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Courses and Requirements

The major in English is the study of the arts of literature. Although the emphasis is on critical analysis of great works, students will also gain an understanding of the historical development of literature written in English.  Every semester, you have the freedom to choose the courses that interest you most, with no required sequences of classes! Students who major or minor in English at Washington College…

  • Indulge their passion for reading and writing
  • Benefit from small class sizes and lively discussions
  • Become part of a vibrant community of scholars and writers
  • Complete flexible course requirements that prepare them for a wide-variety of career options, including writing, editing, teaching, law, and advertising, just to name a few possibilities

The English department also serves as the home for the minors in Creative Writing and Journalism, Editing & Publishing.
These two minors are designed to pair well with each other, with the English major, and with other majors across the college!

Checklist: English Major     

Checklist: Creative Writing Minor

Checklist: English Minor

Checklist: Journalism, Editing & Publishing Minor

Checklist: English and Secondary Education

Past Courses & Distribution 

Qualtrics form for Fall 2022 literary events for CRW and JEP minors

This course can count towards a W2 requirement!

This course can count towards a W2 and the CRW requirement!

This course can count towards the Pre-1800 requirement!

This course can count towards a W2 and/or the JEP requirement!

This course can count towards a Post-1800 requirement!

This course can count towards a Post-1800 requirement!

This course can count towards a Post-1800 requirement!

This post can count towards the CRW workshop requirement.

This course can count towards the CRW and/or JEP workshop!

This class can count towards the Post-1800 requirement!

 

Courses that Count for the W2 Requirement in Fall 2022

ENG 101: Literature and Composition.  This course develops the student’s capacity for intelligent reading, critical analysis, and writing through the study of literature. There are frequent writing assignments, as well as individual conferences on the student’s writing.  Counts for Humanities distribution and W2 requirement.
  • DeProspo, TTh 1:00-2:15pm
  • O'Connor, MWF 10:30-11:20am
ENG 103: Introduction to Creative Writing.  A workshop introducing new writers to several forms of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students will use classic and contemporary literature as models for their own efforts.  Counts for Creative Writing minor, Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor, W2 requirement, and Humanities requirement for students matriculating Fall 2022.
  • Abdur-Rahman, TuTH  2:30-3:45pm
  • Taliancich, MW 2:30-3:45pm

ENG 294-11: SpTp Journalism: Commentary and Criticism.  This course will explore a variety of contemporary journalistic opinion pieces including op-eds, commentaries, editorials, columns as well as cultural and arts critiques. We will pay close attention to voice, structure, perspective, and the research that produced each piece. We will examine the ways in which critical analysis of elements of our environment enhance appreciation of our worlds. Students will conduct research to write various opinion pieces such as commentary, editorial, and reviews of a film, album, and book.  Counts for upper-level Journalism, Editing, & Publishing minor, Communication and Media Studies major, Humanities distribution, and W2 requirement.

  • Abdur-Rahman TTh 10:00am-11:15am

Distribution Credit In English

Students can fullfill the Humanities Distribution requirement with ANY 100-level or 200-level course in English except ENG 103: Intro to Creative Writing.

Courses that Count for the Humanities Requirement in Fall 2022

Counts for Humanities distribution and W2 requirement.

ENG 101: Literature and Composition.  This course develops the student’s capacity for intelligent reading, critical analysis, and writing through the study of literature. There are frequent writing assignments, as well as individual conferences on the student’s writing.

  • DeProspo, TTh 1:00-2:15pm
  • O'Connor, MWF 10:30-11:20am

ENG 103: Introduction to Creative Writing.  A workshop introducing new writers to several forms of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students will use classic and contemporary literature as models for their own efforts.  Counts for Creative Writing minor, Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor, W2 requirement, and Humanities requirement for students matriculating Fall 2022.

  • Abdur-Rahman, TuTH  2:30-3:45pm
  • Taliancich, MW 2:30-3:45pm

ENG 207: British Literature and Culture.  This course offers a survey of literature written in English between 700 and 1688, a timeframe that spans the evolution of Old, Middle, and Early Modern Englishes.  Our reading focuses on major texts and authors, ranging from Caedmon and Chaucer to Margery Kempe and Shakespeare, and analyzes them in the context of their historical moment and aesthetic movements.  Counts for Humanities distribution and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Minor.  

