; Western travel and primitivism; violence and trauma. Authors include Chinua Achebe, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Aime Cesaire, J.M. Coetzee, Tsitsi Dangarembga, E.M. Forster, Una Marson, Arundhati Roy, Jean Rhys, Salman Rushdie, Edward Said.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 320 Inventing America: Literature of Colonialism and the Early Republic, 1540-1830

Content: This is a course built on questions: What is America—a land, a nation, a culture, an ideology? How did people imagine America and the American experience before the U.S. was founded, or in decades immediately following its constitution? Which of these early ideas has influenced the way we live and think today? What counts as “early American” literature—Native American tales as well as Puritan captivity narratives? How about the writings of Spanish conquistadors? What do our answers say about who Americans are, who they (we?) were, who we would like to be moving forward, who we would like to have been all along? Texts may also include autobiographies, sermons, essays, poems, and novels.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 321 National Sins, National Dreams: American Literature 1830-1865

Content: Literature from the tumultuous decades preceding the Civil War, when the nation was consumed with debates over slavery, religion, Indian removal, national expansion, national identity, and the rights of women and wage laborers. What is a person, and who will count as one? How do we constitute communities? What is our relationship to history and the future? How can we avoid living lives of quiet desperation? Texts include high art and popular fiction; slave narratives; adventure, romance, and protest fiction; lyric poetry; experimental nonfiction. Authors include Apess, Poe, Emerson, Fuller, Douglass, Hawthorne, Stowe, Melville, Thoreau, Jacobs, Davis, Dickinson, and Whitman.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 322 Getting Real: Post-Civil War American Literature

Content: Study of American literature from the 1870s through the early 20th century. Course will cover several overlapping, sometimes adversarial literary trends (realism, regionalism, naturalism), all of which are informed by animating tensions associated with slavery and its aftermath; urbanization, immigration, and displacement; the emergence of the New Woman; and the rise of social Darwinism. Recurring themes include realism and its relationship to romance; literary excursions into the “lower” regions (of class hierarchy, the physical body, the psyche); conflict between human subjects and the variant forces (biological, social, historical) that define them; and imaginative engagement with the pre-Civil War past, especially as it touches upon persisting fault lines of race, ethnicity, and gender. Readings may include works by Twain, Zitkala-Sa, Jewett, Chesnutt, Chopin, James, Dreiser, Norris, and Wharton.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 323 American Modernism

Content: Study of American literature between 1900 and World War II, especially the interwar years. Readings consist of short stories, novels, and poetry, supplemented by essays and manifestos. Broad topics include literary “modernism” (is it a historical period? an attitude? a style?); American modernism’s relationship to European modernism and 19th-century realism; “stay-at-home” modernism vs. “expat” modernism; and the place of African-American literature and the Harlem Renaissance within American modernism at large. Emphasis on formal experimentation as a response to global transformations (World War I, the first sexual revolution, technological advancement, innovations in the visual arts) and its expression of various feelings and attitudes inspired by the perceived complexity, multiplicity, and newness of the modern world. Readings may include longer works by Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, Faulkner, Hurston, and Wright. Poetry by Eliot, H.D., Mina Loy, Williams, Hughes, Toomer, Stevens, and Marianne Moore.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 324 Mirrors, Maps, Mazes: Post-WWII American Literature

Content: Study of American literature published between World War II and the early 21st century. Focus on fiction, especially the novel, in a wide range of genres (historical fiction, speculative fiction, metafiction). Topics include American literature’s engagement with contemporary issues related to global conflict (World War II, Cold War, Vietnam War); technological development (atom bomb, television, internet); social upheaval (the Civil Rights movement, the feminist movement); the rise of multiculturalism; modernism and/vs. postmodernism; spiritualism in the age of consumerism; writers of color in the post-World War II marketplace; and the dilemma of post-ness and literary exhaustion. Emphasis on how writers play with tone, form, and self-reflexive narrative techniques in order to explore the capacity and limitations of language to (re)construct tradition, memory, identity, and belief. Authors may include Salinger, O’Connor, Ellison, Baldwin, Barth, Kingston, DeLillo, Silko, McCarthy, Robinson, and Morrison.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 326 African American Literature

