English

Roseanne Galegher, Rolvaag 526A
507-786-3200

wp.stolaf.edu/english

Literature is one of the most compelling ways humans have recorded and reflected on their lives, imagined different worlds, and communicated with each other. It offers the pleasures of artistic expression combined with the rewards of empathy and insight, knowledge and inspiration.

Drawing on 1500 years of literature from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, Chinua Achebe, and Toni Morrison, the English major encourages students to dig deeply and to range widely, crossing borders and exploring diversity both in content (authors, literary genres, and historical periods) and in form (critical and creative approaches).

Students are exposed to a variety of conceptual approaches to literary study. The traditional methodologies of literary history and genre studies remain. But students also learn the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural methods that are redefining literary canons and strongly influencing scholarship in the 21st century.

As they discuss and write about what they have read, students develop an informed understanding of the force of literary language and improve their powers of communication, analysis, and persuasion. In the department's creative writing courses, students can nourish their own verbal creativity while working with literary forms from the inside.

The English major is easily and frequently combined with other majors, and is compatible with off-campus study. Many courses taken elsewhere can count toward the major as electives.

Some English majors may be headed for graduate programs in literature; some plan to teach; some are creative writers. Others may be preparing for careers in fields such as publishing, law, business, or community service that reward strong communication skills. Within a framework requiring them to experience multiple approaches to literature, students have flexibility in shaping their course of study to their individual interests and aspirations.

Overview of the Major

The English Department offers two distinct majors: a ten-course English major (or "graduation major") and a modified version of the standard major for students who wish to receive a teaching license: the English major with Communication Arts/Literature Teaching Licensure. The standard English major is organized around four categories (literary history, cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary, and genre) and requires ten courses: English 185, three level II courses in specified categories, and six electives, two of which must be from level III. Among the level II courses, one must be in literature before 1800, and one in literature after 1800. Among the level III courses, at least one must be in literary studies. Independent research cannot count as one of a student's two level III major requirements.

The English major with Communication Arts/Literature Teaching Licensure requires nine courses in the English Department and additional coursework in other departments. The nine required courses in the English Department are English 150, English 185, English 205, English 242, English 256 or another Shakespeare course, one level II literary history course, one level II cross-disciplinary or genre course, and two level III electives. Among the level II courses, one must be in literature before 1800, and one in literature after 1800. Independent research cannot count as one of a student's two level III major requirements. Other required courses include Linguistics 250, Theater 120, Media Studies 160, and the fulfillment of the FYW general education requirement. Students should consult the Education Department for further information and clarification of requirements.

General Education

Many English courses carry general education credit in ALS-L, ORC, and WRI. Some carry HWC, MCG, MCD, or EIN credit.

Intended Learning Outcomes for the Major

Distinction

See Academic Honors

The English Department awards distinction on the basis of a student’s overall record in the department and on the quality of a portfolio of written work -- critical, creative, or a combination of both -- submitted by the candidate in his or her senior year. To be a candidate for departmental distinction, at the beginning of spring semester of their senior year, a student must have completed a minimum of seven graded courses in the major, six of which must have been taught by St. Olaf College faculty. The combined GPA of all graded courses in the major taught by St. Olaf faculty must be 3.8 or higher. Early in the spring term, the department invites all senior majors who have met the GPA threshold to apply to be candidates for distinction. Students interested in distinction should obtain guidelines from the Department Distinction Coordinator before applying. Students who are planning to graduate in December are welcome to consult with the department chair about the possibility of early submission of a distinction portfolio. Students interested in this option should consult the department chair no later than September of their senior year.

Special Programs

Special programs include semester and full-year study in England at Oxford, Lancaster, and East Anglia; study in Scotland at Aberdeen; semester and full-year study in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and National University of Ireland Galway; Interim study in the Caribbean; fall semester study at the Newberry Library in Chicago; Urban Teaching semester in Chicago; Interim theater study in London; internships in writing. (See International and Off-Campus Studies for further information.) Generally speaking, students can use a maximum of two courses taken during off-campus study to fulfill requirements in the English major (aside from St. Olaf off-campus interim programs). Students who are interested in applying additional off-campus study coursework toward the English major should consult with the Department Chair prior to their departure.

Recommendations for Graduate and Professional Study

Students planning on graduate study in English should take the graduation major and additional courses for a total not to exceed 14. The graduate school requirements for programs leading to an M.F.A. in creative writing, a Ph.D. in literary studies or comparative literature, or a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition are significantly different. Students interested in pursuing one of these paths should choose an academic advisor with relevant expertise and plan their coursework carefully. In recent years, English majors have been accepted for graduate study in literature (at Berkeley, Chicago, Princeton, Toronto, Minnesota, Washington, and Wisconsin) and in writing (at Boston University, George Mason, Iowa, and New School University).

