Course Offerings - Catalog 2013-14

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English, Creative Writing, and Film Studies

Division of Humanities

The purpose of the major program in English is to produce citizens of sympathetic imagination who are able to draw upon a store of literary knowledge and capable of independent critical thinking and writing. The program offers a major and minor in English and minors in creative writing and film studies.

The program offers courses in British and American literature, creative writing, and film. In addition to introductory courses at the first-year/sophomore level, the program's offerings in literature include courses on such authors as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Melville, Dickinson, Faulkner, and Woolf, and on such topics as Southern literature, poetry by women, Irish literature, early English novels, the Gothic, modern poetry, Shakespeare and film, and U.S. literature of the Great Depression. Creative writing courses include introductions to the writing of poetry and fiction, as well as more advanced classes. Except for junior and senior seminars, all English courses are open to all students without special permission.


Mark Lucas(chair), Helen Emmitt, John Kinkade, Dan Manheim, Christian Moody, Stacey Peebles Director of Film Studies), George Phillips, Mark Rasmussen, Philip White, Lisa Williams (Director of Creative Writing)


Justin Allard, Audrey Jenkins

Requirements for the Major

ENG 210, 220, 230;
ENG 301 or 302;
One course each selected from ENG 310-339. 340-369, 370-399 (One of these courses must be a seminar taken during the junior year and numbered 330-339, 360-369, or 390-399);
One additional 300-level ENG course;
One addtional course, either an ENG course numbered 200 or higher or an FLM course (film studies);
ENG 500

Requirements for the English Minor

Three courses chosen from among ENG 210, 220, 230, and either 301 or 302;
Two 300-level ENG courses numbered 303 or higher

Requirements for the Creative Writing Minor

Four creative writing courses, chosen from among FYS 121, FYS 140, DRA 330, CRW 140, 150, 160, 240, 245, 250, 270, 280, 300, or other creative writing courses approved by the English program. CRW 240 and 280 may be repeated for credit toward the minor;
Two literature courses in English

Requirements for the Film Studies Minor

FLM 205 and 305;
Three courses numbered 200 or higher chosen from a list of offerings in Film Studies and courses approved by the program committee

2009-2013 courses approved to satisfy film studies minor requirements: ARH 382, CLA 333, DRA 360, ENG 270, 271, 272, 275, FRE 252/452, GER 325, HIS 431, HIS 465, HIS 481, HUM 282, HUM 285, PSY 255, and SPA 456.

English Courses

Note: ENG 500 is open to senior English majors only; courses numberd 330-39, 360-69, and 390-99 are open to English majors as well as to English minors with permission of the instructor. All other ENG courses are open to non-majors without special permission.

ENG 170 Topics in Writing
A course in college-level writing that emphasizes building effective arguments, integrating sources effectively, and writing English prose with clarity and control.  Students will practice writing in various modes and genres, with special attention to the conventions of academic and scholarly writing. 

ENG 205 Children’s and Adolescent Literature
An introductory course to the field of juvenile literature intended for prospective teachers stressing the various genres of children's and adolescent literature, critical analysis of both selected texts and illustrations, and the teaching of juvenile literature in the K-12 classroom.

ENG 210, 220 British Literature-I, II
Survey of major works of British literature from the medieval period to the 20th century, with emphasis upon understanding and evaluating literary works in their historical and cultural backgrounds. Together with ENG 230, provides a general introduction to prosody, the vocabulary of literary analysis, and the varieties of literary criticism.

ENG 215 History of the English Language
A study of the history of the English language, from its most distant origins in Indo-European to the present. Emphasis both on changes to vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation over time and on how the language mirrors historical and cultural change. Each student completes an independent research project.  Typical topics might include study of a regional dialect of American English (Appalachian and Kentucky dialects, Tidewater dialects, California English, Gullah, etc.), the English Only controversy, the history and structure of African American Vernacular English, the history of efforts to eliminate gender bias from the language, the history of English dictionaries, the use of English dialects by particular literary authors (Twain, Faulkner, Joyce, Zora Neale Hurston), language and the internet, the future of English as a world language, and the history of English obscenities. No prerequisites.

ENG 230 American Literature
Survey of major works of American literature from its beginnings to the 20th century, with emphasis upon understanding and evaluating literary works in their historical and cultural backgrounds. Together with ENG 210, 220, provides a general introduction to prosody, the vocabulary of literary analysis, and the varieties of literary criticism.

