English

Current Courses

Spring 2018

Here are the English courses being offered in Spring 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

    W2 ENG 101 10: Lit & Comp          MWF 9:30-10:20           Soderberg

    W2 ENG 101 11: Lit & Comp          MWF 10:30-11:20          Meehan          

    W2 ENG 101 12:  Lit & Comp          MWF 11:30-12:20          Soderberg       

    W2 ENG 101 13: Lit & Comp          MWF 1:30-12:20          Charles           

                                                         

    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. W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG 103 10: Intro to Creative Writing

    W2 ENG 103 10: Intro to Creative Writing          TTH 10-11:15          Sovich

    W2 ENG 103 11: Intro to Creative Writing          MWF  1:30-2:20     Andrews        

     

    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, W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG 201 10: Art of Rhetoric

    ENG 201 10: Art of Rhetoric          MWF 12:30-1:20          Meehan

     

    Students will study and develop the rhetorical knowledge readers and writers use to generate persuasive critical analysis and compelling expository prose in any discipline or field of inquiry. Topics chosen by the instructor (for example: the rhetoric of documentary, the rhetoric of science, the rhetoric of identity) explore the ways writers, artists, and thinkers use rhetoric to communicate in a range of circumstances and texts, both print and multimedia, literary and multidisciplinary. Guided by readings in classical elements of rhetorical study (the 5 canons of rhetoric, rhetorical tropes and figures) students will develop knowledge of writing process and effective style; attention will also be given to the oratorical delivery of composition in the form of speech and/or multimedia presentation. The guiding principle of the course is emulative: while students read and critique various models of rhetorical knowledge evident in the course texts, they will also apply that knowledge to the texts they generate as writers.

     

    Focus for Spring 2018: The Rhetoric of Documentary

     

    The documentary focus in the course pairs nonfiction texts that represent and/or raise the question of how we document truth, experience, history, and memory alongside relevant models from visual media, specifically documentary films and photography. Questions and critical problems that will emerge: Is truth the same as fact? Can the representation of truthful experience or memory involve the imagination? What are the characteristics of rhetorically persuasive composition—and how do we know when we are using them effectively, faithfully, honestly?  Ongoing critical response to, and rhetorical analysis of, the course texts (both print and film) will be developed in several shorter writing assignments throughout the semester and culminate in a substantial final assignment in which students will create and critique a rhetoric for their own documentary project.

     

    Counts for: Humanities distribution. W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG 205 10/THE 205 10: Shakespeare II

    ENG 205 10/ THE 205 10: Shakespeare II         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: Theatre major

  • ENG 207 10: History of English Lit I

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

     

    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 208 10: History of English Literature II

    ENG 208 10 History of English Literature II       MWF 9:30-10:20      Charles           

               

    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 Lit II

    TTH 11:30-12:45          De Prospo      

    TTH 1:00-2:15          De Prospo      


    This course is a survey of 20th and 21st century African American literature. It is designed to introduce students to writers, texts, themes, and conventions that have shaped the African American literary tradition. The course will focus on tracing the influences blues, jazz and hip hop music have had on black literature. Authors studied in this course will include Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, and Jay-Z. By the end of this course, you should have a clear understanding of the interplay between black music and black literature. 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

  • ENG/AMS/BLS 214: Intro to African American Lit II

    ENG/AMS/BLS 214: Intro to African American Lit II          MWF 12:30-1:20        Knight

     

    This course is a survey of 20th and 21st century African American literature. It is designed to introduce students to writers, texts, themes, and conventions that have shaped the African American literary tradition. The course will focus on tracing the influences blues, jazz and hip hop music have had on black literature. Authors studied in this course will include Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, and Jay-Z. By the end of this course, you should have a clear understanding of the interplay between black music and black literature. 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

    ENG 220 10:  Intro to Fiction          MWF 2:30-3:20          Knight

     

    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 222: Intro to Poetry

    ENG 222: Intro to Poetry          MWF 9:30-10:20          Andrews

     

    This course will provide an introduction to the study of various styles and forms of poetry. By reading a wide range of poetic styles from a number of aesthetic schools, students will consider the ways in which poetry has become a conversation across centuries, how the genre may act simultaneously as a personal and a political voice, and how it may be interpreted not only as intimate confession but also as “supreme fiction.”

