English Course Descriptions

 

Literature

ENGL 109 Poetry through Performance (LIT)

An introduction to poetry that uses performance as a key method for engaging a range of poetic texts, from sonnets to slam poets. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 110 The Short Story (LIT)

Examines short stories from a variety of traditions and diverse points of view. Considers the conventional elements of fiction – plot, character, setting, point of view, thematic concerns – and examines how those elements can propose and/or subvert meaning. Considers, too, the limits of the short story: what it can and cannot accomplish. Offered annually.

ENGL 111 Latinx Fiction from 1980 - Present (LIT, U)

This course focuses on fiction by recent and contemporary Latinx writers in the United States. We will study styles and structures of literary texts and the ways in which they function in the service of narratives of American life, with diverse cultural elements that contribute to the experience of Latinidad. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 115 Science Fiction (LIT)

Science fiction represents that which does not (or does not yet) exist – and as such has suffered from the reputation of being escapist fare. In this course, we will consider how science fiction uses “that which does not exist” – imagined futures, alternate histories, alien cultures, and the like – to grapple with genuine historical, social, and philosophical concerns. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 120   Women in Literature (LIT)

This course examines select twentieth- and twenty-first century American and British women writers, with an emphasis on cultural diversity. We will read novels, autobiographies, graphic novels, plays, short stories, and poems, as well as view films. Among the questions we will ask are: What do we mean by women’s literature? How has it been influenced by changing societal norms? How might gender and feminist theories be used as categories of textual analysis? And how have women used different textual genres to express their subjectivity? Prerequisites: None. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 131   Literature and War (LIT)

This course explores significant developments in the war novel, as well as changing social attitudes and psychological responses to war. Students will read and view a variety of material, from flag-waving heroism to “M*A*S*H”–like attempts to survive. This course will also introduce students to basic literary criticism. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 132   The Healing Art: Illness Narratives in Film and Literature (LIT)

The Healing Art: Illness Narratives in Film and Literature (LIT) In this course, students consider the techniques that writers and filmmakers use to explore the complexities of illness. This course asks: how do writers use figurative language, shifts in perspective, and filmic techniques to negotiate questions about the body? Readings and viewing include contemporary poems, short stories, essays, and films. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 133   Crime and Punishment: Searching for Justice in Film and Literature (LIT) 

In this course, students consider texts in which characters commit violent crimes and victims seek justice, and sometimes revenge, for those crimes. Students consider the pervasiveness of the legal culture that literature both helps to constitute and critique. Readings include films, plays, poems, and short stories. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 139 Freaks! (LIT)

This course explores the representation of physical, psychological, and social abnormality in fiction and film. Course discussions and assignments focus on themes of belonging and alienation, the construction of race and gender, and cultural understandings of normalcy and deviance. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 170  Special Topics in Literature (LIT)

Critical reading and interpretation of literary texts. Encourages close reading as well as oral and written work in articulating understanding. May be repeated for credit if subject matter is not duplicated. Offered occasionally.

Foundation Courses for the English Major

ENGL 220 Literature and Its Signs (LIT)

Examines how issues of representation, genre, and historical context cooperate in a “reading” of British, American, or other English language texts. May be repeated for credit if the subject matter is not duplicated. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 222 Shakespeare's Shrews (LIT, W) 

This course examines how Shakespeare’s plays respond to his culture’s conversation and debate about women and their roles during the early modern period. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered alternate years.

