English Department Course Offerings

English Department Course Offerings

LIT 100: Introduction to Literature

This course introduces students to the study and appreciation of literature. It explores the literary genres of fiction, poetry, and drama. There is an option for nonfiction prose as well. The course covers an introduction to literary terminology and an introduction to critical analysis of literature.

LIT 201: World Literature I: Foundations of Culture

This course explores both early European (classical and medieval) culture as well as the great non-European cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Americas up to the Renaissance. Readings will focus on major themes such as the hero, the role of women, ethical values, and views of nature, within the genres of Greek tragedy, comedy, epic and lyric poetry. Students will read authors such as Homer, Sophocles, Dante, Virgil, Cervantes, and Ovid. Although all texts are in English, this course is designed to give students competency in ancient and medieval literature outside the English tradition. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 202: World Literature II: Renaissance to Modern

This course introduces students to major works of world literature in translation, excluding the American and British traditions, from the late 1600s to the present. It includes African, Asian, European, Latin American and Middle Eastern literature, with an emphasis on the European. Students will read authors such as Pirandello, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Mahfouz, and Kafka. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 219: British Literature I

LIT 219 is designed to introduce students to British literature from its beginnings through the eighteenth century. Students will read and discuss works by major authors, considering such aspects as the work’s genre, context, and style. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 220: British Literature II

LIT 220 is designed to introduce students to British literature from the Romantic through the Modernist periods. Students will read and discuss works by major authors, considering such aspects as the work’s genre, context, and style. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 221: American Literature I

This course is a survey of American literature from its beginnings to 1865. The course will provide students with an introduction to the early history of American literature, examining a broad range of literary genres and considering the complex cultural and social context in which these important literary texts were written. Authors may include John Winthrop, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Ann Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 222: American Literature II

This course is a survey of American literature from 1865 to the present. The course will provide students with an introduction to the history of American literature since the Civil War, examining a broad range of literary genres and considering the complex cultural and social context in which these important literary texts were written. Authors may include Mark Twain, Henry James, Jack London, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Eugene O’Neill, Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Allen Ginsberg, and Toni Morrison. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 229: World Mythology

This course introduces students to the study of mythology. We will read and discuss myths from both western and non-western cultures. Students will also choose one culture’s myths to concentrate on for a final project. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 231: Nature Writers

This course introduces students to the prose and poetry of major British and American writers and naturalists since the 18th century who observe nature vividly and write about humanity’s relationship with the natural environment. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 300: Literary Theory

This course is an introduction to the major schools of contemporary critical theory, and an examination of principal exponents of these theories. The student will become familiar with the most important features of psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism and feminism and examine the meaning of structuralism and post-structuralism. In addition, the course affords an opportunity to practice applying the theories to specific literary texts. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 306: Medieval Literature

This course will focus on literature written in England during the Old and Middle English period (approximately 500-1485 CE.). We will spend about half the course on Old English literature and half on Middle English literature. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 307: Renaissance and Restoration Literature

This course surveys British Literature from the 16th and 17th centuries, a period renowned for the variety and originality of its writers, which left a lasting mark on subsequent English literature. Students will be introduced to central ideas and writers of the English Reformation, English Revolution, and the Restoration of the monarchy. Renaissance authors studied may include More, Marlowe, Elizabeth I, Jonson, Donne, and Webster, along with Shakespeare and Spenser. Writers of the Revolution and Restoration may include Herrick, Marvell, Milton, Dryden, Behn, and Wycherley. Students will encounter Renaissance and Restoration drama, epic poetry, the sonnet, along with early experiments in prose fiction. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 308: 18th-Century British Literature

This course surveys the literature of the “long 18th century,” from the Restoration to the beginning of Romanticism, and studies developments in English literature such as the novel, the essay, satire, journalism, and popular theater. Authors studied may include Congreve, Defoe, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Fielding, Smollett, and Austen. This course will may also cover developments in the visual arts. Themes of the course will vary, but may include civil liberty, sexuality and gender, colonialism, city and country, and the enlightenment movement. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 309: Romantic Literature

The Romantic Era in Britain, while short, was an intense and influential literary period. In this course we will read poetry, fiction, and nonfiction responding to and shaping events such as the French Revolution and its aftermath, the British abolition of slavery, and industrialization. We will read authors such as Wordsworth, Keats, Austen, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Shelley, and Byron. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 310: Victorian Literature

Nineteenth-century Britain experienced tremendous change in politics, economics, philosophy, art, and literature. It was a century of industrialization, empire-building, new discoveries, and social revolution. This course studies representative selections from major poets and prose writers, and explores the social, political, and intellectual changes reflected in the literature of the Victorian period. Authors may include Tennyson, Browning, Barrett Browning, Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and Wilde. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 311: Modern British Literature

