Courses

Here are the main literature courses offered by the English Department. You might also want to consult the pages listing writing courses and linguistics courses. The Undergraduate Catalog is the definitive resource for College course listings and requirements. Please see the on-line schedule for the most current information about courses offered.

150W. Freshman Seminar: Special Topics.

Fall and Spring (4,4) Staff.

An exploration of a specific topic in literary or linguistic studies. Writing is emphasized. Normally only available to first year students.

200-level: Introductory courses in literature (open only to academic freshmen, academic sophomores, and declared English majors)

203. British Literature I.
(GER 5) Fall and Spring (3,3)  Conlee,  Friedman, Hagedorn,  McLendon, A. Potkay, M. Potkay, Savage, Wiggins.

A survey of British literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, required for the English major. The course covers narrative, dramatic, and lyric poetry, including works by Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton.

204. British Literature II.
(GER 5) Fall and Spring (3,3) Melfi, Meyers, Morse, A. Potkay, Raitt, Wheatley, Wilson.

A survey of British literature from 1675-1900, required for the English major. The course includes Augustan satire, Romantic and Victorian poetry, and the Victorian novel.

205. An Introduction to Shakespeare.
(GER 5) Fall and Spring (3,3) Staff.

A general introduction to Shakespeare's major poetry and plays. Students will read eight to ten plays, chosen to reflect the major periods in Shakespeare's dramatic development, and some poetry, especially the sonnets. (It is suggested that students have previously taken English 203 or another 200-level course, or have AP credit for 210.)

207. American Literature: Themes and Issues.
(GER 5) Fall and Spring (3,3) Braxton, Dawson, Kennedy, Knight, Lowry, Pinson, Putzi, Scholnick, Thompson, Wiggins, Zuber.

An introduction to American literature through an analysis of major continuing themes, such as the meaning of freedom; literature and the environment; urban-rural dichotomies.

209. Critical Approaches to Literature.
(GER 5) Fall and Spring (3,3) Wenska.

An introduction to important critical approaches to literature such as traditional (historical/biographical, moral/philosophical), formalist, psychological, archetypal and feminist. (Appropriate for students intending to major in English or having AP credit for English 210.) (Formerly ENGL 202)

210. Topics in Literature.
(most topics will fulfill GER 5) Fall and Spring (3-4, 3-4) Staff.

An introduction to a topic in literature, or in literature and another discipline, designed for non-majors. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

300-level: Historical surveys and other period-based courses in literature.

310. Literature and the Bible.
(GER 5) Spring (3) A. Potkay, M. Potkay.

This course introduces students to the principal biblical narratives, their historical contexts, and the ways they have been interpreted by Western authors. Readings from the King James version of the Bible will include the major books of the Old and New Testaments. Lectures will examine the literary qualities of the biblical texts and the artistic traditions associated with them.

311. Epic and Romance.
Fall (3) Hagedorn, Wiggins.

A study of the development of these major genres, with illustrative works drawn from ancient, medieval and Renaissance periods; includes English and Continental authors. (Formerly ENGL 435)

314. Old English.
Fall (3) M. Potkay.

An introduction to Old English, including elementary grammar and phonology and the reading of prose and short poems; collateral readings in the history and culture of the period. (Formerly ENGL 409)

315. Beowulf.
Spring (3) M. Potkay. Prerequisite: ENGL 314.

An intensive study of the text in Old English, with the aim of understanding Beowulf as a great work of literature. Emphasis is placed on the structure and the themes of the poem. Collateral readings in recent criticism. (Formerly ENGL 410)

316. Arthurian Literature.
Spring (3) Conlee, Hagedorn, M. Potkay.

A study of selected works from the Arthurian literary tradition. Major emphasis is upon works from the medieval period (e.g., Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien de Troyes and Malory), but some attention is also given to Arthurian literature in the 19th and 20th centuries. (Formerly ENGL 434)

322. Medieval Literature.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Conlee, Hagedorn, M. Potkay

A survey of selected major works and other representative examples of Old and Middle English literature, exclusive of Chaucer. The course explores the development of typical medieval attitudes and themes in a variety of literary forms and genres. (Formerly ENGL 312)

323. The English Renaissance.
Fall (3) Friedman, Wiggins.

A survey of the poetry, prose and drama of Tudor England, including selected works of More, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare.