ENGL 224 Shakespeare and Film (LIT, W)

In this course, we consider film as a medium that provides radical reimaginings of Shakespeare’s texts in the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries. Students examine the cultural context and meanings of these plays in the English Renaissance as well as their significance to the history of film. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered in alternate years

ENGL 232   British Drama 1950 - Present (LIT)

A study of important theatrical innovations and the staging of social and political issues in Great Britain from 1950 to the present. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 233  American Drama: 1940 – Present (LIT)

A study of American drama of the past sixty to seventy years, with special focus on theatrical innovation and the staging of social issues. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 234 Latinx Drama: 1965 - Present (LIT, U)

A study of plays in English by Latinx writers, beginning with the impact of El Teatro Campesino. The class will study the ways in which these authors stage cultural, socioeconomic, linguistic, and other concerns. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 243 What’s Love Got To Do With It?: English Poetry, 1500-1700 (LIT)

This course offers an introduction to early modern English poetry, including sonnet sequences, epics, and devotional lyrics. Close readings of poems will yield an understanding of the preoccupations of the period – including women’s chastity, homoerotic desire, scientific knowledge, and the nature of sin and despair. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 252 Slavery in US Literature and Film (LIT, U)

This course examines the representation of slavery in American literature and film from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries, illuminating the ways that this institution was and continues to be foundational to American experience and identity. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 254 Web of American Poetry (LIT, W)

This course traces several threads of ideas in American poetry from the Puritan era to the second half of the 20th century. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 255 Hip-Hop: A Literary Study (LIT, W, U)

This course examines hip-hop, a set of cultural practices that includes rap, dance, and graffiti art. Studying hip-hop as literature, students analyze the poetics of rap, consider the sociopolitical significance of rap’s racial and gendered performances, and explore the influence of hip-hop on contemporary literary fiction. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered alternate years.

ENGL 257 Promised Lands: A Cultural and Literary History of the Great Migration, 1917-1970 (CHC, U) (Cross-listed with AMST 257/HIST 257)

Between 1917 and 1970, more than six million African-Americans departed the rural U.S. South seeking asylum, economic opportunity, and equality in the urban North. This “Great Migration” as scholars call this collective movement, reconfigured the demographics, politics, and culture of both regions. This course will explore the Great Migration through two disciplinary lenses – cultural history and literature – in order to reimagine the twentieth-century United States from an African-American perspective that descenders and denaturalizes whiteness as an unspoken condition in this historical construction of American identity. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 272 Travel Course

Emphasis on texts in overseas or domestic contexts in which they were created or upon which they focus. All or most of May term will be spent offcampus. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not duplicated. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally in May Term.

ENGL 280 Understanding Literature (W)

Practice in interpretation of texts through discussion and written work; attention to strategies of writing about literature, to critical vocabulary, and to critical approaches in current use. Restricted to English majors and minors only. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered each semester.

ENGL 285x Introduction to Research in English (0 units – Credit/No Credit)

Design and completion of library or archive research project in language, literature, or culture under faculty tutelage. Research may serve as first step toward larger, independent research project, investigate an issue raised in student’s previous study, or complete a limited project using library or archive holdings or acquisitions. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and English department chair. Offered each semester and occasionally in May Term.

ENGL 374  Literary Editing and Publishing (LIT)

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of key issues in literary editing and publishing. Students will learn about editorial theory and practice, the history of small presses and literary magazines, and practical knowledge about the production of literary texts. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium, 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220-257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 385x Advanced Research in English (0 units – Credit/No Credit)

Design and completion of advanced-level library or archive research project in language, literature, or culture under faculty tutelage. Research can build on previous coursework or study in ENGL 285x. Ideally, this research serves as a foundation for a project in ENGL 485 or English research honors. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and English department chair and a GPA in the major of at least 3.25. May be repeated with prior approval of instructor and chair. Offered each semester and occasionally in May Term.

341-357 Historical Periods and Movements

ENGL 341 Medieval Literature (LIT)

Readings of English and Continental texts from the 9th15th century with selected readings in Middle English and in modern translation from Latin, Old French, Provencal, Welsh, and other traditions. May include Arthurian romance, the literature of courtly love, drama, lyric poetry, or writings of medieval mystics. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 342 Renaissance Literature (LIT)

Investigates issues of representation of gender and sexuality, representations of the court, the place of the stage, versions of early modern selfhood, and moral theory in the Renaissance period, 1520-1660. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220-257, plus 280. Offered as needed.

