English Major

2019 - 2020 Catalog

English major leading to BA degree

A major in English leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires 11 three or four credit courses. The credits must include the following. Students who complete categories 1 and 2 have completed the prerequisites for 300-level English courses.

  1. One English course numbered between 201 and 295
  2. A second English course numbered between 222 and 299
  3. Literatures before 1700: at least two courses chosen from ENGL 311, 312, 313, 316, 319, 320, 326, 330, 386, 392, and when the topic is appropriate 403
  4. Literatures from 1700-1900: at least one course chosen from ENGL 334, 335, 336, 341, 345, 348, 349, 362, 367, 393, and when the topic is appropriate 403
  5. Literatures after 1900: at least one course chosen from ENGL 350, 351, 353, 354, 355, 359, 360, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 368, 369, 370, 373, 375, 382, 384, 394, and when the topic is appropriate 403
  6. "Counter traditions": at least one course chosen from ENGL 350, 351, 359, 361, 366, 382, 395, and when the topic is appropriate 403
  7. One additional course at the 200 or 300 level
  8. Three additional courses at the 300-level or above. One of these courses (from #7 or #8) can, with English department approval in advance, come from departments and programs other than English, but only one term of ENGL 493 may count toward this requirement, as one of the 11 courses required for the major.
  9. Completion of the capstone writing requirement with either ENGL 413 (3) or 493 (3-3)

The English faculty urges majors to craft their courses of study to include lyric poetry, narrative, nonfiction prose, and drama.

  1. One English course numbered between 201 and 295
  2. A second English course numbered between 222 and 299
  3. Literatures before 1700
  4. At least two courses chosen from:

    • ENGL 311 - History of the English Language
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer's Friar can "make his Englissh sweete upon his tonge."  This course examines not only the alleged "sweetness" of English but also the evolution of the language from its origins to the present.  We study basic terms and concepts of linguistics and trace the changes in structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary from Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English to Modern English.  We consider how historical and cultural forces—invasion, revolution, migration, colonization, and assimilation—shape the language.  Moreover, 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—hypertext, email, texting, and tweeting—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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      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 Capellanus, 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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      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 316 - The Tudors
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyGertz

      Famous for his mistresses and marriages, his fickle treatment of courtiers, and his vaunting ambition, Henry VIII did more to change English society and religion than any other king. No one understood Henry's power more carefully than his daughter Elizabeth, who oversaw England's first spy network and jealously guarded her throne from rebel contenders. This course studies the writers who worked for the legendary Tudors, focusing on the love poetry of courtiers, trials, and persecution of religious dissidents, plays, and accounts of exploration to the new world. We trace how the ambitions of the monarch, along with religious revolution and colonial expansion, figure in the work of writers like Wyatt, Surrey, and Anne Askew; Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Southwell; and Thomas More and Walter Ralegh.


    • ENGL 319 - Shakespeare and Company
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyPickett

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyPickett

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyGertz

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyGertz

      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 386 - Supervised Study in Great Britain
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      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.


    • ENGL 392 - Topics in Literature in English before 1700
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English before 1700 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2019, ENGL 392-01: Topics in ENglish Literature before 1700: Othello and Ourselves: Race, Religion, and Reconciliation in Shakespeare (4). Race, religion, sexualized violence: Othello is a play that poses timely and difficult questions for our own age. This course examines one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies in detail, studying its sources, historical context, textual history, performance history, and film adaptations. Subsequently, special attention is given to the play's literary and cultural legacy to see ways the play has been both cited and revised to comment on our modern situation. We consider one of Shakespeare's late plays, The Winter's Tale, as one of the early "revisions" of Shakespeare's Othello and see the play at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton. Students taking the course for 300-level credit  complete a digital-humanities project on the textual variants between the two earliest editions of the play. (HL) Pickett.


    • and when the topic is appropriate:
      • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyStaff

        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.

        Fall 2019, ENGL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: The Bible as English Literature (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Conner.