     

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

  • ENG 294 10: Special Topic: Intro to World Lit

    ENG 294 10:  Special Topic: Intro to World Lit           MWF 10:30-11:20      O’Connor

     

    Students in this course will explore a number of superb contemporary texts drawn from outside the Anglo-American literary tradition. Very nearly all of the work will be read in translation; knowledge of the source languages will be helpful but is not required or expected. The cultural and historical contexts of each work studied will be provided by lectures, student-led discussions and oral presentations, and the reading of secondary sources. Close attention will be paid to both the values that might be seen to serve as bridges between literary traditions and to the characteristics that help each work stand out from others that happen to share its time, place and genre.

     

    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, W2 (writing requirement)

  • ENG/GEN 301: Chaucer

    ENG/GEN 301 Chaucer          TH 11:30-12:45          Rydel  

     

    This class will examine the development of the Arthurian romance in the medieval literary tradition and its many genres, as well as gain as well as some insight into the longer trajectory of Arthuriana that continues in present day popular adaptations. The class is primarily structured around Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte D’Arthur,” for this fifteenth-century text unifies the stories about King Arthur, Guinevere, the knights of the Round Table, and their associates into an overarching narrative that has dominated retellings ever since. Alongside the Morte D’Arthur, we will read Malory’s sources and analogues to see their contrasting perspectives on these characters. As we study how these authors and texts reinterpret each other, we will read literary criticism and engage in scholarly research to produce presentations and essays

     

    Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

    Also counts for: Gender Studies minor

  • ENG 320 10: 18th Century Lit: Lost at Sea

    ENG 320 10: 18th Century Lit: Lost at Sea       MWF 10:30-11:20      Charles

     

    Shipwrecks, castaways, and magicians. Enslavement, rebellion, and abolition.  It was during the long eighteenth century that the British Empire became globalized, and the literature written in English during this time is flooded with characters and concerns that mark this shift. This course will focus on texts that engage with the themes of transatlantic mobility and how bodies of water promote the circulation of cultures, commodities, and human bodies. Our reading will cut across genres including romance, drama, oriental tale, poetry, autobiography, and place particular emphasis on the emerging form of the novel. Primary texts may include The Tempest, Oroonoko, Robinson Crusoe, Phillis Wheatley’s poetry, “The Rime of the the Ancient Mariner,” and Mansfield Park.


    Counts for: Pre-1800, Elective

  • ENG 333: James Joyce

    ENG 333 James Joyce          MWF 12:30-1:20          O’Connor


    This course will focus on the work of James Joyce, examining the forces—historical, sociopolitical, religious, artistic, and other—that helped shape his oeuvre. We will take stock of Joyce’s enduring legady—his status as an author whose writing practices have reshaped ways of understanding the scope and nature of fiction itself—will explore, from multiple perspectives, the situation of Joyce’s work withing the landscapes of modernist writing. The bulk of the class will focus on a close reading of the 18 episodes of his 1922 masterpiece, Ulysses.

     

    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

  • ENG 342/EDU 354 10: Children’s & Young Adult Lit

    ENG 342/ EDU 354 10: Children’s & Young Adult Lit          TTH 1-2:15                Bunten                   

         

    Various genres will be treated with regard to historical, social, cultural, and contemporary perspectives. Readings for the course will be drawn from the folk tale, fairy tale, poetry, myth, fiction, and picture books. The art and practice of storytelling will be treated.

