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Undergraduate Course Offerings

ENG 1 Composition

English 1 is an introductory writing course that uses interpretation and analysis of texts to promote clear thinking and effective prose. Students will learn the conventions of academic writing. In addition, students will learn how to adapt writing for various audiences and rhetorical situations.  This course is required of all students unless exempted by Advanced Placement credit.  Students exempted by acceptable achievement on the SAT examination in Writing or Department proficiency examination must take an upper-level English course in substitution after completing ENG 2.  Special sections are offered for students in the Program for Academic Success (P sections) and for non-native speakers (F sections).
No Pass/Fail option.
Every Semester, 3 credits

ENG 2 Composition: Argument and Analysis

English 2 is a course in analysis and argumentation, focusing on scholarly research and documentation. Building on the work begun in English 1, the course develops knowledge of complex rhetorical and stylistic techniques and culminates in a library research paper.  This course is required for all students unless exempted by Advanced Placement credit.  Special sections are offered for students in the Program for Academic Success (P sections) and for non-native speakers (F sections).
Prerequisite ENG 1 or the equivalent
No Pass/Fail option.
Every Semester, 3 credits

English 3 Grammar and the Structure of English

This course will examine the structures of the English language from both descriptive and prescriptive points of view. We will discuss why certain structures have been deemed to be more correct than others that are also in common use, and how correctness differs from grammaticality. We will examine why the use of certain structures constitutes "good" or "bad" grammar, and look into how these standards have emerged and changed over time. Topics will include sentence structure and phrase structure rules, style, word classes, constituency, parts of speech, sentence relatedness, and usage.
Every Semester, 3 credits

ENG 6 Writing in Business

This course is in-depth instruction in the format and style appropriate for writing in a wide variety of business situations.  Writing assignments include letters, memos, résumés, and a substantial formal report involving research.
Spring, 3 credits

ENG 10 Introduction to Literature

This course will center on the study of representative works of literature and furnish an understanding of the ways in which writers employ and respond to the conventions of the major literary genres. Poetry, drama, and fiction will be read in order to acquire a basic knowledge of literary language, techniques, and forms. Intended to sharpen interpretive skills and give students a vocabulary for literary analysis, the course will provide an understanding of how to think critically and creatively about literature and how to write argumentative essays. Literary works will be evaluated through class discussion, oral presentations and written critical essays.
Every semester, 3 credits

Period, Genre and Major Figure

ENG 7 Western Literature: Classical, Medieval, Renaissance

This course is an introduction to the foundations of Western culture reflected in a series of literary masterpieces written during Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.  Its main objective is to encourage students to conceive of our literary heritage as an ongoing debate on the central issues of human experience.  Its syllabus is composed of a selection of foundational texts that still shape our current perception of the world.  The works that it includes, drawn from such major authors as Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, are not only selected for their interest as major cultural documents of the Western world and for their stylistic innovations, but also for their insights into basic social problems that still confront us today.  Selected works from non-Western cultures might be introduced for comparison.
Every semester, 3 credits

ENG 8 Western Literature: From Enlightenment to Contemporary

This course provides an introduction to some of the most brilliant writing in the Western world from the late seventeenth century to the present.  Its purpose is to examine a set of literary masterpieces by such writers as Molière, Voltaire, Mary Shelley, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, Conrad, Joyce, and Beckett for their insights into human nature and society.  Its list of readings is drawn from the five intellectual movements that begin after the Renaissance and culminate in our own time.  These include: the Enlightenment (1660-1770); the Romantic Movement (1770-1856); Nineteenth-Century Realism (1856-1900); Modernism (1900-1945); and the Contemporary Period (1945-the present).  Texts will be examined in light of the intellectual, social, literary, and political contexts in which they developed.  Selected works from non-Western cultures might be introduced for comparison.
Every semester, 3 credits

ENG 11 English Literature: Anglo-Saxon Period to Early Modern

This course will look back to the very beginnings of British literature and language to trace the birth of literary forms and ideas that still preoccupy and excite today:  the memoir, the novel, the love story, the narrative of pilgrimage.  The survey will begin with such foundational texts as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and continue through to the early modern period in the 17th century, taking in masterworks by writers such as Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and Congreve. All of the readings will be considered in a literary and historical context so that the student will gain an understanding of the cultural and philosophical influences that shaped the texts.
Every semester, 3 credits

ENG 12 English Literature: Neoclassical Age to Twentieth Century

This course will consider works from four literary periods: the Neoclassical (1690-1744), Romantic (1785-1830), Victorian (1830-1901), and Modern and its “Posts” (1901- ?).  While the primary concern will be on close readings, this class will also explore what these texts say about the aesthetic and social concerns of the time. Tracing varying understandings of the "self" and its relationship to nature, society, and language, this class will be attentive to changing ideas about gender roles, socio-economic class, and religion during these numerous historical moments.  Authors covered will include Fielding, Sterne, Richardson, and Defoe, Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Austen, Dickens, Tennyson, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, and Beckett.
Every semester, 3 credits

ENG 13 The Short Story

This course offers an introduction to the short story and its development since the nineteenth century. What are some of the characteristics and conventions of short fiction? How do we understand a short story differently in the context of a collection? What are some of the challenges of this format? These readings will enable us to examine various literary genres as well as several major artistic movements, including Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Postmodernism, Postcolonialism, and Minimalism. Some possible authors include Hawthorne, Poe, Twain, Flaubert, Chekov, James, Joyce, Lawrence, Mansfield, Faulkner, Kafka, Hemingway, O’Connor, Walker, Beattie, Carver, and Lahiri.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 15 Modern Drama

What caused the major revolution in playwriting that occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century? Audiences were both shocked and fascinated to find that, instead of watching lavish musical revues and broadly comic farces, they were now peering into the homes of stage characters whose lives and problems resembled their own experiences.  Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian, focused attention on self-definition of characters who were wrestling with subjects never before staged, such as   commercial fraud, sexually transmitted disease, and the day-to-day role-playing that characterizes many marriages.  Other playwrights from different countries, followed, among them August Strindberg, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Anton Chekhov.  Each of them added distinctive elements, each forging his own artistic signature.  And the presentation of dramatic situations close to real-life experiences continued to develop through the first half of the twentieth century, expressed in different styles in the works of Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. Readings include the major works of the period as students explore the variety of philosophical approaches and their relationship to the anatomy of the plays, as well as different staging and performance practices.
On occasion, 3 credits
    

ENG 16 The Modern Novel

First emerging in the unstable and traumatic historical period immediately preceding World War I and following it, the modern novel decidedly broke with the realist genre preceding it through challenging and often breathtaking experiments with narrative form. Frequently presenting the reader with bewildering shifts in time and narrative perspective and exhibiting a preference for the interior psychological landscapes of its characters, modern novels often possess an emotional intensity and haunting lyricism that testifies to the widespread fragmentation and alienation afflicting western consciousness in the twentieth century. With the use of pioneering literary techniques like stream of consciousness and fragmented narratives, modern novels defy the expectations generated by traditional narrative even as they give us some of the most memorable characters in literature. Possible authors covered in the class include: Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence, Faulkner, Kafka, and Rhys.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 17 Modern Poetry

The subject of this course is poetry of the first half of the twentieth century – a literary moment usually referred to as “Modernism.” This was the era of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Edna Vincent Millay, and e. e. cummings, as well as the period that saw the birth of jazz, the development of cinema, the rise of the American metropolis, and the horrors of two World Wars. It was a time of great literary freedom, and consequently also a period of great literary uniqueness. We could also think of this period as a time of great and deliberate difficulty in literature, and in particularly in poetry. The readings will be motivated by this combination of peculiarity and difficulty. By looking carefully at individual poems we will work to understand the major themes and typical methods of each poet.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 19 Early English Literature: From the Beginnings to 1485