  • Charles, MWF 1:30-2:20pm

Counts for American Studies major and Humanities distribution.

AMS/ENG 209.  Intro to American Literature and Culture I. Taught in the fall semester, the course is concerned with the establishment of American Literature as a school subject.  Texts that have achieved the status of "classics" of American Literature, such as Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Thoreau's Walden, and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, will be read in the context of the history and politics of their achieving this status.  Texts traditionally excluded from the canon of American literature, in particular early Hispano- and Franco-American texts, will be considered in the context of their relative marginality to the project of establishing American Literature in the American academy.  Other-than-written materials, such as modern cinematic representations of the period of exploration and colonization of North America, as well as British colonial portraits and history paintings, will be studied for how they reflect on claims for the cultural independence of early North America.  Other-than-North-American materials, such as late medieval and early Renaissance Flemish and French still lifes, as well as the works of nineteenth-century European romantic poets and prose writers, will be sampled for how they reflect on claims for the exceptional character of North American culture.

  • DeProspo, TuTh 11:30am-12:45pm

PHL/ENG 294-10: Global Wisdom and Literature.  "Global Wisdom and Literature" introduces and studies global wisdom traditions in an interdisciplinary endeavor of literary studies, philosophy, and religious studies. From the Mesopotamian mythology of Gilgamesh to the early modern Japanese Buddhist poetry of Matsuo Basho; from the rational self-defense of Socrates in the Apology to the passionate longing for the ineffable God mused by Sufis in Islamic mysticism; from the varying cities of the Roman Empire which signpost the Christian spiritual journey of Augustine in his Confessions to the downfall of the Confucian harmony of Tang Dynasty of China lamented by Du Fu’s Spring View, the great human tradition of global wisdom and literature will be explored to overcome the barriers of history, geography, ideology, genre, and academic disciplines. With the instruction and guidance of two WC professors (Prof. Courtney E. Rydel and Prof. Bin Song), students will be expected to acquire skills of intercultural and interdisciplinary competence which is pivotal to the real-world value of contemporary liberal arts education.  This class counts for Humanities distribution, the English major as Pre-1800, the Philosophy and Religious Studies major and minor, the Humanities major, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies minor.

ENG 294-11: SpTp Journalism: Commentary and Criticism.  This course will explore a variety of contemporary journalistic opinion pieces including op-eds, commentaries, editorials, columns as well as cultural and arts critiques. We will pay close attention to voice, structure, perspective, and the research that produced each piece. We will examine the ways in which critical analysis of elements of our environment enhance appreciation of our worlds. Students will conduct research to write various opinion pieces such as commentary, editorial, and reviews of a film, album, and book.  Counts for upper-level Journalism, Editing, & Publishing minor, Communication and Media Studies major, Humanities distribution, and W2 requirement.

  • Abdur-Rahman TTh 10:00am-11:15am

 

Spring 2022 Upper Level Courses in English, Creative Writing, Journalism, Editing & Publishing

Fulfills English major post-1800 requirement, upper-level English minor requirement, and counts for the European Studies minor.

ENG 321.  Romanticism. The movement from the late eighteenth century to 1832 considered as a revolution in the aims and methods of poetry.  Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats.

  • Gillin, TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Fulfills English major post-1800 requirement, upper-level English minor requirement, and the Gender Studies minor.

ENG 340: Women's Literature 1800 to the present.  Beginning with Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, and George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) in the nineteenth century and ending with Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, and Zadie Smith in the 20th, this course will cover a range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama by women up to the present.  The course will also introduce students to a range of feminist theory.

  • O'Connor, MWF 12:30am-1:20pm

Counts for Human Development major, Secondary Education minor, and is a required course for the track in English with Secondary Education.

ENG 342.  Children's and Young Adult Literature.  This course involves the reading and study of literary texts by notable authors, with children and young adults as the major audience.  We will explore literary elements, evaluation critera, diction, nonfiction, poetry, literature response in print media and the arts, classics, and contemporary works.  This course provides opportunities to examine various forms of communication and interpretation, implementation of technology, and divergent thinking in order to assist those interested in children's and young adult literature to become more reflective and effective communicators.  This is a MSDE-approved reading course.

  • Bunten, TuTh 1:00-2:15pm

Fulfills English major elective requirement and counts for the Creative Writing minor. 

ENG 351/THE 351 Introduction to Playwriting.  Analysis and practical application of techniques and styles employed in writing for the stage. 

