Course Offerings

Winter 2017

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.

Advanced Expository Writing

ENGL 201 - Smout, Kary

A study of writing as a process and of the conventions shared by communities of writers in the academic disciplines, business, and the professions. The course focuses especially on revision techniques, with students writing and revising several papers. Course topics vary depending on students' major fields and career interests.

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: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Harrington, Jane F.

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.

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Walle, Taylor F.

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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 232-01: The Novel: Frantic and Sickly, Idle and Extravagant: The Gothic Novel from 1764 to 1979 (3). Though long considered "trash," "low-brow," or genre fiction, the gothic novel has enjoyed enduring popularity, from the 18th century to the present day. What is more, the gothic novel encompasses a wider variety of novelistic genres than its reputation generally allows; indeed, the history of the gothic is intimately connected to the history of the novel itself. Beginning with Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto (1764) and ending with Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (1979), this course surveys the history of the gothic and, in so doing, charts the evolution of the novel as a form. We read Ann Radcliffe's Sicilian Romance , Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey , Wilkie Collins's the Woman in White , and Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray , among others. In addition to considering the basic elements of the novel as a genre, we also challenge the distinction between "literary" and "low-brow" and examine our continued fascination with the gothic mode. (HL) Walle .

Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292A - Walle, Taylor F.

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

Winter 2017, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: 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 course begins with texts that Shelley invokes—including Paradise Lost , Prometheus, Rousseau, and Coleridge, among others—and ends with texts that she inspires. In so doing, we consider not only the common mythology, questions, and concerns that all of these texts share, but 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, two hundred years after its publication? (HL) Walle .

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292B - Harrington, Jane F.

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

Winter 2017, ENGL 292B-01: Topics in British Literature: Children's Literature: Grimm, Wilde, and Peculiar (3). Enthusiasts of children's literature will appreciate this romp through the strange, uncut folklore of the Brothers Grimm and the beautiful, subversive fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. In addition to reading the original stories, participants engage with modern picture book versions and academic discourse on the texts and contexts. Lastly, students hunt for the "Grimm" and the "Wilde" in young adult works, including the short stories of Neil Gaiman and the book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children ." (HL) Harrington

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - 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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 293A-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.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - Smith, Rodney T.

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 2017, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: Subverting Stereotypes: Modern Appalachian Literature (3). The stereotype of the Appalachian dweller—a dirty, lazy, ignorant, moonshining, feuding, but musical and comic fundamentalist—is so inaccurate one wonders how it was contrived, as well as why anyone would believe it. However, the residents of the Appalachian Mountains have long struggled to throw off the images foisted upon them in film and print. In this course we examine the counter-narratives presented by recent fiction writers and poets of the region in their effort to probe beyond the highlanders' notorious peculiarities and reach the recognizably human mysteries—diversity, humor, spiritual conflict, divided loyalties—which complicate the nature and experiences of the native mountain people. Our reading includes work by the Appalachian poets, Charles Wright, Ann Pancake, Denise Giardina, Charles Frazier, Robert Morgan, Lynn Powell, Ron Rash and others, and we supplement the reading with films and music. Each student is required to keep a reading journal, make an oral presentation to the class, and write both a short paper and a longer, research-based paper, with an option to substitute creative work for the short paper. (HL) Smith .

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293C - Bufkin, Sydney 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 2017, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: American Gilded Ages (3). It's become something of a commonplace that the beginning of the 21st century looks very much like a second Gilded Age. Thomas Piketty calls our current moment a second Belle Epoque in Capital in the Twenty-First Century , Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein joke on Portlandia that "The dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland," and the Comedy Central series Another Period mines the first Gilded Age for laughs by depicting the Vanderbilt-like Bellacourt family in the reality-TV mode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Orange County . This course examines the connections between the literature, history, and popular culture of the late-19th and early-20th centuries and that of today. We consider muckraking texts, environmental writing, and the literary forms of naturalism and serialization to compare the cultural forms, historical contexts and political and social issues that resonate both today and at the turn of the previous century. Possible course texts include Upton Sinclair's The Jungle , Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickle and Dimed , Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth , Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife , and the HBO series The Wire . (HL) Bufkin .

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - Smith, Rodney T.

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 2017, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Introduction to Literary Editing (3). An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's nationally prominent literary magazine. This is a course for anyone interested in editing literary journals, writing for the literary community (blogs, news releases, two book reviews, features, business correspondence), and how both print and on-line journals operate. Often a stepping stone to a publication career, the course involves an introduction to the creation, design, and maintenance of WordPress web sites, as well as a survey of current magazines. The course also offers opportunities for students to practice generating and editing their own texts and those of their peers. Each student oversees one facet of the journal (Poem of the Week, blog, submissions management, contests, social media), and each makes a presentation to the class on the nature and practices of two other current literary journals. Students work in pairs toward an understanding of the role journals play in contemporary literature and engage in peer editing. (HL) Smith .

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293E - Brodie, Laura F.

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 2017, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Fiction (3). This course studies trends in contemporary American fiction, and the current publishing industry, by focusing on recent winners of the Pulitzer Prize. We begin with an overview of the prize's history and the judging process, before delving into novels, novellas, and story collections. Readings include Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad , and the three nominees from 2012, when no winner was chosen: Johnson's Train Dreams , Russell's Swamplandia , and Wallace's Pale King (excerpts). Students also read and write about three Pulitzer nominees from a year of their choosing. The class explores book review venues—newspapers, blogs, podcasts—and considers the current literary market, from self-publishing through major commercial publishers. (HL) Brodie .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Divinity and Desire in the English Renaissance (3). In this gateway seminar, we study portrayals of secular and divine love in the English Renaissance. We read love poets of Henry VIII's court—Wyatt and Surrey—along with accounts of the last English mystic, Elizabeth Barton, whose way of life ended with the dissolution of the monasteries. We trace discourses of divinity and love through the sonnets of Anne Locke, a Protestant exile in the reign of Mary, along with a host of secular writers in Elizabeth's court—Spenser, Shakespeare, Sidney—culminating with the holy eroticism of metaphysical poet John Donne. Drawing from readings on Tudor courts and discourses of love and romance, students practice the skills of research writing in stages, preparing for the essay requirements of upper-level English courses. (HL) Gertz .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Poetry's Otherworlds (3). "Speculative fiction" encompasses science fiction and fantasy, but can it include poetry, too? In this gateway seminar, we read recent poetry that departs from consensus reality and estranges the familiar. As students study verse by Anne Sexton, James Merrill, Tracy K. Smith, and Anne Carson in conjunction with theories of the fantastic, they also practice the skills of research writing in stages, preparing for the essay requirements of upper-level English courses. (HL) Wheeler .

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 335-01: 18th-Century Novels: Jane Austen: Radical Jane: The Politics of Class, Gender, and Race in Austen's "Polite" Fiction (3). Among 21st-century audiences, Jane Austen's novels are often considered romantic comedies—celebrations of love, companionate marriage, and happy endings. Austen, however, is much more socially-aware and historically-engaged than that reputation allows, and her work contends with a wide range of late 18th- and early 19th-century issues, including the shifting British class structure, women's rights, and slavery. By situating Austen within her historical and literary context, this class seeks to reclaim Austen from the realm of romantic comedy. Over the course of the term, students read Austen's novels in combination with works by late 18th-century authors, such as Burney, Equiano, Radcliffe, Sterne, and Wollstonecraft. Through these pairings students not only encounter a variety of novelistic forms (including the sentimental, the gothic, the novel of manners, and the slave narrative), but also engage with the discourses of class, gender, and race that simmer beneath the glossy surface of Austen's popular novels. (HL) Walle .

Studies in Contemporary Poetry

ENGL 365 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

Winter 2017, ENGL 365-01: Studies in Contemporary Poetry: Here, Nowhere (3). Place has become an increasingly urgent subject for poets, as environmental and political crises reshape how human beings interact with the nonhuman world. Students in this class read contemporary poetry in English from North America, Ireland, Britain, and the Pacific, with special attention to transnational works about endangered, damaged, or imaginary locations. Through recent books by Avia, Meehan, Vuong, and others, we consider what difference gender, race, sexuality, and immigration make to how poets navigate the world. (HL) Wheeler .