324. The Early Seventeenth Century.
Spring (3) Wiggins.

A survey of poetry, prose and dramatic forms from John Donne and Ben Jonson to 1660, including early poems of Milton and Marvell.

325. English Renaissance Drama.
Fall (3) Savage.

A study of the dramatic literature written by Shakespeare's contemporaries, including Dekker, Kyd, Marlowe, Jonson, Tourneur, and Webster. (Formerly ENGL 429)

331. English Literature, 1660-1744.
Fall (3) A. Potkay, Wilson.

A survey including poetry, fiction and drama. Some attention to arts related to literature. Emphasis on comedy and satire. Major figures studied include the Earl of Rochester, Dryden, Swift, Pope, Gay, and Fielding.

332. English Literature, 1744-1798.
Spring (3) A. Potkay, Wilson.

A survey of the poetry and prose of the period, with special attention to the intellectual/historical contexts. Major figures studied include Johnson, Gray, Hume, Gibbon, Smart, and Blake.

333. The Novel to 1832.
Fall (3) A. Potkay, Wilson.

This course studies selected British and Continental novels from the early modern through Romantic periods, drawing upon authors such as Cervantes, Defoe, Fielding, Sterne, Rousseau, Goethe, Austen, and Scott. (Formerly ENGL 439)

341. The English Romantic Period.
Fall (3) A. Potkay, Wheatley.

A survey of poetry, prose and fiction of the period between 1798 and 1832, with special attention to the works of the major Romantic poets.

342. The Victorian Age.
Spring (3) Joyce, Meyers.

A survey of major writers during the reign of Victoria. Emphasis is on social and intellectual issues as expressed primarily by leading poets and essayists from Carlyle to Hardy.

343. English Novel, 1832-1900.
Spring (3) Joyce, Morse.

Novels by Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Dickens, Trollope, Gaskell, Eliot and Hardy are studied as primary examples of the nature and development of the English novel during the Victorian period. (Formerly ENGL 440)

344. The World Novel After 1832.
Spring (3) Staff.

A study of selected novels written mostly by authors who are not Anglo-American. Focus of readings will vary from year to year (e.g., history of the genre; 19th-century Europe; postcolonialism). (Formerly ENGL 436)

352. Modern British Literature.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Gray, Heacox, Joyce, Melfi, Meyers.

A survey from the end of the Victorian era through at least the post-World War II period. Selected works by such writers as Conrad, Yeats, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, and Thomas are emphasized.

355. Modern Fiction.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Gray, Kennedy, Melfi.

Reading, analysis and discussion of the principal American and British fiction writers from 1890 to the present, chosen to illustrate contemporary tendencies in matter and technique. (Formerly ENGL 452)

356. Modern Poetry to 1930.
Fall (3) MacGowan.

Development of modern British and American poetry from transitional poets Hopkins, Housman and Hardy through the first generation modernist poets. Reading, interpretation and discussion, with emphasis on Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Lawrence, Williams, and Stevens. (Formerly ENGL 456)

357. Modern Poetry since 1930.
Spring (3) MacGowan.

Development of modern British and American poetry from second-generation modernist poets through confessional and contemporary poets. Reading, interpretation and discussion, with emphasis on Auden, Thomas, Roethke, Lowell, Plath, and Berryman. (Formerly ENGL 457)

358. Modern Drama to 1940.
Fall (3) Not offered 2012-13 Begley.

Survey of modern drama which traces the historical development of character against the theories of Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Students read plays by Ibsen, Strindberg, Hauptmann, Chekhov, Rostand, Shaw, Pirandello, O'Neill and Brecht, in conjunction with acting treatises. (Formerly ENGL 458)

359. Modern Drama since 1940.
Spring (3) Begley.

Survey of modern and contemporary drama that examines textual and performative representations of Being. Students read plays by Sartre, Genet, Ionesco, Beckett, Weiss, Baraka, Soyinka, Shange, Churchill, and Kushner, in conjunction with critical readings on artistic and philosophical movements. (Formerly ENGL 459)