Requirements for the Graduation Major

Level I1.00
Literary Studies
Level II 1
Select one from Cross-Cultural Studies, one from Literary History, and one from either Cross-Disciplinary Studies or Genre:
Cross-cultural studies1.00
Topics in Cross-Cultural Literature
Transatlantic Anglophone Literature
Asian American Literature
South Asian Literature
American Racial and Multicultural Literatures
African Literature
Women of the African Diaspora
Black and Asian British Literatures
Arab American Literature and Film
Literature of the Eastern Caribbean (abroad)
Exploring the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (off-campus)
Major Chicano/a Authors
Literary history1.00
Lit Hist: Body, Mind & Soul
Ecocriticism and Renaissance Literature
Old and Middle English Literature: The Weird and the Wonderful
Neoclassical and Romantic Literatures
Romantic/Victorian/Modern British Literature
Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature
Writing America 1588-1800
Literature and the Scientific Revolution
Cross-Disciplinary Studies1.00
Topics in Cross-Disciplinary Literary Study
Counterculture and American Literature
Topics: Literature and History
Narratives of Social Protest
Topics in Gender and Literature
Romanticism and Rock Music
Monsters: Myths and Movies from the 19th to 21st Centuries
Literature and Modern Philosophy
Literature and Film
Literature and the Environment
Theater in London (abroad)
Genre
Children's and Young Adult Literature
Topics in Genre
Epic and the Novel
Digital Rhetorics and New Media Literacies
Topics in Rhetoric and Composition
Professional and Business Writing
Journalistic Writing
Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
Intermediate Poetry Writing
Intermediate Fiction Writing
Academic Internship
Screenwriting
Independent Study
Select six electives 26.00
Total Credits10

Requirements for the Graduation Major Plus Communication Arts/Literature (CAL) Teaching Licensure

English courses
ENGL 150The Craft of Creative Writing1.00
ENGL 185Literary Studies1.00
ENGL 205American Racial and Multicultural Literatures1.00
ENGL 242Children's and Young Adult Literature1.00
ENGL 256Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (or another Shakespeare course)1.00
One literary history course1.00
One cross-disciplinary or genre course1.00
Two level III literature electives1.00
Additional requirements
First Year Writing (FYW)1.00
LNGST 250English Language and Linguistics1.00
THEAT 120Public Speaking1.00
FMS 160The Media Landscape1.00
Education Department courses
Further courses required in Education Department
Note: Students who anticipate using transfer credit (such as credit earned during study abroad) to fulfill major requirements should consult the English Department chair. There are limits on the use of transfer credit for this purpose.

FYW is a prerequisite for all courses in the department except specified level I courses. Most level II courses (numbered in the 200s) are open to all students (with some class-year limits), majors and non-majors alike, without prerequisite beyond FYW. Level III courses (numbered in the 300s) are primarily confined to the major, demand control of methods and of basic factual and theoretical knowledge appropriate to English studies, require more advanced work, assume more preparation, and pursue subjects in greater depth than do level II courses. Level III courses are open to students with the stated prerequisites.

Courses in writing provide the opportunity for students, whether beginning or experienced writers, to develop their own work in a variety of modes including poetry, journalism, creative nonfiction, drama, and fiction for both beginning and experienced writers.

Literary Studies

ENGL 108: The Hero and the Trickster in Post-Colonial Literature

Students examine various heroic and trickster figures as manifested in post-colonial literature from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, both oral and written, and seek to understand what basic human needs and realities these figures express and fulfill. Offered periodically. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and Africa and the African Diaspora and race and ethnic studies concentrations.

ENGL 123: Introduction to Poetry

This course introduces students to poetry from a range of perspectives including, but not limited to the poet's life; the application of categories of analysis such as race, gender, and nationality; poetry as literary craft; and the aesthetic appreciation of poems. To experience the literary medium of poetry in the fullest sense, students are required to write about, memorize, orally interpret/recite, and compose their own poetry. Offered periodically.

ENGL 124: Introduction to Drama

This course introduces students to literary analysis through dramatic texts and performances. Activities may include trips to see local productions, student in-class performances, staged readings, and viewing filmed productions. Plays are drawn from varied genres, two or more historical periods, and both traditional and experimental approaches. Offered periodically.

ENGL 185: Literary Studies

As they read a variety of mostly contemporary literature from English-speaking countries around the world, students learn strategies of critical analysis and interpretation. They also practice and develop skills in writing and oral communication. This course is required of those beginning the English major. It is not recommended for general education students. Offered each semester.
Prerequisite: FYW or concurrent enrollment in FYW.