     

    Counts for: Post-1800, elective

    Also counts for: Education

  • ENG 394 13: SpTp Literary Editing & Publishing

    ENG 394 13: SpTp Literary Editing & Publishing          M 1:30-4          Hall    

     

    During the 2015-16 academic year, The Rose O’Neill Literary House launched Cherry Tree, a professional literary journal featuring poets, fictionwriters, 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 magazines and covers topics such as a publication’s mission statement, its aesthetic vision, and its editorial practices. Some attention will also be paid to the history of literary editing and publishing and theories regarding the role of the literary journal vis-à-vis diversity and representation. 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

    Also counts for: Creative Writing Minor

  • ENG 362/AMS: Literary Romanticism of the US II

    ENG 362/AMS Literary Romanticism of the US II     T 7-9:30     De Prospo

     

    Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson.

     

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

  • ENG 393/493 10: Journalism Practicum

    ENG 393/493 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 (must take both 393 and 493 for a total of 4 credits for it to count for the major)

  • ENG 394 10/THE 394 15/HUM: Hamlet and Its Afterlife

    ENG 394 10/THE 394 15/HUM: Hamlet and Its Afterlife          TTH 1-2:15 Moncrief

     

    The title of this course acknowledges both the play’s obsession with the afterlife and the afterlife, in the four centuries since its composition, of the play itself. It will examine both William Shakespeare’s masterwork Hamlet and many of its adaptations and appropriations in an effort to understand its continuing popularity and cultural significance. A sample includes: film versions (from Olivier, Gibson, Branagh, Tennant, and others); film adaptations (A Midwinter’s Tale, The Banquet/Legend of the Black Scorpion, Hamlet the Vampire Slayer, Hamlet 2); drama (Stoppard’s Rosencranz and Gildenstern are Dead, Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet, Blessing’s Fortinbras); fiction (Updikes’s Gertrude and Claudius, Atwood’s “Gerturd Talks Back,” Haig’s The Dead Father’s Club); poetry (Soyinka’s “Hamlet, Gynn’s “Horatio’s Philosophy,” Tretheways’ “Bellocq’s Ophelia); art (Millais’s “Ophelia” and others); television, (The Simpsons: “Tales from the Public Domain,” Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Hamlet episode 43) and popular music (Natalie Merchant: “Ophelia,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s “Hamlet Pow, Pow, Pow), etc. Sudents will, by the end of the semester, produce their own creative responses to Hamlet.

     

    Counts for:  Pre-1800, elective

    Also counts for: Theatre major, Humanities major

  • ENG 394 11: Literary Theory

    ENG 394 11:  Literary Theory          MWF 11:30-12:20          Andrews

     

    Theory, as an underpinning of analysis, asks fundamental questions about the nature of literature: what is a text? What happens to us when we read texts? What is reading? This course endeavors to look closely at the philosophies of what literature can do, and what literary critics can do, and to thereby help English majors begin to position themselves purposefully in the field. Our questions–about what literature is, what criticism is, whether a theory of literature is possible, how and whether literature is contextualized by or caused by history, how criticism can be a way of life–will be informed by an historical overview of movements in the discipline such as structuralism, psychoanalysis, New Historicism, and critical race theory. Theorists discussed may include Plato, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich von Schiller, Percey Bysshe Shelley, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Ferdinand de Saussure, Walter Benjamin, Jaques Derrida, Stuart Hall, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Franz Fanon, Edward Said, Susan Griffin, Donna Haraway, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Cornel West, and more.

     

    Counts for: Post-1800, Elective

  • ENG 394 12/AMS/BLS/GEN: Coming of Age in American Lit

    ENG 394 12/AMS/BLS/GEN: Coming of Age in American Lit                MWF 1:30-2:20          Soderberg

     

    This course examines one of the most classic genres of U.S. literature—the coming-of-age-genre—that has spanned protagonists from Benjamin Franklin to Katniss Everdeen. Why is the arrival of adulthood so vexed in American literature and how has it generated so much suspense? Tracking the history of the coming-of-age narrative in social critique, we will examine changing attitudes towards childhood, adolescence, and adult, as well as experiments with the genre to find new expressions of maturity and selfhood. We will pay particular attention to the interactions between age, narrative form and the pressures of sexuality, race, and gender. In addition, we will trace the changing historical role of the coming-of-age narrative across works such as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Audre Lorde, Zami; Zitkala-Sa, “Impressions of an Indian Girlhood,” Justin Torres, We are the Animals, Toni Morrison, “Recitatif”: and Thi Bui’s graphic novel, The Best We Could Do.