360. Contemporary Literature.
Fall and Spring (3) Burns, Gray, Kennedy, Schoenberger.

A survey of contemporary literature, including such movements as confessional and beat poetry, theater of the absurd, postmodernism and magic realism. (Formerly ENGL 370)

361. American Literature to 1836.
Fall (3) Putzi, Wenska.

A survey from Columbus to Poe, emphasizing the Puritan/Enlightenment backgrounds of such writers as Bradford, Bradstreet, Taylor, Edwards, Franklin, Brown, and Freneau.

362. The American Renaissance.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Barnes, Scholnick.

A survey of the mid-19th century, emphasizing the writers of the Concord Group, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson.

363. American Literature, 1865-1920.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Dawson, Donaldson, Lowry, Putzi, Thompson.

A survey from the Gilded Age to the end of the First World War, emphasizing such writers as Mark Twain, Howells, James, Stephen Crane, Norris, Dreiser, and the Regionalists.

364. American Literature, 1912-1960's.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Dawson, Donaldson, MacGowan, Pinson, Weiss, Wenska.

A survey from the rise of the modernist poets and the Lost Generation to the 1960s, emphasizing such writers as Pound, Eliot, W. C. Williams, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, O'Connor, Lowell, and Plath.

365. Early Black American Literature.
Fall (3) Braxton, McLendon, Pinson, Weiss.

Survey of Black American literature and thought from the colonial period through the era of Booker T. Washington, focusing on the ways in which developing African American literature met the challenges posed successively by slavery, abolition, and emancipation.

366. Modern Black American Literature.
Spring (3) Braxton, McLendon, Pinson.

Survey of African American literature from the 1920s through the contemporary period. Issues addressed include the problem of patronage, the "black aesthetic," and the rise of black literary theory and "womanist" criticism.

371. Topics in American Literature.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Advanced study of a specific topic in American literature. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

380. Topics in a Literary Period.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

In-depth study of a specific topic from within or across the traditional historical periods of British or American literature. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

400-level: Thematic and theoretical courses in literature; single-author courses, senior research seminars, independent studies, and honors classes

411. Topics in Literary Theory.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Topics in theory, exploring questions of aesthetics, the history of the study of literature, literature's function as representation, its relationship to the world and to other disciplines. Topics vary but may include contemporary literary theory, psychoanalysis, and postmodernism. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

411A. Theory of Literature.
Fall (3) Staff.

A study of the major attempts to identify and define the nature of literature, our responses to it and its relation to life and to the other arts. The emphasis is on modern and contemporary literary theory, but with some concern for the historical tradition. (Formerly ENGL 408)

412. Topics in Literature and Other Arts.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Exploration of the intersections among written, visual, and/or performing arts. Topics vary from semester to semester but may include Shakespeare and Film, art and literature of the Harlem Renaissance, and race, representation, and arts in the U.S. South. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

414. Topics in Women Writers.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Study of fiction, non-fiction, and/or poetry by selected women writers. Topics vary from semester to semester but may include British women writers, medieval women writers, contemporary women writers. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

414A. Major African American Women Writers.
Spring (3) McLendon, Braxton, Pinson.

This course studies the fiction and non-fiction of major African American women writers such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Gloria Naylor. Some attention to black feminist/womanist and vernacular theoretical issues through selected critical readings. (Formerly ENGL 463)

416. Topics in Gender and Sexuality.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Courses that address literary and/or theoretical treatments of gender and sexuality. Topics vary from semester to semester and may include issues such as sexual identity, queer theory, feminist criticism, masculinity studies and literature and the formation of sexual identity. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

416A. Literature and the Formation of Sexual Identity.
Spring (3) Heacox.

A study of the homosexual tradition and the formation of sexual identity in 19th-20th-century British and American literature. Authors read include Oscar Wilde, E. M. Forster, Willa Cather, Thomas Mann, Christopher Isherwood, Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault. (Formerly ENGL 445)

417. Topics in Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

Study of literature focusing on changing cultural definitions of race, ethnic identity, and the shaping of (and rationale for) national literatures. Topics will vary but may include comparative and cross-cultural studies. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

417A. Literature of the Americas.
Spring (3) Thompson.