The period known to historians of literature as the Middle Ages, approximately 1100-1500, was a time of great artistic innovation in England. In this course, students read the popular types of medieval literature – such as the chivalric romance, the fabliau or erotic comic tale, the beast fable, the lyric poem, the narrative ballad, the debate, and the drama – in terms of the intellectual context of the period. Beliefs about love, sex, marriage, religion, social and political relationships, art, beauty, money, and power affect the way writers of any age express themselves artistically; and it will be the work of this course to develop greater understanding of medieval thought processes as reflected in their literature.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 20 Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) is usually considered the greatest English writer of his age, and his collection of short tales in verse, The Canterbury Tales, as one of the masterpieces of medieval literature. The Canterbury Tales tells the story of a group of travelers who journey from London to Canterbury in a diverse group, entertaining themselves along the way with a tale-telling competition. Because the members of the group are from different social and economic backgrounds, the kinds of stories they tell differ also. Like other medieval writers and readers, Chaucer knew the typical tale types of his time: the chivalric romance, the fabliau or erotic comic tale, the beast fable, the debate, the legend or saint’s life. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he combined them in this single work. In the process of reading selected stories from Chaucer’s great collection, students will acquire an understanding of the Middle Ages as it shaped one of its greatest literary innovators.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 21 Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, Non-Dramatic Poetry

What made William Shakespeare the greatest writer in the English language?  What are the special features that distinguish his work?  Is there a unique “Shakespearean” perspective on display in his writing?   This course attempts to answer these questions by focusing on the two kinds of drama--comedy and history--that he mastered early and continued to re-conceptualize throughout his career.  It explores in detail six of Shakespeare’s plays, such as Twelfth Night and Richard II, paying close attention to the unique qualities that have transformed his drama into the most respected and frequently produced works of world literature.  Readings might also include selections from Shakespeare’s narrative poems and sonnets.
Annually, 3 credits

ENG 22 Shakespeare: Tragedies, Romances

This course provides an introduction to Shakespeare’s later career and focuses on the two major genres--tragedies and romances (or late comedies)--that he perfected during the second decade of his involvement with London’s thriving commercial theater.  The sequence of readings (which consists of six plays, such as King Lear and The Winter’s Tale) demonstrates the continuing evolution of his drama from the late Elizabethan to Jacobean periods.  Its aim is to provide students with a thorough understanding of Shakespeare’s plays by closely examining the brilliant nuances of language, characterization, and plot that have secured Shakespeare’s unrivaled reputation.  Students will also be challenged to explore his richly ambivalent and subtle portrayal of characters confronting with the existential extremes of failure and fulfillment, death and restoration.
Annually, 3 credits

ENG 23 Milton

Together with Chaucer and Shakespeare, Milton is one of the three giants of English literature. He is perhaps more challenging than the other two to readers in this century because he deals directly with a wealth of cultural and religious knowledge that is no longer familiar to the educated reader in the way he could expect it to be in his own day. And unlike the other major figures, he addresses an educated audience exclusively. Indeed, he has perhaps co-opted even the biblical heritage in some ways since his vision of the fall of the bad angels has become part of the popular imagination, supplanting the curious surrealism of the Book of Revelation itself. And he is the paramount influence in the subsequent history of poetry in English until Hopkins. Furthermore, he was a practical man of his age intimately involved with the political and religious upheavals of the tumultuous seventeenth century. He is among the earliest advocates of no-fault divorce, and he left a private theological work with a rationalist view of Scripture that is centuries ahead of its time.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 24 Renaissance Drama

From the end of the sixteenth century in England, commercial drama attained a new power, sophistication, and status.  It suddenly distinguished itself from the largely anonymous traditions of trade guild production and religious festival in the Middle Ages.  A new attention to the interests of its paying audiences sharpened its encounter with contemporary language and life.  During this period, despite being condemned as morally corrupting influences, the first permanent theaters were constructed and the entertainment industry was born.  Played out against a background of social change and energized by a restless new encounter with the world, theater became--at this crucial moment in Western history--instrumental in shaping the way we view ourselves today.  This course provides an introduction to six masterpieces of early modern English drama by a diverse group of playwrights that includes Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, William Shakespeare, John Marston, Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker, John Fletcher, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 25 Major Figure

This course is designed to provide an intense engagement with a major figure who has inaugurated a unique literary tradition or genre, reshaped an existing tradition in an innovative way, or made a significant contribution to an established genre or period. In addition to examining many of the major works of the author, this course will provide an assessment of the various critical traditions that have grown up around the author, the author’s relationship to other figures in his or her tradition, and an overview of the cultural/historical forces shaping the author’s work. The course will focus on the author’s philosophical preoccupations, thematic concerns, and ideological attitudes with the aim of providing a comprehensive understanding of his or her contribution to literature.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 27:  The Life and Fiction of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was the most popular English novelist of the nineteenth century. In this course, we will trace the growing maturity and complexity of his intellectual and artistic development--in, for example, his progress from an early absolutist view of morality, in which good and evil are schematically opposed, to a view of the moral defects in even the best of his characters. We will also examine Dickens’ social consciousness. England was the first and, in the nineteenth century, the greatest industrial power in the world.  But the social conditions England’s industrial machine created for the working class and the poor were almost unspeakable.  Dickens denounced these injustices fiercely and was one of the loudest, most influential voices in a time of rapid economic and social change. Dickens was trained as a journalist in his early twenties, and he was a life-long devotee of the theater, and we will look at both influences in his writing.  In addition, we will look closely at the disjunctions and discontinuities in his often-sprawling novels where one often discovers pathos succeeded by comic cavorting and keen psychological portrayals following on the heels of melodrama.
On occasion, 3 Credits

ENG 29: Edward Albee

A study of the major works of one of America’s greatest living playwrights, three time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee. Since the production of The Zoo Story in 1959, Edward Albee has created excitement and controversy on stage. His audiences are captivated by his sophisticated characters, witty dialogue and comedy that borders on absurdity. Yet his plays challenge cultural icons such as romantic love and dignified dying. He has also probed the values of suburban living, the problems posed by the elderly, and the trials faced by both children and parents in the family structure, all done with a nimble sense of comedy. The course will consist of discussions of selected works, viewing them from both a dramatic and theatrical perspective. Readings will include The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Delicate Balance, Three Tall Women, and The Goat
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 32 Contemporary Literature

Becoming a thoughtful reader of the literature of one’s own time is the goal of this course. The reading list will vary, but will in all cases include a variety of critically acclaimed authors whose writing illustrates emerging trends in modern writing. Works read may represent various genres or types of literature, such as poetry, drama, the short story, the novella, the novel, the memoir, and nonfiction prose. The course might also be organized thematically rather than by literary type, exploring ideas which are important to the writers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and to their readers as well.  In addition to familiarizing students with contemporary classics, a major goal of this course is to stimulate a lifelong interest in discovering new writers.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 35 Childhood and Literature

The class will read and discuss works of recognized literary quality which trace the development of a child or adolescent. Some of these works were originally written for children, some were once considered suitable for children but no longer are, and some are written for the adult reader but from the viewpoint of a child narrator. In some cases the course will revisit works ordinarily read by pre-college students, and perhaps by the class members, to test the concept of altered reactions to and understanding of a work of literature over time. A typical series of readings for this course might include versions of fairy tales like “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the Beast”; classics of children’s literature like J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland; and contemporary works from the viewpoint of the child or adolescent narrator.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 41 The Art of Poetry

This course inquires into the nature and art of poetry.  Why does poetry matter?
How does it work? Does poetry do anything? -should it? To conduct this inquiry as poets and critics of poetry do, we will closely read and interpret many poems, across time and genre.  We will ask how poets use structural choices, musical tools, and shaping devices to create and convey complex experiences.  Students will learn to read with understanding, perception, and enjoyment; to recognize the relationships among a poem's form, its devices, and its content; and to write clear, meaningful critical explications of poems.  ENG 41 is a short immersion in a lifelong, sustaining question:  How do I read this poem?
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 42 The Art of Autobiography