This course will explore the modernist movement in 20th century British fiction through the works of three of its most prominent practitioners – James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf – as well as selected works by other writers. The course will examine the birth of the modern aesthetic in literature not only as a response to the alienation and despair resulting from World War I but also as a reaction to the enormous impact made by the ideas of such thinkers as Darwin, Freud, Marx and Nietzsche. Various modernist writing techniques, including stream-of-consciousness, episodic narrative and radical experimentation with punctuation, will also be studied. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 312: Early American Literature

While the authors and texts studied in this course may vary, the readings will cover the historical period from 1620—with the settlement of Plymouth Plantation—through the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the early days of the new Republic. Although there may be some attention to the literature of early discovery, the emphasis will be on literary texts of major historical interest and on authors who pursued the American Dream of economic, religious, political and artistic freedom. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 313: The American Renaissance

While the authors and texts studied in this course may vary, this course examines literature from the early 1800s to 1865, the conclusion of the Civil War. During this period, American literature developed a home-grown Romanticism influenced by European intellectual and aesthetic movements, as well as a new cultural sensibility of its own. Authors may include Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Douglass, Dickinson, and the latter-day transcendentalism of Whitman. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 314: American Realism and Naturalism

While the authors and texts studied in this course may vary, this course will focus on the American literature between 1865-1914, with the progression of literary culture from Romanticism to Realism and Naturalism and towards Modernism. Students will read literature by authors who were responding to radical shifts in America after the Civil War, including Reconstruction, the rise of industrialism, and new theories of evolution. Authors may include Twain, James, Chesnutt, London, Dreiser, Wharton, Cather, and Anderson, as well as poets of the early twentieth century. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 315: 20th-Century American Literature

This course will explore literature by major American writers, from the early 20th century to the present. Students will read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and plays about the major literary, cultural, and political events during the 20th century, including the wars, the Beat and counterculture movements, the Civil Rights and women’s movements, and post 9/11 cultural shifts. We will proceed chronologically, beginning with poetry about World War I and ending with post-modern literature about contemporary issues such as race, religion, technology, and war. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 317: European Literature

This course will trace the development of European literature. We will discuss aspects such as genre, narrative technique, time, characterization, as well as the cultural and political implications of its development on the European consciousness. This course will pay particular attention to close contextual and thematic readings of several representative works of European literature. Readings may include authors such as: Balzac, Pirandello, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Mann, Gide, Proust, Kafka, Nabokov, Hess, and Camus. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 318: World Literature

This course explores both early European (classical and medieval) culture as well as the great non-European cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The material covered will vary, but readings will focus on a major theme such as the hero, the role of women, ethical values, views of nature or focus on an important common genre, such as epic or lyric poetry. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 319: Shakespeare

Students will study selected Shakespearian comedies, tragedies and chronicle plays. The course also provides the students with a general overview of the Elizabethan era and the world in which Shakespeare lived and worked. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 322: Popular and Contemporary Lit.

This course will analyze today’s popular and contemporary fiction. What makes a book a “best seller?” What makes literature sell in the millions of copies? Writers who strike it rich generally write books that are fast paced and easy to read, following a set of conventions that readers recognize, and touch a nerve within their society. Writers who win the hearts of the literati and schoolmarms generally try to touch that nerve also, but they do so with language and plots that are inventive, artistic, and memorable. With a focus on current and past best sellers, this course will introduce you to a variety of literary sub-genres (true crime, memoir, road novel, extreme adventure, western, roots quest). The books we will read often return to themes of individualism, race, and violence in American culture—prominent elements in our psyches, popular culture, and pulp fiction—though we will certainly discuss other themes as well. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 323: Studies in Drama

This course will focus on drama as a literary genre, examining the origins of the genre, its literary conventions and its current productions. In reading plays that may range from the Greeks to contemporary Broadway, students will not only see the changing dynamics of the genre’s form, but will also experience the important role the genre has played in American, British, European, and global society and culture. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 325: Studies in Novel

This course will focus on the novel as a literary genre tracing its intricate conventions, its historical origins, and its current manifestations. In reading novels from the 18th through 21st centuries, students will learn not only the complex dynamics of the genre’s form but also the critical influence the novel has had on society, cultural and politics over the centuries. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 327: Studies in Poetry

This course will focus on poetry as a literary genre. Students will learn how to interpret and evaluate poetry, exploring the elements of poetic form as well as influential poetic responses to critical moments in history. Thus, we will read landmark works by major poets, learn about major movements and schools within poetry, and look at poetry written in response to historical events. Students will also read a volume of poetry by a poet of their choice, and present information on that poet’s style, themes, and role within the field of poetry. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 328: Multi-Ethnic Literature