Content: In this class, we will study the African American literary tradition from slavery through the present. Topics will include the particularity and plurality of the African American experience; black authors’ participation in and departures from the broader tradition of American literature; and discussion of what it means to define oneself and one’s community, other people and their communities, or a literary tradition with reference to race. Authors may include Wheatley, Douglass, Jacobs, Sejour, Washington, Du Bois, Chesnutt, Hughes, Bennett, Toomer, Larsen, Ellison, Baldwin, Wright, Brooks, Giovanni, Baraka, Lorde, Morrison, Butler, Cole, Dove, Trethewey, Smith.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 330 Chaucer

Content: The poetry of Chaucer in its literary, historical, social, and religious contexts. Topics may include the relationship between the sacred and the profane, the representations of men and women in 14th-century English society, the rise of the vernacular in the later Middle Ages, medieval attitudes towards poetry and authorship, the influence of continental European literary forms on English traditions, manuscript culture and ways of reading and writing before the advent of printing, the characteristics of different medieval literary genres, and the critical reception of Chaucer. Readings, predominantly from The Canterbury Tales, are in Middle English.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 331 Shakespeare: Early Works

Content: Critical reading of plays representative of the development of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies. Usually covers six or seven plays and selected poetry, typically including The Merchant of Venice, All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 332 Shakespeare: Later Works

Content: Critical reading of plays representative of the development of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, romances. Usually covers six or seven plays and selected poetry from 1604 to 1611, typically including Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 333 Major Figures

Content: Detailed examination of writers introduced in other courses. Figures have included Austen, Blake, the Brontes, Ellison, Faulkner, Hemingway, Joyce, Woolf. May be repeated for credit with a change of topic; however, registration for subsequent sections must be done via the registrar’s office.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 334 Special Topics in Literature

Content: Intensive study of a particular theme, genre, or movement. Topic will be announced each time the course is offered. May be taken twice for credit with different content; however, registration for subsequent sections must be done via the registrar’s office.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Every third year, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 340 Topics in Literary Theory/Criticism

Content: Emphasis on a particular topic in literary theory and criticism, to be chosen by the professor. Topics may include theories of meaning, literature and ethics, feminist literary theory, and theories of value. May be taken twice for credit with change of topic.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 400 Fiction Writing 3

Content: Third in a series, this class is primarily a writing workshop. It emphasizes secondary readings that consider life as a writer after graduation, including the world of publishing, MFA programs, agents, and internships. Students complete a long project (a suite of short stories; a novella; and, potentially, the beginning of a novel). Small class size emphasizes individualized instruction.

Prerequisites: ENG 200 and 300.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 401 Advanced Poetry Writing

Content: An opportunity for experienced student writers to develop their skills as poets and to work on a sustained project. A workshop in which at least half of class time will be spent discussing student writing, with an emphasis on revision. Work will include the examination of literary models.

Prerequisites: ENG 301.

Restrictions: Senior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 444 Practicum

Content: Experience in editing, writing, and other aspects of publishing. Specifics vary depending on placement with a sponsoring publishing house, journal, or related enterprise. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 1-4.

 

ENG 450 Senior Seminar

Content: Varies in focus and content. Subjects addressed in,the context of current critical discourse. Students write a long research-based paper.

Prerequisites: ENG 205, ENG 206, and two 300-level literature courses.

Restrictions: Senior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 490 Honors Thesis

Content: Independent research project, based upon revision of senior seminar paper, suitable for granting departmental honors. Details determined by student in conference with supervising faculty members.

Prerequisites: ENG 450 and permission of department to pursue honors.

Restrictions: Senior standing required.

Usually offered: Annually, spring semester.

Semester credits: 4.

 

ENG 499 Independent Study

Content: Opportunities for well-prepared students to design and pursue an advanced, substantive course of independent learning. Details determined by the student and the supervising instructor.

Prerequisites: None.

Restrictions: Junior standing and consent required.

Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.

Semester credits: 1-4.