Course Offerings

Spring 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Playwriting

ENGL 202 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Eco-Writing

ENGL 207 - Green, Leah N.

An expeditionary course in environmental creative writing. Readings include canonical writers such as Frost, Emerson, Auden, Rumi, and Muir, as well as contemporary writers such as W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Janice Ray, Gary Snyder, Annie Dillard, Tich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, and Robert Hass. We take weekly "expeditions" including creative writing hikes, a landscape painting exhibit, and a Buddhist monastery. "Expeditionary courses" sometimes involve moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of eco-literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry) and (2) developing skill and craft in creating eco-writing through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in weekly "writing workshop."

 

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Hill, Michael D.

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.

 

Individual Shakespeare Play

ENGL 242 - Pickett, Holly C.

A detailed study of a single Shakespearean play, including its sources, textual variants, performance history, film adaptations and literary and cultural legacy. The course includes both performance-based and analytical assignments.

English Works: Careers for English Majors

ENGL 290 - Gertz, Genelle C. / Olan, Lorriann T. (Lorri)

A course for English majors and students considering the major to explore and prepare for careers. Students have the opportunity to assess their abilities and skills, learn about a variety of industries, develop professional documents as well as online profiles, participate in mock interviews, network with alumni, and apply for internships and jobs.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Walle, Taylor F.

British literature, supported by attention to historical and cultural contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time or focus on a cultural phenomenon. Students develop their analytical writing skills through both short papers and a final multisource research paper. May be repeated for degree credit and for the major if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, ENGL 292-01: 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.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Adams, Edward A.

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.

Spring 2019, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature & Culture: Films of Alfred Hitchcock (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. Not open to students who have taken a similar course as ENGL 272 or 372. This course presents an intensive survey of the films of Alfred Hitchcock: it 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 interpretation (Spoto's dark thesis), auteur and genre-based interpretation (Truffaut), psychological analyses (Zizek & Freud), and dominant form theory (hands-on study of novel to film adaptations). (HL) Adams.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Wilson, Ricardo A.

Students in this course study a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the texts. Involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, ENGL 295-01: Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Neo-Slave Narratives (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement. How does an engagement with the genre of neo-slave narratives help to develop our thought about the institution of slavery across the Americas? Most importantly, how does this body of work force us to reexamine our cultural inheritance? This course addresses these questions via the thoughtful examination of a range of theoretical, fictional, and cinematic texts. This course involves a five-day residency at the Berry Hill Plantation in South Boston, Virginia. While exploring the plantation and surrounding communities, we visit slave cemeteries and some of the most well-preserved slave quarters in the nation. (HL) Wilson.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Millan, Diego A.

Students in this course study a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the texts. Involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2019, ENGL 295-02: Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Adapting the 19th Century (4). Prerequisite: Completion of FW requirement. This course considers what it takes to adapt facets of the 19th century for 21st-century audiences. We read literary works ranging from "Rip Van Winkle" to "The Tell-Tale Heart" to Douglass' Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, as well as neo slave narratives, film, and artefact curation that either adapt these works or otherwise engage the difficult questions that emerge out of adapting the 19th century (slavery, empire, etc.). Students think about what makes something literature, what goes into adaptation, and what alternative versions of a given text can show us about their source material. The course includes visits to Monticello and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Students eventually work towards adapting/curating an aspect of W&L's 19th-century history for modern audiences. (HL) Millan.

Hotel Orient

ENGL 382 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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.

Visions and Beliefs of the West of Ireland

ENGL 387 - Brown, Alexandra R. / Conner, Marc C.

This course immerses the student in the literature, religious traditions, history, and culture of Ireland. The primary focus of the course is on Irish literary expressions and religious beliefs and traditions, from the pre-historic period to the modem day, with a particular emphasis on the modem (early 20th-century) Irish world. Readings are coordinated with site visits, which range from prehistoric and Celtic sites to early and medieval Christian sites to modem Irish life. Major topics and authors include Yeats and Mysticism, St. Brendan's Pilgrimage, Folklore and Myth, Lady Gregory and Visions, Religion in Irish Art, the Blasket Island storytellers, the Mystic Island, and others.

Winter 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGL 201 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

A course in the practice of creative writing, with attention to two or more genres. Pairings vary by instructor but examples might include narrative fiction and nonfiction; poetry and the lyric essay; and flash and hybrid forms. This course involves workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Staples, Beth A.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Wilson, Ricardo A.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Fuentes, Freddy O.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Brodie, Laura F.

