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Current Courses

Current Courses

Fall 2019

Here are the English courses being offered in Fall 2019 and the different ways in which they can be used to fulfill the English major, the Creative Writing minor, and the Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor. For a full description of each course, including the Special Topics courses, click on the course numbers below.  

Note: Students may count up to two courses (8 credits) toward multiple programs in the English department (i.e., toward the English major, Creative Writing minor, and/or Journalism, Editing & Publishing minor).

English major:

ENG 101 Literature and Composition
ENG 208 11 Intro to Brit Lit & Culture II
ENG/AMS 209 10 Intro to American Lit & Culture I
ENG/AMS/BLS 213 Intro to African-American Lit I
ENG 15 Bible as Lit
ENG 220 10 Intro Fiction
ENG 221 Intro to Nonfiction
ENG 224 Intro to Journalism        
Pre-1800 courses
ENG/ THE 205 Shakespeare I
ENG 303 10 Women Writers to 1800
ENG 320 The Eighteenth Century
Post-1800 courses
ENG 321 10 Romanticism
ENG 343 Irish Short Story
ENG/AMS 376 Culture of the Old/Cultures of the Young
ENG 394 10 SpTp Modernist Women Writers
ENG 494 10 SpTp Book History and American Print Culture

Note: ENG 494 10: Junior Seminar: ***Required for Juniors (students graduating 2021)*** (counts as an elective in English)


 JEP Courses, fall 2019:

ENG 101 Literature and Composition
ENG 103 Intro to Creative Writing
ENG 221 Introduction to Nonfiction
ENG 224 Intro to Journalism
ENG 393/493 Journalism Practicum
ENG 394 13 SpTp Journalism
ENG 494 10 SpTp Book History and American Print Culture
ENG 494 11 SpTp Strategies of Editing & Publishing
  • ENG 390/490: Journalism or Editing & Publishing Internship

Creative Writing courses, fall 2019:

ENG 103 Intro to Creative Writing 
ENG 220 Intro to Fiction
ENG 221 Intro to Nonfiction
ENG 452 Fiction Workshop
ENG 453 Poetry Workshop
Courses focusing on Editing or Publishing Skill or Internship, or an internship
ENG 494 11 SpTp Strategies of Editing & Publishing
ENG 390/490 Internship

ENG 101 10 Lit & Comp                     MWF 9:30-10:20                     Rydel  

ENG 101 11 Lit & Comp                     MWF 11:30-12:20                   Charles

ENG 101 12 Lit & Comp                     TTH 8:30-9:45                        Meehan

ENG 101 13 Lit & Comp                     TTH 10-11:15                         De Prospo      

This course is intended to develop 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, JEP minor, W2 (writing requirement)

ENG 103 10 Intro to CW         MWF 10:30-11:20           Andrews (1styear only)

ENG 103 12 Intro to CW         MWF 11:30-12:20           Andrews (1styear only)

ENG 103 11 Intro to CW         TTH 1-2:15                      Mooney          

 A workshop on the forms of creative writing—primarily poetry and fiction—as practiced by the students themselves. Readings in contemporary literature and craft.

Counts for: Creative Writing minor, JEP minor, W2 (writing requirement)

TTH 2:30-3:45            Moncrief                   

This course will examine some of Shakespeare’s best known earlier plays (those written before the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603) both in the context of early modern English culture and as play scripts/performances.  Class discussions, with significant contributions from student papers, will explore Shakespeare’s writings as products/producers of early modern culture through the consideration of issues including identity, politics, monarchy, religious conflicts, crime and justice, play and festivity, enclosure and urbanization, world exploration and colonization, nation and national identity, theatricality and theatre-going, religion, family, sexuality, and gender. Using films and live productions (if available) we will also consider the plays as they have been interpreted for performance.

Counts for: Pre-1800, Humanities distribution, Fine Arts Requirement

Also counts for: Theatre major

TTH 10-11:15          Gillin         

A survey of the development of English literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present with attention to the historical background, the continuity of essential traditions, and the characteristic temper of successive periods. The second semester begins approximately with the Restoration in 1660.

