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Department of English


Fall 2014


ENGL 201 Introduction to English Studies I (Roth)


ENGL 203-01 Introduction to Creative Writing (Roth)

This course is a multi-genre introduction to creative writing.  In general, the purpose of the course is two-fold: to examine the craft of writing across a broad spectrum, and to inspire students to produce satisfying creative works of their own.  In the end, students should feel that they are not only better writers but better readers, as well.  The course will be divided into two units: poetry and fiction.  Students will be asked to produce and to share with others work in both of these genres.  This course is a pre-requisite for all ENGL 305 Writing Workshop courses.


ENGL 305/360 Writing: Playwriting (Walker)

Instruction and practice in the fundamentals of writing plays for the theater.  Classroom work is a mix of reading contemporary plays and scene writing exercises.  Coursework culminates in writing a full one-act play and staging it for an audience.

Note: ENGL 203 is a prerequisite for this course.


ENGL 310/370 John Milton and Hermeneutics (Smith)

In this course we will read John Milton’s major poetry and selected prose with special emphasis on what Milton does with biblical texts—how he reads and rewrites biblical texts. While Milton ranges over the entire Scripture, he specifically engages Genesis 1-3 in his Paradise Lost, Luke’s and Matthew’s narratives of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness in Paradise Regained, and Judges 13-16 in his dramatic poem Samson Agonistes. We will also read some of Milton’s more controversial prose works, such as The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce and The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, for how he reads and employs biblical texts in rhetorical argument. Our critical lens for doing this work will be the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics (our theory text will be philosopher Merold Westphal’s Whose Community? Which Interpretation? Philosophical Hermeneutics for the Church, which focuses on the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur). This course meets both a British Lit before 1800 requirement and a Critical Theory requirement for English majors.


ENGL 320 Victorian Faith Crisis (Downing)

“Survival of the fittest” drove both the science and the literature of 19th century British Victorian culture. This course looks at the trauma generated by evolutionary theory and how Victorian poets and novelists grappled with the decay of Christian certitude. In addition to discussing poetry of the era—by Tennyson, Arnold, the Rossettis, the Brownings, Hopkins, etc.—we will read Dickens’s Hard Times, Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as Victorian essays that propose alternatives to Christianity. Regular Reading quizzes, Four short papers, and a final exam.


ENGL 330 Imagining Captivity (Corey)

The fact that Orange is the New Black is Netflix’s most watched original series should be no surprise.  America’s obsession with the notion of “captivity” can be traced back to the 17th century, and the publication of A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, the first full-length “Indian captivity narrative.” Wildly successful, Rowlandson’s narrative was second only to the Bible in popularity.  Beginning with Rowlandson’s narrative and concluding with Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (published at the end of the 19th century), this upper division American literature survey will consider the theme of “captivity” across genres and time periods.  As we engage in close reading of influential American writers such as Hawthorne, Melville, Douglass, Jacobs, Dickinson, and Harper and examine the social, political, religious, economic and cultural issues that influenced their work, we will have plenty of opportunity to reflect on the ways evolving notions of “captivity” influence contemporary conversations on social identity, freedom, and democracy.


ENGL 350/360 World Literature (Dzaka)

This class will introduce you to selected prize winning authors from around the world. The authors involved are Shusaku Endo (Japanese), Arundhati Roy (Indian), Ngugi wa Thiong’o (African), Tsao Hsueh-Chin (Chinese), and Naguib Mahfouz (Arab). We will consider some of their best writing and how they fit into, depart from, revise, or signify upon the tradition of the English novel. History and theory of the novel, as well as postcolonial theory will be important backdrops to the discussion in this class.


ENGL 370 Composition Theory and Pedagogy (Corey)

This class is an introduction to current theory and pedagogical practices in composition.  We will examine various notions of writing and their implications for our own practices as writers, editors, tutors, or future teachers.  Our inquiry throughout the semester will be aimed at putting theories in conversation with each other, as well as in conversation with our lived experience as writers and thinkers.  Designated as a service learning course, this course includes a 10 hr. service learning component.


ENGL 494 Literature Seminar (Downing)

This class will be run like a graduate-level seminar, where students are free to pursue their own topics of research and writing, with the goal of producing a publishable essay. (Students should start thinking now of a literary issue or author that they would enjoy spending an entire semester researching, because their proposal of a topic will be due the second week of class.)  For the beginning of the course, the teacher will model, through her book on postmodernism, how the study of literature by a Christian can lead to analysis of larger philosophical and theological issues. Next, students will provide xeroxed readings relevant to their chosen topic that the rest of the class will read and discuss. For the last portion of the course, students will xerox their developing 20-30 page research papers for peer-review and construct an annotated bibliography of their research. Reading quizzes, short reflection papers, and a 20-30 page final course project.



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