ENGL 200: Topics in Cross-Cultural Literature

Focusing on global literatures in English and/or multicultural literatures within a single nation, this topics course examines literature as a human expression that embraces both commonality and difference within and across cultures. This course also employs critical approaches specifically designed to address cross-cultural literary issues. It may be repeated if topics are different. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 201: Transatlantic Anglophone Literature

This course considers Anglophone writing from Africa and the Caribbean. Linked by the slave trade and colonization, the drive for national independence, and the challenges of globalization, African and Caribbean writers have long been in dialogue. In order to provide a historical understanding of transatlantic Anglophone literature and an appreciation for its ongoing transformation, readings encompass influential works by established writers and contemporary works by emerging voices. Offered periodically. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 203: Asian American Literature

Since the 19th century, immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands have formed communities whose writing has expressed their shifting role as Asian Americans in the culture and economy of the United States. This course provides a multi-genre overview of Asian-American literary traditions in socio-historical context and pays attention to current concerns such as diasporic displacement, gender, intergenerational conflicts, sexuality, transnationalism, and U.S. militarism. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Asian studies and race and ethnic studies majors and race and ethnic studies concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 204: South Asian Literature

Exciting writing in English is coming from South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. An area once shaped by British colonization, South Asia is changing rapidly now with globalization. Students explore this region's history, culture, and religions through a selection of primarily 20th- and 21st-century literary texts. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 205: American Racial and Multicultural Literatures

Students explore the histories, cultural patterns, religious practices, key institutions, gender issues, narrative styles, and significant contributions to our nation of an array of racial and multicultural groups. Such diverse writers as Leslie Silko, Chaim Potok, Amy Tan, and Toni Morrison raise questions about voice and identity, both individual and collective. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and Africa and the African Diaspora, educational studies, and race and ethnic studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 206: African Literature

Students explore African literature as it has evolved from oral traditions like folktales and epics into fiction, poetry, and drama in written form. Topics studied might include literature of particular geographical areas, such as East Africa, a genre such as poetry, or the influence of western literature on that of Africa. Authors studied may include Chinua Achebe, J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Arthur Nortje, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Alex La Guma.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 207: Women of the African Diaspora

This course examines the life cycle of black women in Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States. Romance, marriage, family, interracial relations, mothers and daughters, urban environments, gender politics and sexual violence, relations among females, intergenerational depictions, historical experiences, public expression and private reflections, individual and communal identities, class considerations--all of these and more images and themes arise in the fictional readings required for this course. Students read such writers as Mariama Ba, Gordimer, Hurston, and Naylor. Ticket/transportation fee required. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Africa and the African Diaspora concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 208: Black and Asian British Literatures

After the Second World War, Britain experienced a surge in immigration from the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa, a crucial step in the transformation of Britain into a multiracial, multicultural nation. Over the past several decades, these immigrants and their descendants have crafted distinct bodies of work in literature, film, music, and visual art. This course is a broad, multi-genre introduction to their work with particular emphasis on its historical and cultural context. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 209: Arab American Literature and Film

Focusing primarily on contemporary works, this course introduces students to Arab American literature and film by exploring different literary and film genres (the novel, memoir, poetry, documentary film, feature film). Students examine shared thematic concerns related to immigration, exile, displacement, gender, religion, and racism. Students also consider how this literature and film draws upon and responds to past and present sociopolitical conflicts. Offered alternate years in the fall semester. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and Middle Eastern studies and race and ethnic studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 212: Literature of the Eastern Caribbean (abroad)

Students study selected writers of the Eastern Caribbean islands of Barbados, Trinidad, Saint Lucia and others. The study of literature is supplemented by guest lectures and speakers, as well as field trips to sites of cultural and environmental interest. Accommodation includes stays in private homes. Offered periodically during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 214: Exploring the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (off-campus)

This course introduces students to the complex history of the U.S.-Mexico "borderlands" through a two-week off-campus study program in the Arizona-Sonora border region. Students meet with scholars, activists, and governmental officials to learn about the politics of immigration specific to the area, as well as environmental and cultural issues particular to the region. Students are expected to do a considerable amount of walking, including a day trip to Nogales, Sonora and a mountain desert hike. Offered annually during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Also counts toward race and ethnic studies major and concenteration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 220: Topics in Literary History

These courses trace the process of literary change during a selected period of approximately one hundred years, providing an experience of chronological breadth and textual variety. Students examine the development of styles, conventions, and forms within a particular national literature or across two or more national literatures. Examples of possible topics include Declarations of Independence in American Literature; Literature of the Atlantic Triangle, 1650-1800; 20th-century British and Irish Modernism. May be repeated if topic is different. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 222: Ecocriticism and Renaissance Literature

