Current Courses

Fall 2018

Here are the English courses being offered in Fall 2018 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 101 (10-24): Literature and Composition

    MWF 9:30-10:20                          Meehan

    MWF 10:30-11:20                        Rydel                          

    MWF 12:30-1:20                          O’Connor                   


    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 Creative Writing

    MWF 1:30-2:20                            Andrews

    TTH 10-11:15                               Abdur-Rahman                    

    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)

  • ENG 205 10/THE 205 10: Shakespeare I

    ENG 205 10/ THE 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, Fine Arts requirement

    Also counts for: Theatre major

  • ENG 207 10: Intro to British Literature and Culture I

    ENG 207 10: Intro to British Literature and Culture I 

    MWF 9:30-10:20             Charles           


    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, and analyzes them in the context of their historical moment and aesthetic movements. It was during this time that English transformed from a vernacular language of subject people to the official language of church and state, and we will place a particular emphasis on geopolitical shifts and the cross-cultural encounters they promote.


    Counts for: 200-level, Humanities distribution

  • ENG 208 10: Intro to British Literature and Culture II

    ENG 208 10: Intro to British Literature and Culture II      

    MWF 9:30-10:20            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/AMS 209: Intro to American Literature and Culture I

    TTH 11:30-12:45     De Prospo      

    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/AMS/BLS 213: Intro to African American Lit I

    ENG/AMS/BLS 213: Intro to African American Lit I        

    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, Black Studies minor

  • ENG 220 10: Intro to Fiction


    MWF 2:30-3:20             Knight                                                                                    

    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, W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG 221 10: Intro to Nonfiction

    ENG 221 10: Intro to Nonfiction         TTH 11:30-12:20        Abdur-Rahman


    This course will offer students a selective overview of the “fourth genre” of nonfiction prose. Readings will be drawn from some of the principal subdivisions of this field, which includes autobiography and biography, documentary, the essay, literary journalism, memoir, and writing in new media.


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

  • ENG 223: Intro to Drama

    ENG 223: Intro to Drama               MWF 12:30-1:20               Rydel           


    This course will examine plays as literary texts, as play scripts, and as performances. It will investigate theatre/drama from a variety of styles and themes across several centuries (from ancient Greece to renaissance England to contemporary USA) to understand dramatic conventions and assumptions. The course will consider how writers from across the globe in various time periods consider, rework, and comment upon similar subjects and themes.


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

  • ENG 224: Intro to Journalism

    ENG 224: 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, JEP minor, W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG/GEN 311: The Seventeenth Century

    ENG/GEN 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

  • ENG 321 10: Romanticism

    ENG 321 10: Romanticism               TTH 11:30-12:4               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

  • ENG 336: Postcolonial Literature

    ENG 336: Postcolonial Literature          MWF 10:30-11:20          O’Connor       


    This course will investigate the impact of British colonialism, national independence movements, postcolonial cultural trends, and women’s movements on the global production of literary texts in English. We will read a diverse grouping of writers including Mulk Raj Anand, Kiran Desai and Salman Rushdie from India, Jamaica Kinkaid, Una Marson, and Sam Selvon from the Caribbean, as well as the Kenyan Nugugi Thiong’o and the Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangarembga among many others. Careful attention will be paid to ethnographic, geographic, and historical modes of understanding the multi-layered effects of colonialism and its aftereffects.


    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for: Black Studies minor, ILC major

  • ENG/ENV 347: American Environmental Lit

    ENG/ENV 347:  American Environmental Lit     MWF 12:30-1:30     Meehan          


    The study of writing from an environmental perspective is both an emerging field in literary criticism and a rich tradition in American literary history. What does it mean to be green from a literary point of view? This course explores that question in looking at classic and contemporary authors of American environmental writing, from Henry David Thoreau to Annie Dillard to recent examples of eco-criticism. Though the primary focus will be on nonfiction prose, the traditional home of nature writing, the course will also explore environmental perspectives in poetry, fiction, and film as well as cross-disciplinary connections with the natural sciences and social sciences.


