Creative Writing Minor

2014 - 2015 Catalog

Creative Writing minor

A minor in creative writing requires six three- or four-credit courses, exclusive of ENGL 101, 105, and 201. In meeting the requirements of this minor, a student may not use more than nine credits that are also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor. The courses must include:

  1. Creative writing workshops: three courses chosen from ENGL 202 (or THTR 220), 203, 204, 205, 307, 308, and 309, with at least one at the 300-level.
  2. Literature: two literature courses in English, including one chosen from courses numbered between 230 and 294 and one chosen from ENGL 299 or English courses numbers between 311 and 386.
  3. One additional course chosen from the above or from ENGL 403 or 453. Students majoring in a discipline without an emphasis in literature are strongly encouraged to choose an elective course from the Literature category (number 2 above). English majors wishing to complete a Creative Writing minor should elect a fourth workshop, a 403 in creative writing, or a creative honors thesis in English.
  4. Participation in a capstone public reading in winter or spring of the senior year.
  1. Creative writing workshops:
  2. three courses chosen from:

    • ENGL 202 - Topics in Creative Writing: Playwriting

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement.

      A course in the practice of writing plays, involving workshops, literary study, critical writing, and performance.

    • or
    • THTR 220 - Playwriting

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Offered in fall or winter when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

      An introductory workshop in scene writing, culminating in the composition and staged reading of a short, one-act play. Weekly writing and reading assignments are required. Limited enrollment.

    • ENGL 203 - Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

      FDR: HA
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
      Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring


      Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement. Limited enrollment.

      A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 203: Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction (3). The practice of writing short fiction, with an emphasis on the short-short and flash-fiction subgenres. The course involves workshops, literary study of the short short's history and practice and critical writing about both published and student work, culminating in a portfolio or revised stories and an essay about the modes and strategies of the short short. (HL) Smith.

    • ENGL 204 - Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement. Limited enrollment.

      A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

    • ENGL 205 - Poetic Forms

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Wheeler
      Planned Offering: Spring 2017 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement.

      A course in the practice of writing poetry, with attention to a range of forms and poetic modes. Includes workshops, literary study, community outreach, and performance. A service-learning course. This course blends three activities: exercises for generating poems; workshops devoted to student writing; and literary analysis of verse forms and modes, from terza rima to performance poetry. Local field trips and special events augment regular class meetings. For each class, students complete readings, generate a new poem draft, and undertake other short assignments. Students establish a daily writing practice and participate in a service-learning project.

    • ENGL 307 - Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Miranda
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisites: Three credits in 200-level English and instructor consent. Students must submit writing samples to qualify for admission. ENGL 203 and/or 204 recommended. Limited enrollment.

      A workshop in writing poems, requiring regular writing and outside reading. Students who have successfully completed either ENGL 204 or 205 should inform Mrs. O'Connell, who will grant them permission to enroll. All others should email a short sample of their poetry to Professor Miranda at mirandad@wlu.edu.

    • ENGL 308 - Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

      FDR: HA
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisites: Three credits in 200-level English and instructor consent. Students must submit writing samples to qualify for admission. ENGL 203 and/or 204 recommended.

      A workshop in writing fiction, requiring regular writing and outside reading.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 308: Advanced Creative Writing: Literary Genre Fiction (3). Reflecting literary trends of the last decade, students explore the intersections between traditional pulp genres and narrative realism. They draft and revise stories that use elements from a range of possible genres--science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, romance--while also developing complex characters grounded in psychological realism. (HL) Gavaler.

       

    • ENGL 309 - Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir

      FDR: HA
      Faculty: Miranda
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisite: Three credits in 200-level English and instructor consent.