This course examines the art of autobiography in a comparatist context from its origins in St Augustine’s Confessions to recent expressions in such a work as the Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood. In tracing the landmarks of this genre, the will cover such works as Cellini’s Life, Franklin’s Autobiography, Rousseau’s Confessions, Gosse’s Father and Son, Sartre’s The Words, and Anais Nin’s early diary Linotte. Literary structures are studied as they emerge in the evolution of the genre. Standards of authenticity and what “they claim” are also evaluated. Various critical approaches are considered with respect to the genre of “life-writing” along with the different cultural contexts which have affected its development.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 44 Emerging Writers and Popular Traditions

This is a special topics course with a focus on new emerging writers and popular genres or traditions. The topic will concern writers whose status as noteworthy or great authors has not yet been established or genres and traditions with a significant overlap with popular culture. Traditions or genres that might be offered under this number include: Science Fiction and Fantasy, Romance, Detective Fiction, the Western, or Literature of Nonsense. This course may be taken more than once if the topic is different. Courses offered under this number automatically fulfill the requirement of a course outside the mainstream of British and American literature specified as part of the Early Childhood, Childhood, and Middle Childhood Education Majors in Literature.
This course may be taken more than once if topic duplication is avoided.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 47 Literary Forms and Genres

This course is a close analysis of a particular form or genre illustrated by literary works, for example, contemporary poetry, science fiction, the Gothic novel.
This course may be taken more than once if topic duplication is avoided.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 48 Ideas and Themes in Literature

This course is a close analysis of a body of literature bound together by a common factor or concern, for example comic literature, literature of the East, the middle class in society, the Industrial Revolution.
This course may be taken more than once if topic duplication is avoided.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 49 English Drama

This course allows the student to explore the rich English dramatic tradition, one of the earliest and most vibrant in the western world.  Readings will trace its beginnings in early medieval times through its extraordinary development in the time of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and record the shocking closing of the theatres during the Puritan Commonwealth.  Though its progress was interrupted, English drama rebounded with new energy in 1660 and continued to develop new and interesting dramatic types: sexually charged comedies, and sentimental comedies, as well as the outrageously talky plays of George Bernard Shaw and the suave comic ironies of Oscar Wilde in his comedies of manners.  The energies of the English theatre continued to flourish in the twentieth century in the absurd comedies of Harold Pinter and into the twenty-first in the intellectually challenging comedies of Tom Stoppard.    Considerations of text will be supplemented by a study of theatrical innovations and performance practices. Readings will be drawn from the major playwrights.                                                                   
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 50 Great Plays

This course aims to engage the student in the consideration of the unique qualities of performed work. The interrelationship of drama to religious practices, the establishment of ritual, and the demand for entertainment coalesce into something that is a distinctive ingredient of every culture. The broad perspective considers both Greek tragedy and comedy, juxtaposed with  medieval farce; as well as blood-curdling Renaissance tragedies and sexually charged  Restoration comedies, proletarian morality plays and compelling views of  modern emancipated life.  All of these provide a rich landscape against which we consider the unique qualities of drama, as well as the ways in which performance reaches a broad audience.  What is the relationship of the playwright to his or her audience?  What are the most effective ways to convert the viewers and readers to the playwright’s value scheme?  Readings may include works of Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and O’Neill.                                      
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 51 Greek Drama

The creation of the great Dionysian festival in the fifth century in Athens marks the emergence of the western tradition of drama. Initially providing the context for the performance of tragedy and later comedy, the yearly festival in Athens brought citizens together to witness the dramatization of philosophical, cultural, and political issues crucial in the development of Athenian democracy. Greek drama is characterized by an intense engagement with themes such as the meaning of human and divine justice, the conflict between tyranny and democracy, the subordination of women, the limitations of human knowledge, the problems of interpersonal conflict and war, the nature of wisdom, and human vulnerability to suffering and misfortune. Engaging closely with the fervor generated by the political turmoil, ideological conflict, and cultural crisis that swept through Greece in the latter half of the fifth century, the drama of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes forms the foundation for many of the enduring questions reflected upon subsequently in the western literary imagination. The course will cover representative works by each of the authors mentioned above.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 52 The Bible as Literature

This course is the study of the Bible as a literary masterpiece. The course covers such works as Genesis, Exodus, Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Isaiah, the Gospels, and the Epistles of Paul.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 54 Eighteenth-Century Literature and Life

From 1660 to 1800, London was the center of English literature. London was also the largest and busiest city in Europe, a hub of finance and commerce, as well as fashion, culture, aristocratic social life, and theaters and galleries, but it was also home to hundreds of thousands of people living in extreme poverty, often dying of starvation.  Perhaps because of this friction, writers, as well as visual and musical artists, produced works of fierce energy: some heatedly passionate, some wildly comic, most of them deeply provocative.  Writings include satirical attacks on the establishment, fanciful tales of exotic lands, successful strategies for young lovers, plays glorifying criminals, poems of advice and self-justification and discussions of what constitutes genuine happiness. Readings will include selections from Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Alexander Pope, Susannah Centlivre, and Samuel Johnson.   
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 55 The Romantic Period

This course focuses on the works of seven major writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Leading colorful lives in a time of revolutionary fervor, the poets William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Gordon Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats forged a new poetic idiom while working in a variety of new ways.  Among prose works of the period, William Blake’s prose poem The Marriage of Heaven Hell and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein provide a new mythology for understanding the relationship of God and humanity.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 58 The Victorian Period

Moved by the social and aesthetic concerns of their time, authors of the Victorian period worked to represent in their writing the minutia of what it meant to be alive in 19-century Britain.  Literature moved from the concerns of the Romantics with sublimity and the apocalypse to a realism interested in such matters as class, money, morals, and manners.  In this course the works of the major novelists and poets of the time will be read closely, but they will also be explored in light of the vast and exuberant changes that were influencing these authors’ lives and those of everyone around them.  This course will revolve around such topics as the modern city and industrialization, gender and sexuality, and religion and science.  Authors read will include Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hopkins, the Rossettis, George Eliot, Dickens, the Brontës, Conrad, and Wilde.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 67 Classical Literature in Translation

Beginning with the Iliad and the Odyssey written during the Eighth-century Renaissance in Greece, the classical tradition provides the foundation for many of the pervasive themes found in the western literary tradition. Characterized by an intense engagement with many of the archetypal myths of Greek oral culture that preceded them, Homer’s epics had a profound impact
upon the tragedies written in the fifth century in Athens and reflected a similar engagement with mythic tradition. By the same token, many of the themes reflected in epic and tragedy find expression in the original material generated by comedy and serve as a constant point of reference for the philosophical and rhetorical traditions also developing at the time. In addition, the presence of pervasive themes concerning all aspects of the human condition, in tandem with the literary forms generated during this period, extends well beyond the Greek world and can also be found in classical eastern texts producing their own unique genres. The literary forms generated in the era of classical Greece also came to have a profound influence on the literature generated in the Roman period. Either through a comparative analysis of eastern and western texts and/or an examination of Greek and Roman ones, this course will examine the literary forms and themes found in classical literature.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 68 Mythology

This course will acquaint students with various approaches to myth (including the popular, literary, psychological, folkloric, and anthropological) and the theoretical conflicts and overlaps that exist among disciplines.  Students will examine past and current trends in the study of mythology and consider the relevance of myth for ancient as well as contemporary peoples. Selected myths, legends, and folktales from within and outside of the Indo-European group will be considered.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 78 The English Novel: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries                

The novel is an eighteenth-century invention which flourished during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In England, the mainstream tradition of the novel is realism: a depiction of life as it really is, with the kinds of details we readers are familiar with as we move through our world today, subject to familial, social, historical, cultural, and economic forces.  Many of the works we will read in this course will be realist novels, but we will trace in them influences of Romanticism, the Gothic, and symbolism.  We will also explore the “breaking” of form and artistic convention practiced by the Modernist novelists of the early 20th century and their successors.  We’ll examine a number of themes the novels have in common: love of various kinds; the conflict between the individual’s needs and desires and those of the family or of society; the place of the past in people’s lives; the sexual and social “codes” the characters in these novels must master to succeed in life and achieve happiness; the role of social class and money in shaping the characters’ fates and values.  Moving outside the relatively comfortable sphere of national territory, we will also explore the mythology and practice of colonialism.     
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 85 Disciplinary Literacy in English

