» Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.
Fall 2018 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Spring 2018 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Fall 2017 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Spring 2017 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Fall 2016 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Spring 2016 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Fall 2015 Course Descriptions (PDF)
Details regarding the distribution of courses for each of the five concentrations above are available on the department Web site and the department Major Fact Sheets.
1100 Composition and Rhetoric 3 credits
Introduction to academic argument and the thesis/claim/evidence form of essay writing, including thesis development, writing process and revision, analytical and research methods.
1200H Freshman Honors Seminar 3 credits
Introduction to academic argument and the thesis/claim/evidence form of essay writing, including thesis development, writing process and revision, analytical and research methods. This course is open only to Distinguished Scholars, who substitute it for Composition and Rhetoric. Three hours of lecture plus conferences.
1300 Advanced Exposition 3 credits
Course will build on the basic principles and practices of the academic essay presented in Composition and Rhetoric by introducing students to the variety of forms of academic argument, analysis and exposition. This course is a prerequisite for ENGL 4000.
1400 Technical Writing and Editing 3 credits
This course focuses on how to write and edit different types of technical documents for clarity, consistency, cohesiveness, and correctness.
1500 Media Studies 3 credits
This course defines “media” broadly as including oral, print, photographic, broadcast, cinematic, and digital cultural forms and practices. The course looks at the nature of communication, the transformation from consumers into producers, the functions of media, and the institutions that help define media’s place in society.
1501 News Writing and Reporting 3 credits
Fundamentals of journalism, featuring news writing skills and reporting techniques
1502 Feature Writing 3 credits
Focuses on the skills and techniques to write articles or stories for newspapers, magazines or news websites.
1503 Columns and Editorials 3 credits
Advanced writing seminar. Focuses on the skills and techniques of writing unsigned editorials and signed columns for newspapers, magazines, and Web-based publications.
1520 Broadcast Journalism 3 credits
Focuses on the skills and techniques to report, produce, and deliver news for radio and/or TV and/or other broadcast media.
1530 New Media: News Reporting 3 credits
Introduction to nontraditional careers in new media with emphasis on developing the skills needed for Internet and television news story development. Students learn how to develop stories from research to writing and how to develop a Web site.
1550 Introduction to Mass Communications 3 credits
Historical development of various media and the impact of mass communications on society; legal and ethical issues involving the media; survey of print and electronic media in regard to style and technique; contemporary trends in the mass media.
1560 The Professional Critic: Reviewing 3 credits
Writing reviews of films, plays, restaurants, etc., for the broadcast and print media
1570 Publishing: Book Editing 3 credits
A practical approach to the editor’s role in the publishing process. Students gain experience in evaluating and editing manuscripts.
1600 Advertising Copywriting 3 credits
Writing copy for various kinds of promotional materials.
1610 Advanced Advertising Copywriting 3 credits
Advanced work in writing copy, leading to a Portfolio.
1650 Public Relations 3 credits
Fundamentals and techniques of public relations in both business and nonprofit organizations; practical project evaluation and experience.
1651 Developing Effective Messages 3 credits
Advanced course in forms of publicity writing and oral presentation. Emphasis on effective messages.
1720-28 Topics in Media Studies 3 credits
1790-98 Internships 1–3 credits depending on hours devoted
Apprenticeships in media and communications, under supervision, in recognized professional offices: graphic arts; editing; audiovisual media technology; photography; public relations; advertising; newspapers; magazines; radio programming and continuity; network and cable television; book publishing. May not replace a course. 100 hours per credit up to three credits. See Chair for details.
1800 Introduction to Creative Writing 3 credits
A creative writing course that introduces students to multiple genres. Presupposes no prior experience with college-level creative writing. Students are encouraged to take this course prior to other creative writing classes, and they are required to take it before taking an advanced creative writing class. Open to all, though individual professors may alter the class and its requirements for students in the creative writing concentration.
