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English

Course Descriptions

English Courses


ENG 101 Biography/Autobiography (HC) (4.00 SH). What's the difference between memoir and autobiography, between memoir and fiction? Why should we care? If Oprah doesn't know, who does? In this course, these and other concerns will guide us through the reading of several kinds of personal life stories, as presented in at least six books, from Elie Wiesel's Night to Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Through class participation and analytical essays, emphasis will be placed on careful reading and interpretation. We'll read one woman's love story--with Africa--and another ornery little girl's fight with cancer (and she wins). The class will operate as if it were a book club with students leading some of the discussions; projects, presentations, creative and analytical written responses to the work we'll read constitute graded work

ENG 102 Children's Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). The course is a survey of classic and contemporary children’s works from fairy tales to The Hunger Games. Students will analyze a variety of different children’s forms such as fables, poems, fairy tales, picture books, films, and novels with themes such as individuality, friendship, good versus evil, survival, bravery, death, acceptance, and the demands of society. Critical approaches such as historical, psychological, feminist, and Marxist theories may be discussed and applied to texts. The course will include an emphasis on cultural, racial, and social diversity. Also listed as FS 142F

ENG 104 War Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). “War is all Hell." So said the great Union Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman. Indeed, warfare, humankind's oldest pastime, depicts the human animal in its worst light. War also, paradoxically, presents the human being with opportunities to perform amazing acts of bravery and heroism. This semester we will focus on the literature and film of the American Civil War. We will read such classics as The Red Badge of Courage and the modern novels The Killer Angels and Cold Mountain. We will also watch excerpts from Ken Burns’ series The Civil War and several feature films, including Glory, Gettysburg, and Gone With the Wind.

ENG 104C C:War Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). Clustered with PS-215C - America at War in the Age of Rock and Roll This course will study war from a number of perspectives, including glimpses at the worst and the best that the human race has to offer. In addition, a variety of “cultures” will be examined, attempting to evaluate and determine the structures, values and achievements of those cultures. Specifically, WAR is examined as a cultural phenomenon. Clustered with HIS-302C - The American Civil War This course will study war from a number of perspectives, including glimpses at the worst and the best that the human race has to offer. In addition, a variety of “cultures” will be examined, attempting to evaluate and determine the structures, values and achievements of those cultures. Specifically, WAR is examined as a cultural phenomenon.

ENG 105 Who Am I? (HC) (4.00 SH). Sometimes we tell our own stories because we want to figure out what our lives might mean; we want to know who we are. In this course, we’ll read memoirs and novels concerned with the problem of identity and its representation. Students will also write creatively about their own lives. Graded work will include short papers, quizzes, participation, and an essay exam. Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, Tara Westover’s Educated, and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye are among the works we will be reading.

ENG 108 American Playwrights (HC) (4.00 SH). This entry-level course introduces students to significant, often groundbreaking dramas by the most acclaimed American playwrights of the twentieth century: Eugene O’Neill, Philip Barry, Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, John Guare, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, August Wilson, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner and Lynn Nottage among others.

ENG 109 The Sporting Spirit (HC) (4.00 SH). This course examines the literary and cinematic interpretations of sports and sporting themes. Primarily, we will study the impact of sports on modern society and look at issues of morality, ethics, and economics. We will also look at the way sports can be viewed as “metaphor for life.” We will read and view several examples of major American sports (baseball, boxing, basketball) and also take a brief view of the history of sports in America. Among the major works to be studied are Bull Durham, The Old Man and the Sea, A River Runs Through It, and Field of Dreams. We will also use Ken Burns’ series Baseball.

ENG 111 Women Writers (HC) (4.00 SH). What defines women’s writing? And how do cultural factors of gender, race, class, spirituality, and sexuality affect the representation and reception of women’s lives? In this course, we will seek answers to these and other provocative questions by exploring a broad, yet representative sampling of literature written by diverse women spanning the eighteenth- through the 21st centuries. We will pay particular attention to the ways that cultural context informs literary representations of women’s roles as mothers, daughters, partners, domestics, intellectuals, and revolutionaries; and we will explore how writers’ concerns about these roles generate experiments with literary conventions. Our overarching goal will be to study how the contents and forms of these texts work together to enrich our understanding of women’s experience in particular historical moments, including the present.

