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Literature Electives

The English department offers many 200-level literature courses that introduce students to a wide range of literary periods, genres, and issues.  For a list of courses being offered this semester, please see the online course schedule.  You can also view the official course outlines online.
  

ENGL201 Intro to Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Introduction to Literature examines selected essays and works of poetry, fiction, and drama in ways that encourage more in-depth analytical and critical reading skills. Open to majors and nonmajors, the course is designed for students who desire an introduction to literary study. The course encourages students to utilize careful textual analysis, to explore thematic connections among and between texts, and to recognize and apply literary terminology in class discussions, papers and examinations.

ENGL202 Intro to Literary Theory & Criticism

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course introduces students to the theoretical foundation for much of contemporary literary and cultural studies. Throughout the course students will apply literary theory to a wide variety of literary texts. In order to understand the ways that literary theory is informed by the disciplines of history, psychology, and philosophy, students will study major critical approaches such as Structuralism, Postmodernism, Ethnic and Race Studies, Psychological Criticism, New Historicism, and Gender Studies. The course is recommended for students who are considering becoming English majors and for all students who want to know more about literary interpretation.

ENGL205 Language, Mind & Society

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Language, Mind, and Society introduces students to the field of linguistics, which is the study of language and how people use it. The course is organized around four topics: spoken language (conversations, gender differences in speech habits, children’s talk), written language (the history of writing and our alphabet, how we read), the varieties of English (the history of English, English dialects, language and prejudice), and language theory (the structure of language, the nature of meaning). Students record and analyze examples of everyday language.

ENGL206 Law & Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course will examine attitudes towards the law, legal authority, and legal representatives in selected works of poetry, fiction, and drama from various cultures. The course highlights literary depictions of legal themes and legal personae, examining how various authors employ literature to validate, question, censure and/or criticize aspects of the law and the role of legal figures. The course promotes a thoughtful examination of why authors use legal themes as a vehicle for expression.

ENGL207 Global Patterns of Racism

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This team-taught course draws on texts in the social sciences, in history, and literature to survey the causes and manifestations of racism in diverse cultures, as well as proactive responses to it. The course will focus on racism in western and nonwestern cultures. Case studies will include – but not be limited to – European colonialism, slavery, social Darwinism and eugenics, apartheid and segregation, anti-Semitism, and contemporary conflicts like Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. This course satisfies general education requirements in humanities, literature, or social sciences. It cannot be used as the sole social science course in a degree program that has only one social science course requirement.

ENGL211 Masterpieces of Early World Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
In this literature course the class reads early works from East Asia, India, the ancient Near East, and classical Greece. The emphasis is on understanding the philosophical and cultural context in which the literary works are embedded. Students encounter and examine world views and values quite different from those commonly held in the United States today. Among the topics discussed are mythology, religion, and the nature of the hero.

ENGL212 World Literature Since the Renaissance

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Students in World Literature Since the Renaissance read representative works of great literature from the Romantic period to the present in the forms of novels, poems, and plays from around the world. Authors come from Europe, the Americas, India, Russia, and Africa. The class may confront such questions as the following: What is the relationship between literature and history? What is the role of the individual in a world with shifting beliefs in God or the gods? In addition, the class may examine the possible biases that make us unable (or less able) to appreciate literature from cultures not our own.

ENGL213 Autobiography

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course will define a genre of writing known as autobiography and highlight the ways in which writers have infused their work with an autobiographical perspective, both acknowledged or less directly stated. The approach will be interdisciplinary, uniting literary study with historical and cultural perspectives that will foster an appreciation for the ways in which an author’s life, time period, and culture are integrated with her or his writing. Authors as diverse as Yukio Mishima, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maxine Hong Kingston and James Baldwin will be examined. The course will feature readings from fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama.

ENGL214 Race In American Literature & Popular Culture

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course examines the social construction of race in the U.S. through the lens of American literature and popular culture. It focuses on key moments in American history, from pre-colonial America to the present, to explore how racial categories have been created and re-created. Students will analyze the evolution of these racial categories, like white, black, Asian, Latino, and Native American, while exploring how racial groups are pitted against each other and how categories like gender, class, and sexuality intersect with race. Readings from a range of disciplines will provide students with the historical and social context necessary to analyze cultural texts, like novels, short stories, advertisements, films, political cartoons, TV shows, songs, and speeches.