1801 Writing Fiction 3 credits
A creative writing course introducing students to the writing of fiction. Students read examples from short stories and novels, learn about the elements of plot, character development and setting, and write and revise their own stories. Set up as a writing workshop, the course enables students to regularly share their work with their teacher and their peers.
1802 Writing Creative Nonfiction 3 credits
A creative writing course introducing students to the writing of creative nonfiction. Students read examples of the essay from a range of time periods and write and revise their own. Set up as a writing workshop, the course enables students to regularly share their work with their teacher and their peers.
1803 Writing Children’s Literature 3 credits
A creative writing course that introduces students to the writing of children’s and young adult literature. Students read examples from short stories and novels, learn about the elements of plot, character development, setting and audience, and write and revise their own stories. Set up as a writing workshop, the course enables students to regularly share their work with teacher and peers.
1804 Writing Poetry 3 credits
Introduction to poetry writing, workshop critique and revision.
1805 Reading and Writing Poetry 3 credits
Through discussion, written analysis and creative writing exercises, this course explores poetry from various perspectives, stressing elements such as imagery, metaphor, voice, and musicality, including both traditional and modern approaches to poetic form.
1811 Writing for Television 3 credits
Students will learn about the craft of television writing through analysis of existing shows and by writing an episode. Discussion and critique workshop.
1812 Screenwriting 3 credits
The course teaches the process of learning to apply one’s vision to a cinematic medium within a specific story genre. Topics: dramatic subject matter; developing the scene; plot construction; creating and developing characters; dialogue; writing subtext and subplots; how to market and sell a script.
1815 Writing Women’s Lives 3 credits
A seminar in memoir writing, developing narrative techniques that convey how the self is reinvented and refined through experience. Topics include the self and its roots, the self and community, growth, and coming of age.
1920 Topics in Creative Writing 3 credits
Topics vary. May be repeated for credit.
1930 Advanced Creative Writing Tutorial 1-3 credits
Weekly one-to-one meetings for advanced creative writing students with demonstrated ability to work on writing independently. Reading and writing assignments designed around student interests. Genres vary.
1932 One Week Creative Writing Seminar 1 credits
A week long creative-writing seminar with a visiting professor. Genres vary. May be repeated for credit.
2000 Gateway to Reading 3 credits
Who decides what texts mean? Are some interpretations better than others? Does the author’s intention matter? How does language work? In this foundational course, we will study texts of the cultures around us, as well as literature. Required for the English Major and Minor.
2001 Culture and Power: From Classical Troy to the Renaissance 3 credits
Follows the theme of the ‘transfer of learning,’ and hence, of power from classical Greece and Rome to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Authors may include Virgil, Chrétien de Troyes, Dante, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Ariosto—all available in translation.
2003 Survey of British Literature I 3 credits
History of British literature and culture focusing on major works from the earliest literature through Donne.
2004 Survey of British Literature II 3 credits
History of British literature and culture focusing on major works from Milton through 1870.
2005 Survey of British Literature III 3 credits
History of British literature and culture from 1879 to the present.
2006 Survey of American Literature I 3 credits
Development of American literature through 1870.
2007 Survey of American Literature II 3 credits
Development of American literature, 1870 to the present.
2008 Masterpieces of Western Literature (formerly called Masterpieces of World Literature I) 3 credits
Survey of literary, historical, and philosophical imagination with emphasis on Greek and Roman literature.
2009 From Tradition to Modernity: How the West Became Secular (formerly called Masterpieces of World Literature II) 3 credits
A survey studying how the four pillars of the truth—Revelations, Scripture, Tradition, and Authority—were replaced by Experimentation, Quantification, Individualism, and Egalitarianism.
2060 Women in Medieval Literature 3 credits
Explores the depiction of women in poetry and prose written by men and women from the 12th through the 15th centuries. Particularly considers literary debates about women’s natures, as well as individual examples of saintly and sinful women.
