Explore Our Courses

Classes that will help you pave your way to success.

What do all those numbers mean?

100-level Courses
100-level courses serve as the basis for your journey towards the English Literature major. They will help you to develop a basic understanding of concepts that the major touches upon and to build skills that you will need throughout your journey and in the real world.
200-level Courses
200-level courses are a big leap from the basics; they will solidify your understanding of what you’ve already learned while simultaneously introducing new and more challenging concepts which will help you to easily navigate through college and find a job.
300/400-level Courses
300/400-level courses are the final step in the English Literature major. Theses courses, touching upon basic and advanced material, will provide you with the knowledge and experience needed to find work in the real world straight away. Students will have vast experience in writing critical essays, completing annotated bibliographies, and understanding and analyzing the work of authors in both classical and modern ages.

Foundation Courses

ENG 210 - Myth, Fantasy, and the Imagination

Students begin by identifying archetypes, including the heroic ideal, found in folk tales and fairy tales from around the world. Students investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns inform and are interpreted by the famous epic narratives the ancients called “Wisdom Literature;” the Iliad and the Odyssey; and classical mythology. The other readings may include Tolkien’s The Hobbit or portions of The Lord of the Rings, the ancient Mesopotamian The Epic of Gilgamesh, or Virgil’s Aeneid.

 

ENG 220 - Literary Analysis

“Literary competence” includes an understanding of the conventions that govern professional literary criticism, lifelong habits of analysis, judgment, and the development of critical acumen (i.e., an understanding of genre, an awareness of literary history as a context, an understanding of critical theory and the interpretation of literature in concept and in practice, and the development of advanced research skills). To develop these competencies, this course practices close reading across a range of critical theories, including Feminism, Deconstructionism, Post Colonialism, Marxism, Lesbian, Gay and Queer Theory, African American Criticism and Cultural Studies. Students will also discuss the impact of cultural diversity (e.g., race, class, and gender) on literary criticism while developing an understanding of the way that literary texts both reflect and project cultural ideologies. The final paper in this course will model the processes and standards used in Senior Thesis I & II.

 

American Literature Requirement

ENG 240 - Early American Literature: Pre Columbus Through the Civil War
This survey course begins with Native American literary expressions and concludes with the literature of the Civil War. The course covers exploration narratives of the 15th and 16th centuries, American colonial writing, the literature of the new American republic, and the literary efforts of the 19th century romantics. The course concludes with abolitionist writing and the literature of the Civil War. The reading list includes Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and What Whitman.
ENG 260 - American Realism, Naturalism, and Modernism
This survey course begins with the American realists and naturalists of the post-Civil War era and continues through 1950. The course includes writers of the Lost Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Literary Renaissance. Authors covered include: Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner.

British Literature Requirement

ENG 270 - British Literature I: From Beowulf to Gothic Literature
This course surveys British literature from Beowulf to the late 18th century. It provides a sense of literary history, as well as an understanding of socio-cultural ideologies (e.g., religion, gender, class, human relationships) and historical events that are both reflected and projected by texts read within canonical “periods” (e.g., the world of Old English, Restoration Drama, the Enlightenment, and the Gothic.) It covers a variety of genres, but (for obvious reasons) the focus is weighted toward poetry. This course requires a heavy reading load in both primary texts and cultural backgrounds. Authors will include the Beowulf poet, Chaucer, Sidney, Donne, Milton, Pope, Johnson, selected Romantic poets, and a Gothic novelist.
ENG 290 - British Literature II: From Romanticism to Modernism
This course surveys “British” literature from the late 18th century to WWII. It provides a sense of literary history, as well as an understanding of socio-cultural ideologies and historical events that these texts both reflect and project (e.g., an increasingly commercialized literary marketplace, urbanization, the competing ideologies of gender equality and separate spheres, Darwinian science, British imperialism, and the emergence of the post-colonial consciousness). Students gain an overview of the various canonical “periods” and movements that shape the study of British literature (e.g., the rise of the novel, Victorian, and Modern literature). This course carries a heavy reading load in both primary texts and cultural backgrounds. Authors include Goldsmith, Austen, Gaskell, both Eliots, Joyce, Woolf, and Wilde.
ENG 350 - Shakespeare
This course is not for passive readers. Shakespeare wrote for the stage, for live performance. Each week, while students concentrate on reading closely the playwright’s written word, they also transform their classroom into his stage, collectively bringing his words to life. But Shakespeare’s art, catholic in nature and scope, is also a historic reservoir, providing students a rich opportunity to explore the social, political, religious, scientific, and historical conditions that underpin his works. Students investigate Renaissance England’s daily life—from bearbaiting to feasting to sumptuary laws—and its political machinations and religious teachings–from rancorous kings and “tavern diplomacy” to man’s new relationship with God.