This course introduces students to ecocriticism as a method of literary study by surveying English literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Students read ecocritical theory and study poetry, plays, and prose works by authors including William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. Possible course themes include pastoral, sugar and slavery, consumption and waste, the Scientific Revolution, and animals. Assignments use digital technology to gather data, analyze literature in its historical context, and write for collaborative scholarly research initiatives. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 223: Old and Middle English Literature: The Weird and the Wonderful

Two themes persist in early British literature: the role of fate (Old English wyrd) versus free will and the power of wonders--from the miraculous to the magical. These themes are traced in the Old English period in sermons, charms and riddles, biblical epics and Christian texts, and the heroic epic Beowulf. Readings from the Middle English period include lyric and ballad, romance from the Arthurian and non-Arthurian traditions, drama, allegory, mystical treatises, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Offered periodically. Also counts toward medieval studies major.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 225: Neoclassical and Romantic Literatures

This course examines the process of literary development in English during two consecutive and contrasting movements: the Neoclassical (1660-1780) and Romantic (1780-1840). Students read the works of representative and important writers from both periods, including Pope, Swift, Austen, Wordsworth, Blake, Shelley, Emerson, Douglass, and others, and examine the development of styles, conventions, and forms in English, Irish, and American literatures. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 228: Romantic/Victorian/Modern British Literature

This course explores British literature of three eras, from Wordsworth to Woolf. Students begin with the romantic revolution of the late 18th century, traverse the wide 19th-century span of Queen Victoria's reign, and cross into the modernist era following the cataclysm of World War I. Within each era, students examine a literary manifesto, a revolutionary event, an epic poem, a novel, and the aesthetics of the period. The course emphasizes conversations across eras and striking moments of "making it new." Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 229: Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature

The 20th century was a period of great achievement in British and Irish literature, as demonstrated by the work of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, and Samuel Beckett. This course examines the famously innovative work of poets, playwrights, and novelists active during the first half of the century. It then considers postwar writing and the challenges that this literature offered to the ideas and practices associated with modernism.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 232: Writing America 1588-1800

In this course, students read a variety of early American literarary works (novels, poems, essays, autobiographies, chronicles) from the early period of North American exploration to the founding of the United States. The course focuses on intersections between literature and history, examining how the American nation was "written into existence" in literature, and examines connections between literature and discourses of nationalism, race, gender, and religion. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 242: Children's and Young Adult Literature

Students read and discuss children's literature from Britain and the United States. Beginning with fairy tales and classics from the "golden age" of children's literature, students explore an array of picture books, poetry, and fiction, that exemplifies the best in fantasy and realism for children and young adults. Offered annually. Also counts toward women's and gender studies major and educational studies and women's and gender studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 243: Arthurian Legend and Literature

This course examines a number of foundational texts of the medieval legend of King Arthur, focusing on key motifs such as the quest and love triangle, main characters, and genres. Students explore the specific social contexts that produced these works and select modern versions that reveal the perennial appeal of the Arthurian myth. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 251: Major Chicano/a Authors

Chicano/a identity is perhaps one of the most misunderstood racial/ethnic identities in the United States. It encompasses many possible identities--such as Latino, Hispanic, and Mexican-American--while remaining politically and culturally distinct in its intended meaning. Students explore the history behind constructions of Chicano/a identity as expressed through Civil Rights Movement (post-1964) literature and politics, with the intention of demystifying the contentious sterotypes surrounding this community. Students read works by 3-4 major Chicano/a authors. Offered periodically. Also counts toward Latin American studies and race and ethnic studies majors and Latin American studies and race and ethnic studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 253: Authors in English

Students explore the works of major authors writing in English from around the globe, as well as their historical, social, and geographic contexts.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 255: Backgrounds to Lit in English: Allusion, Influence, and Intertextualit

This course introduces students to canonical texts (for example, the epics of Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Dante, and medieval romance) and explores their influence on various authors writing in English (for example, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Aphra Behn, T.S. Eliot, H.D., William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Sam Selvon). Rather than study classic works as isolated masterpieces, students explore how and why later writers and artists use canonical texts to shape their vision of the human experience. Offered periodically. Course not open to students who are taking or have completed the Great Conversation.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 256: Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Students examine Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and others in order to concentrate on how to read the plays well and how to respond fully to both text and performance. Students attend live performances when possible and view productions on video. The course includes some consideration of historical context and background as well as practice in how to write about the plays.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 258: Folklore

This course focuses on verbal folklore: narratives, songs, and shorter forms such as proverbs. It explores their intrinsic qualities as literary creations and also the ways in which they operate together in combination or in dialogue. The folktale and the epic, for example, incorporate a variety of these forms, such as the proverb, the song, or the riddle, to form a complex whole.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ID 258: Theater in London (abroad)

A full immersion in the art of theater, students attend approximately 22 performances at London and Stratford theaters. The course includes the reading of play texts, dramatic criticism, group discussions, and backstage tours. England, a theatrical center of the English-speaking world, enables students to experience a wide variety of theatrical performances ranging from traditional to modern. Excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, Bath, and Bristol offer additional cultural perspectives. Offered annually during Interim. Apply through International and Off-Campus Studies. Counts toward English major.