  5. Literatures from 1700-1900
  6. At least one course chosen from:

    • ENGL 334 - The Age of Unreason: Studies in 18th-Century Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKeiser

      The "long eighteenth century" began roughly twenty years after a revolution unseated England's king and reflects subsequent upheavals in England's culture and literature. This course examines these revolutions through poems, plays, art, and philosophy that extol the birth of science; satirize experiment and reason; and debate the status of slaves and what it means to be human. We consider contemporary gossip, read scurrilous love poetry, witness a host of scandals, and even peek into the lives of London's city dwellers, considering how these works reflected and shaped the turbulent world of an increasingly modern age. Authors are likely to include Pope, Swift, Defoe, Behn, Haywood, Gay, Addison, Johnson, and Sterne.


    • ENGL 335 - 18th-Century Novels
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 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 336 - Ghost in the Machine
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKeiser

      This course considers the way in which literature--from the 17th and 18th centuries to the present--responds to problems of self, soul, matter, and consciousness. We read scurrilous love poetry and experimental novels where the body has a mind of its own. We see how writers 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.


    • ENGL 341 - The Romantic Imagination
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyAdams

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyAdams

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyAdams

      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 349 - Middlemarch and Devoted Readers
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyAdams

      This seminar begins with and centers upon George Eliot's Middlemarch, a novel often regarded as one of the greatest and most ambitious produced in the era of the novel's securest cultural dominance and famously described by Virginia Woolf as one of the "few English novels written for grown-up people." It then problematizes this encounter by setting it in light of Rebecca's Mead's critically-acclaimed My Life in Middlemarch, a memoir of her devoted lifelong reading and reading of it, not just for pleasure but for its profound wisdom and insight. The question of such intense admiration verging on fandom is one that has received increasing scholarly attention, particularly in relation to the so-called Janeite phenomenon, that is, the love of Jane Austen fans for her novels, but extends to numerous other novelists, poets, playwrights, fun-makers, and their fans. Students supplement this focus of the course by researching and presenting their own exemplary case studies of such readerly devotion, obsession, or fandom.


    • ENGL 362 - American Romanticism
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyWarren

      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 367 - 19th-Century American Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      A reading of major American novelists, focusing especially on Poe, Melville, and Hawthorne.  We also consider the relationship between the novel and punishment, especially in the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Lippard, and William Wells Brown.  Additionally, we read fictions during the second half of the century by Twain, Chopin, and Chesnutt.


    • ENGL 393 - Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English from 1700 to 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Spring 2019, ENGL 393-01: Topic: Literature in ENglish, 1700-1900: A Monstrous Creation: Frankenstein and Its Intertexts (3). Much like the creature who haunts its pages, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is itself an assemblage of parts. Drawing on numerous literary and philosophical precedents, Shelley's groundbreaking novel is at once deeply familiar and shockingly new. Placing Frankenstein at its center, this seminar begins with texts that Shelley invokes-including Paradise Lost, Prometheus, Rousseau, and Coleridge, among others-and ends with texts that she inspires. We consider the common mythology, questions, and concerns that all of these texts share, and also the nature of literary allusion, homage, and adaptation. Why does the Genesis story remain so central to the Western literary tradition? Why is Shelley's creature an especially compelling representation of humankind's fallen condition? Why does Shelley's novel continue to resonate with modern audiences, 200 years after its publication? How does the figure of the monster evolve from Milton's Satan to Dick's Android? Students cultivate critical thinking and close reading through class discussion, and then deploy these same skills in a series of analytical writing assignments. (HL) Walle.

      Fall 2019, ENGL 393A-01: Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900: The Global 19th Century (3). This course analyzes the various (inter)national, political, historical, cultural, and ultimately literary impacts of the increasingly interconnected world of the 19th century. Because covering a century in any single location is already a tall order, the course introduces students to thematic connections and ways of reading to inform discussion and research. Using what critic Lisa Lowe calls "the intimacies of four continents" as a foundation, students juxtapose the emergence of European liberalism with ongoing settler colonialism in the Americas, forced Indigenous removal, the enslavement of African people, and trade in Asia. Potential authors and topics include: Equiano, Irving, Apess, Douglass, the Haitian Revolution, racial classification/taxonomy, trade/economy, Latin American wars for independence, The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, the Spanish-American War, fashion, Chinese indentured labor, Indigenous resistance, modernization, and immigration. (HL) Millan.


    • and when the topic is appropriate:
      • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyStaff

        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.

        Fall 2019, ENGL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: The Bible as English Literature (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Conner.