      Flannery O'Connor once said that any writer who could survive childhood had enough material to write about for a lifetime. Memoir is a mosaic form, utilizing bits and pieces from autobiography, fiction, essay and poetry in ways that allow the author to muse (speculate, imagine, remember, and question) on their own life experiences. Modern literary memoir requires tremendous work from the author, as she moves both backward and forward in time, re-creates believable dialogue, switches back and forth between scene and summary, and controls the pace and tension of the story with lyricism or brute imagery. In short, the memoirist keeps her reader engaged by being an adept and agile storyteller. This is not straight autobiography. Memoir is more about what can be gleaned from a section of one's life than about chronicling an entire life. Like a mosaic, memoir is about the individual pieces as much as the eventual whole. Work focuses on reading established memoirists, free writing, and workshopping in and out of class.

    • with at least one at the 300-level
  3. Literature:
  4. two literature courses in English, including one chosen from:

    • ENGL 230 - Poetry

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Wheeler
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      An introductory study of poetry written in English. The course may survey representative poems or focus on a theme. In all versions of the course, students will develop a range of interpretive strategies, learning the vocabulary appropriate to poetry's many structures, modes, and devices.

    • ENGL 231 - Drama

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      An introductory study of drama, emphasizing form, history, and performance. Organization may be chronological, thematic, or generic and may cover English language, western, or world drama. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the interpretation of theatrical texts.

    • ENGL 232 - The Novel

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      An introductory study of the novel written in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of modern narrative.

    • ENGL 233 - Film

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Keiser
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      An introductory study of film in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.

    • ENGL 234 - Children's Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Leland
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A study of works written in English for children. The course treats major writers, thematic and generic groupings of texts, and children's literature in historical context. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books, including picture books that dispense with text.

    • ENGL 235 - Fantasy

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A study of major types of narrative in which the imagination modifies the "natural" world and human society: the marvelous in epic, romance, and Islamic story collections; the fantastic in romantic and modern narrative; and the futuristic in science fiction and social fable.

    • ENGL 236 - The Bible as English Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      An intensive study of the Bible as a literary work, focusing on such elements as poetry, narrative, myth, archetype, prophecy, symbol, allegory, and character. Emphases may include the Bible's influence upon the traditions of English literature and various perspectives of biblical narrative in philosophy, theology, or literary criticism.

    • ENGL 240 - Arthurian Legend

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Kao
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      Why does King Arthur continue to fascinate and haunt our cultural imagination? This course surveys the origins and histories of Arthurian literature, beginning with Celtic myths, Welsh tales, and Latin chronicles, followed by medieval French and English traditions, as well as modern Arthurian medievalisms. In addition to historical and literary contexts, we explore theoretical issues surrounding the texts, especially the relationship between history and fantasy, courtly love and adultery, erotic love and madness, romance and chivalry, gender and agency, and Europe and its Others. All texts are read in modern English translation.

    • ENGL 250 - Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Kao
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.

    • ENGL 251 - British Literature in an Age of Global Expansion, 1660s-1790s

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A study of British literature in relation to key historical developments from the restoration of the monarchy through the period of the French revolution, emphasizing the emergence of Britain's consumer culture, colonial ventures, and participation in the slave trade. The course explores how influential kinds of literature interact with other cultural dynamics (economic, political, religious) and with social categories including gender, class, and race. We practice multiple approaches to critical reading, and students develop analytical writing skills in a series of short papers.

    • ENGL 252 - Shakespeare

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play

    • ENGL 253 - Southern American Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A study of selected fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction by Southern writers in their historical and literary contexts. We practice multiple approaches to critical reading, and students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers.

    • ENGL 260 - Literary Approaches to Poverty

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      Examines literary responses to the experience of poverty, imaginative representations of human life in straitened circumstances, and arguments about the causes and consequences of poverty that appear in literature. Critical consideration of dominant paradigms ("the country and the city," "the deserving poor," "the two nations," "from rags to riches," "the fallen woman," "the abyss") augments reading based in cultural contexts. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 260: Literary Approaches to Poverty: Medieval Poverty and Labor (3). Is poverty an ideal state of existence or a socioeconomic plight in need of fixing? Should the poor be put to work? In the Middle Ages, poverty was both a blessed condition of being and a dire social crisis. This course explores medieval experiences of poverty: estates, piety, charity, mendicancy, labor, gender, the Great Famine, Black Death, and urbanization. Texts include saint's lives (St. Francis of Assisi), Thomas Aquinas, Piers Plowman, Shepherds' Plays, Sir Orfeo, patient Griselda, and the legends of Robin Hood. We pay close attention to medieval understandings of poverty and labor, as well as modern parallels. All texts are read in modern English translation. (HL) Kao.