ENG 112 Adaptation of Literature/Film (HC) (4.00 SH). Some of Hollywood’s greatest successes are adaptations of a short story, a novel or a play. Screenwriters also adapt material from true life stories, historical events and figures. This course focuses on how lines are blurred between fact and fiction, how lengthy novels are cut to maintain the author’s intent without ruining the dramatic voice of the film’s director—what goes, what stays and what changes.

ENG 113 Introduction to Shakespeare (HC) (4.00 SH). An introductory course, designed primarily for non-English majors, in the drama and stagecraft of the undisputed Titan of English Literature, William Shakespeare. Students will analyze and discuss Shakespeare’s achievement in poetic and theatrical presentations of popular stories for the Elizabethan stage. The syllabus will draw from five to six plays, ranging from comedy to history play to tragedy to romance, and lessons will incorporate screenings of notable film, stage, and TV productions, in their entirety or choice selections.

ENG 114 The Study of the Short Story (HC) (4.00 SH). An introductory course, designed primarily for non-English majors, in the drama and stagecraft of the undisputed Titan of English Literature, William Shakespeare. Students will analyze and discuss Shakespeare’s achievement in poetic and theatrical presentations of popular stories for the Elizabethan stage. The syllabus will draw from five to six plays, ranging from comedy to history play to tragedy to romance, and lessons will incorporate screenings of notable film, stage, and TV productions, in their entirety or choice selections.

ENG 116 It's Monstrous (HC) (4.00 SH). An introductory course, designed primarily for non-English majors, in the drama and stagecraft of the undisputed Titan of English Literature, William Shakespeare. Students will analyze and discuss Shakespeare’s achievement in poetic and theatrical presentations of popular stories for the Elizabethan stage. The syllabus will draw from five to six plays, ranging from comedy to history play to tragedy to romance, and lessons will incorporate screenings of notable film, stage, and TV productions, in their entirety or choice selections.

ENG 119 Arthurian Legend (HC) (4.00 SH). This course will explore the history behind the legend and study some Arthurian literature of Britain. Students will participate in class activities, write two papers, and present a final project. The on-campus course (2 cr.) will be followed by a three-week tour in May to Arthurian sites in England, Scotland, and Wales (2 cr.). On-campus study will prepare students to get the most from their visits to the various places related to the King Arthur legend in the UK.

ENG 123 Queer Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). ENG 101-199 Studies in English, American, world or comparative literature, or in specific literary genres and themes. Individual sections experiment with different approaches and topics. The times and a brief description of each course is provided each semester. These courses are designed primarily for non-English majors. More than one ENG 101–199 may be taken for credit, as long as each course is different. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 124 African American Drama (HC) (4.00 SH). This class explores African-American culture, from the days of slavery to the present, through reading, discussing, and analyzing plays written by important African-American playwrights and also by examining the issues those texts and the African-American experience raise. In our discussions and various assignments, what it means to be “Black” in America will be investigated by examining the characters these writers have created, by learning about the playwrights’ lives, and also by exploring the historical climate at the time these texts were created. Cross-listed with FS 324 and THE 213.

ENG 127 British and Irish (HC) (4.00 SH). A fascinating introduction into great theater plays for the British and Irish stage of the last 150 years, from the era of Victorian melodrama to the radical, sexy, and provocative drama of today. We shall acquaint ourselves with the landmark playwrights who have influenced the way we dramatize stories on stage, in film, and on television. They include Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, J. M. Synge, Noel Coward, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill, Joe Orton, Marina Carr, Enda Walsh, and Martin McDonagh. Class meetings will include video selections of productions and suggested film versions to sample.

ENG 133 Adolescent Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). Young Adult Literature has often been subsumed by Children’s Literature. Its history and development, however, are important enough to merit individual treatment. We’ll trace the history and development of YA by reading and watching old and new texts, looking for similarities and differences. Long a controversial genre, a recent New York Times poll places Young Adult books on the list of most often banned books in the United States. We’ll read to discover why these books cause such “conversation.” Are they sensational? How are they suited for young adult readers? How do they present young adults? We will also test the notion presented in a more recent column, also in the NYT, that books for adolescents “take the approach that maturity can be attained only through a severe testing of soul and self, featuring some kind of shocking ‘rite of passage.’” We’ll consider the ways that literary scholars present “evidence” about those rebellious teen years and about the teen search for identity. We’ll practice methods of research and analysis, and, most importantly, we’ll examine the ways these works of literature provide a mirror of culture.

