Course Offerings - Catalog 2011-12

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English and Creative Writing

Division of Humanities

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.


Mark Lucas(chair), Helen Emmitt, John Kinkade, Dan Manheim, Julie Park, Stacey Peebles, Mark Rasmussen, Milton Reigelman, Philip White, Lisa Williams (Director of Creative Writing)


Elyse Elliott, Garrett Powers

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, FRS 176, DRA 330, CRW 140, 150, 160, 240, 245, 250, 280, 300, 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.

English Courses

ENG 205 Children’s 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

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 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 269 London: A History in Mystery
See Eng 369.

ENG 270 Introduction to Film An introduction to the basic elements and vocabulary of film studies, with an emphasis on critical appreciation and interpretation.

ENG 271 The Hollywood Musical
Through the examination of Hollywood musicals from the first days of sound to the most recent hits, this class is an introduction to film analysis from the perspective of genre and cultural studies. What makes a film a musical? What do these cinematic musicals tell us about the issues of race, gender, and sexuality in the United States? How do the choice of stories, use of music, and adaptation of technology inform these statements? By watching films and reading film analysis students develop terminology related to film and this particular genre. They also develop views on how these films relate to U.S. history and culture.

ENG 272 Women in U.S. Film
Although women have been involved in film since its inception both in front of and behind the camera, why is it that only 4% of directors are women, and that 2010 was the first time that a female director, Kathryn Bigelow, ever received an Oscar? This course pursues this contradiction by introducing students to a gender studies approach to film. After watching many well-known films from the 1930s until today, we will analyze both women as aesthetic object in film as well as their role as creators. Students will be provided with criticism and other articles in order to better discuss the representation of women and their bodies as well as the history of women in production. We will be linking how the issues within the film industry connect to larger issues of gender, race, sexuality, and national identity at stake in the United States.

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 2010-11 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 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 2010-11 topics are listed below.

ENG 346 Henry James & F. Scott Fitzgerald
A study of selected major works of Henry James and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the context of American literature, history, and culture. Some attention to biography and film.

ENG 349 18th and 19th-Century Lives
This course examines the rise of biography—in literature, visual art, and historic preservation--in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Our essential test cases will be Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, two writers who might be said to have created the modern modes of biography, but we will also explore the biographies of artists, scientists, politicians, and religious leaders of the era. We will rely on frequent trips around London as supplements for the reading. Offered in London.

ENG 352 Austen
Jane Austen, a lady writing at the beginning of the 19th century who stayed largely within her own family circle, is revered by scholars today as one of the greatest novelists in the British tradition. Equally surprising is her popularity outside academia. In this course, students read the novel of a predecessor, Fanny Burney, and five of Austen’s six novels: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion.  We will examine how she created compelling fiction out of limitations, with characters who must always balance individual fulfillment with social responsibility.  Further, we will be asking what attraction those limitations might have for much freer twenty-first century readers and viewers.

ENG 369 Crime In Literature (fall term 2010)
An examination of how writers imagine crime in literature from the 18th century to the 21st century. In the early 18th 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 19th century, writers often gave hero status to the new crime-fighting professionals. In the 20th 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 269/369 London: A History in Mystery (spring term 2011)
This course examines how selected mystery novels imagine London and how selected mysteries of London, such as the princes in the Tower and Jack the Ripper, are investigated by literature.  Readings range from Shakespeare’s Richard III to recent mysteries and thrillers set in London. Prerequisite: None for ENG 269. ENG 369 students are be responsible for offering presentations, attending small sessions in which they present their research on critical works related to the reading, and writing a longer research paper. Offered in London.

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 2010-11 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 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.

ENG 388 Reticence and Radicalism: Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath and Contemporary Women Poets
A study of the poetry, influence, and reception of these two major figures in American poetry. Bishop has often been associated with "reticence": a woman's voice that is impersonal, restrained, not discussing gender, not expressing anger, not overtly political or positioned in relation to the male, and to a male tradition. Plath is often associated with the "radical" in women’s poetry: an explicit and embattled stance toward patriarchy and men, breaking taboos, self-dramatization, expressions of critique, anger, aggression, an attempt to redefine gendered social roles, deliberately breaking with conventions and expectations for women's voices and women's poetry. We'll explore their poetry and try to determine how such descriptions apply and what we can learn as a result, including study of the following: the conventions and expressive assumptions of women's poetry during the time they were writing, their own writing beyond poetry (letters, journals, fiction), the shifting tides of critical reception for both, including feminist response to both. For the last third of the class, we'll read contemporary poets who show their influence, including Kim Addonizio, Louise Gluck, Joanna Klink, Erica Dawson, and others.

ENG 391 Modern American Short Story Sequence
A study of American short fiction of the 20th 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 500 Senior Seminar
The senior seminar topics for 2009-2010 were: Irish Literature and Faulkner.

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.

CRW 300 Advanced Creative Writing Across Genres (poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction)
For the committed writer of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction who wants to engage in serious discussion of their work and that of their peers and of relevant readings. Students work on a longer manuscript in a primary genre, and one shorter piece in a secondary genre. Students select (most of) the texts for the class. We will also look at contemporary journals and webzines that publish these genres, as well as seminal essays about them. The class is run as a seminar-type discussion and intensive workshop class. Active and regular participation in discussion is required. Prerequisite: At least two courses in creative writing or permission of the instructor.