    • ENGL 261 - Reading Gender

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A course on using gender as a tool of literary analysis. We study the ways ideas about masculinity and femininity inform and are informed by poetry, short stories, novels, plays, films, and/or pop culture productions. Also includes readings in feminist theory about literary interpretation and about the ways gender intersects with other social categories, including race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise. We study novels, poems, stories, and films that engage with what might be considered some major modern myths of gender: popular fairy tales. We focus at length upon the Cinderella and Red Riding Hood stories but also consider versions of several additional tales, always with the goal of analyzing the particular ideas about women and men, girls and boys, femininity and masculinity that both underlie and are produced by specific iterations of these familiar stories.

    • ENGL 262 - Literature, Race, and Ethnicity

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3 in fall, winter; 4 in spring


      Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement.

      A course that uses ethnicity, race, and culture to develop readings of literature. Politics and history play a large role in this critical approach; students should be prepared to explore their own ethnic awareness as it intersects with other, often conflicting, perspectives. Focus will vary with the professor's interests and expertise, but may include one or more literatures of the English-speaking world: Chicano and Latino, Native American, African-American, Asian-American, Caribbean, African, sub-continental (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), and others.

    • ENGL 291 - Seminar

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement.

      This course studies a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the works. Some recent topics have been the Southern Short Story; Gender and Passion in the 19th-Century Novel; Chivalry, Honor, and the Romance; and Appalachian Literature. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENGL 292 - Topics in British Literature

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement.

      Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2015 topic:

      ENGL 292: Remembering the Great War (4). On the centenary of the Great War, we read the combatant-poets and memoirists, their contemporaries (modernists), and plays, films, and novels by writers of later generations. Authors include Pat Barker, Sebastian Barry, Rupert Brooke, H.D., T. S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, Robert Graves, Ivor Gurney, David Jones, Joan Littlewood, Wilfred Owen, Jessie Pope, Siegfried Sassoon, and Isaac Rosenberg. In afternoon screenings, we will view All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Paths of Glory (1957), Gallipoli (1981), and War Horse (2011). Emphasis on the enduring images and changing tropes of the Great War. (HL) Keen.

      Fall 2014 topic:

      ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: Seeing Gothic (3). Ruined castles, haunted houses, secret passages, apparitions, doppelgangers, vampires, monsters, murder, and madness--in short, the stuff of nightmares and the focus of this course. This class surveys the "gothic": works dealing with the horrific, the grotesque, the uncanny, and the supernatural. We begin by examining the first appearance of gothic novels in the presumptively rational and clearheaded eighteenth century (authors include Walpole, Radcliffe, and Beckford) before turning to some notorious nineteenth-century examples of the genre (such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and stories by Edgar Allan Poe). Our ultimate aim, though, is to track how these earlier gothic works influenced twentieth-century horror cinema. To that end, we read the aforementioned texts alongside gothic films like Kubrick's The Shining, Roeg's Don't Look Now, Dreyer's Vampyr, Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, and Aronofsky's Black Swan. Along the way, we see that gothic texts continually blur the thin line between madness and sanity, make a place for the supernatural in an increasingly rationalized world, and force us to face the limits of human experience. (HL) Staff

    • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
      Credits: 3-4


      Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement.

      Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2015 topics:

      ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Form and Freedom in Modern American Poetry (3). Robert Frost once said that writing free verse is like playing tennis without a net. This course challenges that statement by examining the structure of free verse, from Whitman and Williams through J. Ivy, before considering all the freedom that poets like Frost, Bishop, and Wilbur found in sonnets, villanelles and sestinas. An overview of American lyric poetry from the past 150 years. (HL) Brodie.