  7. Literatures after 1900
  8. At least one course chosen from:

    • ENGL 350 - Postcolonial Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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 353 - 20th-Century British and Irish Poetry
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyWheeler

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyPickett

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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 359 - Literature by Women of Color
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyMiranda

      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 360 - Cowboys and Indians
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultySmout

      A post-modern study of the "Cowboys and Indians" motif in American literature. Beginning with some stories of Native Americans, we examine how they were depicted in early American literature and history, leading up to "Indian removal" to the West, Custer's Last Stand, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. We then study the rise of the Western itself as a story of national origins, psychology, policy, and destiny focused in the figure of the cowboy. We trace some competing versions of "Cowboy and Indian" stories told since then as America changes and develops, through fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and film by many famous writers and moviemakers including contemporary Native American writers. The goal is to understand why the "Cowboy and Indian" trope is one of the most powerful and widely known stories in the world.


    • ENGL 361 - Native American Literatures
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyMiranda

      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 363 - American Poetry from 1900 to 1945
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyWheeler

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyWheeler

      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 365 - Studies in Contemporary Poetry
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Focused study of poetry in English from 1980 to the present. Topics vary but can include the role of place in contemporary writing or 21st-century poetry and performance. Depending on interest and department needs, readings may involve mainly U.S. authors or English-language poetry from other regions such as Ireland or the Pacific.


    • ENGL 366 - African-American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • ENGL 368 - The Modern American Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyConner

      A careful examination of the great achievements in the American novel in the early 20th century. We focus particularly on the work of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, and Wharton. Key texts include Winesburg, Ohio, The Age of Innocence, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Sound and the Fury, and Go Down, Moses. Assignments include a long research essay on one of the novels of the course.


    • ENGL 369 - Late 20th-Century North American Fiction
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyGavaler

      An exploration of fiction since World War II. Authors may include Wright, O'Connor, Highsmith, Nabokov, Capote, Pynchon, Silko, Atwood, and Morrison.


    • ENGL 370 - Contemporary North American Fiction
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyGavaler

      A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. The course examines the recent movement of literary fiction into traditional pulp genres. Authors may include: Chabon, Atwood, Allende, Alexie, Butler, McCarthy, Diaz, Whitehead, Link, Fowler, and Grossman.


    • ENGL 373 - Hitchcock
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyAdams

      An intensive survey of the films of Alfred Hitchcock: this course covers all of his major and many of his less well-known films. It supplements that central work by introducing students to several approaches to film analysis that are particularly appropriate for studying Hitchcock. These include biographical, auteur, and genre-based interpretation, psychological analyses, and dominant form theory through the study of novel-to-film adaptations.


    • ENGL 375 - Literary Theory
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      A survey of major schools of literary theory including New Criticism, Formalism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, New Historicism, Postcolonial and Native Studies, Feminisms, Queer Studies, Ecocriticism, and New Media. In addition to close reading, we examine alternative methods such as surface reading, flat reading, paranoid reading, and reparative reading. The final paper is tailored to individual student's interests. According to student interests, we also discuss preparations for graduate programs and explore the genres of thesis and grant proposals.


    • ENGL 382 - Hotel Orient
      FDRHL
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      This seminar charts the historical encounters between East and West through the very spaces that facilitate cross-cultural transactions from the medieval to the postmodern. If modern hotel consciousness is marked by transience, ennui, eroticism, and isolation, we ask whether or not the same characteristics held true in premodern hotel practices, and if the space of the Orient makes a difference in hotel writing. Semantically, "Orient" means not only the geographic east. As a verb, to orient means to position and ascertain one's bearings. In this sense, to write about lodging in the East is to sort out one's cultural and geopolitical orientation.


    • ENGL 384 - Ireland in Literature, History, and Film
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyConner

       This seminar seeks to immerse the student in the history and culture of Ireland through a range of media and methods. The primary focus of the course is on modern Irish literature--the seminal writings of the early 20th century, the so-called "Irish Renaissance"--but its secondary focus is on the world from which those writings emerged, and the world that followed upon those writings and was changed utterly by them. Through literary readings (both primary and secondary), texts of cultural history, memoir, and folklore, and through film (an increasingly potent form of expression in Ireland), we seek to understand the major movements in Ireland that led to its great cultural achievements in the 20th century, as well as the near-century that has followed the Renaissance and that still structures Ireland to this day. The seminar is also the prerequisite ENGL 388: Spring Term in Ireland taught in the following term, serving as orientation and preparation for that program and enabling students to be well-prepared when they arrive in Ireland.


