Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 150):
This course explores individual and collective responses to literature. Students learn to articulate these responses, aloud and in writing, for an academic audience. At the same time, they practice critical thinking skills and learn to write effective academic arguments incorporating research. This course guides students toward developing an awareness of the scope, purpose and importance of literature in societies across the world and through the ages, and to seeing literature’s symbiotic relationship to its many contexts—historical, critical, psychological, spiritual, personal, and so on.
The American Short Story (ENGL 221):
This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of the short story in this country and its development since 1820 as a particularly American genre. We will explore the mechanics of a short story—plot, characterization, narration, point of view, setting, language, and so forth—as well as the themes, styles and philosophies that have characterized the American short story since its inception. At the same time, students will practice critical reading, writing and research strategies, and share your ideas with classmates.
Creative Nonfiction Workshop (ENGL 304):
This course introduces students to creative nonfiction, a popular contemporary genre that includes the memoir, the personal essay, and the portrait. It is also designed to get students actively involved in academic service learning — they will bring their creative writing skills to the community and will reflect upon this experience in their own writing.
Fiction Workshop (ENGL 307):
Students practice the writing skills necessary for creating successful short fiction: significant detail, figurative language, dialogue, character building, setting, point of view, scene, plot, and so forth. They read a variety of short stories and learn to use a writing process that includes reading, critical discussion, drafting, workshopping, revising and polishing. In the process, they develop a rich critical vocabulary for discussing and writing fiction and begin to write with a keener awareness of readers inside of and outside of the classroom.
Poetry Workshop (ENGL 308):
Students practice various elements of poetic construction—such as imagery, voice, symbol, meter, rhyme, and traditional forms—and share their works in progress with the rest of the class. This course deepen their appreciation for poetry, hones their reading and writing, and expands their creative writing skills as it introduces them to the “stitching and unstitching” (W. B. Yeats) that goes into making a poem.
Postcolonial Literature (ENGL 356):
The course explores the complex term “postcolonialism,” as students read and respond to a sample of the wide variety of postcolonial literatures written in English. Together, students will locate themselves in relation to colonialism and postcolonialism, identifying the central issues, images, conflicts and implications of postcolonial literatures and theory. As a culmination of the course, they will engage in a research and writing process to further illuminate a thematic or contextual element of one of the central readings for the course.
In this course, students achieve a greater understanding of and appreciation for the wealth and variety of contemporary American poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. In addition, they further develop creative writing skills (narrative, metaphor, voice, point of view, sound and rhythm, sentencing, characterization, and so forth) and learn to use digital spaces and to write for the web more effectively.