      ENGL 293-02: Topics in American Literature: Chicana/o or Mexican American Literature (3). This course explores a broad spectrum of the forms and genres of Chicana/o literature produced over the last 30 years, including the political treatise, novel, short story, and poem. Readings, videos and guest speakers discuss the historical and literary contexts of Chicana/o literature, bringing to light the multiple intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality. The scope of the course covers the foundational texts of Chicana/o literature beginning with Movement-inspired concepts and moving through a sampling of the new terrain being explored by feminists, cultural critics, and queer writers at the beginning of the 21st century. Typical authors featured include Rivera, Rodriguez, Cisneros, Anzaldua, Trujillo, Anaya, Viramontes. (HL) Miranda.

      Fall 2014 topic:

      ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Spectatorship and Sexuality (3). How might we come to understand the relationship between image, spectatorship and gender? For the past 40 years, cinema has been a principle terrain upon which feminist debates over representation and identity have emerged. Through a sampling of key films and texts, this course charts those debates. Beginning with the psychoanalytic discussions of the 1970s and '80s, we venture through to the postcolonial and "postmodern" responses of the late 1990s and conclude with an extended consideration of femininity in contemporary popular film. Through class discussion and written critique, students are invited to become discerning spectators of their own visual landscapes. (HL) Renault-Steele

    • ENGL 294 - Topics in Environmental Literature

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement.

      Studies in the literature of natural history, exploration, and science pertaining to the fundamental relationships between nature and human culture. Versions of this course focus on particular periods and national literatures, or they concentrate on a specific theme or problem. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 294-01:  Topics in American Literature:  American Environmental Poetry (3).  In this course we read a selection of works by American poets from the seventeenth century to the present, but the majority of our readings are from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  We ask how "nature poetry" becomes "environmental poetry," and what the difference in terminology signifies.  We develop skills in formal and thematic analysis of poems.  We ask how we read poems from different periods both within their own historical context and within our present historical context.  Poets include Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Gary Snyder, Simon Ortiz, and Pattiann Rogers.  (HL)  Warren

    • And one chosen from
    • ENGL 299 - Seminar for Prospective Majors

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: Completion of FW composition requirement, at least one course chosen from English courses numbered from 203 to 295.

      A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Justice in Late Medieval Literature; Tragedy and Comedy; Western American Literature; Emily Dickinson; and Thomas Hardy: Novelist and Poet.

      Winter 2015 topics:

      ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Henry David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism (3). This course focuses on the writing of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), reading them in relation to other major figures of American Transcendentalism. During Thoreau's short lifetime, New England culture was the site of far-reaching and profound social, political, scientific, and literary innovations. We combine close attention to works like Walden and The Maine Woods with research into the lyceum lecture series, anti-slavery movements, communitarian experiments, natural history and travel narratives, and the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson. (HL) Warren.

      ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Revenge (3). In this seminar, preparatory to more advanced study in the English Department, we sharpen our skills as close readers of texts and as clear and compelling writers about literature and film. Our topic is one of the most common themes and sources of conflict in world literature: revenge. From Greek drama (such as Medea), to the Old Testament, to English Renaissance drama (The Spanish Tragedy, Hamlet), to contemporary film (Kill Bill), to world literature and film (Chushingura, The Virgin Spring), the revenge motive has propelled plots and characters and has spun off sub-genres, such as detective fiction, gangster violence, and legal drama. The course culminates in a longer paper on the topic and texts of your choice that showcase your skills in textual analysis, application of pertinent theory, and research. (HL) Dobin.

