Students majoring in English study literature and practice various modes of writing to help them discover and articulate their ideas as completely and cogently as possible. Courses offered for the major emphasize research skills, critical thinking, and problem solving as essential parts of the composing and interpreting process.
Students pursuing the English curriculum receive training in literary analysis and are offered a broad background in the history of English and American literature and language. In addition, students study selected authors of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and learn to situate literary works in their historical and cultural contexts.
The English program is designed to afford students an extensive exposure to various forms of literary expression and the methods of literary interpretation. Such a background in the analysis and interpretation of literature provides the B.A. major with a strong basis for further graduate study in literature, as well as for careers in law, public relations, editing, communications, civil service, industry, and library science.
All English B.A. majors must complete a 12-credit set of core ENG courses. The lower division core courses emphasize the foundational knowledge and skills essential to the field of English studies. The upper division core courses build on and further develop the knowledge and skills instilled in the lower-division foundational courses.
Together, the core courses emphasize the importance of key influential texts (e.g., the Bible in ENG 1130 and Shakespearean drama in ENG 3352); writing as a process that includes attending to rhetorical conventions and contexts (ENG 1130, 3333, and 4401); the careful reading, productive research, and critical analysis of literature and non-print media (ENG 1130, 3333, 3352, and 4401); speaking and listening skills (ENG 4401); and the use of technology in literary studies (1130).
ENG 1130: Introduction to Literary Studies prepares students for the advanced literary analysis and interpretation that they will find in upper division content courses. Students become acquainted with literary genres and terms and learn strategies for reading and understanding literature.
ENG 3333: Advanced Writing for English Majors is designed to refine the writing skills of English majors, with an emphasis on critical analysis and the mechanics of writing. Students will read and write about a literary, rhetorical, or linguistic concept chosen by the instructor (irony in literature, for example) and revise at least one essay from their English portfolio.
ENG 3352: Shakespeare offers a study of selected plays of the author, with interpretation, evaluation and attention to his development as a dramatist and poet.
ENG 4401: Seminar in Literary Studies provides students with a sustained, in-depth study of literature which draws on the expertise developed in previous English courses. Topics vary, but each offering requires that students complete a seminar-length researched paper/project, culminating in the public presentation of that work.
Another goal of the English program includes exposing students to a range of works in American, British, and World literature, consisting of selections from authors of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Students meet the eighteen-hour Distribution Requirement by choosing courses from the following categories:
ENG 3268: Survey of British Literature I covers British literature from Beowulf through the 18th Century.
ENG 3269: Survey of British Literature II covers British literature from the late 18th Century through the present.
ENG 3278: Survey of American Literature I covers major American literature from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.
ENG 3279: Survey of American Literature II covers American literature from the late 19th through the present.
ENG 3350: Old and Middle English Literature is a study of major British writers and works from the Anglo Saxon period to 1500. Selections may include Old English lyric and narrative poetry (Like Beowulf) in translation, and Middle English romances, allegories, bawdy tales, plays, songs, and mystical writings, some in the original language, some in translation. Authors may include Chaucer, Julian of Norwich, Langland, Malory, and that most prolific of medieval authors, Anonymous.
ENG 3351: English Renaissance Literature studies writers, ideas, and historical context of the period 1500 to 1660, the Reformation through the English Civil War. Authors include Sydney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, and Milton.
ENG 3356: Eighteenth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers from 1660 to 1800. The course will include both primary texts and literary criticism addressing the literature of the period. Includes authors such as Behn, Defoe, Pope, Richardson, Fielding, Smith, and Radcliffe.
ENG 3359: Nineteenth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers from the Romantic and Victorian eras. May include such authors as Burns, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Bronte, Carlyle, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, and Wilde.
ENG 3360: Twentieth-Century British Literature is a study of major British writers of the 20th century, such as Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Beckett, Winterson, and Rushdie. Topics of study include modernism, postmodernism, literary responses to cultural upheaval such as World War II, and post-colonialism.
ENG 3362: American Romanticism is a study of American Romanticism and Transcendentalism, focusing on the work of such writers as Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Whitman, Melville, Hawthorne, and Poe.
ENG 3363: American Realism and Naturalism is a study of major American writers between the Civil War and World War I. Possible authors include Dickinson, Twain, James, Chopin, Crane, Chesnutt, Wharton, Dreiser, Wilkins Freeman, and Orne Jewett.
ENG 3364: Twentieth-Century American Literature is a study of major American writers since World War I, such as Wharton, Faulkner, Williams, Baldwin, Morrison, and Erdrich. Topics include modernism, postmodernism, race, and gender..