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities Distribution

TTH 8:30-10          De Prospo      

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 as worthy of being taught and studied 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 America. Other-than-American materials, such as late medieval and early Renaissance Flemish and Hispanic 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 American culture.

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution

Also counts for: American Studies major

MWF 12:30-1:20            Knight

This course is a survey of African American literature from its beginnings to our current time. It is designed to introduce students to the writers, texts, themes, conventions and tropes that have shaped the African American literary tradition. Authors studied in this course include Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison, along with other black writers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. This semester, we will study representations of African American identity as it relates to a concept that W.E.B. DuBois referred to as “double consciousness.” Each of the narratives, poems, essays and stories contemplates what it means to be both black and an American. By the end of this course, you should have a clear understanding of how representative works by African American writers address issues of race, ethnicity, gender and nationality. You should also be able to understand these works within their literary, historical, social and political contexts.

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution

Also counts for: American Studies major, CMS major, Black Studies minor

MWF 1:30-2:20                 Rydel

We will read and analyze the Bible as literature, covering as much of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as a semester allows. Our focus will be in gaining familiarity with the major stories, characters, images, and diverse genres of biblical literature, with some attention to the historical and cultural context in which these texts were composed. This course will provide you with the background to appreciate later literary and artistic works that assume biblical knowledge, as well as understanding the Bible itself as a unique and influential literary work.

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution

Also counts for: Religious Studies minor

MWF 2:30-3:20              Knight                                                                      

This course surveys the rich tradition of prose fiction in English (and in translation), with an emphasis on the enduring features of this genre as it evolved throughout the centuries, as well as the innovations introduced by individual writers. Class discussions will include, along with close readings of the works themselves, an appreciation of the historical and cultural contexts out of which they arose. The literary works selected for this course draw upon a variety of fictional forms and styles; however, all of the texts touch on the idea of difference. Nearly all of the protagonists find themselves at odds with their families, communities, cultures and/or societies in which they live. One of the central questions we will contemplate in this course is “How do these characters deal with being different?” We will also consider how they are perceived by others, and how each author uses the trope of difference and otherness to articulate various themes in her/his writing. Note: Students will learn strategies for analyzing literary fiction; this is not an introduction to fiction writing methods.  

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution, Creative Writing minor, W2 (writing requirement)

TTH 11:30-12:45               Abdur-Rahman  

This course will introduce students to the creative writing genre of nonfiction. By exploring the different ways to tell a story about a single true life—such as memoir, autobiography, literary journalism, and biography—students will consider the power of documentation and the way nonfiction writers can shape the same facts for different purposes. Students will use events from their own lives to write nonfiction narratives

Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution, Creative Writing minor, JEP minor, Black Studies minor, W2 (writing requirement)

MWF 10:30-11:20          O’Connor      

This course will cover the foundations of reporting, writing, fact checking, and editing. Students will write a range of news and feature stories, including an obituary, an event, and a profile. We will also discuss journalistic ethics and the way the field has been transformed by the Internet.

Counts for: 200-level,Humanities distribution, JEP minor, W2 (writing requirement)

MWF 11:30-12:20               Rydel           

Early women’s writing, much of it highly popular in its contemporary moment and compulsively readable today, has a history of being forgotten. In this class, we will explore texts authored by women in the Euroamerican tradition before 1800, venturing from the continent into the “New World.” These gifted women lived lives as exciting as their texts: runaway bride Christina of Markyate, widowed traveller Margery Kempe, professional novelist and playwright Aphra Behn, and poet Phillis Wheatley, among others. The texts covered in this course represent only a small sampling of the female-authored works that have survived from this time, but our readings provide ample material for exploring how women and men have collaborated to create literature, the role of gender in authorial identity, and the contributions of women to the Western literary world.

Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

MWF 9:30-10:20                     Charles    

Aladdin. Ali Babi. Djinns and genis. Scheherazade and the sultan. These characters and their spellbinding narratives all originate in the Arabian Nights, a transcultural text whose embedded stories remain arguably unparalleled in their world-making and whose popular circulation has been world changing. This course will focus on readings from the long eighteenth century, known as an “Age of Enlightenment” when philosophers and scientists emphasized reason, but also the period when Arabian Nights was translated into English and became a cultural phenomenon. Oriental tales often provide alternative ways of knowing that value magic, orality, and folk practices, and they will provide us with a lens for interrogating the hegemonic relation between the British Empire and its others. Harry Potter and its modern-day magic will serve as a coda.

Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

TTH 11:30-12:45                Gillin  

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.

Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

Also counts for: Gender Studies minor

TTH 2:30-3:45                Mooney

The modern short story is part of an international tradition. The form is a relative newcomer to literature, and for various reasons that we will investigate, the Irish have taken to it with particular verve. Through lecture-discussions and response paper and essay assignments, the course teaches techniques for interpreting stories from the abundantly rich Irish imagination evident in its mythology and folklore to the modern agora of the written page. Writers include Maria Edgeworth, Elizabeth Bowen, Liam O’Flaherty, Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Edna O’Brien, and William Trevor.

Counts for: Post-1800, elective

W 7-9:30                     DeProspo

Whereas what once seemed controversial topics—race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, borderlands —have become mainstream in college and university American Studies and English courses, one, arguably major category of cultural difference remains relatively understudied—at least in the humanities. The study of generation, like that of all of the topics listed above, is potentially subversive, and it may be neglected because of the fact that most college and university professors (admittedly with increasingly numerous exceptions) are members of the single, for some time now and for some time to come, dominant generation. The Baby Boom runs the same risks as do white people in the U.S., white Anglo-Saxon-Protestant people in the U.S., men everywhere, and heterosexuals everywhere when it acknowledges that the products of (sub)cultures other than its own are as worthy of becoming college and university curricula as its own traditional canon. The course will try to distinguish in a variety of ways the belated, frequently plaintive, cultures of the young from that of the Baby Boom.

Counts for: Post-1800, elective

Also counts for: American Studies major, Gender Studies minor


See Prof. O’Connor for details.

F 2:30-3:45              Abdur-Rahman     

The purpose of this practicum is to introduce students to journalism by writing for a newspaper or magazine. Students will receive instruction on effective news writing, along with other topics including AP Style, interviewing, bias in the media, libel and ethics. They will also receive one-on-one feedback about their articles from the instructor.

This practicum is 2 credits, pass/fail only. Students may not earn more than 4 credits for ENG 393/493 and may not count more than four journalism practicum credits towards the major in English.

Counts for: Elective, JEP (must take both 393 and 493 for a total of 4 credits for it to count for the English major or the JEP minor)

MWF 12:30-1:20         O’Connor


This course explore the rise and fall of modernism(s) by reading and discussing a range of women writers. We will discuss the rise of the New Woman and the influence of decadence in the late 19thcentury, the advent of imagism, the experimentation of high modernism, more commercially driven middlebrow modernism, and the role of print culture in the dissemination and popularization of modernism, especially the contributions of women writers. We will read George Egerton, H.D., Katherine Mansfield, Una Marson, Jean Rhys, and Virginia Woolf among others.

Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

Also counts for: Gender Studies minor

TTH 2:30-3:45            Abdur-Rahman           

This course introduces students to reporting techniques and journalistic styles of storytelling that go beyond daily deadline news. We will explore narrative journalism, also called longform or literary journalism, as both critical readers and practitioners. Our goal is to learn the various forms a story can take, what is required to tell one thoroughly and accurately, and how best to shape that story. Through writers such as Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Jon Krakauer, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, and Matthew Desmond, students will study the craft and ethics of narrative journalism. There will be an author visit and students will research, report, and write their own narrative journalism articles.

