Upper Division Courses
Note: Three- and four-hundred level English courses are designed for junior and senior English majors and minors. All other students who are interested in taking an upper-level English course should speak with the professor teaching the course before enrolling.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. A survey of landmark poetry and prose from the Anglo-Saxon Era to the Enlightenment, with special emphasis on how the assumptions, concerns, and techniques of these texts came to be seen as the kernel of a coherent national literary tradition.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. This course features a range of "literature," including transcribed Native American oral stories, colonial promotional tracts, sermons, speeches, captivity narratives, political pamphlets, personal letters, and slave narratives. The class will explore personal and cultural issues that concerned early Americans and discuss how texts both define and complicate some of the terms associated with this period, including "Puritan," "Enlightenment," "Transcendental," "liberty," and even "American."
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. In order to see the picture, one must step out of the frame. In this course, students will step out of their own cultural frames by studying how and why genres, politics, trade/war, religion (and also how we ourselves) construct global culture and identity. The texts will provide not only vicarious experiences of lands and cultures but will also reflect the dialogic nature of specific cultural and cross-cultural literary traditions. Possible traditions covered may include those of the Ancient Near East, the Ottoman Empire, the Subcontinent, Mogul and Persian poetry, Greco-Roman culture, North Africa, Native America, and the Caribbean-African-Asian heritage. (CULTURAL DIVERSITY)
Prereq.: ENG-218.1, ENG-219.1, ENG-220.1 or permission. This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original poetry and to engage critically and thoughtfully with their own and other writers' poems.
Alt. years. Prereq.: ENG-218.1, ENG- 219.1, ENG-220.1 or permission. This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original work and to thoughtfully and critically engage with their own and other writers' fiction.
Prereq.: ENG-218.1, ENG-219.1, ENG-220.1 or permission. This is a writing-intensive course, intended primarily for students who have already taken a 200-level writing workshop. Students are expected to produce a portfolio of original work and to thoughtfully and critically engage with their own and other writers' fiction.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. This course is a survey of the periods and movements of African American literature: early slave narratives, the Harlem Renaissance of the early 20th-century, the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and contemporary literature. We study prose, poetry, and drama by authors such as Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, and Marilyn Nelson. Along the way, we seek to understand how African Americans have responded through literature to the oppressions of white America—slavery, segregation, violent and institutional racism—as well as how authors forge identity and create community through writing. We examine how these authors respond to their own literary tradition, how they shape form, style and genre in response to their historical context, and how they use writing as resistance, subversion, self-realization and celebration. (HUMANITIES)
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. Vita Sackville-West once said, "The more one gardens, the more one learns." If this is the case, then a number of American authors must have been very wise individuals, since they were avid gardeners. In this course, we will consider the relationship between gardening, expression, and American literature. We will read a range of texts, including herbaria, records of natural phenomena, and "traditional" literature such as poetry and prose. We will also read scholarship devoted to literature and gardening. Authors may include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Susan Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Celia Thaxter, and Alice Walker.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version). This course introduces the principal theoretical traditions that inform advanced literary study. Students will evaluate the major figures, schools, and concepts of literary theory and criticism through intensive reading and application. This course does not fulfill the Liberal Arts Core requirement in literature.
Prereq: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie describe themselves as marooned men caught between imaginary homelands, and as such, Naipaul and Rushdie reside in between cultures, languages, and religions. In this course, we will vicariously travel with Naipaul and Rushdie as they navigate between the "real" worlds of Trinidad, East Africa, London, India, Pakistan, and New York, and the "imaginary" worlds of brutal colonization, partitions of countries, and the ghostly lyrics of "native" poetry. We will examine how these authors ultimately turn to writing as a way to record and to grapple with the cruelties of history. Possible books assigned: A Way in the World, Letters between Father and Son, The Enigma of Arrival, Shame, Midnight's Children, and The Moor's Last Sigh.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. An intensive study of representative poetry and plays from throughout Shakespeare's career, focusing both on the features of Shakespeare's artistry and on the cultural conditions to which that artistry responded.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. An intensive study of the works of one of the major American poets of the last half of the twentieth century and the first part of the twenty-first. The course will chart the progression of Rich’s poetry as well as examine some of her works of nonfiction and critical theory, interrogating along the way some of Rich’s key conceptualizations of nation, power, and women’s sexuality.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. In the nineteenth century, British fiction experienced a significant florescence.This course will acquaint students with major forms of adult and children's nineteenth-century fiction including domestic realism, adventure-romance, fantasy, the gothic, and naturalism. We will study this literature in the context of nineteenth-century culture, particularly gender relations, perceptions of childhood, the tensions between individual desire and social norms, and the practices of literary production. Assigned texts will include both canonical and non-canonical works. Authors studied will likely include Jane Austen, Anne Bronte, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, H. Rider Haggard, Charlotte Yonge, George Gissing, and Thomas Hardy.