The course shows students the special ways of looking at humanistic texts and gives them the skills to communicate to others fundamental concepts of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the humanities.  Students will learn such things as how to understand and interpret the presentation of abstract ideas, and to interpret and explain the nature of textual evidence.  This course fulfills 3 credits of the “Literacy” requirement for students in the NY State approved program in English for Adolescence Education.
Annually, 3 credits

ENG 90 Readings in English

This course involves independent study of directed readings culminating in a substantial writing project.  This is not a regular classroom course.  A student must arrange through the Department Advisor to work with a particular faculty member before registering for this course.
Prerequisite: senior standing and permission of the ChairpersonEvery Semester, 1 credit

ENG 95 Independent Study

The independent study research course is taken under the guidance of a professor of English with the approval of the department chairperson. Its purpose is to provide an in-depth exploration of a unique topic, an author or a theme that is not among current course offerings. It may be taken more than once if content is different.
Prerequisites: English 1 & 2 and permission of the chairperson,
Every Semester, 3 Credits

ENG 99 Research in English

This course is a coordinated program of readings, conferences, and research, culminating in a written thesis of approximately 4,000 words.  This is not a regular classroom class.   A student must arrange through the Department Advisor to work with a particular faculty member before registering for this course.
Prerequisite: senior standing and permission of the Chairperson.  Normally only open to students with a major or minor in English.
Can be combined with ENG 90 for a 3-credit reading course.
Every Semester, 2 credits

ENG 100 Seminar in English

Small groups of students meet to discuss, analyze, do research on, and report orally and in papers read before the group on selected topics in literature.  Topics chosen each term by the instructor.
This course may be taken more than once if content is different.
Every Semester, 3 credits

ENG 101 Internship

This is a career-oriented course with placement and supervised work in a professional setting in law, publishing, public relations, or the like to provide direct practical experience in the application of skills from academic course work. This course is not a regular classroom course.
Prerequisite: nine-credits of upper-level English.  A student will usually be a participant in the COOP Program who has completed EEE-1.  A student must arrange through the Department Advisor to work with a particular faculty member before registering for this course. For English majors only. Every Semester, 3 credits

ENG 303, 304 World Literature

This course is an Honors version of the same material covered in ENG 7 and 8 with additional writing assignments to qualify students to complete the competency graduation requirement in written composition.  This course is required of all Honors students unless exempted by AP credit, freshman assessment, or Department placement examination.  After taking ENG 303, 304, students are eligible to complete their Core requirement in literature or language with two advanced literature courses in English or any of the foreign language courses normally used for this requirement. These courses combine the content of English 1, 2, 7 and 8. Students taking English 303,304 generally receive the equivalent of English 1 and 2 credit and are not permitted to take English 7 and 8. By request, students who have already received credit for English 1 and 2 may use these courses as the equivalent of English 7 and 8.
Annually, 3 credits each semester

Ethnic and National Literatures (102-130)

ENG 102 African Postcolonial Literature

The decolonization of Africa was accompanied by the development of a diverse body of national literatures focused upon the struggle for liberation from European control as well as the problems engendered by political independence. These national literatures frequently address the destructive legacy of colonialism even as they present tangible alternatives for a renewal of African culture and society. Through a close reading of several novels representative of distinct African cultures in confrontation with English, French, and Belgian imperialism, we will explore the struggle of former colonies to rediscover their cultural roots and assess the far-reaching impact of colonial domination on African lives. Issues addressed in the class will include: the impact of colonization on the psyche of Africans, the interrelationship between racist, sexist, and economic forms of oppression, the issue of cultural authenticity as it relates to language and emergent post-colonial identities, the role of political resistance in constructing new cultural forms and communities in the wake of colonialism, and the persistence of various forms of neo-colonialism in African societies.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 103 Irish Literary Renaissance

Writing in the early twentieth century, social and literary critic Douglas Hyde observed that “the Irish race is at present in a most anomalous position, imitating England and yet apparently hating it. How can it produce anything good in literature, art, or institutions as long as it is actuated by motives so contradictory?” The movement now called the Irish Literary Renaissance is an attempt to resolve that contradiction; its goal was to question the influence of English literature on Irish writers, and develop a specifically Irish literature for an independent Irish nation. This course will be a writing intensive study in cultural context of the major Irish writers involved: Lady Augusta Gregory, John Millington Synge, Sean O’Casey, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 104 History of Irish Literature

“Nothing in Ireland is ever over.” Novelist Elizabeth Bowen’s words remind readers that, in order to understand the Irish literary present, it is necessary to understand the Irish literary past. While some works of Irish literature are included in British literature anthologies, this course will focus on the ways in which Irish literature is not a subdivision of English literature. Instead, Irish literature can be read as defining the national character as separate from, and often in opposition to, British political power and artistic influence. The course surveys the literature of Ireland from the early myths and sagas of the eighth century, through the poets and balladeers of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, to the dramatists of the Irish Literary Renaissance of the early twentieth century, and concluding with contemporary works of fiction and poetry. We will read representative works of well-known authors such as Jonathan Swift, William Butler Yeats, John Millington Synge, and James Joyce, as well as newer works by twenty-first-century writers.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 105 Native American Literature

This course will examine works by Native Americans from the 1970s to the present. We will look at how writers and artists construct personal and collective identities, how they relate to specific events and general trends in North American history, and how they interact with dominant European-American cultures and other groups. We will also explore what “native” now means and how it coincides with the changing definitions of “nation” and “culture.” The class will also look at the changing field of literature in general and how literature and literary study are affected by other media, including film and video, music recording, radio and television, and above all, the internet. The political dimension of the works sometimes seems inescapable, but the results are often unpredictable, well balanced, funny, and remarkably beautiful.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 107 Postcolonial Literature and Theory

Through a close reading of both European and non-European literary and theoretical works, this course will explore the central economic, political, and psychological problems left in the wake of the period of decolonization in the third quarter of the twentieth century. Issues addressed in the class will include: the impact of colonialism upon the psyches of colonizer and colonized alike, the representation of colonized cultures in European consciousness along with challenges to those representations, the instrumental role of paradigms of gender in patterns of colonial domination, the interrelationship between racial, sexual, and economic forms of oppression, and the issue of cultural authenticity as it relates to language and emergent postcolonial identities.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 108 African American Literature of the Twentieth Century

For African Americans, the twentieth century began with an exodus from the South in the hopes of finding greater opportunity and freedom. Yet this journey was shaped by an ongoing struggle against racism, violence, and socio-economic disenfranchisement. In part, this course examines the artistic response to the social conditions facing African Americans in the twentieth century. With a specific emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and Black Feminism, this class investigates the impact of African-American literature on American culture more broadly. How do these movements relate to and differ from other artistic and cultural trends at the time? How do African-American writers interrogate notions of race and ethnicity? Through texts, visual arts, and music, these works challenge us to evaluate the role that racism continues to play in contemporary American culture.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 109 American Slave Narratives

An examination of narratives concerning African-American slaves—some autobiographical, some fictional.  How, we will ask, did various representations of slaves not only serve abolitionist goals but also address changing attitudes toward race, gender, law, property, and national identity?  The course also considers the literary-rhetorical aspects of the writings and analyzes the blending of literary and historical discourse, leading to questions about what role the “construction” of the African-American past plays in acts of collective memory. Readings may include the following: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Melville's "Benito Cereno,” Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Chesnutt’s Conjure Woman tales, and Morrison’s Beloved.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 110 The Black Diaspora: African American Literature in Context