Since the beginnings of American literature, writers have been concerned with defining and creating American identity. After the Civil Rights movement, many writers defined American identity in ethnic and racial terms, arguing for a revised, pluralistic idea of American identity. Students will read fiction, poetry, and essays by twentieth-century American authors who identify with African American, Native American, Asian American, and Chicano heritages. In addition to race and ethnicity, students will discuss how class, native language, religion, gender, sexuality, and history figure into these writers’ images of an American self and community. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 330: Gender and Text

Focusing on literary works about women, women’s roles, as well as masculinity and men’s roles, students will analyze how gender, race, sexuality, class, and other factors influence various writers’ representations of gender roles. The course also examines how definitions of gender roles change over time and across cultures. Students will read selections from feminist theory and gender studies that illuminate pervasive assumptions about women and men, past and present. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 335: Major Author Studies

In this course, students will delve deeply into the literary works of a single or closely linked group of major authors. While the authors studied may vary, the focus will be on writers who have had a significant impact on American, British, European, and global literary culture throughout history. Examples of major authors might include: Jane Austen, Henry David Thoreau, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, Gabriel García Márquez, and Toni Morrison. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 345: Postcolonial Encounters

We will explore an array of regional and national literatures from the “third world,” such as Africa, India, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In addition, we will also address questions of culture and knowledge production in those areas, the dialectic between first and third world, as well as the notions of the modern, civilized metropolitan center and the traditional primitive periphery. We will also take up questions concerning autonomy and authority, power and powerlessness, voice and silence, and the re-presentation of fundamental theoretical concepts like culture, identity, racism, immigration, and decolonization to name a few. Our task, then, is to carefully re-examine postcolonial literature from beyond the western metaphysical lens. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 350: The Black Literary Tradition

This course surveys African-American literature from its earliest roots through the slave narratives, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts movement, and into contemporary literature. Students will read works that illuminate both the history of African America and hotly debated ideas of racial identity. Course readings may include works by Washington, DuBois, Ellison, Brooks, and Morrison. Prerequisite: ENG 120

LIT 450: Seminar in Literature (American)

This course uses a thematic approach to explore works by American writers. The specific selections and authors vary each term according to the theme. This is an upper-level course involving close reading, analysis and writing in a seminar format. Students will complete a seminar paper. Prerequisite: ENG 200 and one literature course (or permission of instructor).

LIT 451: Seminar in Literature (British)

This course uses a thematic approach to explore works of British writers. The specific selections and authors vary each term according to the theme. This is an upper-level course involving close reading, analysis and writing in a seminar format. Students will complete a seminar paper. Prerequisite: ENG 200 and one literature course (or permission of instructor).

LIT 452: Seminar in Literature (Global)

This course uses a thematic approach to explore works from any of the major literary traditions outside the British and American. The specific selections and authors vary each term according to the theme. This is an upper-level course involving close reading, analysis and writing in a seminar format. Students will complete a seminar paper. Prerequisite: ENG 200 and one literature course (or permission of instructor).

ENG 226 Introduction to Creative Writing

This course is an introductory creative writing course designed to acquaint students with the craft of creative writing and the skills that will be required in subsequent creative writing workshops. Students will explore such craft issues as point of view, voice, characterization, dialogue, setting, conflict, rhythm, imagery, poetic structure, and dramatic scene development. Students will be expected to submit a number of writing exercises, as well as complete poems and stories. They will also be expected to read and comment on their peers’ writing with thoughtful and constructive criticism, as well as read and discuss published work.

ENG 323 Screenwriting Workshop

This is the first of three courses in screenwriting. This is a roundtable forum in which students will write short screenplays. Members of the class will read and respond to screenplays produced by other artists, write their own screenplays and take turns presenting them to their class for comment and feedback.

ENG 327 Play Writing Workshop

This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write stage plays of various lengths using traditional and experimental methods and forms. Members of the class will produce plays at intervals to be established by the instructor and will take turns presenting their works to the group for comment and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 120. May not be used as a literature elective.

ENG 328 Poetry Writing Workshop

This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write short and long poems using traditional and experimental forms. Members of the class will read and respond to poetry by published authors, write their own poems, and take turns presenting their work to the group for commentary and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 120. May not be used as a literature elective.

ENG 329 Fiction Writing Workshop

This course is a roundtable forum in which 10 to 15 students will write short fiction using the techniques of 19th century realism as well as modernist and experimental techniques.Members of the class will take turns presenting their manuscripts to the group for commentary and discussion.

ENG 330 Nonfiction Writing Workshop

This course introduces students to the basic skills and principles of writing creative nonfiction and magazine feature articles. Student-centered workshop critiques and frequent conferences with the instructor are the primary methods used in the course. The course includes reading assignments in nonfiction genres. Prerequisite: ENG 120.