    • ENGL 394 - Topics in Literature in English since 1900
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English since 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2019, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: James Baldwin and His Interlocutors (3). This seminar explores the life and writing of James Baldwin. Through an examination of both his fiction and nonfiction, the seminar charts his interrogation and development of ideas surrounding, among other topics, race, courage, love, nation, revolution, and belonging. We also trace his impact on our national consciousness by reading authors whose own bodies of work intersect with his. This list includes, but is not limited to, Norman Mailer, Amiri Baraka, Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Wright, and Barry Jenkins. (HL) Wilson.

      Winter 2019, ENGL 394B-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Environmental Persuasion (3). Students without the course prerequisites may gain entry with instructor consent. This course is open to all majors and class years and fulfills the humanities requirement for the major or minor in environmental studies. How do we resolve major environmental problems? How do we balance the science, economics, public policy, political, ethical, cultural, and other dimensions to create real solutions? Why is this so hard? This course studies strategies of persuasion used by participants in environmental debates to teach students how to enter and win these debates. We study some of the great environmental writers in many genres, look at key historical documents and multimedia works (documentaries, ads, movies, websites), and do some activities involving local leaders and issues. Students write short analytical papers and work on a big project that studies an important environmental debate historically, analyzing who won and why. How do we persuade others to join us in making the changes we want to make? (HL) Smout.

       


    • and when the topic is appropriate:
      • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyStaff

        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.

        Fall 2019, ENGL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: The Bible as English Literature (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Conner.


  9. "Counter traditions"
  10. At least one course chosen from:

    • ENGL 350 - Postcolonial Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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 359 - Literature by Women of Color
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyMiranda

      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
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyMiranda

      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 366 - African-American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • ENGL 382 - Hotel Orient
      FDRHL
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyKao

      This seminar charts the historical encounters between East and West through the very spaces that facilitate cross-cultural transactions from the medieval to the postmodern. If modern hotel consciousness is marked by transience, ennui, eroticism, and isolation, we ask whether or not the same characteristics held true in premodern hotel practices, and if the space of the Orient makes a difference in hotel writing. Semantically, "Orient" means not only the geographic east. As a verb, to orient means to position and ascertain one's bearings. In this sense, to write about lodging in the East is to sort out one's cultural and geopolitical orientation.


    • ENGL 395 - Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English in an area of "counter traditions" with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • and, when the topic is appropriate
      • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyStaff

        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.

        Fall 2019, ENGL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: The Bible as English Literature (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Conner.


  11. One additional courses numbered at the 200 or 300 level
  12. Three additional courses at the 300-level or above.
  13. One of these four courses can, with English department approval in advance, come from departments and programs other than English, but only one term of ENGL 493 may count toward this requirement, as one of the 11 courses required for the major.

  14. Completion of the capstone writing requirement with either
    • ENGL 413 - Senior Research and Writing (3)
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteSix credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Enrollment limited to six

      A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

      Fall 2019, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: For the Record: Sound Studies and Interpreting Literature (3). Despite rich examinations of poetry, oral traditions, drama, and film, Literary Studies still tends to construe its central object of concern—the text—as a static artifact (the book, the poem, the publication, the words on the page). Yet, creative imaginings of sound's resonant capacities are often central to a text's potential meanings. This capstone centers scholarship in the interdisciplinary field of "sound studies" as its foundation for reading literature through its more aural dimensions. During the first weeks of term, we pair excerpts from works such as Jacques Attali's Noise and R. Murray Schafer's The Soundscape with more recent approaches to the study of sound in relation to racialization, technology, class, and gender. In addition, we read shorter texts to practice these newly-tuned interpretation skills. Students apply this foundation to their literary field of interest and produce a capstone project. To aid in this, time is devoted to the writing process, peer-review, and other skills needed to produce a larger project. (HL) Millan.


    • or
    • ENGL 493 - Honors Thesis (3-3)
      Credits3-3
      PrerequisiteSenior major standing and honors candidacy. Instructor consent

      A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu).