Creative Writing Minor

2017 - 2018 Catalog

Creative Writing minor

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

  1. Creative writing workshops: three courses chosen from ENGL 202 (or THTR 220), 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 305, 306, 307, 308, and 309, with at least one at the 300-level.
  2. Literature: two literature courses in English, including one chosen from courses numbered between 230 and 294 and one chosen from ENGL 299 or English courses numbers between 311 and 386.
  3. One additional course chosen from the above or from ENGL 403 or 453. Students majoring in a discipline without an emphasis in literature are strongly encouraged to choose an elective course from the Literature category (number 2 above). English majors wishing to complete a Creative Writing minor should elect a fourth workshop, a 403 in creative writing, or a creative honors thesis in English.
  4. Participation in a capstone public reading in winter or spring of the senior year.
  1. Creative writing workshops:
  2. three courses chosen from:

    • ENGL 202 - Topics in Creative Writing: Playwriting
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FDR FW requirement
      FacultyGavaler

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


    • or
    • THTR 220 - Playwriting
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent

      An introductory workshop in creative writing for the theater that will focus on traditional forms of scene and script writing. Opportunities for collaborative writing and devised theater may be included. Weekly writing and reading assignments are required. Limited enrollment.


    • ENGL 203 - Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction
      FDRHA
      Credits3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement. Limited enrollment
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 204 - Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement. Limited enrollment
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 205 - Poetic Forms
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyWheeler

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


    • ENGL 206 - Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction
      FDRHA
      Credits3 in fall, winter; 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompetition of FW requirement. Limited enrollment
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • ENGL 207 - Eco-Writing
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW FDR. Every Tuesday expeditions involve moderate to challenging hiking
      FacultyGreen

      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."


    • ENGL 305 - Writing Outside the Lines
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThree credits in 200-level English and instructor consent
      FacultyMiranda

      Previous workshop experience recommended. Students who have successfully completed ENGL 203, 204, 205, 206, or 207 should inform the department's administrative assistant, who will grant them permission to enroll. All others should email a short sample of their writing to the professor. The boundaries between genres can limit imagination; this course opens up those borders and invites experimentation and exploration. Designed to help students become better acquainted with craft, technique, and process, the course focuses on mixed-genre writing that defies easy categorization through combining stylistic traits of more than one creative genre (examples might include the prose poem, narrative poem, dramatic monologue, flash fiction, novel vignettes, poetic memoirs, and other hybrids) as well as transforming a piece from one genre to another (for example, turning a poem into flash fiction or monologue). The course requires regular writing and outside reading.


    • ENGL 306 - Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThree credits in 200-level English and instructor consent
      FacultyStaff

      Previous workshop experience recommended. Students who have successfully completed either ENGL 204 or 205 should inform the department's administrative assistant, who will grant them permission to enroll. All others should email a short sample of their poetry to the professor. A workshop in writing poems, requiring regular writing and outside reading.


    • ENGL 307 - Fresh/Local/Wild: The Poetics of Food
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteThree credits in 200-level English and instructor consent. Students must submit writing samples to qualify for admission. ENGL 203 and/or 204 recommended. Limited enrollment
      FacultyMiranda

      This class visits fresh/local/wild food venues each week, where sensory explorations focus on all aspects of foraging, creating, adapting and eating food. Coursework includes guided writing exercises based on the landscape/geography of food both in the field and classroom, with in-depth readings that help us turn topics like food politics, food insecurity, sustainable agriculture and genetically modified foods into poetry. Individual handmade chapbooks of the term's poems serve as the final product. A service learning component is also included in the course through Campus Kitchen.


    • ENGL 308 - Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
      FDRHA
      Credits3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteThree credits in any 200- or 300-level creative writing workshop, ENGL 203 recommended. Students who do not meet the requisite may submit a fiction writing sample for possible instructor consent
      FacultyGavaler

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

       

       


    • ENGL 309 - Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir
      FDRHA
      Credits3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteThree credits in 200-level English and instructor consent
      FacultyMiranda

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


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

    • ENGL 230 - Poetry
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyWheeler

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


    • ENGL 231 - Drama
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 232 - The Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

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


    • ENGL 233 - Introduction to Film
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • ENGL 234 - Children's Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

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


    • ENGL 235 - Fantasy
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 236 - The Bible as English Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 240 - Arthurian Legend
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyKao

      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.


    • ENGL 250 - Medieval and Early Modern British Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyKao

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


    • ENGL 252 - Shakespeare
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 253 - Southern American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

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


    • ENGL 260 - Literary Approaches to Poverty
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

      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.


    • ENGL 261 - Reading Gender
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 262 - Literature, Race, and Ethnicity
      FDRHL
      Credits3 in fall, winter; 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 291 - Seminar
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement.

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


    • ENGL 292 - Topics in British Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of the FW requirement

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

      Fall 2017, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: Literature of the British Slave Trade, 1688-2016 (3). The British slave trade lasted from the mid-1600s until 1807, but its legacy is more tenacious: more than 200 years after the abolition of the slave trade, novelists like Yaa Gyasi are still writing about the horrors and indignities of this violent institution. To study British literature, however, is often to encounter the slave trade as a shadow or a gap, something that lurks in the background of our favorite 18th- and 19th-century novels but never quite breaks through the surface. By placing novels like Mansfield Park (1814) and Jane Eyre (1847) alongside works that deal more explicitly with slavery, this course aims to disrupt that image of cozy, "civilized" England and demonstrate that British literature cannot be separated out from the Atlantic slave trade and British imperialism. (HL) Walle.


    • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of the FW requirement

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

      Spring 2017, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Business in American Literature (4). In his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith tells a powerful story of the free market as a way to organize our political and economic lives, a story that has governed much of the world ever since. This course studies that story, considers alternate stories of human economic organization, such as those of American Indian tribes, and sees how these stories have been acted out in American business and society. We study novels, films, short stories, non-fiction essays, autobiographies, advertisements, websites, some big corporations, and some local businesses in the Lexington area. Our goal is not to attack American business but to understand its characteristic strengths and weaknesses so we can make the best choices about how to live and work happily in a free market society. (HL) Smout.

      Spring 2017, ENGL 293-02: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement. Initially limited to First-Years. 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.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: 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.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 293B-01:  Topics in American Literature:  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.


    • ENGL 294 - Topics in World Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of the FW requirement

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


    • And one chosen from
    • ENGL 299 - Seminar for Prospective Majors
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW composition requirement and at least one course chosen from English courses numbered from 203 to 295

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

      Fall 2017, ENGL 299A-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Margaret Atwood and Human Rights Discourse (3). Discover the variety of genres (poetry, satire, novels, dystopias) written by one of the greatest living writers, Margaret Atwood. We consider the usefulness of comparative discussion of Atwood's sources (from Homer to Shakespeare to Orwell's 1984), and we employ a human rights framework in discussing her entertaining writings. A sequence of shorter writing assignments lead to a research paper, composed in stages. (HL) Keen.

      Fall 2017, ENGL 299B-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: The Lord of the Rings from Page to Screen (3). J.R.R. Tolkien's epic novels and historical fantasies along with Peter Jackson's spectacular CGI film versions have together made these texts and, more important, the narrative they tell among the most significant cultural events of the 20th and 21st centuries. This course centers upon The Lord of the Rings novels and films but frames that dual achievement by looking, first, back to Tolkien's roots in 19th-century romance fiction and historical philology and, second, ahead to the important role played by Jackson's film adaptations in the development of modern CGI films. In these ways this course highlights Tolkien's larger cultural achievement, even as it provides students with a rich set of research questions and topics. (HL) Adams.


    • or
    • ENGL 311 - History of the English Language
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteENGL 299 or instructor consent
      FacultyKao

      In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer's Friar can "make his Englissh sweete upon his tonge."  This course examines not only the alleged "sweetness" of English but also the evolution of the language from its origins to the present.  We study basic terms and concepts of linguistics and trace the changes in structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary from Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English to Modern English.  We consider how historical and cultural forces—invasion, revolution, migration, colonization, and assimilation—shape the language.  Moreover, we examine language myths, the construction of standard English, issues of correctness, orality, pidgins and creoles, and the variety of Englishes in their diverse configurations.  Finally, we ask how new media and technological praxes—hypertext, email, texting, and tweeting—have changed the English language, and if English may or may not be the lingua franca of our increasingly globalized world.


    • ENGL 312 - Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKao

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

       


    • ENGL 313 - Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKao

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


    • ENGL 319 - Shakespeare and Company
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyPickett

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


    • ENGL 320 - Shakespearean Genres
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyPickett

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


    • ENGL 326 - 17th-Century Poetry
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyGertz

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


    • ENGL 330 - Milton
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyGertz

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


    • ENGL 334 - The Age of Unreason: Studies in 18th-Century Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKeiser

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


    • ENGL 335 - 18th-Century Novels
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299

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

       


    • ENGL 341 - The Romantic Imagination
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyAdams

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


    • ENGL 345 - Studies in the 19th-Century British Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyAdams

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


    • ENGL 348 - Victorian Poetry: Victorian Pairs
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyAdams

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

       


    • ENGL 350 - Postcolonial Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKeen

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


    • ENGL 351 - World Fiction in English
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKeen

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


    • ENGL 352 - Modern Irish Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyConner

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


    • ENGL 353 - 20th-Century British and Irish Poetry
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyWheeler

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


    • ENGL 354 - Contemporary British and American Drama
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyPickett

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


    • ENGL 355 - Studies in British Fiction Since 1900
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyKeen

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


    • ENGL 358 - Literature of Gender and Sexuality Before 1900
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyStaff

      A study of poetry, narrative, and/or drama written in English before 1900. Texts, topics, and historical emphasis may vary, but the course addresses the relation of gender and sexuality to literature.


    • ENGL 359 - Literature by Women of Color
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyMiranda

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


    • ENGL 361 - Native American Literatures
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyMiranda

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


    • ENGL 362 - American Romanticism
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyWarren

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


    • ENGL 363 - American Poetry from 1900 to 1945
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyWheeler

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


    • ENGL 364 - American Poetry at Mid-Century
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299 or instructor consent
      FacultyWheeler

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


    • ENGL 366 - African-American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 367 - 19th-Century American Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 368 - The Modern American Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyConner

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


    • ENGL 369 - Late 20th-Century North American Fiction
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyGavaler

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


    • ENGL 375 - Literary Theory
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENGL 299
      FacultyWarren

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


    • ENGL 385 - Preparatory Reading for Study Abroad
      Credits1
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent
      FacultyStaff

      Seminar in reading preliminary to study abroad.


    • ENGL 386 - Supervised Study in Great Britain
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteENGL 299 or instructor consent

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


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

    • ENGL 403 - Directed Individual Study
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent
      FacultyStaff

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


    • ENGL 453 - Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteAt least junior standing and consent of the Shenandoah editor
      FacultyR. T. Smith

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


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