Offerings | English and Creative Writing
Division of Humanities
Philip White (chair),
Helen Emmitt, John Kinkade, Mark Lucas, Dan Manheim, Heather Morton, Mark Rasmussen, Milton Reigelman,
Lisa Williams; students: Chelsea Apple, Joey McGill
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 first-year/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, 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;
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, FRS 176, DRA 330, CRW 140, 150, 240, 245, 250, 280, or other creative
writing courses approved by the English program. CRW 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.
ENG 205 Childrens and Adolescent Literature
An introductory course to the field of juvenile literature intended for prospective
teachers stressing the various genres of children's and adolescent literature, critical analysis of both selected texts and illustrations, and the teaching of juvenile literature in the K-12 classroom.
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 Translation, 2008-2009 Topics:
ENG 235 Fantasy Worlds in Epic and Film
An exploration of aims and methods in two great narrative art forms. Students first examine a variety of ancient epics (all selections in English translation) and modern films, then consider such aspects of the media as narrative stability, the desire for inclusivity, the artist as creator and destroyer, temporal and spatial perspective, chaos and order in a fictional worldview. (Also listed as CLA 333.)
ENG 235 Introduction to Classical Mythology
A course in English. The "biographies" of the major divinities of Greek mythology are studied in depth, using various ancient texts in translation and secondary materials from such related fields as anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and psychology. Near Eastern and Roman mythologies are compared with the Greek. A course in translation. (Also listed as CLA 330.)
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 303 Shakespeare in London
Taught in London, this course combines close study of several plays with visits to productions of those plays in London and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as with field trips to the rebuilt Globe Theatre and other Shakespearean sites.
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
2008-2009 topics are listed below.
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 316 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.
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
2008-2009 topics are listed below.
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 364 Reaching Toward Concord
An examination of Concord , Massachusetts , as a center of literary creativity in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to authors who actually reached Concord at one time or another, students consider those who gravitated toward it in one way or another. Authors considered could include Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Hawthorne, Whitman, Dickinson, Melville, with a few twentieth-century echoes. The course includes readings about pertinent historical events and cultural experiments such as Fruitlands and Brook Farm.
ENG 369 Crime In Literature
An examination of how writers imagine crime in literature from the 18 th century to the 21 st century. In the early 18 th century, criminals often had a celebrity status, and novels celebrated the exploits of highwaymen and petty thieves. However, as police forces and detectives came into being in the 19 th century, writers often gave hero status to the new crime-fighting professionals. In the 20 th century, writers frequently returned to criminals as their primary subjects, but they rarely celebrated them as heroes, instead focusing on the idea of crime as symptom of a sick culture. This course emphasizes the literary achievement of the works as well as their ties to the cultures from which they emerge.
ENG 370-99 Studies in
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the twentieth century.
Courses numbered 390-99 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2008-2009 topics are listed below.
ENG 372 Literature of the Great Depression
This course addresses a variety of literary responses to the suddenly altered social reality brought on by economic collapse: How does social change affect literary subject matter and literary form? What happens to literary work when authors feel suddenly that political impact is of paramount importance? What happens to literary values? What authors or subjects rise? What forms fall out of favor? And perhaps most important, can literature be a form of social action?
ENG 377 American Women Poets
This course examines the poetry of women in America from colonial times to the present. Focusing on major figures from the last 350 year, we will consider how woman poets have written both their individual experiences and the American experience.
ENG 381 Modern American Short Story Sequence
A study of American short fiction of the 20 th century, with a focus on interlocking collections. Works by such authors as Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, John Barth, Louise Erdrich, Gloria Naylor and Tim O'Brien.
ENG 387 U.S. Fiction in the 21st Century
An investigation of particularities, preoccupations, and trends in contemporary American fiction. Focusing on literature from the 1990's to the present, the course looks at the effects of contemporary society, scientific advancement, world events, and literary traditions on the fiction being written and published today. Sampling from a variety of recent works, the class will begin to identify and examine some fundamental features of our current moment.
ENG 500 Senior Seminar
The senior seminar topics for 2008-2009 were Contemporary British Literature and Melville & Sterne.
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.
CRW 160 Fundamentals of Creative Non-Fiction
A workshop class. Students study and try their hand at a variety of non-fiction genres including memoir, the review, the essay, travel and food writing, humor writing, the editorial, nature writing, and others. We will read writers from different periods including (among others) David Sedaris, Michel de Montaigne, Sir Thomas Browne, Virginia Woolf, Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, W.G. Sebald, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Jo Ann Beard, as well as selections from the most recent Best American Essays anthology.
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.