ENG 340 Context of Writing: Contemporary Writers and Publishing (3 credits)

This course reviews the historical and contemporary development of literary culture. It will examine the driving influences of the literary market, looking at the history and evolution of the publishing industry, book reviews, literary organizations, and literary awards (such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and others), and considers how these factors influence literary productions and careers. The course will also examine the lives and the works of the most influential contemporary literary writers who have succeeded in the present culture. Additionally students will be prepared for current trends in publishing and instructed on how to submit their own work for publication. Prerequisite: ENG 121.

ENG 341 Intermediate Nonfiction Writing Workshop

This is the second of three courses in creative nonfiction writing. This courses extends the students’ knowledge and skills in creating their own creative nonfiction and magazine feature articles. Students continue to read and discuss genres of nonfiction prose. During this class members will continue to write and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 330.

ENG 347 Intermediate Screenwriting Workshop

This is the second of three courses in screenwriting. This course extends the students’ knowledge and skills in creating their own screenplays. During this class members will continue to produce screenplays and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 323.

ENG 348 Intermediate Poetry Writing Workshop

This is the second of three courses in poetry writing. This course extends the students’ knowledge and skills in creating their own short and long poems using traditional and experimental forms. Members of this class will continue to produce poems and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 328.

ENG 349 Intermediate Fiction Writing Workshop

This is the second of three courses in fiction writing. This course extends the students’ knowledge and skills in creating their own manuscripts. During this class members will continue to write short fiction and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 329.

ENG 350: The English Language

This course is an introduction to the following topics in English linguistics: history of English, etymology, vocabulary “morphology”, phonology, dictionaries, syntax, semantics, dialects, discourse analysis, and child language acquisition. The course is designed for students who want to learn about the English language as preparation for teaching, or for becoming better writers, or for studying literature. Students will have the opportunity to research, write about, and present on a linguistic topic of individual interest, such as the language of advertising or of propaganda. Prerequisite: ENG 120

ENG 351 Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

This is the last of 3 courses in nonfiction writing. Members of this class will continue to produce their own creative nonfiction manuscripts and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Upon completion of this final workshop, students’ will receive extensive hands-on practice and personalized feedback from their instructor and colleagues. Prerequisite: ENG 341.

ENG 357 Advanced Screenwriting Workshop (3 credits)

This is the last of 3 courses in screenwriting. Members of the class will continue to produce screenplays and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Upon completion of this final workshop, students’ will receive extensive hands-on practice and personalized feedback from their instructor and colleagues as they create their own screenplays. Prerequisite: ENG 347.

ENG 358 Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop

This is the last of 3 courses in poetry writing. Members of this class will continue to produce poems and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Upon completion of this final workshop, students’ will receive extensive hands-on practice and personalized feedback from their instructor and colleagues as they create their own poems. Prerequisite: ENG 348.

ENG 359 Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

This is the last of 3 courses in fiction writing. Members of this class will continue to produce manuscripts and present their work to the group for comment and discussion. Upon completion of this final workshop, students’ will receive extensive hands-on practice and personalized feedback from their instructor and colleagues as they create their own manuscripts. Prerequisite: ENG 349.

ENG 421 New Media: Writing and Publishing

This course introduces students to the latest trends in new media writing and publishing. Students will gain insight and practical understanding of how today’s digital environment affects their field. This course will focus extensively on writing content for a variety of digital formats and employing media to publish works.

ENG 431 Advanced Creative Writing

This course is designed to support a sequence of writing workshops in the creative writing and English major, to provide students who are serious about their writing an opportunity to study a particular genre (fiction, poetry, scriptwriting or nonfiction) beyond the 300-level workshops.

In addition to extensive reading within the chosen genre, workshops require participation in class discussions, student presentations and analyses of other students’ work. Select class periods will be devoted to individual tutorials with the instructor. Prerequisites: ENG 121 and the 300-level workshop in the genre to be studied. Non-majors must have both the above prerequisites and permission of the instructor.

ENG 480 Independent Study

This course allows the student to investigate any English subject not incorporated into the curriculum. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, the program coordinator or the school dean.

ENG 485: Senior Thesis in Creative Writing (6 credits)

For creative writing majors only. Over two semesters, mentored by a creative writing faculty member, the student will write a collection of stories or poems, a novella, a play/screenplay or a major portion of a novel. Creative Writing faculty will set the deadlines for the proposal, outline, revision drafts and finished product. Final evaluation will include at least one other Creative Writing faculty member. The final result will be a creative artifact of substantial length in the student’s chosen genre: a book of poems, a short play, a novella, a collection of short stories, or a short novel (60 page minimum for poetry; 80 page minimum for fiction, nonfiction, or playwriting). Prerequisite: B+ average in all creative writing courses taken to date and ENG 431 or permission of instructor.

ENG 490 English Language and Literature Internship

This course allows the student to investigate career possibilities not incorporated into the curriculum. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, program coordinator/department chair, school dean and Career Development Center.


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