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, 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, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Adams, Edward A.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, 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, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Children's Literature

ENGL 234 - Harrington, Jane F.

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.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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. We then examine medieval French and English traditions that include Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval , the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the Alliterative Morte Arthure , and Malory's Le Morte Darthur . 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. Finally, we investigate Arthurian medievalisms in Victorian England and in American (post)modernity through Tennyson, Twain, Barthelme, and Ishiguro. Along the way, we view various film adaptations of Arthurian legends. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Literature, Race, and Ethnicity

ENGL 262 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - Millan, Diego A.

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 2019, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Urban, Rural, Frontier: Constructions of Space and Place in 19th-Century American Literature (3). What significance does the notion of "place" hold in America's imagination? How has that conception of place and space consolidated over time? Students of America's history, for instance, learn how Manifest Destiny was a nineteenth doctrine that justified the United States' expansion westward, but what goes into realizing such a monumental task? Infrastructural developments such as the transcontinental railroad, of course, realized this vision in a material sense, but even before this, much was done to imagine and reimagine the space of the Americas as available for the taking. While the nation expanded west, its metropolitan spaces also witnessed massive growth as a result of industrialization. The goal of this course is to examine how writers and other artists imagined these changing spaces and landscapes throughout the 19th century. Writers we cover include: Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Pauline Hopkins, Sarah Orne Jewett, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Harriet Jacobs, Thomas Nelson Page, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, and Frank J. Webb. (HL) Millan.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - Smout, Kary

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 2019, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: The American West (3). The American West is a land of striking landscapes, beautiful places to visit, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, and stories that have had a huge impact on the USA and the world, such as Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trail, Custer's Last Stand, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and Cowboy and Indian adventures galore. This course studies some of these Western places, stories, art works, and movies. What has made them so appealing? How have they been used? We study works by authors such as John Steinbeck, Frederic Remington, Willa Cather, Wallace Stegner, and Cormac McCarthy, plus movies with actors like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Brad Pitt, to see how Western stories have played out and what is happening now in these contested spaces. (HL) Smout.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293C - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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 2019, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: Protest Poetry (3). What kind of work can poetry do in the world? Students in this class study poetry from the Civil Rights Era, poetry about environmental crisis, and other kinds of verse that try to change minds and hearts, including protest poems, prayers and curses, and poetry in performance. For experimental credit, students also put poetry into action, first by collaboratively organizing a benefit event for the Rockbridge Area Relief Association, then by creating activist projects for causes of their own choosing. (EXP) Wheeler.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - Adams, Edward A.

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 2019, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Stanley Kubrick & Stephen King (3). This course explores and juxtaposes the novels and films, epic ambitions, dark visions, and cultural rivalry of two of the most popular, influential, and original narrative artists of 20th- and 21st-century America. We closely study most of Kubrick's thirteen feature films, and a representative selection of King's extensive oeuvre, and contextualize these primary texts with relevant biographical, theoretical, and cultural frameworks. Together these primary and secondary works allow us not only to gain a greater appreciation for these artists' individual achievements and larger lifework but also to scrutinize the limitations of expansive ambition in the age of corporatized mass art. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293E - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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 2019, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Introduction to Graphic Novels (3). This course briefly explores early works in the graphic novel form before shifting to a central focus on 21st-century publications from a range of presses outside of U.S. mainstream comics. Students also read a range of literary theory on the formal qualities of graphic novels and then apply those theories to the analysis of selected works. (HL) Gavaler.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293F - Millan, Diego A.

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 2019, ENGL 293F-01: Topics in American Literature: 19th-Century American Gothic Literature (3). Ghosts? Curses? Institutions in varying states of decay? What comes to mind when you think of the word "gothic"? What makes a literary work "gothic," and what differentiates European and American gothics? Why was an appeal to gothic themes an important element during the nineteenth century in the United States? And how did this literature interface with other leading intellectual and artistic movements of the century? Starting from these questions, this course centers recurring themes in nineteenth-century American Gothic literature—such as the fraught divide between rationality/the irrational; puritan anxieties and guilt; fear linked to the unknown, which was often manifested in unexplored territories and frontiers; and serious looks at the unsettling depths of the human experience that challenged ideas about civilized society. Many of these themes were either direct or indirect responses to what was happening at the time: frontier clashes with, and genocide of, Indigenous peoples, slavery, and industrialization. Writers we may cover include: Washington Irving, Charles Brockden Brown, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Charles Chesnutt, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. (HL) Millan.