ENGL221 American Literature: Colonial Through the Civil War

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course examines the diverse literature of early America, such as Native American literature, the literature of exploration and settlement, slave narratives, abolitionist and suffrage literature, Enlightenment writing, Transcendentalist writing, and Gothic literature. Authors may include Anne Bradstreet, Washington Irving, Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Edwards, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Jacobs, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. Students consider such issues as class, race, religion, and gender through the texts. The Honors Option is available for this course.

ENGL 221H American Literature: Colonial Through the Civil War Honors

Prerequisite(s): GPA of 3.5 or permission of instructor.
The influence of the earliest American writers evident in modern attitudes toward everything from the environment to Medicare. This course draws lines from the first days of our country to the pages of today’s newspaper. The approach is interdisciplinary, with readings in history and culture augmenting more traditional literature and criticism. Students read classic American writers such as Emerson, Douglass and Dickinson, as well as explorers, soldiers, homemakers, slaves, and politicians. Students examine Puritan commentaries on the Salem witch trials, then look at the trials from the perspectives of history and psychology. Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” is examined through the lens of contemporary critical approaches, including feminist criticism, reader-response criticism, and deconstruction.

ENGL222 American Literature Since the Civil War

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
American Literature: Post Civil War to the Present begins with the writers of the late 19th century and ends with contemporary literature. Writers may include Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, W.E.B. DuBois, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Kate Chopin, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Arthur Miller, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Raymond Carver, and Toni Morrison. Students study contemporary American issues as they read about social rebellion and social conformity, about the dilemmas that women have faced and those that men have experienced, about the struggles of African Americans against racism, and about changes over the last century in private relationships and the family.

ENGL222H American Literature Since the Civil War Honors

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I and a minimum GPA of 3.5 or permission of the instructor.
Like the regular section of the course, American Literature: Post Civil War to the Present Honors begins with the writers of the late 19th century and ends with contemporary literature. Students study contemporary American issues as they read about social rebellion and social conformity, about the dilemmas that women have faced and those that men have experienced, about the struggles of African Americans against racism, and about changes over the last century in private relationships and the family. In contrast to the regular section of the course, Honors students construct their own cross-disciplinary research projects drawing on a variety of texts including, but not limited to, literature, the print media, music, art, architecture, and film.

ENGL223 Ethnic Writers in America

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course explores the connections between ethnic identity, literature, and culture in the United States. Focus will be representation of life stories and cultural experiences by writers from selected and differing ethnic communities and pasts, including literature by members of “old” and “new” ethnic groups in the United States: African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos/as, white ethnics and others. Students will be defining this genre of writing, looking at themes such as the following: ethnic and racial stereotypes; ethnicity and gender; assimilation versus cultural heritage and memory; “translating” experiences into a new culture and language; responses to myths about immigration and other national narratives such as the American Dream.

ENGL224 The Short Story

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
The course traces the evolution of the short story, from ancient roots in oral narratives, myths, legends, folk and fairy tales, but focuses primarily on its modern form, as expressed by writers of diverse cultures. Writers such as Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekov, Katherine Mansfield, James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason, Yukio Mishima, and Bernard Malamud may be featured. Students analyze and write about the works and explore the basic components of the genre.

ENGL226 Intro to Poetry

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course will help students to understand both the craft and the art of poetry; how poems are made and why they are valuable. Texts will range from ancient Eastern scriptures to the newest work of young American poets, from limericks to epics, from song lyrics to verse drama. The focus, however, will always be on language, form, and meaning. Students can expect, therefore, to gain not only a knowledge of the nature, history, and variety of poetry but also greater skill, insight, and pleasure as readers, writers and thinkers.

ENGL227 Science Fiction

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course is a survey of the science fiction genre from literary and theoretical points of view. The course will draw on stories, novels and films that call special attention to science fiction’s concern with such social phenomena as overpopulation, pollution, increased technology, and mind control.