      Fall 2014 Topics:

      ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Detective Fiction (3). A close study of the popular sub-genre, detective fiction, culminating in the writing of a research paper. We study detective fiction from the beginnings of the form in the nineteenth century to contemporary examples, touching on the golden age of British detective fiction ("whodunits" and puzzlers), private eyes, hard-boiled detectives, police procedurals, psychological thrillers, and historical and metaphysical mysteries. Authors are selected from among the following: Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Josephine Tey, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Paul Auster, Laurie R. King, Walter Mosley, P. B. Kerr, and Alan Bradley. Some authors and modes are represented by film adaptations rather than by novels. (HL) Keen
       

      ENGL 299-02: Seminar: The Native Writes Back:American Indian Literatures and U.S. History (3). "History is written by the victors. Literature is written by the survivors." For most of U.S. history, the voices and testimonies of Native American writers have been absent, silenced, or erased from our textbooks and cultural mythology. With few exceptions, non-natives usually told the Native American story in America. With the start of the Native American Literary Renaissance in the late 1960s, however, Indian writers have been using fiction, memoir, poetry, creative non-fiction, film-making, stand-up comedy, and music to re-write U.S. history from a Native point of view. This course examines specific events in U.S History from a Native American perspective as reflected in Native-authored texts to see how Indians present that re-visioning, how it is translated from various sources into literature, and the effectiveness it has in helping U.S. citizens re-imagine ourselves in contemporary times. (HL) Miranda.

    • or
    • ENGL 311 - History of the English Language

      Faculty: Kao
      Planned Offering: Spring 2015 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299 or instructor consent.

      This course examines the evolution of the English language from its origins to the present. We study basic terms and concepts of linguistics and trace the changes in structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary. We consider how historical and cultural forces shape the language; we examine language myths, the construction of standard English, issues of correctness, orality, pidgins and creoles, and the variety of Englishes in their diverse configurations. Finally, we ask how new media and technological praxes have changed the English language, and if English may or may not be the lingua franca of our increasingly globalized world.

    • ENGL 312 - Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Kao
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study of the complex nexus of gender, love, and marriage in medieval legal, theological, political, and cultural discourses. Reading an eclectic range of texts--such as romance, hagiography, fabliau, (auto)biography, conduct literature, and drama--we consider questions of desire, masculinity, femininity, and agency, as well as the production and maintenance of gender roles and of emotional bonds within medieval conjugality. Authors include Chaucer, Chretien de Troyes, Heldris of Cornwall, Andreas Cappellanus, Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pisan. Readings in Middle English or in translation. No prior knowledge of medieval languages necessary.

    • ENGL 313 - Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Kao
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales. We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales, as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

    • ENGL 318 - Medieval and Renaissance Drama

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Pickett
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study of English drama from its origins to the closing of the theaters in 1642; an introduction to the religious and secular drama of the Middle Ages, with emphasis upon the principal plays of the major Tudor and Stuart playwrights-Marlowe, Jonson, Tourneur, Chapman, Middleton, Webster, and Ford.

    • ENGL 319 - Shakespeare and Company

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Pickett
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Focusing on the repertory and working conditions of the two play companies with which he was centrally involved, this course examines plays by Shakespeare and several of his contemporary collaborators and colleagues (Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher). Attentive to stage history and the evolution of dramatic texts within print culture, students consider the degree to which Shakespeare was both a representative and an exceptional player in Renaissance London's "show business."

    • ENGL 320 - Shakespearean Genres

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Pickett
      Planned Offering: Fall in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.

    • ENGL 326 - 17th-Century Poetry

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Gertz
      Planned Offering: Fall in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Readings of lyric and epic poetry spanning the long 16th century, and tracing the development of republican and cavalier literary modes. Genres include the metaphysical poetry of Donne, Herbert, Katherine Philips, and Henry Vaughan; erotic verse by Mary Wroth, Herrick, Thomas Carew, Marvell, Aphra Behn, and the Earl of Rochester; elegy by Jonson and Bradstreet; and epic by Milton.

    • ENGL 330 - Milton

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Gertz
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      This course surveys one of the most talented and probing authors of the English language -- a man whose reading knowledge and poetic output has never been matched, and whose work has influenced a host of writers after him, including Alexander Pope, William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Mary Shelley. In this course, we read selections from Milton's literary corpus, drawing from such diverse genres as lyric, drama, epic and prose polemic. As part of their study of epic form, students create a digital humanities project rendering Paradise Lost in gaming context. Quests, heroes,ethical choices and exploration of new worlds in Paradise Lost are rendered as a game. Students read Milton in the context of literary criticism and place him within his historical milieu, not the least of which includes England's dizzying series of political metamorphoses from Monarchy to Commonwealth, Commonwealth to Protectorate, and Protectorate back to Monarchy.