     

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

  • ENG 394 13/THE 361: Adaptation

    ENG 394 13/THE 361: Adaptation          M 2:30-5          Fox    

                 

    This course explores the theory and practice of adapting non-dramatic literature for the stage. Students examine the form through writing and staging short story adaptations, whose size and scope allow students to learn and explore 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 develop skills in acting, directing, writing, and dramaturgy. Students do not need extensive experience in acting or writing for the stage, but a willingness to explore both is important.

     

    Counts for: Elective

    Also counts for: Theatre major

  • ENG 454: Creative Writing Workshop: Nonfiction

    ENG 454: Creative Writing Workshop: Nonfiction       F 1:30-4       Haygood

     

    The goal of this course is to instruct you in the craft of memoir writing. You will be propelled to explore your own first-person experiences and write about them. There is perhaps no other form of writing in the past two decades that has exploded with such literary force as the memoir. When done with skill, honesty, ethics and style, it is a form of writing that can dazzle the senses and explain to us all where we’ve come from, and how we’ve coped in the world.
     

    Prerequisite:  ENG 103 Introduction to Creative Writing

    Counts for: Elective, Creative Writing minor

  • ENG 470/AMS 300/BS 470: Toni Morrison

    ENG 470/AMS 300/BS 470: Toni Morrison          TTH 10-11:15          Knight

                

    This course focuses on the works of Toni Morrison, the first African American and the eighth woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Students will study the important motifs, tropes and themes of Morrison’s writing, including her notable critical essays and short fiction. Students will become well versed in Morrison’s writings and develop and understanding of various contemporary critical approaches used to interpret her work.

     

    Counts for: Post-1800, elective

    Also counts for: American Studies major, Black Studies minor

  • ENG 494 10: CW Fiction Workshop: Fragment as Form

    ENG 494 10: CW Fiction Workshop: Fragment as Form            W 10-12:30                 Kesey

     

    Sometimes history leaves us nothing but fragment—as in the case of Sappho, say, or Heraclitus—and as readers we spend half our time mourning what’s been lost. Many modern and contemporary fiction writers, on the other hand, have found the fragment itself (in series or as stand-alone) to be an extraordinarily fertile form. This creative writing workshop will focus on the ways in which the empty space around/between fragments of prose can be made to speak volumes.  For instruction and inspiration, we will be reading and analyzing intentionally fragmented work by the following writers, among others: Claudia Rankine, Lydia Davis, David Markson, Roland Barthes, Fernando Pessoa, Anne Carson, Jorge Luis Borges, Roberto Bolanño, Maggie Nelson, Julie Cortátar, Maggie Nelson, Carole Maso, Italo Calvino, Georges Perec and Mary Ruefle.

     

    Prerequisite: ENG 103: Introduction to Creative Writing

    Counts for: Elective, Creative Writing minor

  • ENG 494 11-12/ART: Poetry and Book Arts

    ENG 494 11/ART: Poetry and Book Arts          M 10-12:30          Sovich            

    ENG 494 12/ART: Poetry and Book Arts          W 1:30-4          Sovich            

     

    Letterpress printing allows writers to consider the printed page as a form with its own limitations, its own rules to test and break. Students will learn to hand set their writing in lead type and feel the physical weight of their own words. The class will work toward writing, designing, letterpress printing, and hand binding a small-edition chapbook that will feature each student’s poetry, written during the semester. The focus of the class will be the exploration of briefer forms and experimentation with utilization of the page. Class time will be split between discussions and demonstrations.

     

    Prerequisite: ENG 103: Introduction to Creative Writing.

    Counts for: Elective, Creative Writing minor, Art major