ENGL 343 Restoration and 18th Century (LIT)

Focus on British authors between 1660- 1789 who consider issues of aristocratic decadence, wit as a moral touchstone, emergence of the middle class, and gender through the use of satire, romance, the novel (epistolary, picaresque, comic), comedy of manners, sentimental and laughing comedy, neoclassical tragedy, and mock forms. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109- 170 or 220-257, plus 280. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 344 Romantic Literature (LIT)

Examines the great literature – much of it poetry – of the period 1789-1830. Addresses themes and issues characteristic of this time of unrest and redefinition. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220-257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 345 The Global Renaissance (LIT, G)

In this course, we will investigate how Renaissance literature helped to shape our twenty-first century ideas about race, ethnicity, colonization, and religious difference. Students will read a variety of plays, poems, and essays that foreground European encounters with the Mediterranean, the New World, Africa, and Asia in the period between 1400-1650. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium and one of the following: ENGL 280, HIST 121, HIST 123, HIST 224, or HIST 323. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 346 Victorian Literature (LIT)

Focus on British novelists, poets, playwrights, and essayists between 1830-1900 who are drawn to themes of the divided self, middle class decorum, the fight for women’s suffrage and education, organization of the working class, responses to poverty, expansion of the British empire, and religious conversion and doubt. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220-257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 351 Manifest Destinies: American Literature to 1865 (LIT, U)

Focus on aspect(s) of American literature up to the Civil War to form a coherent view of one part of the American experience. May examine poetry, drama, fiction, essays, journals, diaries, news articles, or collateral art like painting and music. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 352 American Literature after 1865 (LIT, U)

Focus on aspect(s) of American literature since the Civil War to form a coherent view of American experience. Draws upon several literary and non-literary genres. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 354 American Literature since 1945 (LIT, U)

Focus on literary, historical, and cultural contexts and movements through faculty selected topics, e.g., War and Literature, Black American Literature, The Modern Experiment and the Arts, or Postmodernism. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 355  Native American Literature (LIT, U)

Focus on the literature produced by Native American writers of the twentieth century. Students will explore selected theoretical essays, poetry, and prose in order to come to a greater understanding of the issues that concern Native American writers. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 356 Modernism (LIT)

Emphasis and scope varies on American, British, or world modernism. Topics may include development of modernism, modernist views of language and art, the social contexts of literary modernism, for example. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered occasionally.

358-360 World Literatures

ENGL 359 World Literature (LIT, G)

Focus on 1) Anglophone literature of Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean, or 2) national literature in translation, or 3) comparative treatments of issues, authors or literary genres. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170, 220-257, plus 280. Offered in occasionally.

Special Topics

Special Topics in Literature
Courses with related objectives but varying content. May treat a genre (fiction, poetry, drama) or broad theme with extensive rather than specialized focus. May be repeated if subject matter is not duplicated. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 109-170 or 220–259, plus 280. See current Program of Classes to determine if general education requirements are fulfilled. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 370 370 Special Topics in Literature

Courses with related objectives but varying content. May treat a genre (fiction, poetry, drama) or broad theme with extensive rather than specialized focus. May be repeated if subject matter is not duplicated. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220–257, plus 280. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 380 Literary Theories

Focus on modern theoretical approaches to literature. While materials and emphases may vary, the course addresses multiple perspectives, twentieth century criticism, and concepts over practical applications. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109–170 or 220–257, plus 280. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL  381  Thinking Queer/Reading Queer (LIT, U)

This course introduces students to queer theory, a critical framework used to analyze gender and sexuality, and it immerses students in the interpretation of literature by gay, lesbian, queer, and trans-identified individuals as well as literature and films that take as their subject queer genders and sexualities. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium and one of the following: ENGL 280, HLTH 330, PHIL 230, SOC 222, SOC 311, or WGS 101. Offered in alternate years.