A study of works that extend the definition of "American" literature beyond the national boundaries of the United States. Focus of readings will vary from year to year (e.g., Caribbean literature, U.S./Latin American literary relations, multiculturalism). (Formerly ENGL 437)

417B. Harlem in Vogue.
Fall (3) McLendon, Braxton, Pinson, Weiss.

Exploration of the 1920s movement known as the Harlem Renaissance, focusing on the ways race, gender/sexuality, and class informed the artists' construction of identity. Writings by Hughes, Hurston, Larsen, Toomer, among others; some attention to visual art and music. (Formerly ENGL 462)

419. Study of a Single Author or Auteur.
Fall and Spring (3) Staff.

In-depth study of a single author or auteur. Topics vary from semester to semester but may include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Oscar Wilde, Orson Welles. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

420. Chaucer.
Fall (3) Conlee, Hagedorn.

A study of The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde as expressions of Chaucer's art. Emphasis is placed on the narrative and dramatic features of the poetry as vehicles for the presentation of medieval attitudes and themes. (Formerly ENGL 413)

421. Shakespeare History and Comedy.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Savage, Wiggins.

A study of the major history plays, including consideration of Renaissance political theory, and of the forms and conventions of Shakespearean comedy.

422. Shakespeare Tragedy.
Fall and Spring (3,3) Savage, Wiggins.

A study of approximately 12 tragedies, with emphasis on Shakespeare's development as a verse dramatist. Special attention is given to the nature of tragedy.

426. Milton.
Spring (3) Savage.

A study of the major poetry and prose, with emphasis on Paradise Lost and the theological and literary traditions behind the poem.

465. Topics in English.
Fall and Spring (1-3,1-3) Staff.

Exploration of a topic in literature or in the relations between literature and other disciplines. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

475. Research Seminar in English.
Fall and Spring (4,4) Staff.

Study in depth of a specialized literary topic. Students write and present research papers for a critical discussion. Non-majors may enroll upon consent of the department chair. If there is no duplication of topic, may be repeated for credit.

*480. Independent Study in English.
Fall and Spring (1-3,1-3) Staff. Prerequisites: Student must have at least a 3.0 in English.

A tutorial on a topic agreed upon by the student and instructor and approved in advance by the departmental Undergraduate Program Committee. Normally open only to majors who have completed at least 18 credits towards the major. Normally may be taken only once.

*494. Junior Honors Seminar.
Spring (4) Wheatley.

Study in depth of a specialized literary topic, emphasizing student discussion and the preparation of critical papers. This course is restricted to concentrators planning to enroll in senior Honors. Students are admitted by the departmental committee on Honors.

†495-496. Honors.
Fall, Spring (3,3) Staff.

Honors study in English comprises (a) supervised reading in the field of the student's major interest; (b) presentation two weeks before the last day of classes of the student's graduating semester of an Honors essay or a creative writing project upon a topic approved by the departmental Honors committee; and (c) oral examination in the field of the student's major interest. Students who have not completed ENGL 494 may be admitted only under exceptional circumstances. Creative Writing Honors students may substitute for ENGL 494 either three Advanced Creative Writing courses, or two Advanced Creative Writing courses and a Creative Writing Independent Study (the project of the Independent Study must be different from the proposed Honors project).  These three courses must be completed by the end of the junior year.  Students not ENGL 494 need to take ENGL 475 by the end of the senior year.  Creative Writing Honors involves the completion of a sustained project in creative writing.  For College provisions governing the Admission to Honors, see catalog section titled Honors and Special Programs.

*498. Internship.
Fall, Spring (1-3) Staff. Prerequisites: Student must have at least a 3.0 in English.

Must be approved in advance on a case-by-case basis by the departmental Undergraduate Program Committee. Graded pass/fail. Normally open only to majors who have completed at least 18 credits towards the major. Normally may be taken only once.