Featured Courses

Course offerings in the English major cover a wide array of English and American literature (from the monsters and heroes of Old English epic to the experimental creations of contemporary American short fiction); a full range of forms and genres (including, prose, poetry, drama, film, and emerging media); and a variety of literary critical methodologies. Moreover, while the English faculty are committed to acquainting majors with the works of traditionally canonical authors and a robust sense of literary historical periodicity, they are equally devoted to familiarizing students with the works of historically under-represented groups and to emerging issues connected to the study of literature.

Critical Methods

This course serves as an introduction to literary study for the English major or concentrator. During the semester, you will become familiar with a wide range of literary critical theories popularized in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including New Critical, psychoanalytical, reader-response, Marxist, deconstructive, new historicist, feminist/queer theory, postcolonial, and ecocritical approaches. This introduction to literary theory will furnish you with an invaluable set of strategies and lenses that will lend clarity and precision to the way you read and the way you write about your reading.

Angels & Devils: Donne, Milton, and a Century of Crises

The project of this course is to consider the major works of John Donne and John Milton in their literary, intellectual, and cultural contexts. Throughout the semester, we will work to understand Donne and Milton’s works as immersed in the major ideological, religious, and political issues of their age. Topics will include education and self-fashioning, the relations between human agency and God’s omnipotence, the material and the spiritual world, orthodoxy and heresy, monarchy and republicanism, and gender relations.

Sexual Textual Politics: Lit & Gender

Prepare to do some resisting, some dismantling, some disrupting, some agitating in this course. We examine a variety of texts, from poetry to short stories to novels to YA lit—with attention to what they reveal about gender, sexuality, and politics. We start by exploring current literary and critical theories and developing a shared vocabulary that in turn provides a framework for the literature we read. We ask questions like, How is masculinity and femininity defined through these texts? How have concepts of gender evolved over the course of time, as captured through literature? What emerging genres address LBGTQ+ identities and conversations? These discussions can deepen our understanding not only of literature but the world.



Major Requirements

Courses that fulfill the prerequisite for the major (choose 1):
English 201: Writing About British Literature
English 203: Writing About American Literature
English 205: Writing About World Literature
English 221: Writing About Literary Types

Foundational courses necessary for completion of the major (all required):
English 211: Critical Methods
English 305: Shakespeare
English 410: Senior Seminar

Current courses to be designated Gender or Multicultural Studies:
English 327: Post-Colonial Literature
English 346: Sexual and Textual Politics: Literature and Gender
English 351: African American Literature

Current courses that will satisfy the language or literature of the English Middle Ages (675–1485) requirement:
English 307: History of the English Language
English 313: Literature of the Middle Ages: Monsters, Heroes, and Pilgrims (formerly Chaucer)

Current courses that will satisfy the literature of early modern England (1485–1660) requirement:
English 315: Status, Sexuality, and Selfhood in Renaissance Literature (formerly 17th century)
English 320: Angels and Devils: Donne, Milton, and the End of the English Renaissance (formerly Milton)

Current courses that will satisfy the 18th–19th-century English literature (1660–1900) requirement:
English 318: Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel (formerly 18th Century)
English 325: English Romanticism
English 326: The Victorian Age

Current courses that will satisfy the American Literature (beginnings to 1900) requirement:
English 332: American Literature to 1900 (formerly American Novel)
English 347: Romance and Renaissance in America

Current courses that will satisfy the 20th–21st-century British or American literature (1900–Present) requirement:
English 300: American Autobiography
English 380: English Literature 1900–Present (formerly English Novel)
English 381: American Literature 1900–Present (formerly American Novel)
English 402: Contemporary Poetry

Current courses that fulfill elective requirements:
English 300: Literature and the Environment
English 303: Development of Drama to 1850
English 304: Development of Drama 1850–Present
English 309: Advanced Non-Fiction Writing
English 311: Advanced Poetry Writing
English 312: Advanced Fiction Writing


Humanities (30 Credits)
*ENG 101 College English
*ENG 102 Intermediate Composition
*Literature: Two courses from ENG 201, 203, 205, 207, 211 or 221
Philosophy (Ethics recommended)
Religious Studies
Art, Music, Film or Theater
*CA 101 Speech Communication
*Single Foreign Language (6 cr.)

*Must be completed within the first 4 semesters.

Social Science (9 Credits)
American History or Political Science
European or Non Western History
Economics, Geography, Psychology or Sociology (Psychology recommended)

Free Electives (2-9 credits)