English

Requirements & Courses

  • English Department courses challenge students to engage with the traditions and methods of literary study to become powerful critical and creative thinkers. Students balance thinking broadly with reading closely, building knowledge in world literatures and cultures to appreciate and understand their own. The English Department’s course offerings include introductory and advanced level courses in composition, creative writing and journalism; introductory surveys and advanced studies in literature and critical theory; and a senior seminar. The Department regularly offers opportunities for independent, off-campus and overseas study. English graduates are prepared for professional opportunities in library and information science, media, the law, public relations, public and private education, and for jobs with non-profit foundations and research organizations. Our students often pursue graduate studies in literature, composition, creative writing, library science, law and human resources.

  • Major Requirements

    Thirty-six credits which must include:

    1. ENG 120, 190, 220, 320, and 420.
    2. ENG 250 or 251; and 260 or 261.
    3. Eight additional credits of upper level literature selected from the following: ENG 340, 351, 353, 354, 356, 360, 361, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 380L, 381, 382, and 383.
    4. Required cognate: four credits of foreign language at or above the 112 level to help students appreciate sounds, structure and beauty of a language different from their own.
    5. Students who meet Alma’s requirements for honors and who present a senior thesis judged to be of honors caliber are eligible for English Department honors.
    6. Note: English 100, 101 and 110 do not count in the English major. No independent study counts toward the major unless it is approved as a substitute for a major requirement.
  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits which must include:

    1. ENG 120.
    2. ENG 250 or 251; and 260 or 261.
    3. ENG 190, 201, 220, 225, 270, or 320.
    4. Two additional upper level literature courses at the 300-level chosen from: ENG 340, 351, 353, 354, 356, 360, 361, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 380L, 381, 382, and 383.
    5. Note: English 100, 101, and 110 do not count in the English minor.
  • English Secondary Teaching Major
    Same requirements as the English major.
  • English Secondary Teaching Minor
    Same requirements as the English minor.
  • Language Arts Teaching Major and Minor (Elementary only)
    See the Education section of the catalog for list of requirements.
  • Writing Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits which must include:

    1. ENG 190, 202, and 220.
    2. Twelve additional credits chosen from ENG 201, 210, 270, 290, 291, 292, 293, 301, 370, 390, or 391.
  • Program Considerations

    Prospective majors should plan to take English 120 in the first year, English 220 in the sophomore year, English 320 in the junior year, and English 420 in the senior year. Note: One foreign language course at or above the 112 level is required for the English major.

    ENG 100, 101 and 110 do not count toward the English major or minor.

    Students considering graduate school are urged to complete more than the required number of 300-level literature classes and ENG 500 Senior Thesis. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in literature are strongly recommended to take additional modern language courses.

    English majors may also elect a writing minor. Up to eight credits may count toward both the major and minor requirements

  • Prerequisites for advanced studies in literature (ENG 340 through 368) are ENG 240, 241, 250, 251, 260 or 261.
  • Four credits from ENG 110 or higher, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.