2200 The Enlightenment 3 credits
Intensive study of the application of the recently introduced scientific method (i.e. empiricism and experimentation instead of revelation, scripture, tradition, and authority) to all non-scientific disciplines. Selections from such notables as Locke, Swift, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Gibbon, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Rousseau.
2249 Public Discourse in Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century British Prose 3 credits
Examines the rise of the reading public and of public discourse about particular topics in relation to print journalism, periodicals, and other forms of prose.
2255 The Romantic Vision 3 credits
An examination of characteristic, influential, and significant works by British authors including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Keats, and at least one representative novelist. Focuses on the Romantic period, but includes context of earlier or later literature.
2510 American Literature and Culture 3 credits
This course asks you to think about literary texts as engaging with their culture. Drawing upon both literary texts and other kinds of cultural documents (for example: film, photographs, newspapers), you will look at American literature in a cultural context and explore the way literary texts and “nonliterary” texts can speak to one another. The topic will change depending on the instructor.
2520 Literature and Culture of the Roaring Twenties (then and now) 3 credits
A detailed examination of the cultural history of American in the 1920s. Explores concepts such as the “Jazz Age,” “The Lost Generation,” and the idea of modernity in relation to a variety of media, including film, novels, poetry, history, and music.
2580 American Jewish Literature 3 credits
Literature by Jewish writers in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present. Focuses on how these authors describe immigration and Americanization, explore the conflicts between tradition and modernity, portray the Jewish family, deal with the legacy of the Holocaust, conceive of Jewish self-identity, and negotiate Jewish stereotypes. Authors include Abraham Cahan, Anzia Yezierska, Henry Roth, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Tillie Olsen, Grace Paley, Woody Allen, and Wendy Wasserstein
2590 African American Literature 3 credits
The course offers an overview of literature written by African Americans from the mid-19th century to the present. Readings include works of autobiography, fiction, poetry, and non-fiction by: Harriet Jacobs, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Martin Luther King Jr, Rita Dove, and Toni Morrison.
2600-2602 Topics in Historical Approaches to Literature 3 credits
May be repeated since the subject matter varies from term to term.
2642 Narrative Poetry: Life, Death, and other Stories 3 credits
Introduces fundamentals of narrative and poetic analysis through three units: poems that use narrative to explore the tension between life and art; Holocaust and “confessional” poems that represent traumatic suffering; and narrative poems examining the myth and reality of America.
2653 Romantic and Victorian Poetry 3 credits
The course addresses the formal innovations of Romantic and Victorian poetry in Nineteenth-Century England and pays special attention to the construction of the Lyric “I”.
2654 Victorian Literature and Culture 3 credits
Poets, essayists, and novelists of the 1830-1880’s in relation to the social and intellectual milieu, including Dickens, Eliot, Browning, Tennyson, Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelites, and less well-known writers.
2670 Introduction to Drama 3 credits
This course will introduce students to basic elements of dramatic form such as plot, character, dialogue, and thought, and to various aspects of theatrical performance. Students will read examples of different types of plays from several time periods and countries.
2679 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Drama 3 credits
An introduction to various modes of drama popular from the Restoration through the late eighteenth century.
2750 The Graphic Novel 3 credits
Explores the graphic novel through a variety of genres, such as memoir, history, adventure etc.
2700 Introduction to Film 3 credits
Studies how meaning is produced in cinema and teaches how to analyze a diverse range of filmmaking practices. Covers key concepts and theories of cinema as an aesthetic medium and as a social practice.
2740 Classic Modern Novels 3 credits
Intensive study of five landmark novels, some in translation, by authors who have explored new territory in modern fiction.
2770 Introduction to the Essay 3 credits
This course treats a range of essay forms and considers some of the standard rhetorical devices used in writing nonfiction: persuasion, comparison and narration. We begin by reading classic essays by Montaigne, Daniel Defoe, and Samuel Johnson and end with a selection of literary non-fiction works by writers like Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Tom Wolfe and John McPhee. In the course, you will be expected to write several short imitation essays in the style of an author we read. Your final project will be to craft, in several drafts, a long essay of your own.