ENG 136 Classic Greek Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). Think the guests on Jerry Springer’s show are weird? Wait until you get a load of the characters in ancient Greek literature! In this course, we’ll study several Greek tragedies, a comedy or two, and some poetry (in modern translations). In these texts, we’ll meet “upstanding” literary figures like Oedipus, who married his mother (without knowing it, of course) and killed his father; Clytemnestra, who murdered her husband Agamemnon after he had sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia so that he could fight the Trojan War; Orestes, their son, who killed Clytemnestra and her lover to avenge his father’s murder; Medea, who chopped up her brother and later killed her children to get back at her unfaithful husband; and Lysistrata, who led the Athenian women to revolt against the men by denying them . . . . You’ll have to finish the course to discover just what she denied them!

ENG 137 Genetics in Literature (4.00 SH).

ENG 138 19th Century Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). In addition, we’ll examine how Greek literature used the Trojan War and its aftermath to comment on the nature of war for an audience contemplating or involved in its own wars. We will also situate these important texts of classic Greek literature within their historical and social contexts and define their significance in society today.

ENG 139 Literature of 18th Century England (4.00 SH).

ENG 142 Fantasy, Fairytales & Folklore (HC) (4.00 SH). This course will examine the ways in which popular and classical literature spanning the thirteenth through the twenty-first centuries underscores the importance of fantasy, fairy tales, and folklore to Western culture. Course texts range in genre from fiction and nonfiction to poetry, drama, and film and include works by authors such as The Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm, Dickens, Tolkien, and Rowling. Though significant time will be devoted to discussing issues of audience, the main goal of the course will be to explore how these texts use the fantasy realm to comment on very “real” social, political, and spiritual issues.

ENG 144 Contemporary Literature (HC) (4.00 SH). In Contemporary Literature, students will read a sample of fiction and literary non-fiction, short stories and poetry. This work will be recent--written in the past 30 years and most of it within the past decade. Some authors will be familiar, if not renowned; others will be relatively unknown. Class discussion and assignments will address issues of popularity (what kind of features draw readers who read for enjoyment?) and of craft (what are these writers trying to accomplish, and how well do they do it?).

ENG 162 The Novel (HC) (4.00 SH). ENG 101-199 Studies in English, American, world or comparative literature, or in specific literary genres and themes. Individual sections experiment with different approaches and topics. The times and a brief description of each course is provided each semester. These courses are designed primarily for non-English majors. More than one ENG 101–199 may be taken for credit, as long as each course is different. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 198 20th Cent Brit Fict (HC) (4.00 SH). ENG 101-199 Studies in English, American, world or comparative literature, or in specific literary genres and themes. Individual sections experiment with different approaches and topics. The times and a brief description of each course is provided each semester. These courses are designed primarily for non-English majors. More than one ENG 101–199 may be taken for credit, as long as each course is different. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 199 Experimental Course (4.00 SH). Experimental Course (1-4 SH)

ENG 240 Into to Literary Studies (HC) (4.00 SH). This course is designed to immerse entering English majors and minors in the materials, methods, and current issues of the discipline. Engaging in close analysis of literary texts, students complete a variety of written and oral assignments. Required of all English majors and minors. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 250 Writing About Literature(HC) (4.00 SH). This course improves students’ ability to write clear, engaging, and analytical prose about a variety of literary texts. Focusing on argument and the successful integration of secondary sources into analytical essays about literature, students will have the opportunity to complete several writing assignments. Required of all English majors and minors. Meets Humanity and Cultural Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 350 Critical Approaches & Major Authors (4.00 SH). In this course, students will gain an understanding of literary criticism by studying different approaches to evaluating literature. These approaches include structuralism, feminism, Marxism, post-structuralism, psychological criticism, and cultural criticism. These approaches will be applied to the work of one or more major authors.