(Same as SOC-368) Prereq.: Permission. An opportunity to learn firsthand about prisons and prison life as students read prison-related texts in sociology and literature and as they write in response to what they read and what they see at local correctional institutions. Authors may include Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jerome Washington, Malcom X, and Agnes Smedley. (3 credits HUMANITIES and 3 credits SOCIAL SCIENCES)
Prereq.: ENG 299T (any version) or permission. This survey will concentrate primarily on fiction and poetry from the beginnings of Romanticism to fin de siècle decadence and naturalism. Attention will be given to literary texts’ power to reflect and shape British culture in the nineteenth century, a period which many observers, including the American Mark Twain, believed experienced more change than any previous century. We will also explore the impact shifting literary tastes and critical approaches have played in texts’ and authors’ reception and popularity.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. This course explores the literary movement that scholars have designated as crucial to the development of a truly "American" literature, focusing roughly on the years 1836 to 1865. In addition to studying canonical authors, students will explore those writers who worked, in the words of one critic, "beneath" the American renaissance, focusing on issues of concern to women, Native Americans, and African Americans. Authors will include Emerson, Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Whitman, and Lydia Maria Child.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. Students will examine how authors from around the world have used literature as a way to comment upon, to protest, or to record various forms of oppression ranging from dictatorial regimes to cultural divisiveness to colonization and occupation. Such literatures are written in order to inspire people to know the world in which they live, and to that end, the course will also deal with contemporary politics and world affairs. Authors studied may include Edwidge Danticat (The Farming of Bones, Haiti), Manil Suri (Death of Vishnu, India), Edward Said (Out of Place, occupied Palestine), Matthew Kneale (The English Passengers, Tasmania/Australia), V.S. Naipaul (A Way in the World, Trinidad and South America). Videos will include Rabbit-Proof Fence (movie), Palestine is Still the Issue (documentary), and The Soul of India (documentary). (CULTURAL DIVERSITY)
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. This course will trace the evolution of Arthurian literature from its first flowering in 12th-century European court culture to its influential gathering and retelling in Thomas Malory’s LeMorte D’Arthur and its persistent presence in modern literature and culture. Along the way we’ll ask what Arthurian literature tells us about medieval conceptions of heroism, aspiration, hierarchy, and failure, and about why a cultural product so quintessentially "medieval" continues to fascinate modern writers. Authors may include Chretien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Thomas Malory, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, and Walker Percy.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. A survey of prominent texts of the twenty-first century. Authors studied may include Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Beckett, Heaney, Muriel Spark, Ian McEwan, and Ali Smith.
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. Intensive study of Salman Rushdie's and V.S. Naipaul's works, and their shaping of postcolonial and third-world cultural studies. For additional context, other postcolonial authors may be examined. (CULTURAL DIVERSITY)
Prereq.: ENG-299T (any version) or permission. This course explores the flowering of professional and literary theater in Europe between 1500-1700, focusing on the four prominent centers of early modern theatrical activity - northern Italy in the 16th-century, Elizabethan and Jacobean London, Golden Age Spain, and 17th-century France. The course will combine literary analysis with attention to the material, social, and political conditions of playing in these four centers, hoping to understand what they shared as participants in a larger European theatrical culture, and how their specific situations help account for their unique theatrical and literary achievements.
Prereq.: ENG 299T (any version) or permission. This seminar will ask students to consider poets' experimentation with form in response to their understanding and experience of the natural world. How do poets express ecological ideas in poetry? Poets we consider may include Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Robinson Jeffers, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Wilbur, Sylvia Plath, Gary Snyder, Seamus Heaney, A.R. Ammons, and Mary Oliver.
Alt. years. Prereq.: Junior or senior standing. A study of the central concepts of linguistic theory. Includes the theoretical areas of pragmatics, semantics, syntax, morphology, and phonology; and the applied areas of language variation, first language acquisition, second language acquisition, and written language. Students will acquire the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as an essential tool for disciplined examination of linguistic phenomena. Issues of socio-linguistics will be addressed as students wrestle with the relationship between language, thought, and culture, and the nature of the cognitive and brain systems that relate to language learning, language teaching and language use.
Prereq.: Permission. A sustained and self-directed study of a particular topic under the guidance of a professor in the department. Independent studies cannot substitute for specific course requirements for the major or minor. See the English Department's and the College's independent study guidelines. (INDEPENDENT WORK)
Prereq.: Senior standing and completion of at least one 300-level workshop or permission. A cross-genre course for Creative Writing majors, in which students will propose and work on independent projects. Creative writers will begin to approach writing and their works as professionals--i.e., thinking long-term beyond the classroom, and considering marketing their works (scouring journals and framing rejection letters!). In addition to writing intensively, students will help design the reading list, contextualize their works/writing styles within a literary tradition/genre, and create a community of writers. (INDEPENDENT WORK)
Prereq.: Permission. Individually arranged internship designed to provide practical editorial and writing experience. An extended analysis of the experience is required and periodic reports may be assigned. See the English Department's and the College's internship guidelines. (INDEPENDENT WORK)
Prereq.: Senior standing and completion of three 300-level English seminars or permission. A capstone course for senior literature majors designed to help students move toward post-college study. Students will propose, research, write, and revise a senior thesis for formal presentation. In addition, students will research and compose an individualized reading list based on their interests and post-graduate plans. Lists may focus on American, British, or world literature, graduate record exam preparation, or literature ancillary to secondary education teaching. (INDEPENDENT WORK)