Literary Theory

ENGL 375 - Warren, James P. (Jim)

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

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394A - 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 2017, ENGL 394A-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 60 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and novelist behind a major motion picture. Our key question: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394B - Miranda, Deborah 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 2017, ENGL 394B-01: Advanced Seminar: "Mother of All Women": Gender in Chicana and Native American Women's Literature (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. This course focuses on the intersection of race and gender as they meet in the lives and identities of Chicana and Native American women through readings of poetry, fiction, memoir and drama that give us materials with which to explore some of the interlocking issues: mother-daughter relationships, cultural/ethnic identity, sexual identity, alternative histories, political activism, gendered violence, economic position, and celebrations of survival. Authors include Linda Hogan, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldua, Leslie Marmon Silko, Natalie Diaz, Ire'ne Lara Silva, Ernestine Hayes. (HL) Miranda .

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

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 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

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 2017, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Dystopian Narratives (3). This course considers critical approaches to dystopian narratives, their cultural and historical contexts, and their commercial popularity. We read dystopian novels from recent years (possibilities include Paulo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife ; Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake ; William Gibson, The Peripheral ; Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven ; Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea ) alongside early 20th-century dystopias (Jack London, The Iron Heel ; Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Her e), and examine a few utopian narratives for comparison (Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; Star Trek ). We also read theoretical work from narrative theory, science fiction studies, and reception/reader response study and evaluate the suitability of different critical and theoretical approaches to dystopian fiction. In the second half of the course, students identify an individual project relating to one of the questions or concerns raised in the course and pursue an extended research paper of their own design. (HL) Bufkin.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Warren, James P. (Jim)

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 2017, ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Environmental Literature and Ecocriticism (3). In this course, we investigate the relationship between nature and culture through a focus on environmental literature and the literary theory called ecocriticism. Readings in the history of literary theory lead to discussions of themes such as textual recovery, literary history, genre, cultural geography, material culture, ecofeminism, and environmental justice. We also read a selection of primary texts in environmental literature. These could include works by Henry David Thoreau, Mary Austin, Barry Lopez, Robert Macfarlane, or others. The possibilities for research projects are numberless, and I try to guide students toward projects that join theoretical concerns with literary texts. We work together as a study group, but each student produces a research paper on a topic of individual interest. (HL) Warren .

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Smith, Rodney T.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Keen, Suzanne P.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Smith, Rodney T.

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

Fall 2016

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: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Oliver, Bill

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.

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Ball, Gordon V.

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.

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's 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.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

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.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292A - Brodie, Laura F.

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

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292B - Walle, Taylor F.

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

Fall 2016, ENGL 292B-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 293A - Smith, Rodney T.

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 2016, ENGL 293A-01:  Topics in American Literature:  Introduction to Literary Editing (3).   Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's nationally prominent literary magazine.  This is a course for anyone interested in editing literary journals, writing for the literary community (blogs, news releases, two book reviews, features, business correspondence) and how both print and on-line journals operate.  Often a stepping stone to a publication career, the course involves an introduction to the creation, design, and maintenance of WordPress web sites, as well as a survey of current magazines.  The course also offers opportunities for each student to practice generating and editing texts they or their peers have written.  Each student oversees one facet of the journal (Poem of the Week, blog, submissions management, contests, social media), and each makes a presentation to the class on the nature and practices of two other current literary journals.  Students work in pairs toward an understanding of the role journals play in contemporary literature and engage in peer editing.  (HL) Smith .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

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?

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.

World Fiction in English

ENGL 351 - Keen, Suzanne P.

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.

American Poetry from 1900 to 1945

ENGL 363 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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.

Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

ENGL 393 - Adams, Edward A.

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.