ENGL228 Psychology & Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I and PSYC 103 - Introduction to Psychology or permission of instructors.
Psychology and Literature is a team-taught course that examines novels, plays, short stories, fairy tales and poems through the lens of psychology. Works by authors such as William Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Fyodor Dostoevsky and J.D. Salinger may be studied from the perspectives of psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Erik Erikson, Carl Rogers and Carol Gilligan. This course is taught by two instructors (one from Psychology and one from English) and may be taken for either Psychology or English credit, but not both.

ENGL231 African American Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
African American Literature surveys the literature of African Americans from Colonial times through the present including the Colonial Period, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Aesthetics, and the Neo-Realism movement. In order to understand the oral and written traditions, students read a variety of types of texts such as folktales, spirituals, short stories and novels. Students also read contemporary literary criticism by African American and non- African American theorists.

ENGL233 Shakespeare

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course is a study of the works of Shakespeare through reading in a selection of history, comedy, tragedy and problem plays as well as selected minor works. In addition to the literary aspects of the plays, students study the staging conventions of Elizabethan England and explore the social and historical context in which the plays were written and first performed.

ENGL233H Shakespeare Honors

Prerequisite(s): GPA of 3.5 or permission of instructor.
In spite of the unprecedented degree and rate of change in our times, Shakespeare provides modern readers across the globe a universal touchstone of constancy. We recognize his models of human contrariness; we identify with the power of pathos and magic and madness of characters both centuries old and contemporary. The unifying focus of the course is on the characteristics that make Shakespeare’s language such an effective and enduring medium of meaning. Students use diverse critical perspectives as they read a variety of Shakespeare’s texts, including selected sonnets; representative tragic, comic, and historical plays; and the often-neglected “problem plays”- “Measure for Measure”, and “Troilus and Cressida”. Students may also view one or more performances of plays and do an in-depth study of any additional play using online research.

ENGL234 Literature of Comedy

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
A study of the nature and value of comic forms and traditions, from basic elements such as puns and jokes to significant works of comic vision in literature, the arts, and popular culture. The course will consider, for example, the differences between verbal and visual comedy, such as Groucho and Harpo. The course will nourish a broader, deeper, subtler awareness of the ways in which comedy expresses and sustains the human spirit.

ENGL235 English Literature: Middle Ages through 18th Century

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
A chronological study of English literature through the 18th century including authors such as Chaucer, Kempe, More, Shakespeare, Donne, Montagu, Swift and Behn. Students will examine the authors’ ideas and the development of literary forms in a historical context. Religion, politics, gender roles, science and philosophy are discussed in terms of their impact on these writers. The Honors Option is available for this course.

ENGL236 English Literature: Romantic Period to the Present

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
A chronological study of English literature since the 18th century including authors such as Keats, Austen, Yeats, Woolf, Joyce, and Lessing. Students will examine the authors’ ideas and the development of literary forms in a historical context involving Darwinism, Industrialism, women’s issues, and World Wars I and II.

ENGL237 Shakespeare on Page & Screen

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Shakespeare on the Page and on the Screen is an interdisciplinary, team-taught course that studies plays of William Shakespeare from both literary and cinematic perspectives. Students will read selected comedies, tragedies, and histories by Shakespeare in conjunction with exemplary film versions of these plays, both classic (by directors like Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles) and recent (by directors like Kenneth Branagh and Trevor Nunn). The themes explored in this course include: poetic language and cinematic language, Shakespearean imagery on the page and on the screen, and Shakespeare in a modern, multicultural context. Students who complete this course will have a fuller understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays and the medium that most frequently delivers him to audiences today. Students may take this course for credit in English or Film Studies. Students who take this course for credit in English cannot also get credit for ENGL-233.

ENGL247 Rhetoric & Writing Studies

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
The course looks at the way language works in different contexts, for different purposes, and from diverse disciplinary perspectives. Historically, rhetoric was considered to be the foundation on which critical thinking, effective communication, and self-knowledge was built. In contemporary rhetoric, culture and media are part of this foundation. This course will explore primary texts in the form of literature, film, scientific discourse, journalism, political propaganda as well as secondary sources within the disciplines of rhetoric and writing studies. The course serves students interested in English, education, journalism, communications, film studies, and other liberal arts and social science programs of study.

ENGL248 Creative Writing I

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
A workshop course designed to encourage and develop a student’s creative talents principally in the sketch and short story. Class discussions will analyze and criticize manuscripts submitted by students.

