Course Offerings | English and Creative Writing

Division of Humanities

Dan Manheim (chair), Helen Emmitt, Mark Lucas, Sena Naslund, Mark Rasmussen, Milton Reigelman, John Ward, Maryanne Ward, Philip White, Lisa Williams; students: Rebecca Bush, Kevin Duke

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 English 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, 150, 240, 245, 250, 280, 282 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 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 Topics in Literature in Transalation, 2004-2005 Topics:

ENG 235 Ancient & Modern Comedy and Satire
Readings in Greek and Roman comedy and satire (Aristophanes, Plautus, Terence, Horace, Juvenal); theories of humor and comedy (e.g., Aristotle, Freud); and a consideration of modern comedy and humor, including political and social satire from Washington to Dave Barry and the Simpsons. Readings in English; weekly movies. (Also
listed as CLA 323.)

ENG 235 Conversations on European Literature
A course on the masterpieces of European prose fiction from the Renaissance to the 20th century including Montaigne, Cervantes, Goethe, Tolstoy and Proust; students think for themselves in managing the discussion and interpretation of foreign literature in a foreign setting; the teacher’s role is to summarize discussion, to ask for the definition of terms, and to coach designated discussion leaders in advance of class. Conducted in Strasbourg.

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 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 2004-2005 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 315 The Romance of Arthur
A study of the literature surrounding the figure of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, from its origins in the early Middle Ages to the present. Readings drawn from such works as the Arthurian romances of Chretien de Troyes, the Middle English verse romance Gawain and the Green Knight , Malory's Morte Darthur , Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court , and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon . We will also consider offshoots of Arthurian legend in the visual arts, opera, and such films as Excalibur, The Fisher King, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail .

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 2004-2005 topics are listed below.

ENG 344 18th-Century English Comedy
A study of staged comedies from the late Restoration period through the last quarter of the 18th century in Britain. Sophisticated and witty plays such as Congreve’s The Way of the World are contrasted with broad and farcical pieces like Fielding’s Tom Thumb. The politics and succession issues of the Restoration and the conditions that led to the Licensing Act of 1737 are discussed. Videos are viewed and discussed to help perceive staging issues. (Also listed as DRA 343.)

ENG 345 19th-Century Rebels and Reformers
A comparative approach to the Romantic and Victorian periods, using themes and concerns common to both periods and exploring different choices in approach to the subject in light of cultural and political changes. Authors include: Blake, Burns, Austen, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Mary Shelley, Carlyle, Dickens, Emily Bronte, Tennyson, Arnold and Wilde. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

ENG 363 Cross-Atlantic Currents
A study of the stylistic and thematic influence of Europe on selected American authors such as James, Hawthorne, Melville, Wharton, and Fitzgerald. Each member of the seminar prepares a critical introduction to an American novel with cross-Atlantic currents. Offered in Strasbourg.

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 2004-2005 topics are listed below.

ENG 373 Southern Literary Renaissance
An exploration of the literature of the modern South. Works by William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Anne Porter, Tennessee Williams, Flannery O'Connor, and others.

ENG 379 Literary New Orleans
A study of the literary heritage of New Orleans, with a focus on fiction, poetry, and sketches inspired by this "least American of all American cities." Readings from Whitman, Twain, Cable, Chopin, Faulkner, Hurston, Bontemps, Tennessee Williams, Hellman, Capote, Percy, Toole, and others. The first half of the course will be taught on campus, the second in New Orleans.

ENG 380 Modes of African-American Narrative
“Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?” Picking up where the final sentence of Ellison’s Invisible Man left off, this course will examine the evolutions and revolutions of the language that shape American texts created by people of African descent. Issues to be investigated include: the contexts that connect cultural traits to race (what is Blackness, Whiteness, Otherness?); the validity of oral culture in literary culture (is hip-hop poetry, something else, both?); and gender identity and empowerment. Although we will read such classic American authors as Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Phyllis Wheatley, and Zora Neale Hurston, we will mainly focus on more contemporary American texts by such authors as James Alan McPherson, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Edgar Wideman, Toni Morrison, Touré, Harry Allen, Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney, Public Enemy, Nikkey Finney, Kevin Young, Talib Kweli, Edwidge Danticat, Henry Louis Gates, Julie Dash, and Spike Lee.

ENG 392 Contemporary Southern Literature
A seminar exploration of fiction and poetry by writers of the American South, 1960 to the present. Readings include such works as Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and Lee Smith’s Oral History.

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 2004-2005 were Contemporary Irish Poetry and Jane Austen

Creative Writing Courses

CRW 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.

CRW 150 Fundamentals of Fiction Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of short stories and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning fiction writer.  Taught by William Henry Lewis, author of two short story collections, In the Arms of our Elders and I Got Somebody in Staunton .

CRW 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.

CRW 245 Intermediate Fiction Writing
This course builds upon the fundamentals of fiction writing. Students advance their understanding of writing fiction through the composition of their own short stories, through minor project work in an alternative genre and through the examination of a range of established writers' approaches to the form, structure, and function of the short story. Prerequisite: ENG 150 or permission of the instructor.

CRW 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.

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

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