College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
English

 

English Course Topics

Recently offered courses (with descriptions):

Intro to Discipline of English

Introduction to the Discipline of English. The course will be built around study of three major genres (poetry, fiction and drama). Through close reading, class discussion and writing we will exercise our ability to interpret, argue for interpretations and appreciate diverse interpretations. At the same time we will gain practical knowledge of literary terms and become acquainted with major approaches in critical theory.

Intro Creative Writing:  Poetry-Fiction

Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry-Fiction. An introduction to the writing of short stories and poetry. Required of English majors with an emphasis in writing. Non-majors who enjoy reading contemporary fiction and poetry and who would like to try writing in order to deepen their understanding and enjoyment of those genres are also welcome.

Intro Creative Writing: Essay

The Writer in the World: Introduces students to techniques used by good writers in all disciplines. Readings designed to turn students' eyes out onto the world. Practice in techniques of non-fiction prose and journal writing.

Themes in Literature: Changing Images of Humanity

Literature & Contemporary Values. Analyzes selected literary works and the moral standards and values by which fictional characters evaluate their own and each other's lives. (Core course.)

Inquiries in American Literature and Cultural History I

This course will be organized around a theme in early American literature, and thereby seek to increase students' understanding of major works, authors and literary movements of the period.  Texts for the course will come primarily from the period up to the American civil War, and both the texts and the authors studies will be placed within their larger literary and cultural contexts.  Particular themes for the course will be published each semester in the schedule of classes.

Inquiries in American Literature and Cultural History II

This course will be organized around a theme in early American literature, and thereby seek to increase students' understanding of major works, authors and literary movements of the period.  Texts for the course will come primarily from the period after the American civil War, and both the texts and the authors studies will be placed within their larger literary and cultural contexts.  Particular themes for the course will be published each semester in the schedule of classes.

Inquiries in British Literary and Cultural History I

This course will be organized around in early British literature, and thereby seek to increase students' understanding of major works, authors and literary movements of the period.  Texts for the course will come primarily from the period up to 1800, and both the texts and the authors studies will be placed within their larger literary and cultural contexts.  Particular themes for the course will be published each semester in the schedule of classes.

Inquiries in British Literary and Cultural History II

This course will be organized around in early British literature, and thereby seek to increase students' understanding of major works, authors and literary movements of the period.  Texts for the course will come primarily from the period after 1800, and both the texts and the authors studies will be placed within their larger literary and cultural contexts.  Particular themes for the course will be published each semester in the schedule of classes.

Comparative Literature 1

Comparative World Literature. Explores the questions of identity and authorship in modern European literature. Close examination of texts by Dostoevsky, Rimbaud, Kafka, Rilke, Duras and others. Open to juniors and seniors.

Studies in Major Authors: Jane Austen

Jane Austen. Whose Pride and Prejudice was the most popular series in the history of British television; whose Emma provided the plot of Clueless; whose Sense and Sensibility was adapted into an Oscar-winning screenplay by Emma Thompson; whose Persuasion received rave reviews as a movie, and whose novels are selling like hot cakes nearly 200 years after their first publication? Jane Austen, of course, an author of whose work a semester-long study will turn into a life-long passion.

Studies in Major Authors: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes. A study of the poetry, prose fiction and drama of Langston Hughes. Hughes as a literary theorist, technician and fountainhead of Afro-modernism. His role in the Harlem Renaissance, his influence on important movements in literature and the arts including Negritude, the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, performance poetry, spoken word poetry, and rap music. His place on the Seminal Quartet of 20th Century American poets.

Studies in Fiction: Contemporary American Novel

Contemporary American Novel. A survey of major American novels from 1970 to the present. Selections may include EL Doctorow, Ragtime; Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey; Art Spiegelman, Maus; Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn.

Studies in Rhetoric

Studies in Rhetoric. This course provides an introduction to rhetoric, the art of producing effective communication. We will read widely in rhetorical theory and criticism and practice employing various rhetorical strategies. In addition to studying the traditional divisions of rhetoric, we will also consider such topics as the relationship between rhetoric and poetics and the effects of social context on rhetorical performance.

Research Seminar: Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe. The fiction of Edgar Allan (that's an 'a' not an 'e') Poe will serve as the basis for a course on scholarly research skills. Students will learn to conduct exhaustive searches, evaluate sources, develop annotated bibliographies, and engage in critical debates.

Special Topics in Literature: Fin de Siecle Literature

The last two decades of the nineteenth century were a time of great anxiety and debate in Great Britain and France. Many citizens in these countries believed that their nations were undergoing decline, becoming at once increasingly crime-ridden, brutal, exhausted, effete, and immoral. Others viewed the changing social landscape of the period more optimistically, celebrating changes in gender and social relations that at the time were deemed 'unnatural.' This course provides an introduction to some of the most important literature of this historical moment. The first half of the course will trace the rise of Naturalist, Decadent, and Aestheticism literatures in France and Britain. The second half of the course will examine developments in popular British literature, including the emergence of such then new fictional genres as the science-fiction tale, the modern gothic thriller, and the detective story. Texts will include Emile Zola's Thérèse Raquin, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Charles Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and the works of various feminist 'daughters of decadence.'

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