    • ENGL 333 - Studies in Restoration and Early 18th-Century Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      An examination of British literature written between 1660 and 1740. Thematic or generic focus varies from year to year. In a given term, the course focuses on either one or two major genres (e.g., comedic stage plays, prose narratives, periodicals, satiric poetry) or a topic addressed in a variety of genres. Authors are likely to include Behn, Dryden, Wycherley, Congreve, Addison, Steele, Haywood, Defoe, Swift, Pope, Gay, and Montagu.

    • ENGL 334 - Studies in Later 18th-Century Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      An examination of British literature written between 1740 and 1800. Thematic or generic focus varies from year to year. In a given term, the course focuses on either one or two genres or subgenres (e.g., sentimental novels, travel writing, odes and elegies) or a topic addressed in a variety of genres. Authors are likely to include Richardson, Fielding, Johnson, Gray, Goldsmith, Thomson, Burney, and Wollstonecraft.

    • ENGL 335 - 18th-Century Novels

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study of prose fiction up to about 1800, focusing on the 18th-century literary and social developments that have been called "the rise of the novel." Authors likely include Behn, Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Burney, and/or Austen.

    • ENGL 341 - The Romantic Imagination

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Adams
      Planned Offering: Winter 2014 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study emphasizing the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, but giving some attention to their own prose statements, to prose works by such associates as Dorothy Wordsworth, Lamb, Hazlitt, De Quincey, and Mary Shelley, and to novels by Austen and Scott.

    • ENGL 345 - Studies in the 19th-Century British Novel

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Adams
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Novels and topics vary from year to year depending upon the interests of the instructor and of the students (who are encouraged to express their views early in the preceding semester). Authors range from Austen and Scott through such high Victorians as Dickens, Gaskell, Eliot, and Trollope to late figures such as Hardy, Bennett, and James. Possible topics include the multiplot novel, women novelists, industrial and country house novels, mysteries and gothics, and the bildungsroman .

    • ENGL 348 - Victorian Poetry: Victorian Pairs

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Brodie
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      This course offers an overview of Victorian poetry by examining four pairs of poets. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband, Robert, offer lessons in gender roles in Victorian England. Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his sister, Christina, provide a window into the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Works by Alfred Tennyson and Matthew Arnold exemplify the Victorian elegiac mode, and Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Hardy illustrate faith and skepticism in the transition to modernism.

       

    • ENGL 350 - Postcolonial Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Keen
      Planned Offering: Fall 2015
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study of the finest writers of postcolonial poetry, drama, and fiction in English. The course examines themes and techniques in a historical context, asking what "postcolonial" means to writers of countries formerly colonized by the British. Topics include colonization and decolonization; writing in the colonizer's language; questions of universality; hybridity, exile, and migrancy; the relationship of postcolonial to postmodern; Orientalism; censorship; and the role of post-imperial Britain in the publication, distribution, and consumption of postcolonial literature.

    • ENGL 351 - World Fiction in English

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Keen
      Planned Offering: Fall 2016 and every third year
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Topics in narrative fiction written in English by writers from nations formerly colonized by the British. Readings include novels and short stories originally written in English. Emphasis on techniques of traditional and experimental fiction, subgenres of the novel, international influences, and historical contexts.

    • ENGL 352 - Modern Irish Literature

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Conner
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      A study of the major Irish writers from the first part of the 20th century, focusing particularly on Joyce, Yeats, Synge, and Gregory. Some attention is paid to the traditions of Irish poetry, Irish history and language, and the larger context of European modernism that Irish modernism both engages and resists. Major themes may include the Irish past of myth, legend, and folklore; colonialism, nationalism and empire; religious and philosophical contexts; the Irish landscape; and general modernist questions, such as fragmentation, paralysis, alienation, and the nature of the work of art.