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

 

 

17th-Century Poetry

ENGL 326 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

18th-Century Novels

ENGL 335 - Walle, Taylor F.

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.

 

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394A - Wilson, Ricardo A.

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.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394B - Smout, Kary

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 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.

 

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Oliver, Bill

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.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

Winter 2019, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Memoir (3). We live in the age of status updates and social media notifications. The selves we project in these platforms and in our daily conversations are often one-sided, a picture either of accomplishment and confidence, or of frustration. More complex representations of the self, of identity, and of individuality, appear in literary genres such as memoir, the personal essay, and fiction. This capstone considers concepts of memory, identity, experience, agency and audience as they inform readings of the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, memoirs by Mary Karr, Deborah Miranda, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Marina Keegan, and personal essays by Joan Didion, Annie Dillard and selected Shenandoah writers. As we consider the narrative choices employed in these literary texts, as well as life narratives' engagement with theories of identity, we develop expertise through research on a chosen autobiography. Then, in the final third of the course, we craft personal narratives of our own, tracing first memories, childhood scenes, and coming-of-age thresholds. These pieces reflect careful thinking about theories of selfhood, as well as specific writing tools, studied throughout the term. (HL) Gertz.

Master Class in Creative Writing

ENGL 431 - Nezhukumatathil, Aimee C.

An advanced workshop taught by the Glasgow Writer in Residence. The genre varies, but the course includes readings, workshops, and individual conferencing. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. Glasgow Writer in Residence.

Winter 2019: ENGL 431: Master Class in Creative Writing: Poetry (1). Prerequisites: Three credits in any creative writing workshop plus instructor consent. Please submit a 5-7 page poetry sample, along with information about creative writing and literature courses you have taken, to Professor Lesley Wheeler (wheelerlm@wlu.edu) by Monday, October 22 for consideration; you will be notified before registration begins about whether you have been admitted to the course. An advanced workshop taught by Glasgow Writer-in-Residence Aimee Nezhukumatathil. The course includes the study of poetry, workshops, individual conferencing, and a final group reading. (EXP) Nezhukumatathil.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Staples, Beth A.

An apprenticeship in editing 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 of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and translations; substantive editing of manuscripts, copyediting; communicating with writers; social media; website maintenance; the design of promotional material. 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.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Adams, Edward A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

Fall 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGL 201 - Green, Leah N.

A course in the practice of creative writing, with attention to two or more genres. Pairings vary by instructor but examples might include narrative fiction and nonfiction; poetry and the lyric essay; and flash and hybrid forms. This course involves workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Staples, Beth A.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Adams, Edward A.

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.

 

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, 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, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

ENGL 250 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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.

Southern American Literature

ENGL 253 - Smout, Kary

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.

Literary Approaches to Poverty

ENGL 260 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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.

Fall 2018, ENGL 260-01: Literary Approaches to Poverty: The Radical Power of Storytelling (3). Dorothy Allison, Appalachian poet and novelist, writes, "...stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world." In this course, we examine contemporary American literature concerned with historic poverty, and subsequent trauma, as a condition of material lack that troubles the nation's founding commitments to individual freedom and social equality. These writers are especially preoccupied with tracking and expressing the physical, psychological, and political effects of want. To better understand the literary treatment of poverty, we consider this writing in relation to ongoing scholarly and political debates about the origins and remedies of economic inequality. We are also especially attentive to the ways that representing poverty creates formal and rhetorical problems that definitively shape this literature: who is telling this story? who is represented? how accurate are those representations? what makes a particular narrative accessible, meaningful or powerful? what is the goal of writing such literature? who is the intended audience? Given the diversity of U.S. populations, we consider dynamics such as race, gender, class, sexuality and political movements along with traditional literary analysis and research. For minors in poverty and human capability, this course supports the program objective of developing critical social consciousness through analysis of fictional and nonfictional literary texts. (HL) Miranda.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292A - Walle, Taylor F.

British literature, supported by attention to historical and cultural contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time or focus on a cultural phenomenon. Students develop their analytical writing skills through both short papers and a final multisource research paper. May be repeated for degree credit and for the major if the topics are different.