Global Literature Requirement

ASIA 100 - Foundations of Asian Studies
This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Attention to major historical developments over time, as well as to the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.

or…

ENG 320 - Studies in Global Literature
This course introduces students to a non-Anglophone literary tradition via texts in translation from one or more of the global literatures listed below. The course develops student awareness of the diversity as well as the commonality at the heart of all stories and peoples, expands an understanding of our place in the global community and literary tradition, and deepens appreciation for a text’s ability to both reflect and project culture. Possible topics include literatures of: Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, The Caribbean, Eastern and Western Europe, The South Pacific, Latin America. This is a variable topics course. The course, but not the topic, may be repeated for credit.

English Elective Requirement

ASIA 100: Foundations of Asian Studies
This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Attention to major historical developments over time, as well as to the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.
CW 210 - Form in Poetry
This foundation course is a critical study of the essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and how the forms relate to the contemporary voice through critical reading of established writers and appropriate texts. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and the history of form creates the basis for all poetry. Students will be exposed to essential works by writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams. Creative expectations are no more than three revised poems that fully reflect the focused study of the course.
CW 360 - Writers Reading Fiction Seminar
It is a tried and true maxim that the best way to learn to write is to read. In this course, students will learn to “read as writers.” Through studying writers that compose the contemporary canon, students will learn to read a work by its various technical craft elements. This class helps students bridge the critical analysis of the writing process with the development of their own writing skills. Students will be exposed to essential works of writers such as, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Chang-Rae Lee, and Sandra Cisneros.
THEAT 334 - Contemporary Drama
Concentrated study of major trends in the contemporary theatre. Each semester the class will focus on the work of one playwright or one aspect of the current theatre. Students are expected to do extensive research and analysis for seminar presentations.
WTING 301 - The Rhetoric of Narrative
This course explores storytelling as a rhetorical act that functions to persuade others, build knowledge, fashion identities, and create audiences. Students learn to use rhetorical concepts like ethos and identification to interpret a variety of narratives – such as fables, fairy tales, and parables; white papers, constitutions, and other claims to political autonomy; testimony taken from war crimes trials, tribunals, and truth commissions; literacy narratives; and their own family stories. Throughout this course of study, students have opportunities to critically reflect upon and write about narratives that have shaped their own identities and/or moved them to action.
WTING 302 - Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay
This course broadens students’ understanding of the essay as a genre, with emphasis on analyzing and writing the personal essay. Through a socio-cultural perspective, students investigate why the personal essay is persuasive discourse that parallels pathos in argument. Readings proceed from the historical to the contemporary in the arts and sciences.
WTING 303 - Environmental Rhetoric
This course will examine important writers and thinkers from Henry David Thoreau to William McKibben for ways in which arguments about human/nature relationships have evolved. The tensions in these relationships, this course argues, have forged environmentalism into a counter-hegemonic discourse that challenges fundamental assumptions about the centrality of man, the role and value of  “progress,” and the utility of nature.
WTING 305 - Writing the City
In this course, students analyze and write about the city – a complex, multilayered environment that includes densely textured landscapes, platforms for creativity and innovation, sites of systemic injustice and political struggle, as well as homes, haunts, houses of worship, etc. Built upon the metaphor of the city-as-text, the course prompts students to explore – physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and rhetorically – the discourse communities of the city; the situatedness of knowledge; concepts such as nostalgia and homesickness; the relationships between design, identity, and power; questions of displacement/dislocation, representation (e.g., map-making), tourism, and globalization; and the creation of publics and counter publics. Readings include sections such as Paula Mathieu’s Tactics of Hope, Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting,” and Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life; and students write reflective essays, local histories/ethnographies, and walking tours.
WTING 322 - Advancing Public Argument
Equality. Knowledge. Happiness. Freedom. The public sphere is where the meaning and implications of these words are constantly defined, contested and renegotiated. Beginning with readings that offer definitions of rhetoric role in the public sphere itself, students read a wide range of historical and contemporary public discourses that have sought to advance persuasive arguments to the American citizenry. By analyzing a variety of public genres (letters, photographs, speeches, film, statistics, art installations) with attention to the ways authors deploy the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos, students gain fluency as critically engaged citizens, able to participate in the reading, writing, and resisting of on-going public arguments. Writing projects privilege student interest but emphasize the development of visual, cultural, and quantitative rhetoric’s.