ENG 401 Drama Criticism (4.00 SH). This seminar is designed to acquaint advanced literature students with the essential critical texts and theoretical ideas pertaining to Western dramatic art. Students will familiarize themselves with the major arguments on the nature and purpose of theater, as formulated by critics ranging from the Ancient Greeks to those of the modern era: most notably, Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Evanthius, Donatus, Castelvetro, Molière, Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, and Brecht. Students will apply these critical ideas to representative Western masterpieces, such as Oedipus, The Girl from Andros, Othello, Tartuffe, A Doll House, The Cherry Orchard, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Mother Courage and her Children. The instructor will strive to make film versions and excerpts of some of these plays available in and out of class. Being a seminar, the course will require students to present their findings in class on a regular basis and help lead the class discussion.

ENG 403 Cultural Criticism (4.00 SH). Cultural Criticism is slippery, hard to define, maybe because it takes in a lot of territory: Cultural Studies, Cultural Poetics, Cultural Materialism, and New Historicism. Some of these terms are even used interchangeably. (We’ll sort through that.) But, in general, when we practice cultural criticism, we think of a text as culture in action. As Charles Bressler puts it, we “blur the distinction between an artistic production and any other kind of social production and event” (217). In other words, literary texts are grounded in and inextricable from the social, political, and economic discourses of their time. Cultural critics don’t separate the text from the culture in which it was created because they believe that all texts both reflect and influence society. Society affects art, and art affects society. Therefore, as cultural critics, we’ll examine how this complex web of interrelationships, including the author, helps determine a text’s meaning and reveal the interrelatedness of all human activities. As a class, we’ll read essays by cultural critics as diverse as Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Raymond Williams, Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, Janice Radway, Edward Said, Catherine Gallagher, and William Greenblatt. As cultural critics, we will read several literary texts together, considering how these texts were formed by looking at the historical, social, political, and economic moments surrounding their production. We’ll also examine several different kinds of texts using our frame of cultural criticism—texts like toys, paintings, films. In short, by using this critical approach, we begin to see that no work of art is autonomous.

ENG 404 Film Criticism (4.00 SH). This course teaches the basic concepts and critical approaches involved in interpreting film. Some of the approaches include humanism, auteurism, genre, social science, historicism, semiology, structuralism, Marxism, and feminism. Integrating these critical approaches with the language systems of film, students will increase their own appreciation of motion pictures, intelligently discuss these texts with others, better understand what filmmakers are saying as well as how they are saying it, and analyze how film texts both influence and reflect the culture in which they are made.

ENG 405 Feminism (4.00 SH). Feminism changed everything—relationships between men and women, how women presented and represented themselves, family life, politics, the Academy, the world. It changed how we read texts and how we write them. This is a course about transformation and change—about a movement that changed the world and all of our lives. We will look at feminism as a political movement, as well as a critical approach to reading and understanding literature. We will also look at how women and men, in literary and film texts, reflect, explore and challenge the received gender roles of their society throughout the twentieth century. We will read some of the classic texts of feminism, such as Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, as well as a number of critical essays that approach the subject from different perspectives. We will also read novels, short stories and poetry by such writers as Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Angela Carter, Toni Morrison and Elizabeth Bishop.

ENG 414 Tragedy (4.00 SH). As we make small and large decisions, we face questions of identity, of limitation, and of sovereignty. Who am I? What confronts me? How much control do I have over my life? Because of the importance of these questions, I have chosen tragedy for the context of this course. I do not mean to imply that our situations are or will be tragic; rather, tragic literature explores these enigmatic questions with great profundity. Tragic literature deals thoroughly with the themes of power and empowerment. Tragic heroes and those who write in the tragic vein are in a position where they must confront themselves, where they must come to terms with the possibilities of who they are and who they can become. Like all of us, they are asked to declare themselves for at least one moment in their lives. In this course, we’ll read works by Shakespeare, Melville, Faulkner and others. We’ll also consider theory that considers the genre of tragedy. Students will write papers, create fiction, take exams, and give presentations.