This course examines varying perspectives on the black experience. Most writers—blacks, whites, and “passers”—are from the United States, but England, Russia, France, and the West Indies share the stage. We begin and end with autobiography, moving from the public persona of Frederick Douglass to the confessional of Jamaica Kincaid. Cultural differences and diverse points of view are addressed: blacks writing about blacks, whites writing about blacks, and “passers” avoiding racial themes. In attempting to define the black experience, we pose the crucial question—Does culture trump color?
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 111 The English Renaissance

The early modern period of English culture was a time of unprecedented social change during which the very concepts of the universe, society, and national and personal identity were re-negotiated.  Astronomers saw chaos in the stars.  Believers murdered each other in the name of religion.  Nation states consolidated power and became colonial empires.  Individuals, turning inward, confronted with renewed energy the question of what it meant to be human.  The purpose of this course is to examine the astounding variety of literary forms (such as lyric poetry, drama, epic, and essay) and philosophical perspectives that were invented during the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James I.  Students will be encouraged to rediscover this brave new world of renaissance and revolution in the “golden age” of English literature.  To that end, it emphasizes the literary, historical, and cultural contexts for understanding the work of such key authors as Sir Thomas Wyatt, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Sir Francis Bacon, and Ben Jonson.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 112 Modern British Literature

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Great Britain was the richest and most powerful nation on earth and had experienced remarkable stability and peace for many decades.  Yet revolutionary change was coming: England would fight two catastrophic wars within the next twenty-five years, its empire would begin to collapse, its wealth would disintegrate, and its young would question every inherited value, including articles of religious faith, traditional institutions, and customary perspectives. The literature written during this century reflects these changed realities, and it is rich, provocative, challenging and disturbing. It performs distinctly modern experiments with some of the traditional components of literature–the use of myth, the rendering of human consciousness, the operations of narrative point of view, and the reordering of form. This course will explore the value of the past and the collapse of traditional sources of meaning and authority; changing gender roles and family structures; the bitter legacy of World War I (the first war of mass destruction); sex as a liberating—yet sometimes destructive—force; and the brutal exploitation that colonialism and capitalism engendered.  We will see the shock of the new in this literature, as well as both the terror and excitement of change.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 113 The Eighteenth Century English Novel

Often described as the period in which the genre of the novel was created and developed into a dominant form of literature for an educated reading public, the eighteenth century was a turbulent period of struggle between various ideological forces that would transform British society. As a period that gave rise to what would eventually be characterized as the realist novel, the eighteenth century provided its great authors with a focus that enabled them to record the emergence of the individual as a historical entity. In addition to providing early examples of criminal, realist, sentimental, and gothic novels, the eighteenth century furnished its authors with a wide range of material generated by the emergence of capitalism, travel and exploration, the development of colonialism, religious conflict, ands the rise of experimental science. These changes also generated intellectual conflict between conservative, anti-scientific Humanists and utilitarian, profit-oriented Moderns, a conflict that plays a prominent role in much of the fiction generated during the period. Possible authors covered in the class include: Defoe, Swift, Burney, Fielding, Radcliffe, Richardson, Sterne, and Smollett.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 114 The Nineteenth Century English Novel

In the 19th century the novel reached its fullest and richest development.  Readers came to novels to feel empathy for characters much like themselves: who toiled to earn a living, experienced the difficulties of love, found themselves lost in the chaos of cities made newly dangerous by industrialization.  Realism came to dominate the form, and this course will be attentive to the way the novel remained vitally connected to the current social world, in particular its exploration of poverty, class, gender roles, and the modern city. But in the beginning of the 19th century other movements were still in force: Romanticism and the Gothic. Their anti-realist themes—altered states of consciousness, madness, and the supernatural—thread their way throughout the century, leading one to question the usefulness of the term “Realism.” Novelists covered will include Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, George Eliot, Gaskell, Thackeray, Trollope, Collins, Hardy, Conrad, and Wilde.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 115 The World Novel in English

In the second half of the twentieth century, the novel emerged as the preferred form of literary presentation in English-speaking areas apart from the central axis of Britain and the United States. Writers in Australasia, South and East Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, and Africa stopped “looking back,” and instead reoriented the novel to discuss political developments, historical movements, and personal recognitions based upon local materials or regional circumstances. This course will examine six to eight novels from a number of different areas, in many different styles, with a particular focus on the works as expressions of contemporary realities, intentions, and needs; we will look at how the use of English by these authors changes the former imperial language into a supple, useful, and beautiful vehicle for personal expression and group identity.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 116 W.B. Yeats: Poet in a Revolutionary Time

Many critics assert that William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet, statesman, dramatist, mythologist, cultural activist and nationalist, produced the finest poems written in English in the 20th century.  While heavily influenced by Celtic (pre-Christian) mythology and folk tales, Yeats’ work was also affected by the revolutionary tenor of his times, and in particular, by Ireland’s struggle to achieve political independence from England.  Many of Yeats’ finest poems are political in nature, but there are many other themes which recur in his poetry—his love for the beautiful, ardent revolutionary, Maude Gonne, for example; his admiration for Byzantium (the ancient name for modern-day Istanbul in Turkey) where, according to Yeats, the religious, aesthetic and practical parts of life were harmoniously unified; and the conflict between the spirit and the body (or between other dualities) which preoccupied him all his life and which are resolved differently in different poems.  We will examine all of these themes.   Students will have ample practice in this course in reading and interpreting short poems.
On occasion, 3 credits

Cultural Studies (131-150)

ENG 131 Small World: Literature of the Academic Life

Borrowed from the title of a novel by David Lodge, the title of this course, “Small World,” captures its focus on the college campus as microcosm. The life of the university is often contrasted with “real” life, the world to which students will graduate when they earn their degrees. For professional academics, however, the world of the campus is the real world; and for the students who pass through this world, its reality shapes their life for four years, and possibly for a lifetime. This course examines the academic life as it is depicted in literature. The works chosen will examine the way in which the university setting functions in various literary genres at various periods in history, but with special emphasis on the late twentieth century. The students and professors who populate these pages will enable the students enrolled in the course, and their professor, to engage in a discussion of their common enterprise: living and working, whether for four years or for a whole career, in the little universe of the college.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 133 Eighteenth-Century Writers on Writing

This course acquaints students with the theory and practice of writing in the eighteenth century. The first half of the course is devoted to examining different theories of writing and its relationship to philosophy, science, and literary criticism of the Enlightenment. In the second half of the course, students use these theories as lenses to examine modern discourse practices, including political speeches, literary texts, advertisements, and food packaging.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 134 Byron and His Revolutionary Circle

Byron, Shelley, Mary Shelley, and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft will form our revolutionary circle. Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman will introduce her daughter’s Frankenstein Or The Modern Prometheus, Byron’s “Prometheus” and Manfred, and Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound. Other works by Byron and Shelley, especially the former’s Don Juan, will be examined to see what light they shed on the Romantic rebel who seemingly defies both secular and religious dogma.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 135 Renaissance and Revolution: The Making of the Modern World

Astounding changes occurred--beginning around 500 years ago--in the social, cultural, and intellectual life of Western Europe and the Americas that have had a lasting impact on our sense of self.  Technological advances and theoretical innovations changed the very nature of the way in which individuals came to conceive of themselves and their environment.  Copernicus and Galileo transformed our conception of the universe.  Magellan helped remap the world.  Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo produced a more compelling reflection of the material world.  Machiavelli redefined politics and Montaigne explored the vagaries of human consciousness.  This interdisciplinary course provides an introduction to some of the highlights of Renaissance culture and traces their impact on the literature, philosophy, and theater of the time.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 136 The Victorian Rebels

When the Victorians are thought of today, many stereotypes come to mind:  they were sexually repressed; their architecture and furniture was overly elaborate and fanciful; their literature is long and dull.  In this course these stereotypes will be explored, but they will also be largely exploded.  The literature of powerful women and early feminists will be considered; the writings and paintings of sexual radicals of all stripes will be explored; and the poetry and criticism of political and social revolutionaries will be studied.  Finally, this course will prove that all the good rebellions of today have their roots in the Victorian period. Works by the following writers, artists, and designers will be included: Emily Brontë, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Morris, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Michael Field and Oscar Wilde.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 137 Magic Realism