  • Spotswood, TuTh 2:30-5:00pm

ENG 353.  Living Writers: Journalists.  The course is structured in a way similiar to a traditional offering in literature with this difference:  journalists whose work is studied in class will visit the course, discuss their work with course participants, give public readings, and give students a glimpse into the careers and lives of working journalists in a variety of fields and genres.

  • Abdur-Rahman, TuTh 10:00-11:15am

Fulfills English major elective requirement and counts for the Creative Writing minor and the Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor.

ENG 354.  Literary Editing and Publishing.  The Rose O'Neill Literary House is home to Cherry Tree, a professional literary journal featuring poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers of national reputation and staffed by Washington College students.  In this course, students receive hands-on training in the process of editing and publishing a top-tier literary journal.  They analyze literary markets even as they steward into print work from the nation's most prestigious emerging and established writers.  This class includes extensive research and discussion of nationally recognized literary magazines and covers topics such as a publication's mission statement, its aesthetic vision, and its editorial practices.  All students who wish to join the editorial staff and be included on the masthead of Cherry Tree must complete one semester of ENG 354: Literary Editing and Publishing.

  • Hall, W 6:30-9:00pm

Fulfills English major post-1800 requirement, upper-level English minor requirement, and American Studies major.  

  • DeProspo, W 4:00-6:30pm

Fulfills English major post-1800 requirement, upper-level English minor requirement, and American Studies major.

This course examines key prose fiction of the Gilded Age of American literary history and culture (roughly 1878-1901).  Careful attention will be given to various treatments of "Big Business," industrialization, urbanization, regionalism, and social inequality in the work of Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, Frances E.W. Harper, Charles Chestnutt, and others.

  • Knight, TuTh 11:30-12:45pm.

Fulfills English major pre-1800 requirement, upper-level English minor requirement, counts for Gender Studies minor, and for Medieval and Early Modern Studies minor.

Shakespeare stole from the best.  In this course we will read some of Shakespeare's sources alongside his plays to learn how he adapted earlier works and .  This course will explore plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream alongside sources including Ovid's Metamorphoses, Plutarch's Lives, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and more.

  • Rydel, TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

Fulfills English major elective requirement and Creative Writing minor upper-level workshop requirement. 

Prerequisite: Introduction to Creative Writing.

Most creative writing workshops ask you to “write what you know.” This workshop will ask you to learn what you need to know in order to write what you need to write. Class readings will show us masters of the form—Lahiri and Saunders and Bass, oh my—leading by example. We will use research and interviews to ransack the world in which we live in search of the details, the diction, and the terminology that will help our short fiction ring true.

  • Kesey, W 1:30-4:00pm.

Fulfills English major elective requirement and Creative Writing minor upper-level workshop requirement. 

Counts for Environmental Studies major!

Through readings, writings, and field explorations, we will locate ourselves as creative forces in the environment, honing our own voices in conversation with others in order to craft a poetic response. Some of our class meetings will be on or around the Chester River to take full advantage of our natural laboratory.

Save the earth—one poem at a time. 

  •  Hadaway, M 2:30-5:00

Fulfills Creative Writing Minor Upper-Level Requirement ("Editing and Publishing" option) (if both semesters are taken)

Fulfills Journalism, Editing & Publishing Minor Advanced course requirement (if both semesters are taken)

Fulfills English Major Elective Requirement (if both semesters are taken)

The practicum can be taken in conjunction with working on any campus publication, not only The Elm!

  • Abdur-Rahman, F 2:30-3:45pm

Fulfills Creative Writing Minor Upper-Level Requirement ("Editing and Publishing" option)

Fulfills Journalism, Editing & Publishing Minor Internship Requirement

Fulfills English Major Elective Requirement

ENG 390/490. Internships.  Internships in the English Department serve to give focus to a student’s prospective employment in the world beyond Washington College, and they aim to integrate and developthe writing, thinking, and communicative skills acquired in the course of completing an English Major, Creative Writing minor, or Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor . The specific conditions related to each internship will be developed among the faculty advisor, the representative of the institution offering the internship, and the student.

For more information on Internships, contact Dr. Elizabeth O'Connor, English Department Internship Coordinator

 

Want to see more about exciting classes we regularly teach?

Take a look at the Washington College course catalog for full course descriptions.

Course Catalog