ENG 415 John Irving (4.00 SH). John Irving is one of the foremost contemporary American novelists. His work is most notable for its serio-comic look at the human condition; his style can be characterized as episodic or scenic. His novels, several of which have indeed been adapted for films, often read like movie screenplays. His humor often skirts the boundaries of taste and decorum, but he never seems to fail to make his readers laugh—and also cry. This seminar will examine several of Irving’s novels, including The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and The Hotel New Hampshire using a variety of critical approaches.

ENG 417 The Epic (4.00 SH). This course will trace the evolution of monster symbolism in classic and modern epics, in the forms of poetry and prose, as well as their film or TV adaptations. Students will analyze epics for their narrative techniques, historical and cultural significance, themes, and symbols through the lens of multiple critical theories. Course texts will include Homer’s The Odyssey, Beowulf, Haley’s Roots, a selection of epic excerpts, film adaptions of the epics studied, as well as scholarly critique of the epics. Students will be required to write a literary analysis paper, take quizzes on course content, perform an oral presentation, and create their own epic in the style of Haley’s Roots. In preparation for the writing of their own epic, students will practice their use of craft elements and refine their implementation of story structure through creative writing prompts. Students must demonstrate the ability to write and speak analytically, creatively, and coherently, in ways appropriate to the discipline, and they must display the ability to revise and improve their writing in both form and content.

ENG 418 Shakespeare:The History Plays (4.00 SH). A seminar focusing on the ten "history plays" by which Shakespeare established his name early in his career. Ranging from King John to King Henry VIII, this play series offers both a chronicle of English political events and wars (domestic and overseas) as well as a poetic interpretation of the evolving tragi-comic English national identity. Students must familiarize themselves with major figures and events in early modern British history (1200-1642) to serve as contrasting background to the literary representations of Shakespeare's imagined national development.

ENG 419 Shakespeare:Tragedy (4.00 SH). This English major course examines Shakespeare’s four great tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. The plays will be studied both in the context of Elizabethan England and in the context of the genre itself. Film versions of the plays will examine actual productions of the plays. Students will also read widely in Shakespeare criticism

ENG 420 The Victorians (4.00 SH). In the Victorian era—the mid to late 1800s—the sun never set on the British Empire. Evidently this abundance of daylight was good for writing, because the authors of this period are numerous, prolific, and enduring. The dominant literary form of the period is the novel, and we will choose texts from among those by Austen, Dickens, Eliot, and Hardy. Poets of the period are just as well-established within the literary canon and include Tennyson and the Brownings, Arnold and the Rossettis, and both Hopkins and Hardy. We will read a variety of their innovative and experimental verse. We will also trace the Victorian fascination with several issues—including the role of the artistic, the impact of science, the “woman question,” and the reach of empire—that continue to be significant in our era. In addition to readings and film, the course will include a study of painting, with emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

ENG 421 American Fiction Since 1945 (4.00 SH). ENG 401-499 - These seminars study literary texts from several critical and theoretical stances. The courses help students develop strategies for assessing the ways that meaning becomes evident in texts, in readers, and in writers. In addition to reading and interpreting texts within contexts, the 400s seminars regard works through or in the light of perspectives offered by critical theories. Not only do students in these seminars complete a higher degree of creative and critical thinking, but they also participate more fully in leading the courses. The inquiry into theory, and when appropriate, its application, stresses independent assessment, peer evaluation, and assertion of ethical choices as they pertain to meaning and contexts. Prerequisite: successful completion of ENG 240, ENG 250, and one ENG 300.

