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Current Courses

Fall 2015

Here are the English courses being offered in Fall 2015 and the different ways in which they can be used to fulfill the English major and the Creative Writing minor. For a full description of each course, including the Special Topics courses, click on the course numbers below.

  • *ENG 103 10: Intro to Creative Writing

    *ENG 103 10: Intro to Creative Writing              MW 2:30-3:45           Hall

    *ENG 103 11: Intro to Creative Writing              TTH 1-2:15                Mooney         

    *ENG 103 12: Intro to Creative Writing              TTH 11:30-12:45       Wagner           


    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

  • *ENG 205 10/ DRA 205 10: Shakespeare I

    *ENG 205 10/ DRA 205 10: Shakespeare I          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

    Also counts for: Drama major

  • *ENG 207: History of English Lit I

    *ENG 207 10: History of English Lit I       MWF 10:30-11:20      Gillin              

    *ENG 207 11: History of English Lit I       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

  • ENG 209 10/AMS 209: Intro to American Lit I

    *ENG 209 10/AMS 209 10: Intro to American Lit I TTH 11:30-12:45    De Prospo      

    *ENG 209 10/AMS 209 11: Intro to American Lit I TTH 1:00-2:15        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

  • *ENG 215 10: Bible as Literature

    *ENG 215 10: Bible as Literature                          MWF 12:30-1:20        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

  • ENG 220 10: Intro to Fiction

    *ENG 220 10:  Intro to Fiction                   MW 12:30-1:20          Knight

    *ENG 220 10:  Intro to Fiction                    TTH 2:30-3:45           Mooney


    This course will survey the rich tradition of prose fiction largely, but not exclusively, in English. Emphasis will be placed on the enduring features of this genre as it evolved throughout the centuries as well as to the innovations introduced by individual writers.  The literary works selected for this course will draw upon a variety of fictional forms and styles.  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 and to which they gave a fictional rewriting.


    Counts for:  200-level, Humanities distribution

  • *ENG 294 10: Special Topic: Intro to Journalism

    *ENG 294 10: Special Topic: Intro to Journalism      MWF       1:30-2:20 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

  • *ENG 300: Medieval Literature

    *ENG 300:  Medieval Literature                MWF 11:30-12:20                  Rydel


    This course explores some of the texts and ideas that dominated the cultural landscape of Europe for centuries. We will consider many of the themes and topics that occupied the imagination of medieval writers, such as courtly love, the ways of Fortune, allegory, and authorship itself. We will sample many of the great authors of the Middle Ages, including Augustine, Boethius, Dante, and Chaucer. Most importantly, we will seek to come to a clearer understanding of how medieval readers looked at the world and how medieval writers expected their texts to be read.


    Counts for:  Pre-1800, Elective

  • *ENG 311: The Seventeenth Century

    *ENG 311: The Seventeenth Century       TTH 1-2:15    Moncrief


    Early modern England saw a huge range of popular printed materials– many types of poetry, prose, and drama of course, but also pamphlets, ballads, broadsides, sermons, conduct books, medical manuals, domestic guides, woodcuts, and more– available for public consumption.  This course will examine a diverse range of “literary” (Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Milton, etc.) and “non-literary” texts in relation to seventeenth-century culture.  Class discussions– with significant contributions from student research– will explore print materials of the seventeenth century as products/producers of a changing culture through the consideration of cultural topics including but not limited to:  politics, monarchy, authority and revolution, the city, urbanization, voyage and “discovery,” nation and national identity, religion and spirituality, imagination and identity. 


    Counts for:  Pre-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  Gender Studies minor

  • *ENG 322/GEN 307: The Victorian Age

    *ENG 322/GEN 307: The Victorian Age    TTH 11:30-12:45 Gillin


    Major poets, novelists, and essayists including Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Rossetti, Carlyle, Newman, Mill, Pater, Bronte, and Gaskill will be studied in conjunction with the culture of the age of Victoria.