Courses

  • ENG
    100
    .
    College Rhetoric I
    4 credits
    Development of writing as a process of thinking and communication that involves stages of generating, drafting and revising. Emphasis on writing in several forms for a variety of purposes and audiences. Review of basic paragraph, sentence and spelling skills. Regular conferences to discuss writing.
  • ENG
    101
    .
    College Rhetoric II
    4 credits
    ENG 100 or Placement
    Developing critical thinking and reading skills with emphasis on analytical, persuasive and research writing. Development of style and voice. Evaluation of writing from various disciplines and contemporary issues.
  • ENG
    110
    .
    Studies in Literature
    4 credits
    Thematic approach to understanding, analyzing and appreciating literature. Courses may focus on particular genres, like poetry or the short story, or focus on themes like gothic writers, environmental literature, or the Holocaust. This course is designed to be introductory and is open to students with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences with literary studies. Course does not count toward the English major.
  • ENG
    120
    .
    Literary Analysis
    4 credits
    Preparation for advanced study of literature and language, including vocabulary, critical approaches, and writing strategies employed in literary analysis. This course is required for a major or minor in English, but open to all students with a solid foundation in reading and writing.
  • ENG
    180-*380
    .
    Studies in Literature and Language
    1-4 credits
    The study of various topics such as Holocaust literature, the dramas of AIDS, contemporary Scottish literature and travel literature. Students may register for more than one course under this number. Prerequisite for 380: two courses in literature.
  • ENG
    181-*381
    .
    Diversity Studies in Literature
    4 credits
    Studies of literature beyond the American and British canon: Asian American literature, Black women writers, Eastern European and non-Western world literature, and postcolonial writers. Students may register for more than one course under this number. Prerequisite for 381: two courses in literature. (ENG 381 is a Quill course.)
  • ENG
    182-*382
    .
    Off-Campus Studies in the American Experience: Literary and Cultural Voices
    4 credits
    Special emphasis on travel to develop historical and cultural awareness as it adds to the richness of the American literary experience such as writers of the Southwest in Taos, New Mexico, New England writers in Martha’s Vineyard and Key West writers in Florida. Genres, periods and authors vary. Prerequisite for 382: two courses in literature.
  • ENG
    183-*383
    .
    Off-Campus Studies in British Literature and Culture
    4 credits
    Special emphasis on travel to develop historical and cultural awareness as it adds to the richness of the British literary experience such as Shakespeare and Company in London and Medieval Literature in England. Genres, periods and authors vary. Prerequisite for 383: two courses in literature.
  • ENG
    190
    .
    Introduction to Creative Writing
    4 credits
    Writing in different genres, including poetry, short fiction, drama and creative nonfiction. Critiquing of student and professional writing.
  • ENG
    *
    201
    .
    Advanced Rhetoric
    4 credits
    ENG 101 or Proficiency
    Exploring the principles of invention, arrangement and style beyond the level of English 101. Emphasis on connections between what writers say and how they say it. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing.
  • ENG
    *
    202
    .
    Digital Rhetoric
    4 credits
    ENG 101 or equivalent and a 200-level writing course
    Exploration of the rhetorical conventions and contexts of writing in digital contexts, as well as the intersections between textual and visual choices. Students explore writing in a variety of digital contexts and will read and discuss scholarly methods for thinking critically about the place of writing in new media.
  • ENG
    210
    .
    Teaching Writing
    4 credits
    Development of written fluency and critical evaluation skills; introduction to central theories of reading and writing instruction. Designed for future teachers in any discipline, writing center advisors, or those going into any field that requires evaluation of writing such as editing and publishing.
  • ENG
    *
    220
    .
    Reading, Writing, Research
    4 credits
    ENG 120
    Writing workshop for those pursuing a major or minor in English studies. This course focuses on exploring the different creative and critical modes of writing used in the major and beyond. Students are also introduced to advanced research methods and advanced issues in researched writing.
  • ENG
    *
    225
    .
    General Linguistics
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 201, or 202; Sophomore Standing
    Understanding the function and structure of language through analysis of its subdivisions: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, language usage, dialect and historical development.
  • ENG
    230
    .
    Shakespeare on Film
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Study of Shakespeare’s plays from the perspective of text and film. Emphasis on understanding selected plays, comparing different interpretations, and comprehending different cinematic styles.
  • ENG
    *
    240
    .
    Children in World Literature
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Study of literature written for children and young adults. The range of texts will include Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book to the popular The Hunger Games trilogy. Lectures and discussions will attempt to describe the embedded cultural assumptions and colonial power structures implicit in children’s literature.
  • ENG
    *
    241
    .
    Themes in World Literature
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Study of literature from a global perspective with such universal themes as family, love and identity using classics of world literature from Homer to Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (in English translation where necessary).
  • ENG
    *
    250
    .
    Survey of British Literature I
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Exploring British literature from its beginning to the end of the 18th century, from Medieval period through the Neo-Classical period.
  • ENG
    *
    251
    .
    Survey of British Literature II
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Exploring British literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, from the Romantic era to the present.
  • ENG
    *
    260
    .
    Survey of American Literature I
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Analyzing American literature from its beginnings to the Civil War, including the Puritan and Romantic periods.
  • ENG
    *
    261
    .
    Survey of American Literature II
    4 credits
    ENG 101, 120, 201 or 202
    Examining American literature from the Civil War and the Realistic movement to the present.
  • ENG
    *
    270
    .
    Writing for the Media
    4 credits
    ENG 101 or Proficiency
    Examine the basics of writing for various mass media forms — print, broadcasting, and online media. Learn and gain practical experiene on the particular journalistic writing skills required for the different media, along with examining related legal and ethical issues.
  • ENG
    *
    290
    .
    Poetry Workshop I
    4 credits
    ENG 190 and Permission
    Exploring the craft of writing poems and practicing the habit of art. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing.
  • ENG
    *
    291
    .