ENG 235 Topics in Literature in Translation (2012-2013 topics)

ENG 235 Introduction to Classical Mythology
The “biographies” of the major divinities of Greek mythology are studied in depth, using various ancient texts in translation and secondary materials from such related fields as anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and psychology. Near Eastern and Roman mythologies are compared with the Greek.

ENG 301 Shakespeare-I
A study of the development of Shakespeare as dramatist, with emphasis on the histories and romantic comedies. (Also listed as DRA 331.)

ENG 302 Shakespeare-II
A study of the mature Shakespeare, with emphasis on the later tragedies and romances. (Also listed as DRA 332.)

ENG 305 Literary Criticism: Theory and Practice
What is literature? What is literature good for? What makes a work of literature good? What does it mean to “interpret” a literary work? What makes a particular interpretation good? These are some of the great questions addressed by literary theory, from Plato to the present. In this course we will read and discuss some classic responses to these questions, and we will consider as well such recent critical approaches as the New Criticism, reader response theory, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, structuralism, deconstruction, new historicism, and cultural studies. The course has two aims: first, to help us become more aware of what we do, and why we do it, when we study literature; and, second, to help us write better literary criticism ourselves, as we apply a range of methods to the works we study.

ENG 310-339 Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the medieval and Renaissance periods. Courses numbered 330-39 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2012-13 topics are listed below.

ENG 312 Montaigne and Shakespeare
A study, in alternation, of four mature essays by Michel de Montaigne and four mature plays by William Shakespeare; comparison between the private and digressive world of Montaigne and the public and dramatic world of Shakespeare; discussion of the problematic question of Montaigne's influence on Shakespeare.

ENG 315 The Romance of Arthur

A study of the literature surrounding the figure of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, from its origins in the early Middle Ages to the present. Readings drawn from such works as the Arthurian romances of Chretien de Troyes, the Middle English verse romance Gawain and the Green Knight , Malory's Morte Darthur , Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court , and Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon . We will also consider offshoots of Arthurian legend in the visual arts, opera, and such films as Excalibur, The Fisher King, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

ENG 333 Spenser
A seminar study of the poetry of Edmund Spenser, concentrating on Books I and III of The Faerie Queene and on some of the shorter poems, with an emphasis both on the rich literary qualities of the poems and on their intricate connections to the culture of Elizabethan England.

ENG 340-369 Studies in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Courses numbered 360-69 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2012-13 topics are listed below.

ENG 353 Charles Dickens
A survey of Dickens's works, focusing on four novels spanning his career.

ENG 354 Thoreau
A study of the life and work of Henry David Thoreau, with Walden as the primary focus. The course will be literary in nature. Politics and ecology will also be part of the discussion. A replica of Thoreau’s cabin will often be the classroom.

ENG 363 Cross-Atlantic Currents
A study of the stylistic and thematic influence of Europe on selected American authors such as James, Hawthorne, Melville, Wharton, and Fitzgerald. Each member of the seminar prepares a critical introduction to an American novel with cross-Atlantic currents. Prerequisite: Junior standing and major in English.

ENG 365 Stearne and Melville
A study of Melville's Moby Dick, Typee, and works of shorter fiction, and poetry. Laurence Sterne's 18th-century, post-modernist novel Tristam Shandy is used for comparative purposes. Emphasis is on intellectual history and literary theory.

ENG 370-99 Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature
Study of topics, authors, and genres within the twentieth century. Courses numbered 390-99 are limited-enrollment seminars. The 2012-13 topics are listed below.

ENG 375 Flannery O'Connor
A study of the life and work of the 20th-century American short story writer Flannery O'Connor. Readings include Wise Blood, selected letters, and all of O'Connor's short stories.

ENG 379 Atlantic Modernisms
In this course we will consider the rich literary tradition that responds to the complex history of the Atlantic and its rim. We will read works by such writers as Conrad, DuBois, Woolf, Coetzee, and Morrison, writers whose formal experiments link grand, impersonal forces—slavery, colonialism, international finance, and the legacies of those institutions—with personal, intimate experiences—such as wandering, longing, love, and trauma. Contemporary critical essays, rewarding and sometimes challenging in their own right, will help guide our readings. Our task as readers and essayists will be to attend carefully to how each work asks us to conceive of the interdependence of language, culture, and identity.