ENGL 260: Topics in Cross-Disciplinary Literary Study

In addition to the traditional practices of literary study, cross-disciplinary courses include materials from at least one other academic discipline, requiring students to compare and combine disciplinary perspectives in literary analysis. Examples of courses taught under this heading might include Literature and Politics; Religion and the Novel; Philosophical Approaches to Literature. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 261: Counterculture and American Literature

This course examines the literary, musical, and popular culture expressions of several counterculture movements in America after 1945, beginning with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and extending to activist, hippie, and radical black countercultures of the 1960s and Punk, No-Wave, and Hip Hop movements of the 1960s and 70s. Students read works by writers such as Kerouac, Ginsberg, Dylan, Gil Scott Heron, Patti Smith, Lydia Lunch, Los Bros Hernandez, and Chuck D, and examine relationships between countercultural expression and historical, social, and political developments of the era.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 262: Topics: Literature and History

Students examine literary works, forms, and movements as part of a larger cultural history. Each offering of this course emphasizes a different historical issue or period. Students consider the extent to which literary texts are produced by common cultural and historical conditions and how literature shapes the historical accounts we inherit. Recent offerings include "Romanticism," "50s Beat Literature," and "Writing America: 1620-1800."
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 263: Narratives of Social Protest

In this course, students consider the intersections of art and politics in their dynamic historical frameworks, testing the positions of various artists and cultural commentators who claim that art accomplishes nothing in the "real world" or that politics ruin art. The course is interdisciplinary, comparing literature to other artistic forms such as music or film. Representative texts may include Ellison's Invisible Man, Dylan's songs, and Van Sant's film Milk. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 264: Topics in Gender and Literature

This course investigates how literature--broadly writ--represents both gender diversity and conformity, and the issues associated with gender, such as family, power dynamics, oppression, activism, domesticity, hierarchies, and inequalities. The texts focus on a diversity of gendered identities by complicating the gender binary of "man" and "woman." A consideration of gender separated from other identities is limiting; therefore, this course examines how gender intersects with race, class, ability, sexual orientation, technology, religion, and/or nationality. May be repeated if topic is different. Offered periodically. Also counts toward women's and gender studies major and concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 266: Romanticism and Rock Music

British Romantic and American Transcendentalist literatures emphasize youth, celebrate the body and energy, and extol intuition, creativity, and individuality. Rock music has been derided by some commentators as extreme Romanticism. Students in the course examine this artistic line of influence and debate its merits. Writers and musicians may include Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Emerson, Whitman, Springsteen, Cloud Cult, and Arcade Fire. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 267: Monsters: Myths and Movies from the 19th to 21st Centuries

This course is centered around three 19th-century British novels: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, R. L. Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Students explore the influence of these texts on mythical monsters from the 20th to 21st centuries in the form of classic black and white films of the 1930s, as well as more recent fictional and filmic incarnations. What do monsters tell readers about themselves? Assignments include both critical and creative writing. Offered periodically during Interim.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 268: Literature and Modern Philosophy

This course introduces students to the complicated relationship between philosophy and literature from any period between the 16th-century and the present day. Students learn about the intersection of ideas that fall under the general category of "modernity" and explore how selected philosophical views influence American and/or English literary works from the Renaissance to the contemporary period. Students gain an understanding of modern philosophies by learning how to incorporate interdisciplinary theories when engaging in literary analysis. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 269: Art, Design, and Literature in Britain Since 1950

This cross-disciplinary course traces the flourishing of British creativity in art, design,and literature from the postwar era to the present--a period in which Britain emerged as an influential nation in a number of creative fields, from music to fashion, product design to architecture. Students examine works, movements, creative practices, and critical methodologies from art, design, and literature in order to develop a panoramic understanding of contemporary British creativity. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 271: Literature and the Scientific Revolution