The term “magic realism” was originally used by the German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting that exhibited an altered representation of reality but has since come to be associated with literature with fantastic elements that defy rational explanation. Some other qualities of magical realist fiction include: the deadpan presentation of fantastic events, the use of symbolism and sensuous detail, non-linear narratives, and the use of implausible events to provide social and political commentary. Through a close reading of several representative works from the tradition, we will explore the unique blend of realism and fantasy that gives magical realism its distinctive signature. Some major themes addressed in the course will include: problems of human identity caused by the misuse of political power, the presentation of utopian alternatives to oppressive political systems, and the use of the supernatural to represent the inner psychic landscape of human experience. Authors covered in the class will include: Marquez, Rushdie, Okri, Allende, Morrison, Rhys, and Roy.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 138 Gender, Sexuality, and Literature

Gender and sexuality are—and always have been—culturally constructed.  This means that our ideas of what a  “woman” is, or a “heterosexual,” have changed drastically throughout history.  Our understanding of these identities has everything to do with forces in our society and next to nothing to do with the bodies we are born in.  Literature plays an important role in exploring how gender has been constructed historically, and certain seminal texts have themselves caused cultural shifts in what these terms mean. To serve as a foundation, this course will consider a range of theoretical approaches, from psychoanalysis to queer studies to performance studies and beyond.  Works by such authors as Mary Wollstonecraft, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, Jean Genet, Radcliffe Hall, Audre Lorde, Jeannette Winterson and others will also be studied.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 139 Gender and the English Language

In this course, we will look at the ways in which our use of language reflects and sustains our cultural attitudes about gender. We will begin by looking at how linguistic phenomena are linked to social ones, and go on to consider how gender roles are enacted through our use of and attitudes toward language—for example, in how we organize our conversations, the degree to which we use indirectness or politeness strategies, and the amount of talking time we occupy and how we do so.  We will encounter a number of different ways of analyzing and interpreting our data, and debate the merits of each based on our own experiences as English speakers.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 140 The Bloomsbury Group

Virginia Woolf wrote that “in or about December 1910, human character changed.” Although Woolf was writing about Roger Fry’s hugely influential Post-Impressionist art exhibition, she was also thinking of her own literary practice, and of the patterns of behavior exhibited by the artists, writers and lovers who “belonged” to the Bloomsbury Group, that iconoclastic collection of people who lived in and around the Bloomsbury section of London in the early days of the twentieth century.  This course will trace the ideas and experiments—visual, literary, sexual—enacted by figures such as Virginia Woolf,  Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Duncan Grant and some of their many other London and Cambridge associates.                                                                        
On occasion, 3 credits

American Studies (151-180)

ENG 151 American Writers to the Civil War

This course examines works representative of various movements within American literary-intellectual history.  We begin with the poetry and personal narratives of the Puritans (Anne Bradstreet, John Winthrop, Jonathan Edwards).  From there, we explore the satires and the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, as well as the slave narrative of Oladuah Equiano, to see how these eighteenth-century Enlightenment figures attempted to recreate the American identity, borrowing from but also importantly revising the Puritan point of view. We then address the romantic writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman to understand how these writers represented the spirit of Romanticism.  Finally, reading works by Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson will help us see how American writers used Gothic motifs to represent their ambivalent or outright critical attitudes toward some of the earlier literary, philosophical, religious, social, and political traditions.
Annually, 3 credits

ENG 251 American Writers since the Civil War

After the Civil War, realist depictions of upper- and middle-class life in American literature soon gave way to a darker, more fragmented vision of the world. How did American writing move from the fiction of William Dean Howells, who was celebrated as the greatest living writer at his seventy-fifth birthday party in 1912, to T.S. Eliot’s nightmarish portrait of modern life in The Waste Land ten years later? What were some of the social, cultural, and political forces that shaped such a change? How were American writers influencing and/or responding to other artistic media such as painting, photography, film, and music? This course examines these types of questions as we survey four literary movements since 1865: Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. We will not only make connections across the boundaries of social class, gender, race, and culture, but we will also interrogate the notion of “American” literature itself.
Annually, 3 credits

ENG 152 The American Novel

This course traces the development of the novel in America from the late eighteenth century to the present. In addition to examining different types of fiction, such as sentimental, realistic, modernist, and postmodernist, we will also explore how these novels were shaped by and contributed to some of the social and cultural forces of their day. What makes these works “American”? How do they portray social, economic, and ethnic hierarchies in the United States? How do they wrestle with the failures of America’s promise to offer all its citizens freedom and equality? After considering some of the earliest examples of American novels, we will study writers such as James Feminore Cooper, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 153 Contemporary American Drama

Contemporary American Drama has been invigorated by creative and cultural forces that have emerged over the last five decades to challenge the theatrical establishment of the early twentieth century.  It thus assumes a unique identity.  The popular American themes of free expression of individuality and a belief in a bright future now extend beyond Broadway, finding voice in off-Broadway houses and alternative and regional theatres.  The style, structure and conventions of earlier American plays have often been retooled; orthodox theatre architecture sometimes modified; and the demographics of theatre on stage and in the audience have been expanded.  These practices reflect the creative fire that has produced plays with bold new contours. Readings will include Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Sam Shepard’s True West, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 154 American Poetry

This course will present a relatively broad and fairly rapid survey of major American poets.  We will dwell mainly on three large historical periods:  the nineteenth century of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman; the early twentieth century of Robert Frost, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, and Wallace Stevens; and the contemporary period (today), when there are more American poets being published than ever before.  (These twenty-first century poets will probably be represented by figures like Robert Pinsky and Louise Glück.)  In order even to begin grasping this historical range and poetic diversity, we'll need to move at a pace of about one poet per week, but we'll hope to sustain a fairly serious engagement with each of our poets in turn, while thinking about how each of them imagines (or re-imagines) the idea of America and American discourse.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 155 O’Neill, Miller, Williams

An intensive study of three playwrights who changed the course of American drama and branded it with a distinctively American quality.  Eugene O’Neill, the son of the country’s leading actor, knew early-century American drama intimately and decided to set out in a completely different direction.   He rejected the popular melodramas; instead, he wrote searing personal tragedies and attempted to capture in his work the quality of ancient Greek tragedy.  He wrote of prostitutes, farmers, young wives and domineering fathers. He created new theatrical styles and wrote Long Day’s Journey into Night, often called the greatest American play.  Arthur Miller broke theatrical ground in completely different ways: he experimented with surrealism in Death of a Salesman, now an American classic.  In the body of his work, he continued to probe questions of guilt, individual perceptiveness and moral responsibility, and he continued to master a range of theatrical styles.  Tennessee Williams, a genteel Southern rebel, abandoned the predominantly realistic tradition, feeling it was exhausted and called for a “plastic theatre” in which every scene was crafted as a living sculpture. These three playwrights established the uniqueness of American drama in the early twentieth century.  Readings in the course will include the major works of the three playwrights.  
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 156 Irish American Fiction

Beginning with the mid-nineteenth-century wave of emigration due to the Great Famine in Ireland, the Irish became a formidable presence in American life and in American fiction as well. We will read representative samples of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fiction as a foundation for the major focus of the course, which is the contemporary novel of the Irish American experience. For our purposes, we will define Irish American fiction not by the ethnicity of the novelist but rather as fiction which examines the connections between Ireland and America, the influence of the Irish past in the lives of the American characters, the search for a precarious balance between being Irish and being American. Possible authors include Tom McHale, J.P. Donleavy, John Gregory Dunne, Mary Gordon, Alice McDermott, William Kennedy, and Pete Hamill.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 157 American Modernism and the Art of Making it New

