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Department of English


Fall 2011


English Major Course Descriptions for Fall 2011


ENGL 201 Introduction to English Studies I (Professor Roth)

Focusing on the development of interpretive acuity in both written and oral discourse, this couse offers an introduction to the history of literature and criticism in English and also provides insight into the English Major and its relevance to life beyond college.


ENGL 203-01 Introduction to Creative Writing (Professor 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 305-01 Newswriting (Professor Arke)

This course is designed to provide an introduction to journalism, including the study and practice of gathering and writing news.  It will also deal with some of the ethical issues and controversies affecting editors and writers in journalism.  We will be exploring this topic across media platforms, including print, radio, television and online.  Note: this course was ENGL 112 in the old curriculum.


ENGL 305-02 Genre: Personal Essay (Professor Walker)

Note: This course also meets the requirements for ENGL 360 Genre

This course focuses on persuasive expository writing.  Writers will work on pushing the envelope of form for their own primary research (own experiences, observations, opinions, reasoning).  They will work on paying attention:  to audience, to language, to themselves and what they deeply want to explore, share, challenge readers with.  They will also attend to models of excellence and to their own writing processes for these also to inform their writing development.  Note: This course counts as ENGL 304 Advanced Writing in the old curriculum.


ENGL 305-03 Writing for Business (Professor Markley)

This course is designed to improve clarity, conciseness, and speed in writing for the business world.  Emphasis is on organizing written business communications to meet the readers’ needs.  Note: this course was ENGL 211 in the old curriculum.


ENGL 310-01 John Milton and Hermeneutics (Professor Smith)

Note: This course also meets the requirement for ENGL 370 Critical Theory.

While compelling narratives in their own right, Milton’s major poems—Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes—also critically interpret and respond to both biblical and classical traditions.  With Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of hermeneutics as our starting point, we will examine how Milton in his major poems reads and “rewrites” Genesis, Judges, and the gospels, as well as Virgil’s Aeneid and selected Greek tragedies (Sophocles and Euripides) Note: Students completing the old English major curriculum can use this course to meet either ENGL 347 Milton or ENGL 394 Literary Criticism.

This course also meets a requirement for the CMRS minor (Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies).


ENGL 320-01 The Victorian Faith Crisis (Professor Downing)

Today the “New Atheists” rail against Christianity, writing books with titles like The God Delusion and God is Not Good.  This is nothing new: antagonism toward Christianity started two centuries ago as rationalists called into question the idea of faith and scientists called into question traditional verities about the age of the earth. This course looks at how literary authors responded to attacks on Christianity in Victorian England (1832-1901), assessing how their art reflects despair, hope, and alternative answers to their era’s loss of certitude. (It is no coincidence that Darwin was a Victorian!)  Note: This course counts as ENGL 342 Victorian Period in the old curriculum.


ENGL 330-01 American Literature Before 1900 (Professor McFarlane-Harris)

This course includes the study of major American writers from 1700 to 1900, dealing chronologically with their important works, with emphasis on various cultural movements and historical events.  Note: This course counts as ENGL 252 in the old curriculum.


ENGL 360-01 Genre: Young Adult Literature (Professor Perrin)

What is Young Adult Literature?  Why do we tell and listen to stories? How old is this impulse to tell and retell a story?  How do we read and interpret them? How did you fall in love with reading and decide to teach others how professionally?  What role does the imagination play in this process? Given all the theories of reading literature in the academy how does one approach a novel? How does one communicate this knowledge to others? What are the writerly decisions one makes in making a story? These are some questions that we will pursue as we read the texts for this class.  In addition to the creative texts we will read a series of essays that address some of these questions and maintain a lively discussion on these subjects.  Note: this course counts as ENGL 222 in the old curriculum.


ENGL 370-01 Composition Theory and Pedagogy (Professor Corey)

Note: this course also meets an ENGL 305 requirement.

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 prospective teachers.  Though Composition Studies is a relatively new field, it engages the history and theory of many different disciplines, making it impossible to cover every movement or theory in a one semester course. And certainly that is not the intent of this class.  Our inquiry for this course will be aimed at putting theories in conversation with each other, as well as in conversation with our lived experience as writers and thinkers.  Note: this course counts as ENGL 396 in the old curriculum.


ENGL 494-01 Literature Seminar (Professor Downing)

Divided in five sections, this class will be run like a graduate-level seminar, where students are free to pursue their own topics of discussion and research. For Section A, the teacher will model, through her book, how the study of literature by a Christian can lead to analysis of larger philosophical and theological issues. In Section B, students will provide xeroxed readings of their chosen topic, leading a discussion after giving a quiz. Sections C - E, students will xerox their developing 20-30 page research papers for peer-review.



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