2779 Fact and Fiction: American Literary Nonfiction 3 credits
The development since World War II of alternative forms of journalism in America literary nonfiction, new journalism, personal journalism, the nonfiction novel. Considers why some journalists in the 20th century intentionally have departed from standard practices valued by mainstream journalists, forgoing the objective stance to include their own involvement in the story. Connection between form and subject matter and what makes a piece of journalism. Authors include Capote, Agee, Hersey, McCarthy, Mitchell and Ross as well as more contemporary writers.
2791 Children’s Literature and Literary Children 3 credits
A study of children's literature focusing on fantasies for children ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter; the second half of the course explores adult novels about children ranging from Dickens to contemporary writers.
2792 Comedy and Satire 3 credits
Theories of and studies in comedy and satire, from their classical roots through the present. Authors covered may range from Aristophanes to Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert.
2793 Fiction and Film: A Translation 3 credits
Translating the language of literature into the language of film. A study of 19th and 20th ¬century literature in a contemporary visual context. Writers may include Austen, Dickens, Hardy, James, Wharton, and Forster.
2795 Magic Realism and Literature of the Uncanny 3 credits
Intensive study of five landmark novels, some in translation, by authors including Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and others. Focuses on work that explores new territory in modern fiction incorporating elements of fantasy, magic, and the surreal.
2800 Literature and Culture of the City 3 credits
Instructors may focus on how writers have responded to intensifying urbanization in the United States, largely since the end of the 19th century, and the role of literature in defining a distinctly “urban“ culture or on how a particular city has been represented in literature or culture over time. Usually the focus will be on one city. Counts toward the minor in American studies.
2820 Literature and the Environment 3 credits
Introduces central literary environmental texts and debates within the field of eco-criticism. Examines how the environment, be it natural or humanly constructed, informs our language and literature, and how literature can influence attitudes towards nature and its preservation (and/or conservation.)
2841 Arthurian Legends 3 credits
Examines the myth of King Arthur from its origin in the Middle Ages to its later retellings in Victorian and modern literature as well as in contemporary film. Studies the changing representation of Arthurian characters, and the way this legend has been used to discuss chivalry, patriotism, romantic love, and social ideals.
2850 Literary London 3 credits
Focuses on the interrelationship between the city of London and English literary life between 1600 and 1900. Asks how the city is represented by texts; considers how they, in turn, were shaped by the environment in which they originally were produced and/or published; evaluates modern representations of centuries-old work; and examines some of the theoretical contexts and debates that have been used to interpret the literature of London and of urban life more generally.
2852 Eighteenth Century British Poetry 3 credits
Considers the wide variety of poetry written during the period; special attention is paid to debates among writers waged in verse.
2880 Parents and Children 3 credits
The portrayal in literature of the splendors and miseries of having children; of generational conflict; of people’s changing attitudes, first as young children, then as parents of children and as middle-aged children of aging parents.
2900 Women, Culture, and Society in the Modern World 3 credits
An interdisciplinary course examining the changing historical, cultural, and literary concepts of “women,” focusing on England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. Utilizes a topical approach to explore women’s lives through important literary sources, historical documents, and scholarly materials. May be used to fulfill requirements for minor in Women’s Studies.
2901 Introduction to Women’s Studies: Theory and Practice 3 credits
This course introduces some of the issues and debates that characterize “Women’s Studies.” Women’s Studies itself is an academic discipline that grew out of the 20th century women’s movement. It draws on many different disciplines in the humanities and the sciences in its efforts to describe and understand women’s lives. (May be taught by faculty in other departments; required for the minor in Women’s Studies).
2902 Women and Literature 3 credits
Writings by and about women from 1800 to the present; novels, stories, poems, and nonfictional prose discussing changing attitudes toward women’s roles in education, marriage, society, etc. May be offered in various forms: eg. American Women Writers; British Women Writers. May include works by Jane Austen, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, and contemporary writers.