    • ENGL 353 - 20th-Century British and Irish Poetry

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Wheeler
      Planned Offering: Winter 2016 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Selected readings in British poetry from the turn of the century to the present, including the English tradition, international modernism, Irish, and other Commonwealth poetry. We will examine how many poets handle inherited forms, negotiate the world wars, and express identity amid changing definitions of gender and nation.

    • ENGL 354 - Contemporary British and American Drama

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Pickett
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      This course examines both the masterpieces and undiscovered gems of English language theater from Samuel Beckett to the present. The course investigates contemporary movements away from naturalism and realism towards the fantastical, surreal, and spectacular. Student presentations, film screenings, and brief performance exercises supplement literary analysis of the plays, though no prior drama experience is presumed.

    • ENGL 355 - Studies in British Fiction Since 1900

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Keen
      Planned Offering: Fall 2017
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299.

      Focused study of novels and short stories by 20th- and 21st-century British writers. Topics may include modernist experimentation, theories of the novel, cultural and historical contexts, and specific themes or subgenres. Emphasis on the vocabulary and analytical techniques of narrative theory.

    • ENGL 358 - Literature by Women Before 1800

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A study of poetry, narrative, and drama written in English by women before 1800. Texts, topics, and historical emphasis may vary, but the course addresses the relation of gender to authorship; considers particular constraints and liberties encountered by women writers; and examines how women's literary productions reflect and participate in constructing their material and social circumstances.

    • ENGL 359 - Literature by Women of Color

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Miranda
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      This course focuses on the intersection of race and gender as they meet in the lives and identities of contemporary women of color via literature: African-Americans, Native Americans, Chicanas, Asian-Americans, and mixed bloods, or 'mestizas.' Our readings, discussions and writings focus on the work that "coming to voice" does for women of color, and for our larger society and world. Students read a variety of poetry, fiction, and autobiography in order to explore some of the issues most important to and about women of color: identity, histories, diversity, resistance and celebration. Literary analyses-i.e., close readings, explications and interpretations-are key strategies for understanding these readings.

    • ENGL 361 - Native American Literatures

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Miranda
      Planned Offering: Winter in every third year
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A study of American Indian literature, primarily from the 20th century but including some historical and prehistorical foundations (oral storytelling, early orations and essays). Texts and topics may vary, but this course poses questions about nation, identity, indigenous sovereignty, mythology and history, and the powers of story as both resistance and regeneration. Readings in poetry, fiction, memoir, and nonfiction prose. Authors may include Alexie, Harjo, Hogan, Erdrich, Silko, Chrystos, Ortiz, LeAnne Howe and Paula Gunn Allen.

    • ENGL 362 - American Romanticism

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Warren
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A study of American themes and texts from the middle decades of the 19th century. Readings in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. Representative figures could include Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Dickinson, Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville.

    • ENGL 363 - American Poetry from 1900 to 1945

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Wheeler
      Planned Offering: Fall 2016 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A consideration of American poetry from the first half of the 20th century, including modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and popular poetry. Students will investigate the interplay of tradition and experiment in a period defined by expatriatism, female suffrage, and the growing power of urban culture.

    • ENGL 364 - American Poetry at Mid-Century

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Wheeler
      Planned Offering: Fall 2015 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299 or instructor consent.

      Readings from the middle generation of 20th century U.S. poets with attention to the Beats, the New York School, Black Arts, and many other movements. Writers may include Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Robert Hayden, and others.

    • ENGL 366 - African-American Literature

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Winter 2015 and alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A focused engagement with the African-American literary tradition, from its beginnings in the late 18th century through its powerful assertions in the 21st. The focus of each term's offering may vary; different versions of the course might emphasize a genre, author, or period such as poetry, Ralph Ellison, or the Harlem Renaissance.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 366: African-American Poetry (3). A study of African-American poetry and poetics, with attention to their intersection with politics and music. While we focus mainly on 20th- and 21st-century works, history and remembrance are a recurring motif in our readings and conversations. (HL) Wheeler.

