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ENGL 110-139 Writing about Literature (CORE—Foundation/Writing)

Prerequisite: Placement on the Basic Skills Inventory test. Open to freshmen and sophomores. May be repeated once with a different topic with permission of the English Department Chair. Credit by exam. (Both semesters/3 credits). 

An expository writing course that emphasizes reading to become a better writer. Classes will focus on close reading, and students will respond to the texts in short analytical essays. Various topics offered each semester. May not be audited or taken without satisfactory performance on the Basic Writing Skills Inventory.

The following topics have been offered recently: 

  • ENGL 114 Medieval Texts, Modern Expressions
    This course will focus on how (and why) modern day literature recycles literature from the medieval period. Though some medieval literature will be read, the class will focus primarily on modern retellings of medieval myths and tales. Texts may include “The Lord of the Rings,” “Beowulf,” “The Mists of Avalon” and the romances of King Arthur.

  • ENGL 116 Popular Literature
    A look at a variety of popular literature which may include romance, mystery, horror, fantasy, science fiction, western and espionage genres in an effort to understand the appeal of authors such as Daphne du Maurier, P.D. James, Harlan Ellison, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert, Jack Schaefer and John Le Carré.

  • ENGL 120 Historical Fiction
    A study of the weaving of fact and fiction. Texts may include works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catherine Drinker Bowen, Eric Remarque, Mark Twain and E.L. Doctorow.

  • ENGL 123 Screening Literature
    We will consider how literary works and their film versions relate to each other. Some films adapt, some interpret, some revise the written works on which they are based. After reading and discussing the works of literature, students will analyze the films from videotapes. Ordinarily, four or five works are chosen. Among the writers who may be included are James Joyce, William Shakespeare, Julio Cortazar, Graham Greene and Choderlos de Laclos.

  • ENGL 131 In Search of Identity: The Cultural Construction of Self in Literature
    A look at the way individuals of various social and ethnic backgrounds forge an identity within the context of primarily Eurocentric American culture, to understand how culture both shapes and reflects our identity. Authors may include Amy Tan, Michael Dorris, Bebe Campbell, Ernest J. Gaines, Sandra Cisneros and John Irving.

  • ENGL 132 Writing the Journey
    Through a variety of readings, students will examine how travel challenges perceptions of place, society, morals, race, gender and the self. In addition to writing analytical and research based essays, students are required to write narrative and reflective pieces based on their own experiences of travel. Readings are primarily comprised of nonfiction essays, with some short stories and poems. Some authors included in the course are Salman Rushdie, John Keats, Alain de Boton, Elizabeth Bishop, Jack Kerouac, V.S. Naipaul, Margaret Atwood and Annie Dillard.

  • ENGL 133 Growing Up Female in the 19th and 20th Century Narrative
    This course explores how the externals of history (immigration, colonization, developments in the women’s movement here and abroad, America’s own class system) have permeated women’s personal lives. May include works by Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton), Anzia Yezierska, Paule Marshall, Edith Wharton, Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid and Dorothy Allison, as well as supplemental readings such as “Reviving Ophelia” and “Schoolgirls.”

  • ENGL 136 Humans with Insides: Some Literary Believers
    “What is our human worth? Are we moral subjects to be respected, or subjects fit for manipulation? How do various writers view this bedrock ethical issue? This course will have a look. Works will include Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” O’Connor’s “Guest of the Nation” and Erdich’s “The Red Convertible.”