    Counts for:  Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  Gender Studies minor

  • *ENG 352 10/ Forms of Poetry

    *ENG 352 10/ Forms of Poetry        TTH 2:30-3:45                       Hall    


    Every poem has a form, a skin that it lives and breathes in. This course will explore the basic tenets of forming poems, and explore the ways that form really is content. We will study received and hybrid forms to discover the wide range of formal strategies that poems can deploy and their various effects. Class assignments will include both critical writing and creative experiments in poetic forms to emphasize the matter of poetic craft. Students are strongly encouraged to take Forms of Poetry in preparation for the ‘Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry.’


    Counts for:  Elective

    Counts for:  Creative Writing minor

  • *ENG 362 10/AMS 362 Literary Romanticism in the US II
    *ENG 362 10/AMS 362 Literary Romanticism in the US II  W 7-9:30   De Prospo 


    Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson.


    Counts for:  Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  American Studies major

  • *ENG 393 10: Journalism Practicum

    *ENG 393 10:  Journalism Practicum            Th 6-7 pm              McIntire                                                                           


    This practicum for The Elm teachs basic news reporting and writing – the who, what, when, where, why & how of story organization; getting quickly to the point; conciseness; straightforward exposition; accuracy, fairness and balance, and ethical issues.


    This is a two-credit course. Students may count no more than 4 journalism practicum credits toward the English major. (Students must take both ENG 393 and ENG 493 to earn credit for a course in the major.)


    Counts for: Elective

  • *ENG 394 10: Special Topic: Tragic Visions

    *ENG 394 10:  Special Topic: Tragic Visions       MWF 9:30-10:20        Walsh


    This course will explore the nature of tragedy and the tragic in literature through time, culture, and space. Since classical antiquity, tragedy as a dramatic genre has thrived on stages around the world, and the tragic circumstances of larger than life characters like Oedipus are well-known. But the ideas of tragedy and the tragic are not set in stone, and they have emerged as important critical terms to understand poetry (both epic and lyric), prose fiction, and modern drama. This course will explore how the discourse and language of tragedy are utilized to tell stories of suffering, grief, alienation, sacrifice, violence, ignorance, duplicity, death, anger, retribution, and betrayal. Authors to be studied include Sophocles, Vergil, Blake, Brontë, Melville, Ibsen, Faulkner, and Ishiguro.


    Counts for:  Elective

  • *ENG 394 11/AMS 394 11: Special Topic: Transcendentalism: Emerson’s School

    *ENG 394 11/AMS 394 11:  Special Topic:  Transcendentalism:  Emerson’s School MWF 10:30-11:20      Meehan


    This course explores the work of a major author of American Literature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his significant influence on other writers and thinkers such as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William James, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Ellison, and Annie Dillard, as well as the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the filmmaker Terence Malick . While exploring Emerson’s leading role in the nineteenth-century literary and social movement in America known as Transcendentalism, we will also turn attention outward to his wide-spread influence in the areas of poetics, philosophy, environmentalism, and public intellectualism.  Emerson was America’s first public intellectual and interdisciplinary scholar; thus, while pursuing a better understanding of this important literary figure, we will also seek to learn from him, as scholars and intellectuals ourselves, invested in communicating our knowledge to the public. Course work will include blogging, short critical essays, a substantial final essay informed by research and criticism, class presentations, and active participation in seminar discussions. For additional information, consult the course web: http://luminousallusion.wordpress.com/


    Counts for:  Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  American Studies

  • *ENG 394 12 /GEN 394 11: Special Topic: Literature of the City

    *ENG 394 12 /GEN 394 11: 

    Special Topic: Literature of the City  MWF 12:30-1:20        O’Connor       


    This class will touch on a range of writing about the city from Addison and Steele in the 18th century to Zadie Smith’s NW in the 21st. In between we will stop at Charles Baudelaire, Rebecca Harding Davis, Elizabeth Gaskeill, and Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century and Italo Calvino, Fritz Lang, George Orwell, Jean Rhys, and Virginia Woolf in the 20th century.