ENG 422 Psychoanalysis,Gender & Culture (4.00 SH). Freud’s theories have generated no little amount of controversy, but his ideas have changed our culture in profound ways and remain relevant today. Many terms we use in everyday language, for instance—the unconscious, sublimation, the ego, superego and id come from Freud. During the 2004 presidential campaign, for example, while giving his concession speech in Iowa, Howard Dean let out a scream that one commentator described as coming straight from the id (you can hear the scream on You Tube). Freud’s influence reaches well beyond language. As Michael Roth has recently noted, “Our notions of identity, memory, sexuality, and most generally, of meaning have been shaped in relation to—and often in opposition to—Freud’s work.” So strong was Freud’s impact on art and literature in the first half of the twentieth century both here and abroad that it is hardly possible to conceive of a discussion of many modern writers, such as D. H. Lawrence or Sylvia Plath, without some knowledge of Freud. In the early part of the twentieth century, writers and artists were reading and discussing Freud’s seminal text The Interpretation of Dreams in salons across Europe and America. The American poet Wallace Stevens read it for the first time in the 1910s when he was part of the intellectual and artistic circle of Walter Arensberg in New York. In this course we will examine Freud’s major psychoanalytic theories, first through his own writings, and then in the works of later theorists and students of culture who have applied Freud’s ideas to a stunning array of cultural phenomena, from Nazi fascism, to horror, to fairy tales and contemporary cinema. We will discuss the relevance and application of psychoanalytic ideas to literary and film study, with a particular focus on the social and psychological constructions of masculinity and femininity and the impact of gender and sexual orientation on the production of cultural artifacts and, indeed, on culture itself. In addition to such foundational Freud texts as The Interpretation of Dreams, we will also discuss Freud’s later application of psychoanalysis to society. This course will particularly focus on the case study, which will not only include Freud’s own case studies, such as the “Wolf Man” and “Dora,” but also modern literary and film texts that were influenced by Freud’s work and can be viewed as literary or film case studies. These might include H.D.’s Tribute to Freud, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Hitchcock’s Marnie, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, and Nabokov’s Lolita.

ENG 423 Hemingway and Faulkner (4.00 SH). Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner are among the United States’ most celebrated writers. Nobel laureates and icons of the modernist era, these two writers may be most known for their easily recognizable and radically different styles that surface in everything they write. In many ways, however, they are kindred spirits in terms of theme and ambition. Consider their their Nobel Prize acceptance speeches. (Please note that Hemingway, because of illness, was not able to give his speech himself. It was delivered by the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.) In the weeks that follow, we will consider the thematic and stylistic choices that led to these speeches by Hemingway and Faulkner.

ENG 424 Social Drama (4.00 SH). ENG 401-499 - These seminars study literary texts from several critical and theoretical stances. The courses help students develop strategies for assessing the ways that meaning becomes evident in texts, in readers, and in writers. In addition to reading and interpreting texts within contexts, the 400s seminars regard works through or in the light of perspectives offered by critical theories. Not only do students in these seminars complete a higher degree of creative and critical thinking, but they also participate more fully in leading the courses. The inquiry into theory, and when appropriate, its application, stresses independent assessment, peer evaluation, and assertion of ethical choices as they pertain to meaning and contexts. Prerequisite: successful completion of ENG 240, ENG 250, and one ENG 300.

ENG 425 Modern American Poets (4.00 SH). In the wake of modernism, U.S. poets have taken a wide variety of approaches to express themselves while navigating artistic, political, and social currents. Relying primarily on the poems found in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, we’ll consider works by our major poets since the end of World War II. Students will write papers and poems. In-class or take-homes exams are likely.

ENG 426 Medieval Literature (4.00 SH). In this course, we will look at several texts from the medieval period, including a selection of Anglo-Saxon poetry, writings about King Arthur, and other works by Chaucer and his contemporaries. This literature reflects a period that was at once pagan and Christian, violent and chivalric, realistic and romantic. We will study these texts within their historical and linguist context (including a look at Old English and Middle English). We will also look at some of the ways this material has evoked more contemporary imaginative responses.

ENG 427 Empire, Revised (4.00 SH). When colonies around the world gained their independence, their literatures began to express how their political, cultural and individual identities had been shaped by their experiences of colonization—by being part of the empire. Often, authors from postcolonial nations found their expression of these experiences by entering into a conversation with their literary ancestors. In other words, they wrote back . . . to Shakespeare, Defoe, Bronte, etc. Occasionally, these return letters have taken the form of new literary works that offered a revised, postcolonial version of an earlier story, and these are the works that we will consider. So, we’ll read Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Aimee Cesaire’s Caribbean version of the text. We’ll read Daniel DeFoe’s Robinson Crusoe and J.M. Coetzee’s Foe. We’ll take a look at Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys revision, The Wide Sargasso Sea. We’ll consider these texts in light of postcolonial criticism. Graded work is likely to include two shorter papers, one long paper, and a presentation.