ENG 380 African American Literature
Survey of major works of African American literature emphasizing the 20th century but drawing on materials from earlier in the tradition, with emphasis upon understanding and evaluating literary works in their historical and cultural backgrounds. Authors explored may include Chesnutt, Washington, Du Bois, Toomer, Johnson, McKay, Hurston, Hughes, Wright, Ellison, Brooks, Baldwin, Wilson, Morrison, Wideman, Butler, Walker, and Whitehead.

ENG 395 World Poetry
A reading of poets from around the world including Tu Fu, Charles Baudelaire, Anna Akhmatova, Cesare Pavese, Paul Celan, Rafael Alberti, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Christopher Okigbo, Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Allnut, Philip Levine and others.

ENG 500 Senior Seminar
The senior seminar topics for 2012-2013 were Austen and Faulkner.

Creative Writing Courses

CRW 140 Fundamentals of Poetry Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of poetry and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning writer.

CRW 150 Fundamentals of Fiction Writing
A workshop class devoted to the writing of short stories and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning fiction writer.

CRW 160 Fundamentals of Creative Non-Fiction
A workshop class. Students study and try their hand at a variety of non-fiction genres including memoir, the review, the essay, travel and food writing, humor writing, the editorial, nature writing, and others. We will read writers from different periods including (among others) David Sedaris, Michel de Montaigne, Sir Thomas Browne, Virginia Woolf, Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, W.G. Sebald, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Jo Ann Beard, as well as selections from the most recent Best American Essays anthology.

CRW 240 Intermediate Poetry Writing
A workshop class. Students write approximately a poem a week to be workshopped by class members and then revised. Reading and discussion of several new volumes of poetry by contemporary poets. Prerequisite: ENG 140 or FRS 121 or ENG 250 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for additional credit.

CRW 245 Intermediate Fiction Writing
This course builds upon the fundamentals of fiction writing. Students advance their understanding of writing fiction through the composition of their own short stories, through minor project work in an alternative genre and through the examination of a range of established writers' approaches to the form, structure, and function of the short story. Prerequisite: ENG 150 or permission of the instructor.

CRW 250 Poetic Forms: History and Practice
Discussion of poetic forms including the sonnet, sestina, villanelle, prose poem, free verse, and syllabic poetry (among others), with creative assignments. Designed to benefit writers wishing to enrich their knowledge of the craft and their creative abilities, as well as students of literature interested in poetry's history and technical aspects.

CRW 270 Creative Writing on Nature and the Environment
What is “environmental creative writing?” How do we know when we’ve read it, or written it? How do we ourselves write about nature, ecology, science, and place in ways that are both thoughtful and creative? In this class we’ll explore these questions, reading a variety of authors, ranging from some environmental classics (Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, Rachel Carson, Mary Oliver, Edward Abbey, and others) to the contemporary and strange (Julianna Baggott, Forrest Gander, Edward Hoagland, Carol Frost, Elif Batumen, Amy Clampitt, Sarah Lindsay, Jennifer Atkinson, Joy Williams, and others). Our goal will be to unearth ways of responding to and thinking about nature and the environment in creative works of our own. Interaction with the environment and nature will be encouraged as part of the class. An interdisciplinary class: students with a passion for nature and/or science are welcome even if they have taken no creative writing classes before.

CRW 280 Creative Writing: Fiction or Poetry
Practice in the writing of short fiction or poetry, under the guidance of a visiting writer-in-residence. Offered on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis only. May be repeated for additional credit.

CRW 300 Advanced Creative Writing Across Genres (poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction)
For the committed writer of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction who wants to engage in serious discussion of their work and that of their peers and of relevant readings. Students work on a longer manuscript in a primary genre, and one shorter piece in a secondary genre. Students select (most of) the texts for the class. We will also look at contemporary journals and webzines that publish these genres, as well as seminal essays about them. The class is run as a seminar-type discussion and intensive workshop class. Active and regular participation in discussion is required. Prerequisite: At least two courses in creative writing or permission of the instructor.

Film Studies Courses

FLM 205 Introduction to Film
This course traces some of the major movements in film history with an emphasis on film’s response to—and anticipation of—societal issues and concerns. Topics include a basic vocabulary for film study, the relationship of art and life, notions of authority and resistance, the attractions of genre, and the place of film in the digital era. (Previously offered as ENG 270)

FLM 305 Film Theory
Film Theory introduces students to the major developments in film criticism and theory beyond the basics of film technique and history covered in Introduction to Film. Approaches to film that we will address (through readings and accompanying film screenings) will include ideas about spectacle and surveillance, audience reception, auteur theory, gender and psychoanalytic theory, and postcolonialism. Prerequisite: FLM 205.