2903 Women Poets and Their Tradition 3 credits
May be offered in various forms: eg. American Women Poets; British Women Poets; Multicultural Women Poets, etc. The nature and development of British and American women poets. The specific tradition of women’s poetry is addressed. Major works from the Renaissance through the 20th century.
2910 Women and Education in Britain, 1750-1920 3 credits
A look at the issues of women and education in 18th- and 19th-century Britain. Focuses on the interrelationship between debates about women’s nature and roles and fictional representation of women’s education (in all its guises).
2920-25 Topics in Literature: Introductory Level 3 credits
May be repeated since subject matter varies from term to term.
2926 Myth and Folklore 3 credits
An introduction to Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian mythologies and their function in works of literature ranging from Homer to Tolkien; the course includes a study of the classic fairy tales and their folkloric elements.
2936 Monstrous Imaginations: Ghosts, Witches, Werewolves, Oh My! 3 credits
A study of literary representations of the monstrous "other" in its various guises across a range of texts, periods, and genres. May combine psychoanalytic and sociological approaches to the "monster" with literary analysis. Readings may begin with classical and medieval monster stories (in translation) and end with contemporary stories such as Rowling's Harry Potter or Meyer's Twilight series.
2960 Representations of the Holocaust 3 credits
Studies twentieth and twenty-first century shapings of the meanings of the Shoah through specific disciplines, discourses, institutions and media which may include: history, literature, memoir, film, museums, monuments.
3050 Chaucer 3 credits
Major works, with emphasis on The Canterbury Tales.
3101 Shakespeare: Histories and Comedies 3 credits
Consideration of the plays in the contexts of Renaissance and modern theatrical and dramatic conventions.
3102 Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romances 3 credits
Consideration of the plays in the contexts of Renaissance and modern theatrical and dramatic conventions.
3110 Renaissance Drama by Authors other than Shakespeare 3 credits
Consideration of the plays in the contexts of Renaissance and modern theatrical and dramatic conventions. Examination of writers such as Marlowe, Beaumont and Fletcher, Jonson.
3149 Elizabethan and Jacobean Poetry and Prose 3 credits
Examination of the work of writers such as More, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Donne in their historical and cultural milieu.
3150 Milton and 17th century Literature 3 credits
Studies in the metaphysical lyric, the biblical epic, the neoclassical satire, the essay. Selections from Donne, Milton, Dryden, Bacon, and others.
3200 Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century 3 credits
Poets, essayists, playwrights and novelists from 1660 to 1800 such as Dryden, Pope, Behn, Haywood, Swift, Johnson, Cowper, Fielding, Richardson, Sheridan, and Burney.
3210 The Rise of the Novel and the Representation of the Self 3 credits
Asks how the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English novel contributed to the creation of the modern character (i.e. the modern "self") by representing the subjectivity of their protagonists. Considers contemporary theories of human nature and identity and current theories about the development and structure of the novel form.
3211 The Courtship Novel in England 3 credits
Examines the emergence of the courtship novel as a literary genre in light of cultural perceptions about courtship, marriage, and the family in England between 1660 and 1860.
3351 Modernism 3 credits
Modernist texts in English focusing on fiction and poetry from 1900-1930. An introduction to the intellectual and technologi¬cal backgrounds of modernism and their relationship to modernist themes in the visual arts. Writers may include Conrad, Stein, Joyce, Lawrence, Pound, Eliot, Yeats, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hurston.
3353 The idea of Authorship in American Literature 3 credits
Investigates the idea of authorship at the end of the 18th century and start of the 19th century in America. Emphasis on writing and reading as distinctive practices.
3600 Brave New World: Global Literature in English 3 credits
Contemporary writers whose linguistic and cultural roots are in West and South Africa, India, and the Caribbean. May include J. M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul, Arundhati Roy, and Louise Erdrich.
3601 Continental Fiction 3 credits
Major novels and novellas from the 17th through the 20th centuries by writers in France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and Italy. Authors include Voltaire, Goethe, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Mann.