Fall 2016, ENGL 393-01:  Advanced Seminar: The Poet as Hero in Nineteenth-Century England and America (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. This course centers on Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the longtime Poet Laureate of Victorian England, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, his contemporary and the virtual laureate of America during the same era.  Not only were these two figures the most popular and revered writers in their respective nations for many decades, but they are among the most technically proficient masters of versification in the English language and demonstrate remarkable adaptability and skill in a variety of challenging forms.  More important, both in their public lives and their narrative poems, Tennyson and Longfellow tapped into their respective nations' fascination with important culture heroes such as King Arthur and the Native American figure of Hiawatha.  This course frames this focus on poetic achievement and cultural resonance with attention to major prose figures who articulated the ideal of the culture hero, particularly the Englishman Thomas Carlyle and the American Ralph Waldo Emerson, before turning its attention to Tennyson and Longfellow's rivals and heirs such as Elizabeth and Robert Browning, Swinburne, Whitman, Robinson, and Millay.  It concludes with the tragic finale of the phenomenon of the poet as hero in the writings and career of Oscar Wilde. (HL) Adams .

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

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.

Fall 2016, ENGL 394-01: Advanced Seminar: The African American Historical Novel (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. This course examines the ways that African American authors have used the genre of the historical novel to address questions of race, national identity, and America's fraught historical record.  We read novels ranging from Frederick Douglass's The Heroic Slave and William Wells Brown's Clotel through recent works by Tayari Jones, Toni Morrison, and Edward Jones.  Along the way, we consider the critical tools and frameworks best suited to analyzing the genre of the historical novel, as well as the theoretical implications of blending fictional and historical narrative modes.  Possible texts include novels by Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Pauline Hopkins, Margaret Walker, Octavia Butler, Tayari Jones, Toni Morrison, and Edward Jones. (HL) Bufkin.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Adams, Edward A.

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 2016, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Epic Horror (3). This course begins with a survey of major theories of epic and tragedy from Aristotle through Nietzsche before turning to a similar survey of important studies of horror by H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King.  Its theoretical focus circles around both the overlap between the logic of tragedy and horror, one of which is among the most culturally venerated of genres or modes, and the other among the least regarded, as well as how epic narratives frequently seem to bridge the two.  After then surveying key examples of tragedy, epic, and horror from Sophocles to Edmund Spenser to Ridley Scott, this capstone opens up to allow students to pursue their own interests in one of these genres, in the curious interplay between two or more of them, or in the related question of how similar subject matter can be valued very differently depending on whether it is regarded as tragic, epic, or horrific. (HL) Adams .

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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 2016, ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Disobedient Texts: Hybrids, Impurities and Genre-benders in Life Narratives (3). Mixed-genre texts (one of many names for texts which disrupt the so-called purity of genre) combine, transform, and subvert the conventions of narrative genres, breaking down the boundaries between fiction, poetry, memoir, graphic art and drama.  Many hybrid texts also import/re-vision/transform non-literary discourses from traditional archival resources, and use them to fashion literary texts.  Within these hybrid texts, words and image combine to create a text that is neither purely graphic nor purely visual, thus becoming texts that "disobey" literary norms.  Because of these disruptions, mixed-genre texts challenge readers to interact with the text in new ways.  This course explores the ways mixed-genre life narrative (memoir) texts challenge readers, as well as asking whether certain kinds of narratives demand to be told in disobedient constructions.  Possible authors include Silko, Small, Asante, Harjo, Carson, Howe, Sikelianos, Bechdel, Griffin, Phillips, Wright, Sebald. (HL) Miranda.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Smith, Rodney T.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Keen, Suzanne P.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Smith, Rodney T.

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

Spring 2016

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.

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."

Making Comics

ENGL 215 - Beavers, Leigh A. / Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A study of the writing form of graphic narratives, and a studio art course in the making of graphic narratives. The course is taught by two faculty members, one focused on creative writing, one on visual art. Students study and compose scripts for comics and produce actual comics based on those scripts. The course begins with an overview of the comics form, using a range of graphic novels. Possible texts include: Panel One: Comic Book Scripts; Sleepwalk and Other Stories; Pretty Deadly Vol.1; In the Shadow of No Towers ; and Through the Woods, Signal to Noise.