Prerequisite: ENG 224: Intro to Journalism, or with permission from the instructor

Counts for: Elective, JEP minor

W 4-6:30                 Mooney

This workshop offers guided practice in the writing of short fiction.  Using the work of established writers as models, considerable effort is put toward the objective of learning to read as writers and, in the process, becoming better critics of the student’s own work and the work of others in the group.  By offering a more intimate familiarity with the elements of fiction, students write and revise prodigiously and, in the process, learn and practice a repertoire of literary strategies in preparation and in support of short stories of their own composition. 

Prerequisite: ENG 103 Introduction to Creative Writing

Counts for: Elective

Also counts for: Creative Writing minor

M 1:30-4                Andrews

This course is designed to equip students with the technical and philosophical prowess required to both craft and read poetry with the utmost closeness and care. Each week students will write a poem and discuss the work of their peers, with the aim of producing a portfolio of revised work prepared according to the submission standards of literary journals. Students will be asked to discuss and practice traditional forms, but we will be reading poetry and theory at the cutting edge of linguistic experimentation, and responding analytically to these texts in order to link them to the tools of poetic craft. These seemingly disparate types of discussion and writing will come together in order to form in you, the poet, the intellectual and artistic sensibilities necessary to produce the beginnings of sophisticated, daring, and ultimately publishable contemporary poetry.

Prerequisite: ENG 103 Introduction to Creative Writing

Counts for: Elective

Also Counts for: Creative Writing minor


See Prof. O’Connor for details.

F 2:30-3:45                 Abdur-Rahman

The purpose of this practicum is to introduce students to journalism by writing for a newspaper or magazine. Students will receive instruction on effective news writing, along with other topics including AP Style, interviewing, bias in the media, libel and ethics. They will also receive one-on-one feedback about their articles from the instructor.

This practicum is 2 credits, pass/fail only. Students may not earn more than 4 credits for ENG 393/493 and may not count more than four journalism practicum credits towards the major in English.

Counts for: Elective, JEP (must take both 393 and 493 for a total of 4 credits for it to count for the English major or the JEP minor)

TTH 10-11:15             Knight

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of book history. You will learn about the creation, dissemination and reception of American print communication (e.g., books, periodicals, and newspapers). A heavy emphasis will be placed on developing your critical reading and analytical writing skills, and as such, you will learn advanced research methods used by print culture scholars and literary historians. You will also learn how the book history discipline can enhance English and American Studies research projects. This course examines various book history topics related to American print culture from the 19thcentury to the present. This semester, our lines of inquiry are adapted from Robert Darnton’s seminal article, “What is the History of Books?” namely, what was the nature of an American literary career, and how was it pursued? How did American writers engage with publishers, printers, booksellers, reviewers and one another?

Counts for: Post-1800, elective, JEP

Also counts for: American Studies major, CMS major

M 1:30-4                     Hall    

Strategies of Editing and Publishing will help students develop approaches to editing various texts and the rewards and challenges of publishing in certain media. The heart of the course will be the workshop, and students will be asked to write and edit original works every week. Some attention to current topics in editing and publishing—particularly concerning equity and inclusion—will be given as we explore questions regarding editorial vision and skill and the vagaries of markets in literary publishing. Topics might include providing superficial (grammatical) vs. aesthetic feedback; structural revision; stylistic revision; consideration of audience; and the writer/editor dynamic.

Counts for: Elective

Also counts for: Creative Writing Minor, JEP minor

TTH 1-2:15                 Meehan/Moncrief      

The course will focus on the cross-currents in, collaboration around, and conversation about literature within our major, our discipline, our literary traditions, and the contemporary world in which we work. The course will explore keywords and concepts of importance to critical thinking and scholarly writing in the discipline; will provide preparation for the SCE; will cultivate the engagement of majors with department faculty, the writers and scholars brought to campus by Sophie Kerr and the Literary House, and the larger community of those who study and practice the craft of English, including alumni.  Though foundational critical perspectives or works from an important author or literary period will be one topic, the content of the course will also explore why and how literature matters.

This course is required for students graduating May 2021 (those who will be juniors next year.

Counts for: Elective