The curriculum of the Department of English is intended to aid students in developing methods for critical interpretation, to acquaint students with representative works in important periods of English, American, and Anglophone literature, and to introduce students to the main literary genres. Further information about the department, faculty and courses is available online (www.oberlin.edu/english).
Students will receive three hours of Oberlin College credit for a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature/Composition or English Language/Composition, and will be eligible for entry into introductory (200-level) courses in English.
Although these small Writing Intensive seminars do not count as part of the English major, they are nonetheless highly recommended as a preliminary to courses in English. They focus on the essential skills of reading, analysis, writing, and discussion. The successful completion of any first-year seminar will count as prerequisite for introductory work in English, as will a Writing Intensive course in any other department, or certification of writing proficiency in any Writing Certification course in the Humanities division.
Courses Primarily for Non-Majors.
Lecture courses at the 100 level are intended primarily for non-majors and do not count for Writing Certification, nor for the major in English. Students hoping to do further work in English or literary study in general should normally begin work with a First-Year Seminar and proceed directly to 200-level courses.
Gateway and 200-Level Courses.
200-level courses in English are the normal introduction to advanced work in the department. All English courses above the 100 level are Writing Certification courses.
200-level courses cover a substantial body of texts, provide instruction in the conventions of genre, period, and region as appropriate, and give significant attention to fundamental issues and approaches in critical reading and writing.
Most 200-level courses are designated as Gateway courses, in which students will gain particularized knowledge of methodologies important to the discipline of English. The individual focus of each Gateway course is indicated more fully in the course descriptions below.
English majors will be expected to take two Gateway courses, and should consult with their advisors about making appropriate choices of the Gateway courses. Qualified non-majors are welcome in Gateway courses, as well. Normally, students not wishing to major in English but intending to go on to further work at the advanced level should take at least two 200-level courses, including one Gateway.
Advanced (300-level) courses are primarily intended for English majors who have completed two Gateway courses and for other students who have completed at least two courses at the 200 level, including one Gateway course. These courses are smaller in size to facilitate more intensive study than the 200-level courses.
Senior Tutorials and Seminars.
English majors who have declared the major in spring of 2003 or later are required to enroll in a 400-level course to fulfill the major. A Senior Tutorial, a Senior Seminar, or (by invitation) admission to the Honors Program will fulfill this requirement (see below for Honors). Application for either the Tutorial or Seminar will be required of rising seniors in the second semester of the junior year.
Senior Tutorials allow students to pursue an individual critical project in a small group supervised by a faculty member whose areas of expertise may shape the projects directed. Tutorials are available only to English majors.
Senior Seminars offer students an opportunity to focus on a common set of critical issues and works and to conduct significant research leading to a term paper. If spaces remain in Senior Seminars after all senior English majors have been accommodated, they will be available, by application, to other qualified students.