ENG 3305: Comparative Literature examines major works in a genre or movement, comparing two or more national literatures.
ENG 3307: Literature in English From Around the World is a study of literature outside of the British Isles and the United States.
ENG 3326: Women's Literature offers a study of literature by and about women in its literary, cultural, and social contexts. The course may be topical, thematic, or period-based. May include such authors as Austen, Bronte, Chopin, Woolf, Emecheta, Morrison, and Tan.
ENG 3327: African-American Literature studies a prominent dimension of African-American literature. Possible topics includes: specific genres, important time periods, major or minor authors, and comparative multicultural contexts. Students hone their critical reading and writing skills in this important and growing area of American literature..
ENG 3328: Lesbian and Gay Literature focuses on literature by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Literature includes studies of primary texts in conjunction with film, music, television, newspaper and magazine articles, art, and history. The course emphasizes active discussion and close scrutiny of the literature, our society, and ourselves.
English students may also take any upper division French, German, or Spanish literature course toward the fulfillment of the World/Minority requirement.
ENG 3376: Major Genre is a study of poetry, drama, the novel, short fiction, nonfiction prose, or film. .
ENG 3385: Major Author is a detailed study of a major author/auteur (or pair of authors/auteurs), such as Chaucer, Milton, Dickens, Brontë, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison, or Hitchcock.er.
ENG 3382: Contemporary Literary Theory and Criticism surveys recent approaches to literature, including formalist, structuralist, post-structuralist, reader-response, psychoanalytic, feminist, marxist, new historical, and/or post-colonial literary criticism.
Students choose three courses from among ENG 2225: English Grammar, ENG 2226: History of the English Language, and/or any upper division ENG courses.
Additionally, students in the BA program must fulfill a Foreign Language Requirement, which consists of course work (up to 12 credit hours) through the 2202 level.
FR 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202: Introductory French I and II; Intermediate French I and II.
GER 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202: Introductory German I and II; Intermediate German I and II.
SPA 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202: Introductory Spanish I and II; Intermediate Spanish I and II.
All English degree program students must compile a program assessment portfolio. The completed portfolios are to be used as a tool to track each student's performance across a range of assessment tasks within the degree program, and to assess the extent to which the program itself is meeting its designated expectations and outcomes.
The portfolios will be evaluated by the English Curriculum Committee on a regular basis using the criteria listed on the evaluation rubric. Students should submit electronic copies of their portfolio essays to the department chair. The portfolios-in-progress will be kept on file electronically in the department office. The completed portfolio will consist of the following items:
The Final Research Essay from ENG 1130: Introduction to Literary Studies. This assessment is a research project conducted at the conclusion of the students' second semester. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English.
Two essays from upper-division ENG courses (these essays should not be from the same course). These assessments are critical essays and may be drawn from the American and British Survey courses, the American and British period courses, Shakespeare, the World/Minority literature courses, the Major Genre course, the Major Author course, Intro to Linguistics, Regional Literature, or the Special Topics course. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English. These assessments may be drawn from coursework in the sophomore, junior, and/or senior years.
The Writing Lesson Plan from ENG 3324: Composition Theory and Practice (BSE English students only). This assessment requires the students to devise a writing assignment appropriate for a secondary-level English class, and focuses on the students' ability to correlate specific criteria and objectives with the assignment at an appropriate grade level, to incorporate the writing process into the assignment, to devise an evaluation instrument that addresses both content and mechanics, to articulate the assignment orally, and to reflect productively on the lesson planning process itself by evaluating and critiquing each other's activities.
The Major Revision Essay from ENG 3333: Advanced Writing for English Majors, including the original, unrevised version (the unrevised version may be the essay from ENG 1130 or one of the upper division essays already included in the portfolio). This assessment requires students to revise an essay completed for a previous ENG course, and focuses on the students' ability to revise an essay effectively, to analyze a text closely, to utilize secondary source material (both print and electronic) productively, to be conversant with key terms from literary history and criticism, to situate a text within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context, and to conform to the rules of standard written English. The resulting essay should be suitable for submission to an undergraduate-level journal and/or adaptable for submission to an undergraduate-level conference.
The Research Project from ENG 4401: Seminar in Literary Studies. A substantial inquiry into a specific topic within the field of literary studies, this assessment focuses on the students' ability to analyze a text (or texts) closely; to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the available secondary source material (both print and electronic) on the topic; to incorporate key terms, theories and approaches from literary history and criticism effectively; to situate a text (or texts) within its historical, literary, and/or cultural context; and to conform to the rules of standard written English. The final project should contribute to the critical conversation on the chosen topic. The project culminates in a public oral presentation of each student's research before a university-wide audience of students and faculty.