Course Offerings | English

Division of Humanities

Mark Rasmussen (chair), Wilma Brown, Helen Emmitt, Mark Lucas, Daniel Manheim, Milton Reigelman, John Ward, Maryanne Ward, Philip White, Lisa Williams; students: Elizabeth M. Johnson, Patrick Malarkey



The purpose of the major program in English is to produce citizens of sympathetic imagination who are able to draw upon a store of literary knowledge and capable of independent critical thinking and writing. The program offers a major and minor in Engish and a minor in creative writing.

The program offers courses in British and American literature and in creative writing. In addition to introductory courses at the freshman-sophomore level, the program's offerings in literature include courses on such authors as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Melville, Dickinson, Faulkner, and Woolf, and on such topics as Southern literature, poetry by women, Irish literature, early English novels, African-American literature, the Gothic, modern poetry, Shakespeare and film, and U.S. literature of the Great Depression. Creative writing courses include introductions to the writing of poetry and fiction, as well as more advanced classes. Except for junior and senior seminars, all English courses are open to all students without special permission.


Requirements for the Major

ENG 210, 220, 230;
ENG 301 or 302;
One course each selected from ENG 310-339. 340-369, 370-399 (One of these courses must be a seminar taken during the junior year and numbered 330-339, 360-369, or 390-399);
One additional 300-level ENG course;
ENG 500.


Requirements for the English Minor

Three courses chosen from among ENG 210, 220, 230, and either 301 or 302;
Two 300-level ENG courses numbered 303 or higher.

Requirements for the Creative Writing Minor

Four creative writing courses, chosen from among FRS 121, DRA 330, ENG 140, 240, 250, 280 or other creative writing courses approved by the English program. ENG 240 and 280 may be repeated for credit toward the minor;
One literature course in English.


Note: ENG 500 is open to senior English majors only; courses numberd 330-39, 360-69, and 390-99 are open to English majors as well as to English minors with permission of the instructor. All other ENG courses are open to non-majors without special permission.


English Courses

ENG 140 Fundamentals of Poetry Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of poetry and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning writer.

ENG 205 Children’s Literature
An introduction to children’s literature for elementary school teachers stressing an examination of literary kinds and genres and the critical analysis and evaluation of both text and illustrations.

ENG 210, 220 British Literature-I, II
Survey of major works of British literature from the medieval period to the 20th century, with emphasis upon understanding and evaluating literary works in their historical and cultural backgrounds. Together with ENG 230, provides a general introduction to prosody, the vocabulary of literary analysis, and the varieties of literary criticism.

ENG 230 American Literature
Survey of major works of American literature from its beginnings to the 20th century, with emphasis upon understanding and evaluating literary works in their historical and cultural backgrounds. Together with ENG 210, 220, provides a general introduction to prosody, the vocabulary of literary analysis, and the varieties of literary criticism.

ENG 235 Literature in Translation
Selected topics in foreign literature in English translation.

ENG 240 Intermediate Poetry Writing
A workshop class. Students write approximately a poem a week to be workshopped by class members and then revised. Reading and discussion of several new volumes of poetry by contemporary poets. Prerequisite: ENG 140 or FRS 121 or ENG 250 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for additional credit.

ENG 250 Poetic Forms: History and Practice
Discussion of poetic forms including the sonnet, sestina, villanelle, prose poem, free verse, and syllabic poetry (among others), with creative assignments. Designed to benefit writers wishing to enrich their knowledge of the craft and their creative abilities, as well as students of literature interested in poetry's history and technical aspects.

ENG 280 Creative Writing: Fiction
Practice in the writing of short fiction, under the guidance of a visiting writer-in-residence. Offered on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis only. May be repeated for additional credit.

ENG 301 Shakespeare-I
A study of the development of Shakespeare as dramatist, with emphasis on the histories and romantic comedies. (Also listed as DRA 331.)

ENG 302 Shakespeare-II
A study of the mature Shakespeare, with emphasis on the later tragedies and romances. (Also listed as DRA 332.)

ENG 305 Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice
What is literature? What is literature good for? What makes a work of literature good? What does it mean to "interpret" a literary work? What makes a particular interpretation good? These are some of the great questions addressed by literary theory, from Plato to the present. In this course we will read and discuss some classic responses to these questions, and we will consider as well such recent critical approaches as the New Criticism, reader response theory, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, new historicism, and cultural studies. The course has two aims: first, to help us become more aware of what we do, and why we do it, when we study literature; and, second, to help us write better literary criticism ourselves, as we apply a range of methods to the works we study.

ENG 306 History of the English Language
A history of the English language, from its roots in Indo-European to the present day. Individual student projects focus on such topics as Black English, Kentucky English, slang, gender bias in language, and the history of dirty words.

ENG 310-339 Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the medieval and Renaissance periods. Courses numbered 330-39 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2002-2003 topics are listed below.

ENG 313 Chaucer
Selected works from Chaucer's early poetry, Troilus and Criseyde, and The Canterbury Tales, read in Middle English.

ENG 331 Renaissance Poetry
This class studies the great efflorescence of lyric poetry in the 16th and early 17th centuries, including poems from a variety of lyric modes--song, love poem, elegy, contemplative poem--as well as key ways poets of the period engaged and transformed the themes, genres, and styles they inherited from the classical tradition and from earlier English and Italian poets. Prerequisite: Junior English majors only.

ENG 340-369 Studies in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Courses numbered 360-69 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2002-2003 topics are listed below.


ENG 341 19th-Century American Literature
A survey of representative masterworks of the 19th century, extending from the writers of the American renaissance through Dickinson, Twain, and James.

ENG 350 Romanticism
An examination of the aesthetic and thematic developments of poetry and prose in the Romantic period, with emphasis on Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats.

ENG 370-99 Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the twentieth century. Courses numbered 390-99 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2002-2003 topics are listed below.

ENG 370 Changes to the Female Form

An exploration of select 19th century and 20th century women poets with an eye on shifts in self-presentation and poetic form. Questions considered: How do we see women's narrative voice and use of poetic form changing? To what degree might the "form" of the poem have particular meaning for women poets. Poets discussed include Helen Hunt Jackson, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, and May Swenson.


ENG 374 20th-Century British Literature
A study of selected British novelists, playwrights, and poets such as Conrad, Joyce, Forster, Woolf, Shaw, Eliot, and Auden in the context of modern cultural history.


ENG 375 Flannery O'Connor

A study of the life and work of the 20th-century American short story writer Flannery O'Connor. Readings include Wise Blood, selected letters, and all of O'Connor's short stories. There will be a three-day field trip to O'Connor sites in Georgia.

ENG 390 Contemporary American Poetry
A seminar study of contemporary American poets, including Anne Carson, Charles Wright, Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Li-Young Lee, and Linda Gregg. While reviewing the contemporary poetry scene, we will look at John Ashbery, Jay Wright, Heather McHugh, Susan Wheeler, as well as others selected by students from contemporary journals and anthologies.

ENG 399 Irish Writers
A study of the works of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, and others in the context of their relationship with their politically torn, poverty-stricken, but culturally rich homeland.


ENG 500 Senior Seminar

The senior seminar topics for 2002-2003 were Faulkner, Melville and Stearne, and Jane Austen.