ENGL248H Creative Writing I Honors

Prerequisite(s): GPA of 3.5 or permission of instructor.
Designed for students who have a genuine interest in developing their imaginative writing abilities in both fiction and poetry, this course will be conducted as a workshop whose primary purpose is to evaluate student manuscripts. Class time will, in addition, be spent discussing the techniques and sensibilities of various contemporary poets and fiction writers. Students will be expected to distinguish between sentiment and sentimentality, between popular and “literary” fiction, between poetry and light verse, between “raw” experience and experience which has been artistically transformed. Thirty pages of fiction, 15 full pages of poetry (or some combination of the two) and a 3-5 page analytical paper will comprise the minimum writing requirements for the course.

ENGL249 Creative Writing II

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I and ENGL 248 - Creative Writing I or permission of instructor.
This course consists of advanced work in creative writing with emphasis on revision and completion of extended pieces.

ENGL250 Technical Writing & Communication

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Technical Writing and Communication is designed for students majoring in science, engineering, or other technical fields. The course will provide students with an overview of the technical writing and communication field and students will complete assignments that reflect the kinds of writing tasks they will be expected to perform in their fields.

ENGL259 History & Literature of the Vietnam War

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This interdisciplinary course will examine both the history and the literature of the Vietnam War. It explores both the antecedents of the war, in terms of European colonialism, Vietnamese nationalism, and American foreign policy, as well as pivotal moments such as the gulf of Tonkin Resolution of 1964 and the Tet Offensive of 1968. It will study the history of the war, the literature born out of this war and the relationships between this literature and this conflict. Finally, it will consider the war’s legacy: its consequences and lessons, and the relevance of this legacy today. Students may take this course for credit in English or History.

ENGL262 Drama

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
A study of forms and types of dramatic expression through reading plays, viewing films, and listening to recorded plays, the course encourages students to explore types of dramatic expression from works performed in ancient Greece through those performed in modern New York City. In addition to the literary aspects of plays, students also learn about the historical development of the theatre.

ENGL263 Business Writing

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
Business Writing and Management Communication skills are vital to career success. This course provides Business Writing instruction with a public speaking component. Students work in teams to prepare formal consulting reports on global communication solutions for multi-national corporations. The course features lessons in professional writing, such as resumes, business letters, memos, proposals and short and long reports; career development exercises; oral presentations; and international/cross-cultural business communication activities.

ENGL281 The Modern Novel

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
The course traces the evolution of the novel from the late nineteenth century to the present focusing on its response to modernity, especially in terms of changing social conditions caused by modern technology and new notions of the mind, time and language. Writers such as Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison may be featured. Students analyze and write about the works and explore the basic components of the genre.

ENGL282 The Victorian Novel

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course will examine the evolution and scope of the Victorian novel, from its literary antecedents in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries, to its successors in the modern era. It will progress from a study of what makes a novel quintessentially “Victorian” into an examination of the ways in which various authors utilize Victorian attitudes and sensibilities to enhance a particular theme or ideology, criticize a prevailing belief or precept, and/or convey a cautionary warning.

ENGL290 Women in Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course explores how women’s roles have been traditionally defined in literature and how writers have questioned, resisted, and/or subverted these traditional notions of gender and sexuality. Assigned texts may include novels, memoirs, poetry, and film, from a variety of cultural and historical contexts. The course will analyze themes such as voice, identity, empowerment, family, violence, the body, and the intersections between gender, race, class, and sexual orientation.

ENGL291 Masculinity in Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
This course explores literature that has questioned, resisted, and/or subverted traditional notions of masculinity. Assigned texts may include novels, memoirs, poetry, film, and studies of historical/cultural contexts. The course will analyze themes such as identity, independence, competition, violence, and the intersections between gender, race, class, and sexual orientation.

ENGL299 Special Topics in Literature

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 - English Composition I.
The course provides an opportunity for specialized literary study of different topics from semester to semester. Special Topics in Literature may be a certain literary theme, a time period, a genre, a single author or group of authors, specific regional or national literature, or other topics defined by the current instructor. The course is a literature elective. Students should refer to the English Department’s Elective Course Description each semester to determine that semester’s special topic.

 

 

 

Updated 5/7/12 by SA

 

 


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