Fall 2018, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: All About Eve (3). Heavy hangs the head of the first woman. From Genesis to the femmes fatales of film noir, the figure of Eve—cunning, seductive, and treacherous—is arguably the most powerful and enduring image of woman in Western literature. Eve's story and its permutations encapsulate several fundamental dilemmas in the representation of women, from Milton to the present day. Does a woman's sexuality make her blameworthy? Does her influence make her dangerous? Does her "disobedience" make her criminal? Looking at a variety of media—novels, poetry, graphic novels, and film—this course examines shifting portrayals of Eve and her implications for womanhood and female sexuality. Anchoring our conversation in Genesis and Milton, and then moving to Shelley, Hardy, Carter, and others, we consider what each era's version of Eve reveals about the perception of women, whether the depiction of Eve changes over time, and how Eve's legacy of guilt and temptation informs modern discussions of femininity. (HL) Walle.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - Ball, Gordon V.

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.

Fall 2018, ENGL 293B-01:  Topics in American Literature:  The Literature of the Beat Generation (3).   A study of a particular movement, focusing on the ways in which cultural and historical context have influenced the composition of and response to literature in the United States.  This course examines the writings of such authors as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso, and Gary Snyder, who wrote starting in the mid-1940s, continuing through later decades, and becoming loosely known as the Beat Generation.  What cultural, literary, historical, and religious influences from the U.S. and other parts of the world have shaped their work?  What challenges did their boldly different writings face, and how did their reception change over time?  What are their themes?  Their notions of style?  What have they contributed to American (and world) life and letters?  The goal of this course is to lay a strong foundation from which such questions can be richly addressed and answered.  (HL) Ball.

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299A - Wilson, Ricardo A.

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

Fall 2018, ENGL 299A-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Utopia, Science Fiction, and the Idea of America(s) (3). What value does the utopian/dystopian text hold in the development of alternative thought? This course, grounded in science fiction and the African American and Latin American contexts, addresses this question via the thoughtful examination of a range of theoretical, fictional, and cinematic texts. Works studied throughout the term come from, among others, Carlos Fuentes, Thomas More, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Frederick Jameson, W.E.B. DuBois, Frances Bodomo, Alfonso Cuarón, Octavia Butler, and Samuel Delany. (HL) Wilson .

Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir

ENGL 309 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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?

Studies in the 19th-Century British Novel

ENGL 345 - Adams, Edward A.

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 . Fall 2018: Comfort Fiction. Representative works of Charles Dickens, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy.

Contemporary British and American Drama

ENGL 354 - Pickett, Holly C.

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.

American Poetry at Mid-Century

ENGL 364 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

African-American Literature

ENGL 366 - Millan, Diego A.

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.

Fall 2018, ENGL 366-01: African-American Literature: Make a Body Riot: Laughter, Resistance, and African American Literature (3). How does what makes us laugh position us, either as audience or collaborator? What does the intersection of comedy and performance have to show us about identity formation in relation to race, class, and gender? How might laughter—as a release, as a physical expression, as an indicator of one's interior life, or even as a mode of protest—help us better understand many aesthetic, thematic, acoustic, and political aspects of African-American literature? In pursuing answers to these questions, we center recurring themes and genres in the development of African-American literature throughout the 20th century—such as the role of Black literature in society; the intersections of race, class, and gender; the afterlives of slavery; the historical novel; the role of humor in community formation; and the significance of sound, among others. To guide our discussions, we locate each text within its historical-cultural context and make use of critical sources. Authors we might cover include Charles W. Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Chester Himes, Fran Ross, George C. Wolfe, Toni Morrison, and Paul Beatty. (HL) Millan.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Walle, Taylor F.

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.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Walle, Taylor F.

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 2018, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: From Jane Eyre to Jane Steele: Adaptation, Homage, and Literary Fan Culture (3). From the 18th-century fascination with Shakespeare to the 21st-century obsession with Austen, adaptation and homage is a major part of literary culture. Sometimes, these adaptations become literary classics themselves: Jean Rhys's Wild Sargasso Sea imagines the life and history of Jane Eyre's madwoman in the attic; similarly, Michael Cunningham's The Hours updates Mrs. Dalloway for the 1990s. Other times, however, these adaptations are pure fun: Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective fiction has been recently rewritten as The Lady Sherlock series; Austen's work has been peppered with zombies and sea monsters; and the famously independent heroine of Brontë's Jane Eyre has been reimagined as the homicidal protagonist of Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele. This course puts several instances of adaptation—both highbrow and lowbrow—in conversation with the critical theory on adaptation, homage, and fan culture. This reading prepares students to embark on an individual guided research project in the second half of the term. (HL) Walle.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Staples, Beth A.

An apprenticeship in editing 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 of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and translations; substantive editing of manuscripts, copyediting; communicating with writers; social media; website maintenance; the design of promotional material. 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.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Adams, Edward A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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