3660 Modern Poetry 3 credits
Roots of such modern masters as Eliot, Pound, Frost, and Yeats, to poetry of the 21st century.
3669 The Art of Drama 3 credits
Theatrical conventions and techniques to clarify how dramatists convey meaning and hold an audience; intensive examination of selected American, English, and Continental plays.
3670 Modern Drama from Ibsen to the Present 3 credits
European, British, and American dramatists such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Pirandello, O’Neill, Beckett, and Ionesco.
Selected works from different periods and cultures. Emphasis on understanding the forms of tragic drama and the nature of the tragic vision of life.
3675 American Playwrights and Their Plays
Intensive study of important dramatists and theatrical movements of the 20th century. Through reading and analyzing plays and relevant theoretical and historical essays, attending performances, acting out portions of plays, and writing a research paper, students actively participate in a multidimensional examination of American playwrights such as Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, David Mamet, August Wilson, and Wendy Wasserstein.
3731 The Development of the British Novel I 3 credits
Traces the emergence of the novel as a literary form and provides an introduction to Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Burney, and Austen; the novel of sentiment, the novel of sensibility, the gothic novel, and the novel of manners.
3732 The Development of the British Novel II 3 credits
Focuses on the English novel in the 19th century and may include work by the Brontës, Dickens, Eliot, Trollope, and novels of sensation by writers like Collins and Braddon.
3733 The Development of the British Novel III 3 credits
Treats twentieth-¬century experiments in fiction. Authors may include Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, Lessing, Byatt, Coetzee, and Rushdie.
3790 The Art of Fiction 3 credits
How great writers of fiction shape their audience’s responses through traditional and experimental strategies
3791 The American Short Story 3 credits
Traces the development of the American Short Story, early nineteenth century to the present. Authors may include Nathanial Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Charles Chestnut, Katherine Anne Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Shirley Jackson, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, Raymond Carver, Dorothy Parker, Joyce Carol Oates, Leslie Silko.
3792 American Autobiography 3 credits
Diverse forms of personal narratives in the United States from the 16th century to the present; emphasis on the changing needs that writing autobiography has served over this period and the variety of forms that writers’ life stories have taken.
3920-21 Topics in Literature: Advanced Level 3 credits
May be repeated, since the subject matter varies from term to term.
3922-23 Major Authors 3 credits
Works by a maximum of four major authors, usually English, American, or both. This course may be repeated; subject matter varies.
3930 Living Writers 3 credits
Fiction, poetry, and/or drama by contemporary English and/or American authors.
3964 Vietnam War in Literature, History, and Film 3 credits
Students study the ways in which the Vietnam War has been recorded, interpreted, and remembered from the 1960s through to the present. They are encouraged to find connections between different academic disciplines: English, history, and film studies.
3967-3970 Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature 3 credits
Literature and another discipline, such as philosophy, politics, psychology, science, or the arts. May be repeated, since the subject matter varies from term to term.
3971 Literature and Social Change 3 credits
Literary explorations with a historical or sociological slant. May focus on one of the following topics: literature and war, literature and revolution, literature of the underclass, the immigrant experience in America.
3990 (formerly 2990) Literary Theory and Criticism 3 credits
How critical theory can help readers understand particular works, the nature of literature, and the process of interpretation.
4000 Senior Exit Requirement (Literature) 1 credit
A portfolio of carefully revised papers equaling 25-30 pp. and introduced by a substantive, additional 3 page self-reflexive analysis. Each senior project is developed one-on-one under the mentorship of a faculty advisor and second reader. Pre-requisite: ENGL 1300
4001 Senior Exit Requirement: Creative Writing Senior Portfolio 1 credit
Although portfolio page lengths will vary greatly depending on genres and forms included, we encourage you to aim for a minimum of 40 pages. Exceptions may be made in certain cases, and you should consult with your portfolio director for specific recommendations.
4002 Communications/Media Exit Project 1 credit