    Fiction Workshop I
    4 credits
    ENG 190 and Permission
    Exploring the craft of writing short fiction and practicing the habit of art. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing.
  • ENG
    *
    292
    .
    Playwriting Workshop
    4 credits
    Permission
    Exploring the craft of writing short plays and practicing the habit of art. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing. (Also listed as THD 292.)
  • ENG
    *
    293
    .
    Creative Nonfiction Workshop
    4 credits
    ENG 190 and Permission
    Exploring the craft of writing creative nonfiction and practicing the habit of art. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing.
  • ENG
    *
    299
    .
    Independent Study
    2-4 credits
    Permission
  • ENG
    *
    301
    .
    Professional Rhetoric
    4 credits
    ENG 101 or equivalent and a 200-level writing course
    Advanced study of style and rhetoric in a variety of professional writing contexts, including creative, educational, and corporate environments.
  • ENG
    *
    320
    .
    Critical Theory
    4 credits
    ENG 220 and one upper-level literature course
    Surveys modern literary and critical discourse with emphasis on understanding and applying different theoretical approaches to literature.
  • ENG
    *
    340
    .
    Women’s Literature
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Studies in the literature of women from its beginnings in Julian of Norwich through Bradstreet and Woolf to the present. Includes historically and internationally diverse authors in a variety of genres.
  • ENG
    *
    351
    .
    Chaucer
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of Chaucer’s major works, including the Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde, and/or selected works of Chaucer’s contemporaries.
  • ENG
    *
    353
    .
    The English Renaissance
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Selected study of English Renaissance texts ranging from More’s Utopia to Milton’s Paradise Lost. Includes works by authors such as Marlowe, Spenser, Donne, Herbert, Jonson and Marvell.
  • ENG
    *
    354
    .
    Shakespeare
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of Shakespeare’s plays offering a representative survey of the major histories, comedies and tragedies.
  • ENG
    *
    355
    .
    British Romantics and Victorians
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of the major 19th-century British writers from Blake to Hopkins. Includes such authors as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and the Brownings, and such essayists as Wollstonecraft, Hazlitt, Carlyle and Pater.
  • ENG
    *
    356
    .
    Modern British and Irish Literature
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of major British and Irish authors since 1900, including Yeats, Joyce, Eliot, Woolf and Beckett.
  • ENG
    *
    360
    .
    Transatlantic Eighteenth Century
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of the literature of “the long Eighteenth Century” from a transatlantic perspective. This course examines the emergence of the novel, as well as the impact of the slave trade and of the Enlightenment on the literature of Britain, the Americas and the Caribbean. Authors include Equiano, Wheatley, Behn, Swift, Defoe, Burney, Godwin, Brown and Foster.
  • ENG
    *
    361
    .
    Major American Writers to 1865
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Examines in depth selected writers from the Revolution to the Civil War, with a special focus on the struggle to define an “American” literature. Includes such authors as Brown, Irving, Poe, Douglass, Jacobs, Dickinson, Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman and Stowe.
  • ENG
    *
    364
    .
    Studies in Drama
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Studies of issues and developments in English language drama from the Restoration to the present. Individual sections might be organized by themes, by period (i.e., Restoration or 20th-century drama), or by focusing on multiple works by playwrights such as Dryden, Behn, Farquhar, Shaw, O’Neill, Williams, Albee, Churchill, or Fugard.
  • ENG
    *
    365
    .
    Studies in the Novel
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Studies of issues and developments in the English-language novel. Individual sections might be organized by themes, by periods (Victorian or modern novels), or by focusing on multiple works by authors as diverse as Defoe and DeLillo, Richardson and Rushdie, or Melville and Morrison.
  • ENG
    *
    366
    .
    Modern American Literature
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Studies in American literature from post WWII to the present. Includes authors such as Stein, Hemingway, Cather, Hurston, W.C. Williams, Faulkner, Cummings, Wright, Steinbeck, Plath, Morrison and Walker.
  • ENG
    *
    367
    .
    African American Literature
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of African American literature as a distinct tradition beginning with the experience of enslavement and influenced by African and African American oral cultural heritage. Examines the emergence of a Black Aesthetic across many genres, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, sermons, speeches and criticism.
  • ENG
    *
    368
    .
    American Indian Literatures
    4 credits
    Two courses in literature
    Study of the rich and varied literary tradition’s roots in oral culture and its modern and contemporary expressions. Explores authors of diverse tribal affiliations and genres who address significant themes such as mixed-blood identity, reservation and urban life, the impact of near genocide, cultural preservation and resistance, and survival humor, among other topics.
  • ENG
    *
    370
    .
    Journalistic Studies and Projects
    4 credits
    ENG 270 or Permission
    Variable topics: magazine article writing and marketing, extended literary journalism, history of journalism, print promotion and group publicity.
  • ENG
    *
    385-*386
    .
    Practicum
    2-6 credits
    Permission
    Application of concepts in language and writing through participation in journalistic, public relations and other work settings. Supervision by faculty and sponsoring organization. Includes interpretive journal and summarizing paper.
  • ENG
    *
    390
    .
    Poetry Workshop II
    4 credits
    ENG 190, 290 and Permission
    Advanced workshop in the art and craft of writing poems. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing. Creating a chapbook of poems and giving a public reading.
  • ENG
    *
    391
    .
    Fiction Workshop II
    4 credits
    ENG 190, 291 and Permission
    Advanced workshop in the art and craft of writing fiction. In-depth critiquing of student and professional writing. Creating a chapbook of fiction and giving a public reading.
  • ENG
    *
    399
    .
    Independent Study
    2-4 credits
    24 credits completed in the Department with “B” average and Permission
  • ENG
    *
    420
    .
    Senior Seminar
    4 credits
    ENG 320, three upper level literature courses, and Senior Standing
    A sustained investigation in the study of language and literature that draws upon the expertise developed in previous English courses. Topics will vary each term. Students will complete a seminar project and submit a portfolio of their writing in the major.
  • ENG
    *
    490
    .
    Independent Study in Creative Writing
    4 credits
    ENG 390 or 391, and Permission
  • ENG
    *
    499
    .
    Independent Study
    2-4 credits
    30 credits completed in the Department with “B” average and Permission
  • ENG
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    1-4 credits
    Permission