391-398 Author Studies

ENGL 393 Love, Marriage, Sex, Power: Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories (LIT)

This course investigates the ways Shakespeare’s comedies and histories engage the themes of the course title. These themes emerge from the political and domestic norms of the early modern world, norms that the plays may question, subvert, or reinforce. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium and one of the following: ENGL 280, THEA 241, HIST 290, 321, or 323. Offered annually.

ENGL 394 Death, Gender, Power: Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Romances (LIT)

This course investigates how Shakespeare’s tragedies and romances attempt to respond to the ideologies of power in the early modern period. It also considers the plays’ relevance for a contemporary audience. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium and one of the following: ENGL 280, THEA 241, HIST 290, 321, or 323. Each course offered annually.

Courses for Seniors

ENGL 480 Senior Seminar

Intensive study of a particular topic, author, or genre. Enrollment limited. Prerequisites: Majors and minors with junior or senior standing and prior completion of at least two ENGL 300- or 400-level courses in literature. Offered annually.

ENGL 485 Directed Study in English

Independent study in English. May not duplicate the content of regularly offered courses. Enrollment limited to English majors. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and the chair of the department. Student must submit a plan of study prior to enrollment. Offered each semester and occasionally in May Term.

Creative Writing

ENGL 101 Introduction to Creative Writing (AR)

Examines theory and practice of writing creatively. Reading combined with practice in the basic processes of and strategies for writing fiction, poetry, or drama. Offered annually.

ENGL 201 Writing Fiction

Workshop in reading and writing fiction while focusing on principles and techniques used by writers and on key elements of the story form. Students will complete stories and develop a portfolio. Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium. Offered annually.

ENGL 202 Writing Poetry

Workshop in reading and writing fiction while focusing on principles and techniques used by writers and on key elements of the story form. Students will complete stories and develop a portfolio. Offered annually.

ENGL 206 Creative Nonfiction (W)

Workshop in reading and writing creative nonfiction while focusing on fundamentals, including situating experience, finding the right form, and developing a personal voice. Students will complete essays and develop a portfolio. Offered in alternate years.

ENGL 301 Special Topics in Creative Writing (AR)

Workshop in a single genre or topic focusing on specific issues related to specific schools, styles or subjects in writing. May be repeated for credit if subject matter not duplicated. Prerequisite: ENGL 201 (if fiction), ENGL 202 (if poetry), ENGL 206 (if nonfiction), or consent of instructor. These prerequisites may be waived by the instructor based on evaluation of student’s portfolio. Priority enrollment given to writing concentration majors when necessary. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 302 Fiction and Field Study (AR)

In this course, students will consider the environmental underpinnings of fiction, exploring the way place works in concert with character and action to create evocative fiction. Students will engage in experiential learning to cultivate their observation skills, understand dimension of place, and translate their observations into well-crafted fiction that has urgency. Prerequisite: ENGL 201. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 303 Flash Nonfiction (AR)

In this course, students will examine and write concise literary essays, from the micromemoir to the brief personal essay. Writing with brevity, students will experiment with structure, concise imagery, and compressed language. While the form is short, it is not slight. As author Judith Kitchen writes, “the effect is a little sting.” Prerequisite: ENGL 201 or ENGL 206. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 304 Novel Writing (AR)

While exploring techniques in narrative structure, character development, plotting, scenic construction, dialogue, description, and narrative voice, students will be encouraged to create a full-length novel. Previous classes focused on the mystery or literary novel, but topics may vary. Prerequisite: ENGL 201. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 305 Interrelated Short Stories (AR)

In this course, we will examine story sequences and novels-in-stories-structures that use carefully connected short stories to create compelling narrative progression. Students will engage in a sustained, on-line role play exercise, and use that experience to collaboratively create a collection of very short stories, which will become our text to better understand the dynamic nature of interrelation. Students will then plan, draft and revise their own collection of interrelated stories. Prerequisite: ENGL 201. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 306 Writer as Explorer (AR)