    Counts for:  Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  Gender Studies minor

  • *ENG 394 13/ILC 394 10/ AMS 394 10/ BLS 394 10/ GEN 394 10: Special Topic: Contemporary US Latin @ Lit & Culture

    *ENG 394 13/ILC 394 10/ AMS 394 10/ BLS 394 10/ GEN 394 10:

    Special Topic: Contemporary US Latin @ Lit & Culture            MWF 1:30-2:20                      Kurzen


    This interdisciplinary course will provide students the opportunity to engage with a broad range of contemporary US Latin@ literatures. “Latin@” is an umbrella term employed to describe persons of Latin American descent living in the US, though individuals may identify themselves more strongly with other terms of identity such as Mexican American or Chican@; Puerto Rican or Nuyorican; Dominican American; Cuban American; Salvadoran or Guatemalan or Nicaraguan or Honduran American; and any number of other rubrics and creative regroupings. With a major focus on the works of authors writing from these particular positionings, students will read, analyze, and write about representative works of various genres within a cultural context. Over the course of the semester, students will consider such topics as colonialism and racialization, identity construction; struggles for self-determination and self-representation; immigrant and exile experiences; language and bilingualism; the marketing of and to Latin@s; and the relationship of the author to his or her communities. While studying how these texts negotiate issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality, students will ultimately learn to recognize and appreciate the complexities of Latin@ experiences in the United States and will become familiar with a critical vocabulary that will facilitate complex discussions about American culture and identity.


    Counts for:  Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  American Studies major, ILC major, Black Studies minor, Gender Studies minor

  • *ENG 394 14/DRA 394 11 Special Topic: Adaptation
    *ENG 394 14/DRA 394 11 Special Topic: Adaptation                                        MW 2:30-3:45                        Fox


    This course explores the theory and practice of adaptation of literature. It will examine the form through the lens of writing and staging an adaptation of short stories, which are useful in size and scope when beginning to learn the various approaches to this kind of theatrical storytelling. The course provides students with a strong introduction to the theoretical and critical body of knowledge in the area of adaptation of literature in the field of Performance Studies. In addition, students will be developing skills in acting, directing, writing, and dramaturgy.


    Counts for:  Elective

    Also counts for:  Drama major

  • ENG 394 15: Special Topic: Literary Editing & Publishing
    *ENG 394 15: Special Topic: Literary Editing & Publishing     M 1:30-4         Dubrow          


    During the 2015-16 academic year, The Rose O’Neill Literary House launched Cherry Tree, a professional literary journal featuring poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers of national reputation and which will be 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 394: Literary Editing & Publishing. 


    Counts for: Elective

    Counts for: Creative writing minor



  • *ENG 452: Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction

    *ENG 452:  Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction      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

  • *ENG 470/AMS 470 10/BLS 470 10: Toni Morrison

    *ENG 470/AMS 470 10/BLS 470 10:  Toni Morrison         TTH 10-11:15          Knight


    In this seminar, we will study the works of Toni Morrison, the first African American and the eighth woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1993). We will examine important motifs, tropes and themes of a selection of Morrison’s novels, along with a few of her notable critical essays and lesser known short fiction. By the conclusion of this course, you should be well versed in Morrison’s writings, have a clear understanding of her perspective of American society, and have a basic understanding of contemporary critical approaches used to interpret her oeuvre. As with other courses offered in the English department, this course will also help you develop close reading, critical thinking and analytical writing skills.    


    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for:  American Studies major, Black Studies minor

  • *ENG 494 10: Special Topic: Creative Writing Workshop: Non/Fiction

    *ENG 494 10: Special Topic: Creative Writing Workshop: Non/Fiction                      W 1:30-4         Kesey 


    This workshop will focus on the strange borderlands between fiction and nonfiction, an area inhabited by writers as varied as Thucydides, Cervantes, Virginia Woolf and Mary Karr. Using both classic and contemporary texts as models, students will explore the ways in which fiction can steal tricks from nonfiction, and vice-versa. They will work through what it means to create work that resists either label—the techniques one might employ, the effects one might produce—and consider the effect of this resistance on the compact implied with one’s readers. Prerequisite: Introduction to Creative Writing. Primarily intended for juniors and seniors.


    Prerequisite:  ENG 103 Introduction to Creative Writing. 

    Counts for:  Elective

    Also counts for:  Creative Writing minor