Children's Literature

ENGL 234 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

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.

Spring 2016, ENGL 234-01: Children's Literature (4). This course reads American children's literature from the mid-19th century to the present, focusing on the ways that children's and young adult novels have engaged in political and social issues. How do novels push children to understand themselves in relation to their community and nation? To what extent do they attempt to shape readers' political philosophies? How subversive is YA literature, and how subversive should it be? Novels may include Little Women (Alcott), To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor), The Chocolate War (Cormier), Fallen Angels (Myers), Shipbreaker (Bacigalupi), Little Brother (Doctorow). We also watch adaptations of popular young adult novels, including The Hunger Games, The Outsiders , and To Kill a Mockingbird . (HL) Bufkin.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Adams, Edward A.

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

Spring 2016, ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: J.R.R. Tolkien's Epic Fantasies from German Philology to Hollywood CGI (4). Tolkien's epic novels and historical fantasies along with Peter Jackson's spectacular films have made these texts and, more importantly, the narrative they tell among the most significant cultural events of the 20th and now the 21st centuries. This course focuses upon the original novels and films and frames that dual achievement by looking back to Tolkien's roots in 19th-century romance fiction and historical philology and ahead to the role played by Jackson's adaptations in the development of contemporary CGI films and technology. It highlights Tolkien's achievement in its own terms, in how his fictions transformed major 19th-century historical, scholarly, and romance traditions, and in how it enabled key 21st century cultural, artistic, and technological achievements. (HL) Adams.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Alexander, Kaelin B.

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

Spring 2016, ENGL 292-02: Topics in British Literature: Queered Science (4). We often assume that the sciences are, or should be, objective. In this course, however, we explore how scientific inquiry has always been vibrantly erotic through critical investigations of the science of sexuality and the sexuality of science. Taking an interdisciplinary and historically broad approach, we explore how notions of sex/gender, sexuality, and race have unfolded through scientific frameworks, and examine how queer ideas have transformed such epistemologies in turn. For example, we examine anachronistic and cutting-edge studies of gender and sexuality, discuss how posthuman politics speak to extant queer life forms, and chart how technological innovations have enabled LGBTQ philosophers to imagine decidedly queerer worlds. Course texts may include novels, artifacts, films, and nonfiction science writing. (HL) Alexander.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Oliver, Bill

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 2016, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (4). This course is a study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic and international, tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th century. We also explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work--Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We examine how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) Oliver.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Pickett, Holly C.

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

Spring 2016, ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: The Crux of Shakespeare's King Lear (4). Critic Doug Lanier has called King Lear "the Mount Everest of Shakespeare--often forbiddingly bleak and challenging, but for those who scale it, offer[ing] an unparalleled vista on man's condition and its own form of rough beauty." The course analyzes King Lear from a variety of angles: its textual history and variants, sources, performance history, and legacy in film and literature. The course includes a digital humanities project investigating a textual crux in the play using a variety of digital tools. We also take a field trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. (HL) Pickett.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Keen, Suzanne P.

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

Spring 2016, ENGL 380-02: Reading James Joyce's Ulysses (4). Appropriate for English majors for Later British or post-1900 distribution. Students in this seminar undertake a careful reading of James Joyce's Ulysses . We work together to understand Joyce's narrative techniques, interpret his major characters and track their movements through space, analyze patterns of allusion to Homer, Shakespeare, and other writers, and explicate passages of Joyce's peculiar language. Each student serves as "discussion leader" for one episode of Ulysses (between Calypso and Oxen of the Sun). Some of these broader topics inform our discussions: the publication history of Ulysses; censorship and the law; Joyce and religion; the controversies about the textual editing of Ulysses ; Joyce and Irish nationalism; gender in Ulysses ; Joyce and Orientalism; postcolonial Joyce. Afternoon screenings of two film versions of Ulysses -- Nora (a film about Joyce's partner and model for Molly, Nora Barnacle) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (yet another text full of allusions to The Odyssey ) -- supplement the primary reading. Course website at http://sakai.wlu.edu . (HL) Keen