Something radical happened in the early twentieth century. Painters moved toward abstraction. Composers embraced atonality. And writers created a new literary aesthetic through fragmentation, stream of consciousness, and other experiments with language. So what were some of the social, cultural, and political forces that brought about these changes? How were twentieth-century artists rejecting the practices of the Victorian era? How were they responding to drastic changes in technology and science? And how were they challenging audiences to be new readers, viewers, and listeners? This class will examine this period (1907-1929) in American literature, art, and culture. We will read fiction, poetry, and drama, study visual art (Duchamp, Balla, Boccioni, Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne), listen to music (Ravel, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Ellington), and do research on historical and social context, including topics such as lynching memorabilia, nineteenth- and twentieth-century etiquette manuals, World War I propaganda, and Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes. This interdisciplinary approach will not only provide a richer understanding of the writings of Gertrude Stein, Eugene O’Neill, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, T. S. Eliot, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, e. e. cummings, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, H. D., William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, for example, but it will also challenge us to think critically about the social and cultural changes shaping modernism.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 158 Freak Shows and the Modern American Imagination

The freak show was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in American culture between 1840 and 1940. Audiences clamored to see human exhibits featuring dog-faced boys, Siamese Twins, giants, dwarfs, hermaphrodites, and savage cannibals. Today, only remnants of these shows can be found in museums and state fairs, yet the freak show continues to have a powerful impact on contemporary literature and art. Why? How do these texts use freak shows and the freakish body to address social anxieties about difference? How do these images critique racial hierarchies and heterosexual norms in American culture? As spectators, what is our role in the othering of certain individuals and groups?
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 159 Bodies on Display: Perspectives on the Body in American Culture from the
Nineteenth Century to the Present

This course seeks to explore some of the rich historical materials treating aspects of the human body as it has been viewed, exhibited, analyzed, and objectified in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will examine some key primary works, fiction, film, photography, and a selection of interpretive studies that consider the social and cultural construction of bodies in America. The readings in this course are intended not to add up to some neat thesis but to raise questions of interpretation and meaning. From the history of freak shows and blackface minstrelsy to more contemporary displays of female and male bodies, these readings—both primary and secondary—will challenge us to think about some of the forces that have shaped—and continue to shape—the ways in which we think about the body.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 160 Hawthorne and James: From Romance to Realism

A concentrated analysis of the points of contact between two major American writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James.  Two representative works that speak to each other—“Rappaccini’s Daughter” and Daisy Miller—are introduced to show the difference between Hawthornian romance and Jamesian realism.  After examining Hawthorne’s Puritan-oriented works (such as “Young Goodman Brown” and The Scarlet Letter), as well as his novel about transcendentalism, The Blithedale Romance, the course examines how James’s more realistic novels, such as Washington Square and The Portrait of a Lady, take up where Hawthorne left off.  We see how they represent not only the “deeper psychology,” but also issues related to nineteenth-century feminism and consumer capitalism.  The moral, social, and aesthetic views of both writers are explored, and James’s novellas such as The Beast in the Jungle and The Aspern Papers are read in order to demonstrate the intersecting interests of the writers:  how the realist and cosmopolitan literature James produced never escaped the influence of Hawthorne’s more provincial romances.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 161 Melville

Covering Melville’s exotic travel narrative about the South Seas (Typee), his famous novel about the pursuit of a great whale (Moby-Dick), his gothic urban novel Pierre, his story of con-artists on the Mississippi (The Confidence Man), as well as his shorter works such as “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Benito Cereno, and Billy Budd, this course examines Herman Melville’s journey as a writer interested in “forms” of all kinds: aesthetic, novelistic, social, cultural, legal, and historical. We will analyze Melville experiments in narrative construction, and will relate this to the ideological implications of history writing and to the power structures such writing serves.  In addition, we will consider other aspects of the work: Melville’s view of race and non-Western culture; the connections between slavery in the South and the economic conditions in the industrial North; nature’s law and man’s law; national identity and the notion of a national literature for America.  Melville will also be discussed in relation to his contemporaries:  Emerson, Poe, and Hawthorne.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 162 American Autobiography

An exploration of autobiographies and quasi-autobiographies that tell the story of Americans from the early colonial period right up to the twentieth century.  Discussions will revolve around the aesthetics of autobiography, the mixture of fiction and fact, and the construction of different “selves” that typify various strains of American intellectual thought as well as various cultural and social circumstances within different eras of American history.  Approximately six works are chosen from such autobiographies as the following: Mary Rowlandson’s History of Captivity, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, Adams’ The Education of Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein’s Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Ernest Hemingway’s Moveable Feast, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, Malcolm X’s Autobiography, and Paul Auster’s The Invention of Solitude.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 163 Literature of New York

An examination of literary works set in New York that explore the city as the site of material ambition, romance, cultural diversity, wealth, poverty, and alienation.  Discussions will revolve around the way the literature invites sociological as well as psychological analysis of the city’s impact on human lives.  Among the five or six works to be read in the course are such New York stories as the following: Melville’s “Bartleby: A Story of Wall Street,” James’s Washington Square, Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, Cahan’s The Rise of David Levinsky (or H. Roth’s Call It Sleep), Wharton’s House of Mirth, Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye,, Auster’s City of Glass, Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, Delillo’s Cosmopolis, P. Roth’s The Dying Animal, and Morrison’s Jazz.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 164 American Drama

The course will focus on the distinctly American essence of the plays that have shaped our dramatic tradition.  Viewing American drama from its eighteenth-century origins to the mid-twentieth century, we will trace the American playwright’s ability to create native characters, to address topics of particular national interest, and to present themes particularly relevant to the American psyche, while simultaneously sharing in the lively currents of international theatre.  Consideration will be given to the cultural and historical forces that fostered the creation of new genres, including vaudeville and tent shows.   These and sparkling comedies of manners, sensational melodramas, and domestic dramas all contributed to the development of American drama during the first century and a half of its existence. With the emergence of Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams in the twentieth century, American drama attained and continues to hold a highly respected position on the world stage.       
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 165 American Colonial Literature

This course examines writing in America before 1800 (roughly the period between the European "discovery" and the first products of an officially independent United States). We will examine the written evidence to find who the settlers were, what they expected or wanted or demanded, how they reacted to what they found, and what models of expression they developed to record their experiences. Readings will emphasize the variety of viewpoints that described America life and the terrific energy that writers brought to their tasks. We will also examine critical models of interpretation in both historical and contemporary forms.
On occasion, 3 credits           

Advanced Writing/Creative Writing (181-200)

ENG 181 The Art of Expository Writing

This course explores what it means to write effectively through a consideration of purpose, audience, context, and genre.  In particular, we will pay attention to the strategic deployment of pathetic, ethical, and logical appeals as well as other relevant rhetorical principles that aid us in creating and understanding “good writing.”  Class will be conducted in a workshop format whenever possible with emphasis on the composing and revision process.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 182 Introduction to Creative Writing

This courseintroduces students to a variety of literary genres, including short fiction, poetry, drama, and screenwriting, and helps them develop the analytical and technical skills to be better readers, writers, and critics. The lecture/workshop format of the course is designed to help students recognize that good writing and reading is a process. Students will be given numerous exercises (on character, dialogue, plot, etc.) and will distribute one scene and one longer work to the class for constructive feedback. By studying established writers, reading student work, and receiving lots of feedback from the instructor and peers, students will develop proficiency in various literary techniques and style.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 183 Creative-Non Fiction

This workshop, in which students present their original writing and learn how to give and receive feedback on their work, explores nonfiction genres such as biography, autobiography and memoir, travel writing, and journal writing but particular emphasizes the essay and its elastic form governed by an aesthetic and epistemology distinct from traditional academic writing and argument.  Academic writing often teaches students to defend assertions through logical appeal and to establish authority by eliminating the word “I.”  The creative nonfiction essay, on the other hand, relies on the subjectivity of an enquiring persona that tentatively explores questions and ideas.  In this class, we will consider the value of this latter sensibility and how to cultivate it in our writing as well as the history that enabled and the theory that explains this genre.  We’ll also give attention to the role/form of creative nonfiction in the evolving Web 2.0 environment.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 184 Writing and Healing