The 17th century movement now known as the Scientific Revolution brought radically altered ideas about human beings, truth, knowledge, and our place in the universe. This course examines its effects on English literature from about 1600 to 1700. Students discuss how changing views, particularly on astronomy and medicine, inspired literary works. Authors may include William Shakespeare; Christopher Marlowe; Ben Jonson; John Donne; Francis Bacon; John Milton; and Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. Fee may be required. Offered alternate years in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 272: Global Shakespeares

Shakespeare's statement, "all the world's a stage," has never been more true, as his plays have truly become global texts. This course charts some of their journeys. Students study four or five of Shakespeare's plays and use concepts from adaptation studies to analyze various "Shakespeares" that have emerged across the globe, including translations, new plays, films, manga, and other re-mediations. Students will attend at least one performance; a ticket fee is required. Offered alternate years in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 275: Literature and Film

Students explore the complex relationships between literature and film. How do we translate the verbal into the visual? What can novels do that films cannot and vice versa? Subject matter includes both classic and contemporary fiction and film. Also counts toward media studies and film studies concentrations.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 276: Literature and the Environment

Through nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, students explore the complex relations between humans and the "natural" world. Students consider questions such as the following: What does it mean to be connected to a landscape? What is a sense of place? Students also reflect on how they and the writers they read put landscape into language. Also counts toward envionmental studies major (all emphases) and concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 279: Psychopathy in American Culture

This course explores the everydayness of psychopathy in American culture. Emphasizing a psychoanalytic-Marxist methodology, the course analyzes how psychopathy gets normalized in various subcultures, inhibiting collective attempts at social justice. Areas to be explored include psychology, criminality, political economy, and the ethics of psychopathy. Texts and films/television series to be analyzed may include Dexter,Batman,The Talented Mr. Ripley, True Detective (season one), and American Psycho. Offered alternate years during Interim.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 280: Topics in Genre

These courses emphasize the study of literature united by specific formal elements rather than by theme, topic, historical period, or national origin. The genre studied may be broad, such as narrative fiction, or narrowly defined, such as the elegy. The course focuses on the study of literature through a critical exploration of form. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 283: Crime Fiction

This course examines the development of the crime fiction genre in English, from its emergence in the 19th century to the present day, giving particular attention to form, meaning, and historical context. Students read pioneering works by Poe, classic detective stories as formulated by Doyle and Christie in England, Amercan "hard-boiled" crime writers like Hammett and Chandler, police procedurals from both sides of the Atlantic, and examples of the sub-genre spy fiction. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 284: Epic and the Novel

Heroes, monsters, battles, and journeys - for over a thousand years, elements of epic poetry shaped ideas of what a good story should be. But with the modern age, the novel replaced epic as the most culturally revered literary form. Students explore how the novel draws upon as well as rejects the epic tradition, and how the novel reflects what we mean by "modernity" itself. This course ranges from Anglo-Saxon epic to modern and contemporary novels. Offered periodically.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 285: Digital Rhetorics and New Media Literacies

Students explore what it means to be literate in an age of new media by reading critical scholarship and comparing the ways they read, interpret, and learn from digital texts, such as fan fiction websites, social media, and video games, to ways they read, interpret, and learn from printed media (e.g., books, poems, or plays). In their final, digital project, students critically examine the use of new media to make humanities scholarship more "public." Offered periodically. Also counts toward media studies concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 286: Topics in Rhetoric and Composition

Rhetoric and composition are academic fields within English studies that take up the questions of how meaning is made and negotiated in a variety of historical, geographical, and media-based contexts. This topics course provides students with an overview of these fields and an in-depth perspective on areas of focus within the fields. Topics could include: presidential rhetoric, classical rhetoric, technical writing, interactive texts and video games, feminist rhetoric, and community literacy. May be repeated if topic is different. Offered annually. Also counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 330: Advanced Studies in Literary Eras: British

Students explore specific periods in British literature and examine the relationship between literary texts and movements and their particular cultural, political, and historical contexts. Each offering of this course examines a different literary era and emphasizes specific literary and historical issues. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 340: Advanced Studies in Literary Eras: American

Students explore specific periods in American literature and examine the relationship between literary texts and movements and their particular cultural, political, and historical contexts. Each offering of this course examines a different literary era and emphasizes specific literary and historical issues. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 345: Topics in American Racial and Multicultural Literatures

This course focuses on important issues, images, authors, and modes in an intensive study of racial and multicultural literature in the U.S. The scope of the course can include racial portraiture, sexual politics, field and factory experience, color and class status, and church and family institutions. Authors include such writers as Frederick Douglass and Maxine Hong Kingston. May be repeated if topic is different. Also counts toward and race and ethnic studies major and concentration.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 347: Topics in Post-Colonial Literatures