ENG 428 Shakespeare (4.00 SH). In this seminar, upper-level English majors will deepen their familiarity with Shakespeare’s global achievement in dramatic genre (tragedy, comedy, history, romance), poetic composition, fleshed-out characterization, and theatrically effective stage presentation. Students will review the major figures and events in early modern British history to provide contexts for the works and then investigate the wide range of critical approaches to reading and deciphering the texts.

ENG 429 Tragic Visions (4.00 SH). As we make small and large decisions, we face questions of identity, of limitation, and of sovereignty. Who am I? What confronts me? What control do I have over my life? Tragic literature explores these questions with great profundity. It deals thoroughly with the themes of power and empowerment. Tragic heroes and those who write in the tragic vein are in a position where they must confront themselves, where they must come to terms with the possibilities of who they are and who they can become. Like all of us, they are asked to declare themselves for at least one moment in their lives.

ENG 431 The Brontes (4.00 SH). The past five years have been exciting ones for the Brontë sisters. In 2011, new film versions of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights premiered in theaters, and a new play, We Are Three Sisters, debuted in England. Since that time, mash-ups of Jane Eyre have flooded the market—including titles such as Jane Slayre (2010), The Madwoman Upstairs (2016), and Jane Steele (2016), to name just a few. Why this sudden surge of interest? What makes the Brontës so relevant to contemporary life? We’ll address these and other questions in this seminar as we delve into biographies, pore over letters, and read much of the fiction that this prolific family produced in mid-19th-c. England. We’ll approach the texts from a variety of critical perspectives and will also study multiple film adaptations.

ENG 432 Tudor Literature (4.00 SH). ENG 401-499 - These seminars study literary texts from several critical and theoretical stances. The courses help students develop strategies for assessing the ways that meaning becomes evident in texts, in readers, and in writers. In addition to reading and interpreting texts within contexts, the 400s seminars regard works through or in the light of perspectives offered by critical theories. Not only do students in these seminars complete a higher degree of creative and critical thinking, but they also participate more fully in leading the courses. The inquiry into theory, and when appropriate, its application, stresses independent assessment, peer evaluation, and assertion of ethical choices as they pertain to meaning and contexts. Prerequisite: successful completion of ENG 240, ENG 250, and one ENG 300.

 

Supporting Courses


FS 104 War Literature and Film (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 107 Detective Fict:Novels & Film (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 109 The Sporting Spirit (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 116 It's Monstrous (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 136 Classic Greek Liter & Film (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 140 Queer Film and Literature (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 142C Genres:Biography/Autobiography (4.00 SH). Studies in English, American, world or comparative literature, or in specific literary genres and themes. Individual sections experiment with different approaches and topics. The times and a brief description of each course is provided each semester. These courses are designed primarily for non-English majors. More than one ENG 101–198 may be taken for credit, as long as each course is different. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC). (Also listed as ENG 101).

FS 142F Genres:Children's Lit/Film (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 142G Genres:Arthurian Legend (HC) (4.00 SH).

FS 212 Film Adaptation (HC) (4.00 SH). Students will study the challenging process of adapting literature, drama, and true-life stories to film—what goes, what stays, and what changes. By working closely with different types of texts, students discover how the texts complement each other and how they often resist each other. (Also listed as ENG 112.) Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

WRI 210 Intro to Creative and Pro Writing (4.00 SH). In this course, students will give their attention to the craft of writing by advancing their understanding of creative nonfiction and professional feature writing. Students will learn to critique their peers’ work in order to advance the class’s understanding of the editing process and the genres in which we are working. Having gained knowledge and confidence through these processes, students will begin to write convincingly about the art of writing. Over the course of the term, each student will write 2 or 3 creative nonfiction essays and 2 or 3 professional feature stories. These essays and stories will be modeled by the examples in the textbooks that we read and discuss. Regularly, students will submit drafts of their work to the class for discussion in a workshop format. For each draft submitted to the workshop, 3 students will be assigned the task of writing a thoughtful critique.

 

What can you do with an English degree?

Imagine yourself an editor, educator, a journalist, attorney, lobbyist, business executive, sports information director, publicist, librarian, film executive, or writer.