Following an intense personal preoccupation is often the engine of a fiction. In this class, students will discuss the nature of these preoccupations and how they interact with the creative and writing processes. Students will generate a significant amount of new material and consider its effectiveness in discussion and revision. Prerequisite: ENGL 201. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 310  Forms of Poetry (AR)

Even before they had paper and pen, ancient poets were drawn to formal structures, and contemporary poets continue to write formal verse. In this workshop, students write poems in a variety of forms and more experimental modes, including the blues poem, the sonnet, the ghazal, the sestina, the villanelle, erasure poetry, and Oulipians constraints. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 311 Poetics of Engagement (AR)

In this course, students will read and write poems that engage with the world-politically, historically, and personally. We will ask: what makes a poem feel consequential? What are the ethical risks that poets must take in order to respond to the world? By the end of the semester, students will have written and revised a series of poems that feel urgent and essential. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 312 Ekphrastic Poetry (AR)

Ekphrastic poetry employs the visual arts as its subject matter and/ or inspiration. In this class, we will use the visual arts to make vital, new discoveries in the verbal art of poetry. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 313 Stand-Up Poetry (AR)

This course will introduce students to the art and practice of stand-up poetry, poetry that is humorous, performable, and clear, and that contains flights of fancy, emerges from a strong individual voice, and packs emotional punch. We will learn comedic techniques, and apply them to writing bold, new, risky, and rambunctious poems. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 314 Ideas of Poetry/Poetry of Ideas (AR)

Poet William Blake writes “I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man’s.” This course explores how systems – processes, projects, theoretical frameworks – assist the production of poetry, inspiring and informing it. By semester’s end, each participant devises a poetic system and crafts a collection of related poems. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 401 Senior Writing Project (W)

Capstone experience for English-Writing majors requires thoughtful study of portfolio work and completion of an extensive, ambitious individual project that is both a logical extension of the student’s work and a new challenge. The course will be multi-genre, with an emphasis on feedback and support. Prerequisites: At least one ENGL 300-level writing course and senior standing, or permission of instructor. Offered annually.

Journalism

JOUR 211 Newswriting and Reporting (W)

Fundamentals of newswriting, with emphasis on style and structure; methods of news reporting. Offered annually.

JOUR 212 Editorial Writing and Reviewing (W)

Background, theory, and practice in editorial writing, as well as the composition of book, theater, and film reviews. Prerequisite: ENGL 211 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.

JOUR 213  New Media

Americans are becoming increasingly dependent upon social media for their news. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of social/new media for journalists, including (but not limited to) research techniques, professional responsibilities, best practices, and storytelling across multiple platforms. Offered in alternate years.

JOUR 315 Seminar in Public Relations

An advanced journalism course that introduces students to sound practices in public relations, with an experiential learning component that requires students to work with a local non-profit business or organization to conceive, propose, and implement a public relations project from start to finish. Prerequisite: one 200-level Writing Intensive course or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.

JOUR 325 Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting  (W)

Feature writing and investigative reporting for print journalism. Field trip(s) and real-world assignments, with an emphasis on publication. Prerequisite: ENGL 211 or 212 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years. 

Internships

ENGL 335 Internship in Professional Writing

Offered in cooperation with an off-campus firm, business, institution, agency, department, station, etc. Attention is given to the student’s special interests. Consent of instructor and the off-campus supervisor is required. Enrollment limited to English majors. Only one internship may be counted toward the major. Offered each semester and May Term.

JOUR 397 Internship in Editing & Publishing    

This internship provides students with an opportunity to gain work experience in positions that emphasize editing, design, marketing, and other aspects of publishing and public relations. Consent of instructor and the off-campus supervisor is required. Offered each semester.