Students study individuals or groups of authors, looking at themes such as the individual as cultural hybrid, the place of politics in literature, ethnocentrism and imperialism. They examine the formation of literature from the clashes of culture, and the relationship between non-traditional literary forms and traditional European aesthetics. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 360: Literary Criticism and Theory

This class focuses on defining, classifying, analyzing, interpreting, evaluating, and understanding literature. Students study both practical criticism (discussion of particular works or writers) and theoretical criticism (principles and criteria appropriate to literature generally). The course introduces a broad range of critical theories and provides an historical overview of the subject.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 380: Shakespeare

Students consider in depth some of Shakespeare's most popular plays and also explore some of the less-frequently studied classics. Students examine a wide range of genres and types of plays, view recorded productions, and attend performances when available.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 385: Advanced Topics in Rhetoric and Composition: Feminist Rhetorics

Rhetoric and composition are academic fields within English studies that take up the questions of how meaning is made and negotiated in a variety of historical, geographical, and media-based contexts. This advanced topics course provides students with a chance to build upon skills and knowledge from the 200-level rhetoric and composition courses. Topics could include presidential rhetoric, classical rhetoric, feminist rhetorics, and community literacy. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 391: Major British Authors

Students examine the work of a major British author. Through attention to life experiences, cultural contexts, and the impact of history, the course offers students a complex understanding of a major author's literary achievement. Recent authors have included Milton, Dickens, George Eliot, Joyce, and Woolf. Because such study is intensive and requires background, students should have prior exposure to the author studied. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 392: Major American Authors

Students examine the work of a major American author. Through attention of life experiences, cultural contexts, and the impact of history, the course offers students a complex understanding of a major author's literary achievement. Recent authors have included Melville, Cather, Wharton, Hemingway and Faulkner. Because such study is intensive and requires background, students should have prior exposure to the author studied. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 393: Drama and Moral Choice

"To be or not to be" is only one of many ethical questions raised by dramatists writing in English, from medieval moralities to postmodern plays. Using a framework of readings from classical and contemporary ethical theories, students examine moral and ethical conflicts within plays from several periods. The course also addresses the works in their cultural and theatrical contexts; students attend a performance of one play on the syllabus. Ticket fee required. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisites: BTS-T and ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of instructor.

ENGL 395: Chaucer from an Ethical Perspective

Students analyze from a broadly cultural view the political, religious, and intellectual debates of Chaucer's day as reflected in his greatest work, the Canterbury Tales. Students examine the Canterbury Tales through the lens of ethics, using readings in ethical theory to better understand moral questions, Chaucer's poetry, and ourselves -- as interpreters of literature and moral agents. Also counts toward medieval studies major.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II; completion of BTS-T; or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 399: The Major Seminar

In this seminar, students learn about a range of methods for literary research by exploring literature in the context of critical, theoretical, cultural, or historical materials. For each student, the centerpiece of the course is the research and writing of a long essay that represents his or her individual research interests. Students share and respond to each other's work-in-progress and present their completed projects to the seminar. May be repeated if topic is different.
Prerequisites: open to juniors and seniors who have completed ENGL 185 and at least two level II English courses or by permission of the instructor.

Writing

ENGL 150: The Craft of Creative Writing

This course introduces the craft of creative writing through contemporary readings and writing exercises in three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students learn to read and to write literature with attention to how a literary work is made. Emphasis on the elements of craft and revision provide preparation for students who want to continue into intermediate and advanced creative writing workshops. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: prior or concurrent enrollment in FYW.

ENGL 282: Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing

In this course students read, analyze, and write their own works of speculative fiction (e.g., fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, fabulism, slipstream, etc.). Students read and discuss short stories and novels, paying attention to form, themes, and content and apply their knowledge of these genres by crafting and workshopping their own stories through peer revision. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 287: Professional and Business Writing

This course gives students a hands-on opportunity to develop their use of writing strategies and technologies appropriate to workplaces. Course themes include workplace practices, professional ethics, technology resources, promotional resources, and writing on behalf of an organization. Students create individual and collaborative projects including employment documents, proposals, brochures, memos, and other professional genres. Through case studies, readings, and/or client-based projects, students analyze writing practices in a range of professional settings. Course fee for document production. Offered periodically. Also counts toward management studies concentration.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 289: Journalistic Writing

Students critically examine a variety of national, metro, and local media. Students then learn to write their own news copy, including hard news, features, editorials, arts and entertainment reviews, sports, business, and travel stories. Students also learn UPI/AP style copy editing and proofreading, important skills for students applying for internships and print media jobs. Offered periodically. Also counts toward management studies and media studies concentrations.
Prerequisites: FYW and at least sophomore status.