    • ENGL 367 - 19th-Century American Novel

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Warren
      Planned Offering: Fall in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      A reading of major American novelists, focusing especially on Hawthorne, Melville, and James. We also consider the relationship between the novel and social reform, especially in the domestic novels of mid-century (Stowe and Fanny Fern, for example) and in fictions at century's end by Crane, Jewett, and Chopin.

    • ENGL 368 - The Modern American Novel

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Conner
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      An examination of the American novel in the first half of the 20th century, from the late Realist and Naturalist writers through World War II. The heart of the course focuses on the major figures of American Modernism-Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner-but may also consider various early and late Modernist writers (Anderson, Toomer, Wharton, Hurston, West). Major concerns include the motif of exile, the figure of the artist, the Lost Generation, the rise of the city and decline of the village or pastoral ideal, conflicts of race and gender, existentialism and religious crisis, and the meanings and impact of Modernism itself.

    • ENGL 369 - Contemporary American Fiction

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Fall in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      An exploration of the formal, thematic, and cultural discontinuities which have reshaped contemporary American fiction.

    • ENGL 370 - Literary Theory

      FDR: HL
      Faculty: Warren
      Planned Offering: Winter in alternate years
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299.

      An introduction to literary theory, focusing on classic texts in literary criticism and on contemporary developments such as Formalism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Marxism, New Historicism and Cultural Studies, Feminism and Gender Studies, and Ecocriticism.

    • ENGL 380 - Advanced Seminar

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
      Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring


      Prerequisite: ENGL 299. Enrollment limited.

      A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2015 topic:

      ENGL 380: Advanced Seminar: The Ghost in the Machine (3). Consciousness is both very familiar and very strange. As you read these words, you probably don't doubt that you're conscious. But what exactly is consciousness? Where does it come from? Is it the result of an immaterial soul buried somewhere deep within the body--a kind of "ghost in the machine," as the philosopher Gilbert Ryle puts it--or does the body alone do all the thinking? In this course, we consider the way in which literature--from the 17th and 18th centuries to the present--responds to these problems of self, soul, matter, and consciousness. We read scurrilous love poetry (by the Earl of Rochester) and experimental novels (by Eliza Haywood) where the body has a mind of its own. We see how writers like Laurence Sterne and Virginia Woolf attempt to capture the fleeting movements of the psyche by developing a "stream of consciousness" style. We consider how certain literary texts give us a glimpse into the inner lives of non-human thinking things (such as a bat, a talking parrot, and even a brain in a vat). We also think about how literature responds to developments in neuroscience--which means reading some contemporary "neuro-novels" by Richard Powers, Rivka Galchen, and Ian McEwan. (HL) Keiser.

      Fall 2014 topics:

      ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014

      ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014

      ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

    • ENGL 385 - Preparatory Reading for Study Abroad

      Faculty: Staff
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

      Seminar in reading preliminary to study abroad.

    • ENGL 386 - Supervised Study in Great Britain

      FDR: HL
      Planned Offering: Spring 2014
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: ENGL 299 or instructor consent.

      An advanced seminar in British literature carried on in Great Britain, with emphasis on independent research and intensive exposure to British culture. Changing topics, rotated yearly from instructor to instructor, and limited in scope to permit study in depth.

  5. One additional course chosen from the above or from
  6. Students majoring in a discipline without an emphasis in literature are strongly encouraged to choose an elective course from the Literature category (number 2 above). English majors wishing to complete a Creative Writing minor should elect a fourth workshop, a 403 in creative writing, or a creative honors thesis in English.

    • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study

      Faculty: Staff
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

      A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENGL 453 - Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

      Faculty: R. T. Smith
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: At least junior standing and consent of the Shenandoah editor.

      An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students each 12-week term with the editor of Shenandoah , Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts, proofreading/copyediting, the arrangement of work within an issue, selection of cover art, composing contributor's notes, responding to queries, and issuing news releases. Interns also work toward an understanding of the role of journals in contemporary literature. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing Minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

  7. Participation in a capstone public reading in winter or spring of the senior year.