    Counts for: Post-1800, elective

    Also counts for: Environmental Studies major, American Studies major

  • ENG/AMS/BLS 370: Harlem Renaissance

    ENG/AMS/BLS 370: Harlem Renaissance          TTH 10-11:15          Knight            


    This course examines the literature and intellectual thought of the Harlem Renaissance. It is designed to move beyond a cursory treatment of the movement and offer students the opportunity to study key figures and texts at length. Authors studied in this course include Alain Locke, W. E. B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Nella Larsen and Langston Hughes.


    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective
    Also counts for: American Studies major, Black Studies minor

  • ENG 371: Literary Modernism in the US

    ENG 371: Literary Modernism in the US          T 7-9:30          De Prospo


    Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Barnes, Porter, Hurston, Ellison.


    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

    Also counts for: American Studies Major

  • ENG 393/493: Journalism Practicum

    ENG 393/493:  Journalism Practicum               Th 6-7 pm               Staff                                                                               


    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 (must complete the Practicum twice to receive credit in ENG or JEP)

    Also counts for: JEP minor (must complete the Practicum twice to receive JEP credit)

  • ENG 394 10: The Rise of the Novel

    ENG 394 10: The Rise of the Novel              MWF 1:30-2:20              Charles           


    Scholars date the emergence of novels in English to the early eighteenth century, when increased literary rates and cheap print technologies created, for the first time, markets for a popular print genre. The development of diverse prose forms into a set of recognizable conventions has been termed “the rise of the novel,” a phrasing that suggests an upward trajectory toward something: the consolidation of national, masculine, and bourgeois values, a radical epistemology of uncertainty, the concept of fictionality. But conceptualizing the novel in such linear fashion erases many experimental and hybrid texts deemed too outlandish or too romantic. This course will read novels from both camps: the avatars of realism (Robinson Crusoe, Pamela, Shamela, Northanger Abbey) and its discontents (Oroonoko, Arabian Nights, and The Mysteries of Udolpho). We’ll encounter magic and its haters, shipwrecks and captivity narratives, satire and sentiment, seduction and the marriage plot.  All of which will allow us to ask questions that get to the heart of what it is we talk about when we talk about novels.  What counts as a novel, and what gets kicked out of the genre? In what ways do novels endorse dominant ideologies, and in what ways resist them? Who benefits from the novel’s distribution of attention?  By the semester’s end, we will have explored and perhaps created a new set of alternative narratives for thinking about the rise, zigzag, and side-eye of the novel.


    Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

  • ENG 394 11/THE 394: Restoration Comedy

    ENG 394 11/THE 394: Restoration Comedy          TTH 10-11:15          Fox     


    Scandal. Sex. Money. Virtue versus Vice. These themes are not the news in 2018, they are the backbone of Restoration Comedy. This course explores one of the most exciting and innovative periods of English theatre. When the monarchy was restored in 1660 - following more than a decade of Puritan rule - the theaters were reopened. But after 18 long years during which public performance had been criminalized and the playhouses shut, new performance spaces, new kinds of drama, and new repertories had to be created. Crucially, women were, for the very first time, permitted to appear on the public stage: this is the age of the first actresses. We’ll consider both how far the conventions of this genre changed over the course of the period and the extent to which comedy offered writers a vehicle for reinforcing or contesting contemporary conceptions of romance, sexuality, wealth and power. We will apply literary and dramatic analysis as well as on-our-feet exploration, to a variety of works including Wycherley, Etherege, Behn, and Congreve. Finally, we will examine how modern playwrights have deconstructed and paid tribute to their literary forebears.


    Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

    Also counts for: Theatre major

  • ENG 394 12: Ireland and Irishness in Film

    ENG 394 12: Ireland and Irishness in Film               M 2:30-5               Gillin  


    By looking at the way Ireland and Irishness are portrayed in film in the United States, England, and Ireland we will explore the way certain images of Irish identity are manipulated, reinforced, or challenged. The tensions among commercial, historical, political, and national aims will be examined in connection to the aesthetic value of the films in the course. Print texts will also be used to amplify elements of Irish culture. The films included in the course are the following: The Quiet Man, The Field, My Left Foot, Michael Collins, Waking Ned Devine, December Bride, Veronica Guerin, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, In the Name of the Father, Omagh, The Snapper, The Commitments, The Crying Game, Bloody Sunday, The Magdalene Sisters, and In America.


    Counts for: Post-1800, elective

  • ENG 394 13: Special Topic: The Art of Journalist Commentary and Criticism

    ENG 394 13: Special Topic Journalism     TTH 2:30-3:45     Abdur-Rahman


    Students in 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 enhances 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: English elective

    Also counts for: JEP minor

  • ENG 394 14: Race, Gender, & History of American Studies

    ENG 394 14: Race, Gender, & History of American Studies          W 7-9:30


    The institutional background, in particular the nativist origins of American Studies at Yale and the more genteel nationalist consolidations established by the post-war Harvard American Civilization Program, should be of interest to students generally and essential for both current and prospective American Studies majors. Readings will include books that established the cross-disciplinary foundations of American Studies; several texts, both literary and social-scientific, that have become iconic in the discipline; and texts critical of the chauvinist tendencies inherent in the origins of the discipline. Students will be encouraged to develop independent research projects that can mature into Senior Capstone Experience theses.

    The course is intended to be taken by American Studies majors in the first semester of their senior year to give them a running start into the Senior Capstone Experience that they will complete in the spring semester. Because the focus of the course will be how to develop and execute research papers, it should be of interest to any student facing a senior thesis SCE in other majors as well.


    Counts for: Post-1800, elective

    Also counts for: American Studies, Gender Studies, Black Studies, CMS

  • 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, Creative Writing minor

  • ENG 453: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

    ENG 453: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry         M 1:30-4         Andrews


    Poetry Writing Workshop helps students create 6-8 original poems while thinking critically about form, genre, and the canonical tradition of poetry. Students will respond to and write in an array of aesthetic traditions while also writing analytically about the poet’s tools of craft. Students will read widely and broadly in contemporary poetry, including four single-volume books of poetry. We will read and respond also to prose by poets, all in order to help us discover what makes a thing a poem, and what makes a poem successful. We will immerse ourselves in the world of poetry, in making what Lewis Turco calls “the art of language.”  


    Prerequisite: Introduction to Creative Writing (Students who completed Freshman Creative Writing or Intermediate Creative Writing in previous years are also eligible to register.) Primarily intended for juniors and seniors.


    Counts for: Elective, Creative Writing minor

  • ENG 494: Junior Seminar

    ENG 494: Junior Seminar             MWF 11:30-12:20             Andrews/Rydel          


    The Junior Seminar is a course designed to introduce English majors to the methodological and disciplinary shape of professional literary studies. In so doing, we will ask a series of fundamental questions about English as a field of study: why do we do literary analysis? How does literary analysis get done in the 21st century? Which major methodologies are current, which are hotly contested, and which are deeply ingrained? What is periodization, anyway, and why does it matter? Students in this course will learn how to converse more deeply with scholars in their fields of interest, and will in the process solidify their own reasons for pursuing English as a major. Time will also be spent preparing for the Senior Capstone Experience. 


    Counts for: Elective


    The course is open to next year’s juniors and seniors.

    • Students graduating May 2020 (those who will be juniors next year): The course is **very strongly recommended** but not required.
    • Students graduating May 2019 (those who will be seniors next year): The course is available to you.

    Students graduating May 2021 (those who will be sophomores next year: You will be *required* to take the course in the fall of 2019. 

    The course will count as one of the 12 (plus SCE) that you must take and will count in the elective category.