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”  This quote, often attributed to Philo of Alexandria, points to the commonality of suffering and the importance of empathy in human interaction.  How do we cope with and make sense of the painful dimensions of our existences?  This creative nonfiction class uses the recent scholarship examining the connection between psychological/social/physical healing and the creation of meaning that occurs through the writing process to help students explore the therapeutic dimension of storytelling for both writer and audience and to craft narratives in which painful experiences, including physical illness, become meaningful on both personal and social levels.  Emphasis is placed on fostering a supportive but critical writing community to aid the creative meaning-making process of shaping private stories into public ones.  This course is appropriate for those earnestly interested in effecting healing through writing about personal experiences and sharing their stories with others.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 185 Introduction to Theories of Composing and Writing Pedagogy

This course will acquaint students with the history of writing studies and introduce some of the theoretical strands, including overlaps and controversies, that inform the contemporary practice of teaching writing.  The course will also treat practical implementation of composing theory and help students become aware of their own writing process and writing standards as well as the political and ethical dimensions of teaching and assessing writing and communication. This course will include such topics as the origin and history of composition and rhetoric and the process and postprocess movements, including the influence of rhetoric, WAC, ESL and linguistics, collaborative learning, expressionism, cognitivism, social constructivism, social epistemic, critical pedagogy, new media/digital literacy, and assessment.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 186 Writing in the Digital Age: Multimodal Composing in Theory and Practice

What counts as writing? From an early age we are taught to view writing in a certain way, perhaps as words on a page. However, for many people the so-called "digital age" has changed this definition, because suddenly we are able to more easily combine images, sounds, colors, and gestures alongside our words. But what does the addition of images really "do" for a website? How can sound influence a videogame? Additionally, how are these combinations of word, image, and sound different in online and digital writing from previous writing genres like the book, the graph, or sheet music? In order to answer these questions we need to explore multimodality as a theory of combining the modes of word, image, and sound to make meaning. In this course we will do the following: 1) Develop a definition for multimodal composing, 2) Experiment with multimodal composing in digital and non-digital writing, and 3) Analyze multimodal forms in different medias and genres. Throughout we will continue to return to our first question-- what is writing in a digital age?
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 187 Editing and Professional Writing

This course in professional writing and editing will explore the options for making writing accessible to an audience by exploring a number of genres for publication, as well as what makes writing professional, rhetorically effective, and publishable. The emphasis of the course will be on experiential learning and "real-world" publishing contexts, and students will be introduced to technologies, options, and processes of copy-editing with an emphasis on rhetorical choice, as well as strategies in document format and design. The course will follow a workshop format and will guide students through the process of taking one significant piece of writing through all the stages of design to copy-editing and publication. Additionally, all students will be required to engage in an on-campus publishing context by submitting an article to the LIU Post student newspaper, The Pioneer.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 188 Writing in the Workplace: The Rhetoric of Professional Communication

Students will learn the differences as well as overlaps between academic writing and writing in the workplace as well as the rhetorical principles of purpose, audience, and context in communication. With these considerations in mind, students will learn and practice “professional” or “business” writing and analyze and discuss the rhetorical principles that seem to govern these genres. Our assumption will be that rather than a simple, dry matter of adhering to static rules, producing such writing involves a creative and complex negotiation of language.  In particular, students will study the way ethos is established through word choice and/or document design and the importance of this principle in effective communication. Students will learn and demonstrate their understanding of this rhetoric by composing in a variety of “professional” genres, such as emails, memos, resumes, reports, and brochures, and by critiquing and analyzing these genres through discussion and other collaborative classroom activities designed to help promote such analysis and discussion, including reading journals, threaded discussion, and collaborative work and research.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 282 Fiction Writing

The course builds on the skills of ENG 181 with a particular emphasis on short fiction. We will focus on published readings, exercises, and workshops of your writings. Students will produce two long stories, which will be read by the entire class and instructor. By the end of the semester, the student will accumulate a portfolio of work, a significant portion of which will be a sophisticated revision of one story.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 283 Poetry Writing

This poetry workshop will involve constructive critical analysis of student writing as well as discussion on poems by canonical, established and emerging poets.  Knowledge of craft, established in ENG 182, will be strengthened; articulation of poetics, for one's own and other's work, will be stressed.  Emphasizing revision, workshops will address choices in form, layout, lineation, musicality, syntax, diction, figurative language, and reading/performance.  By semester's end, students will have created a portfolio of no less than 6 thoroughly developed, revised poems.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 284 Drama Writing

Through a series of varied weekly playwriting exercises, this course aims to acquaint students with the range of dramaturgical demands placed on the working playwright. Each is gradually more complex in both length and dramatic situation, eventually leading to a multi-character piece.  Each piece is given a roundtable reading in which every student participates, and several students will have the opportunity to have their work “performed” through moved readings.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 285 Screenwriting

Some sections of this course will focus on television writing (in both sixty- and thirty-minute formats),and other sections will deal primarily with writing feature-length films. In either case, this course will help students understand the format, structure, and stylistic conventions of screenplay writing. They will learn how to develop characters and offer a rich visual landscape through dialogue. As with any advanced writing course, it will use a lecture/workshop format, and we will study current film and television writing as models. This course may be taken more than once if the topic is different.
On occasion, 3 credits

Rhetoric/The English Language (201-220)

ENG 201 The English Language

Many of us are unfamiliar with fundamental aspects of the English language that we use for everyday communication as well as in our academic and creative work.  In this course, the English language will take center stage as we investigate the structures, sounds, history, variation and use of the English language. We will look into the unique history of English as well as its affinities with languages such as German, Dutch and French. We will examine the differences between the varieties of English that exist within the U.S. and around the world, the so-called Global Englishes. We will also consider English in diverse contexts of use to see how speakers draw inferences in conversation and how our use of the language speaks to our attitudes toward class, gender and other sociocultural variables. Finally, the course will consider the ways in which specialized knowledge of the English language can be drawn upon by educators, creative writers and scholars of literature.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 202 Varieties of English

This course will look into the ways in which varieties of the English language differ and will consider the reasons for these differences. Using Standard American English as a starting point, we will look at the important differences in structure, sound and vocabulary between American English and varieties such as Black English, Appalachian English, Standard British English, Belfast English, Singapore English, Australian English, South African English and others. As we go, we will address important questions such as: Is one variety of English “better” than the others? How do different varieties come into existence? What have been the effects of the gradual spread of English on indigenous languages?
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 203 The Logic of Conversation

Inspired by the philosopher Paul Grice’s seminal work of the same title, this course is an introduction to the logic of conversation. From the initial premise that speakers are cooperative in conversation, we will see how Grice and other’s theories explain the way we interact and interpret conversation in context. In doing so, we will see how speakers calculate irony, correctly interpret nonliteral uses of language such as metaphor and simile, deal with misunderstandings and mistakes, as well as draw presuppositions, implicatures and other inferences in the context of conversation. We will also see how an analysis of conversation can be applied to literary texts to yield nuanced interpretations of dialogue and to reveal effects created against the backdrop of our basic expectations about how conversation works.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 204 Theories of Persuasion: Ancient and Modern

This course examines the different theories of persuasion from ancient times to early twentieth century. Throughout the semester students learn how to write persuasively using the ethical and emotional techniques of classical Greece, the theological strategies of the Middle-Ages, the psychological techniques of the Enlightenment, and the stylistic and grammatical techniques of the early twentieth century.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 205 Sex, Drugs, and Damnation: Letter Writing Through the Renaissance

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to epistolary traditions from classical times through the Renaissance. Throughout the course, students examine the contents, the formal structure, and the style of the letter according to such genres as theological, moral, political, and personal. Students will also examine contemporary letter-writing methods and techniques through the lens of ancient epistolary theory.
On occasion, 3 credits

ENG 207 Theories of Academic Literacy

This seminar focuses on alternative theories of reading, writing, and literacy to prepare writing tutors.  This course will also examine definitions of intellectual work in various disciplines as well as the literacy needs of students from a range of cultures, language backgrounds, and life experience.