ENGL 290: Exploring Literary Publishing

This course explores the inner workings of the publishing world from literary magazines to book publishers. Students explore the modern history and trends of publishing in America, as well as engage with hands-on projects that both illuminate readings and offer insight into the daily practices of writers and literary gatekeepers. Projects may include the drafting of a proposal for a hypothetical literary magazine, reading submissions for a magazine, and conducting a podcast interview. Offered annually.
Prerequisite: FYW.

ENGL 291: Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing

From the intimate personal essay to more externally driven literary journalism, creative nonfiction covers a range of forms. Students learn to combine fictional techniques, personal recollections, and direct exposition in assignments that might include memoir, personal essay, cultural criticism, nature writing, book and film reviewing, and "new journalism." Contemporary nonfiction writers such as Annie Dillard, Scott Russell Sanders, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and John McPhee provide models and inspiration for writing in the course. Offered annually.
Prerequisites: FYW and at least sophomore status.

ENGL 292: Intermediate Poetry Writing

In this course students read contemporary poetry and write intensively, exploring the writer's craft. Students peer-edit each others' writing.
Prerequisites: FYW and at least sophomore status.

ENGL 293: Intermediate Fiction Writing

In this course students read contemporary fiction and write intensively, exploring the writer's craft. Students peer-edit each others' writing.
Prerequisites: FYW and at least sophomore status.

ENGL 296: Screenwriting

Students learn the techniques of screenwriting, including how to write a treatment, to create backstories, and to break down scenes. Each student produces and revises a narrative screenplay. Also counts toward film studies and media studies concentrations.
Prerequisites: FYW and at least sophomore status.

ENGL 371: Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop

Students focus on poetry, deepening their understanding of the form and completing a substantial portfolio of polished work. Class sessions include discussion of models in contemporary poetry, exploration of various options within the form, and workshopping of student writing.
Prerequisites: ENGL 292 or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 372: Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

Students develop and complete individual projects in fiction, deepening and polishing their work. Class sessions are devoted to discussion of craft, examination of literary models, and workshopping of student writing.
Prerequisites: completion of any 200-level fiction writing course such as ENGL 293 or ENGL 282 or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 373: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

Students deepen and strengthen their work in creative nonfiction. Class sessions are devoted to development of writing strategies and analysis of professional and student writing.
Prerequisites: ENGL 291 or permission of the instructor.

Other

ENGL 294: Academic Internship

ENGL 298: Independent Study

Students pursue an independent topic of study with a faculty director.

ENGL 394: Academic Internship

ENGL 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

ENGL 398: Independent Research

Students pursue an independent topic of study with a faculty director. Cannot count as one of two required level III courses for the major.

Chair, 2020-2021

Jonathan T. Naito

Associate Professor of English

20th- and 21st-century British and Irish literature; postcolonial studies; black and Asian British literature; Samuel Beckett

Elisabeth G. Alderks

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Mark Allister (on leave)

Professor of English and Environmental Studies

American literature; environmentalism; popular music; men's studies

Nicolette Bucciaglia

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

creative writing

Karen Cherewatuk

Professor of English

old English; middle English; Arthurian literature; Caribbean literature; medieval European tradition

Brett B. DeFries

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Carlos Gallego

Associate Professor of English

Chicano/a studies; 20th century American literature; comparative ethinic studies; philosophy and critical theory; cultural studies

Joan Hepburn

Associate Professor of English

African American literature; drama; race and ethnic literature; western African drama in English

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

Associate Professor of English

poetry and poetics; creative nonfiction; Asian American literature; critical adoption studies

Karen E.S. Marsalek

Associate Professor of English

medieval and early modern literature, especially drama; history of the English language

Joseph L. Mbele

Associate Professor of English

folklore; English post-colonial and third world literature

Linda Y. Mokdad (on leave)

Assistant Professor of English

film history; classical film theory; feminist film theory; art cinema; Arab cinemas

Jeremy (Sequoia) Nagamatsu

Assistant Professor of English

fiction; creative nonfiction

Björn Nordfjörd

Visiting Associate Professor of English

American cinema; world cinema; crime fiction; adaptation and narrative theory

Juliet Patterson

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

creative writing; contemporary American poetics; hybrid literature; environmental literature

Kaethe E. Schwehn

Associate Professor of Practice in English

creative writing

Mary E. Titus

Professor of English

late 19th-early 20th-century American literature; literature of the American south; gender theory; material culture

Mary E. Trull

Professor of English

16th- and 17th-century English literature

Sean Ward

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

20th-century British and Anglophone literature; postcolonial studies; critical theory

Colin Wells

Professor of English, Associate Dean of Humanities

early American literature; 18th-century literature