Capstone Sequence

ENG 480 - Senior Thesis I
Essentially a reading seminar, the first semester of the English majors’ capstone course sequence emphasizes applications of literary theory through intensive analysis of primary works, research into pertinent criticism, and the delivery of a substantial oral presentation. Students’ course work culminates in a formal thesis proposal with an extended bibliography.
ENG 481 - Senior Thesis II
In the second semester of the Senior Seminar, each student writes a substantial thesis of publishable quality based upon readings explored in ENG 480. Primarily a writing seminar, students meet individually with the professor each week to advance the draft through the writing process. Students present abstracts of their final papers at a public colloquium.

Secondary Education Requirement

EDU 412 - Capstone - Adolescent Multicultural Literature
This course is designed as the capstone experience for undergraduates enrolled in a secondary English Education program. The three main objectives for this course are: (1) to explore traditional, contemporary and multicultural fiction, non-fiction, and media appropriate for adolescents; (2) to explore classroom contexts for talking about books and media in the high school classroom; and (3) to explore components of a culturally responsive classroom community. Field experiences add to participants’ knowledge of creating a culturally responsive high school English classroom.

Elective Requirements

ASIA 100: Foundations of Asian Studies
This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Attention to major historical developments over time, as well as to the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.
CW 210 - Form in Poetry
This foundation course is a critical study of the essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and how the forms relate to the contemporary voice through critical reading of established writers and appropriate texts. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and the history of form creates the basis for all poetry. Students will be exposed to essential works by writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams. Creative expectations are no more than three revised poems that fully reflect the focused study of the course.
CW 360 - Writers Reading Fiction Seminar
It is a tried and true maxim that the best way to learn to write is to read. In this course, students will learn to “read as writers.” Through studying writers that compose the contemporary canon, students will learn to read a work by its various technical craft elements. This class helps students bridge the critical analysis of the writing process with the development of their own writing skills. Students will be exposed to essential works of writers such as, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Chang-Rae Lee, and Sandra Cisneros.
THEAT 334 - Contemporary Drama
Concentrated study of major trends in the contemporary theatre. Each semester the class will focus on the work of one playwright or one aspect of the current theatre. Students are expected to do extensive research and analysis for seminar presentations.
WTING 301 - The Rhetoric of Narrative
This course explores storytelling as a rhetorical act that functions to persuade others, build knowledge, fashion identities, and create audiences. Students learn to use rhetorical concepts like ethos and identification to interpret a variety of narratives – such as fables, fairy tales, and parables; white papers, constitutions, and other claims to political autonomy; testimony taken from war crimes trials, tribunals, and truth commissions; literacy narratives; and their own family stories. Throughout this course of study, students have opportunities to critically reflect upon and write about narratives that have shaped their own identities and/or moved them to action.
WTING 302 - Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay
This course broadens students’ understanding of the essay as a genre, with emphasis on analyzing and writing the personal essay. Through a socio-cultural perspective, students investigate why the personal essay is persuasive discourse that parallels pathos in argument. Readings proceed from the historical to the contemporary in the arts and sciences.
WTING 303 - Environmental Rhetoric
This course will examine important writers and thinkers from Henry David Thoreau to William McKibben for ways in which arguments about human/nature relationships have evolved. The tensions in these relationships, this course argues, have forged environmentalism into a counter-hegemonic discourse that challenges fundamental assumptions about the centrality of man, the role and value of  “progress,” and the utility of nature.
WTING 305 - Writing the City
In this course, students analyze and write about the city – a complex, multilayered environment that includes densely textured landscapes, platforms for creativity and innovation, sites of systemic injustice and political struggle, as well as homes, haunts, houses of worship, etc. Built upon the metaphor of the city-as-text, the course prompts students to explore – physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and rhetorically – the discourse communities of the city; the situatedness of knowledge; concepts such as nostalgia and homesickness; the relationships between design, identity, and power; questions of displacement/dislocation, representation (e.g., map-making), tourism, and globalization; and the creation of publics and counter publics. Readings include sections such as Paula Mathieu’s Tactics of Hope, Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting,” and Michel de Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life; and students write reflective essays, local histories/ethnographies, and walking tours.
WTING 322 - Advancing Public Argument
Equality. Knowledge. Happiness. Freedom. The public sphere is where the meaning and implications of these words are constantly defined, contested and renegotiated. Beginning with readings that offer definitions of rhetoric role in the public sphere itself, students read a wide range of historical and contemporary public discourses that have sought to advance persuasive arguments to the American citizenry. By analyzing a variety of public genres (letters, photographs, speeches, film, statistics, art installations) with attention to the ways authors deploy the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos, students gain fluency as critically engaged citizens, able to participate in the reading, writing, and resisting of on-going public arguments. Writing projects privilege student interest but emphasize the development of visual, cultural, and quantitative rhetoric’s.