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  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
Course Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English


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Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, Donald R. Longman Professor of English; Chair
Laura Baudot, Assistant Professor of English
Jennifer Bryan, Associate Professor of English
Jan Cooper, John Charles Reid Assoc. Professor of Rhetoric & Composition and English
William Patrick Day, Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Jed Deppman, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English; Director, Comparative Literature Program
Jennifer Emery-Peck, Visiting Assistant Professor/Post Doctoral Fellow
DeSales Harrison, Associate Professor of English
Wendy Hyman, Assistant Professor of English
Gillian Johns, Associate Professor of English
Nicholas Root Jones, Professor of English
Jessica Kuskey, Visiting Instructor
T. Scott McMillin, Professor of English
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Geoff Pingree, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and English; Director, Cinema Studies
Leonard A. Podis, Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and English
Harrod Suarez, Assistant Professor
Natasha Tessone, Assistant Professor of English
Anne Trubek, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and English
Carol Tufts, Associate Professor of English
David L. Walker, Professor of English
Sandra Abelson Zagarell, Donald R. Longman Professor of English


Introduction

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 (http://new.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/departments/english/). 


Advanced Placement

Students will receive three hours of Oberlin College credit for a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature/Composition and will be eligible for entry into 200-level courses in English. Students receiving a score of 5 on the English Language/Composition or a score of 710 or better on the writing section of the SAT will be eligible for entry into 200-level courses in English. Students receiving a 6 or 7 on the IB English Test will be eligible for entry into 200-level English courses. For hours of credit toward graduation granted for IB scores of 5, 6, and 7, see the Admissions section of the catalog on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program.


First-Year Seminars

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.  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

The English Department offers several 100-level courses intended to serve a general audience interested in learning about literature from topical approaches.  Such courses do not normally qualify as Writing Intensive classes. 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.


200-Level Courses

Most English courses above the 100 level are Writing Certification courses.

Courses at the 200 level are designed for students interested in the discipline of literary study in English. These courses focus on fundamental issues and methods of interpretation in critical reading and writing, substantial coverage of texts, and instruction in the conventions of genre, period, and region as appropriate.


Required Course for the Major and Minor in English

English 299, Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, is required for English majors and minors who declare after July, 2009. This course is intended to prepare students for the English major and advanced work in literary study. Students who are interested in majoring or minoring in English should take this course by the end of their sophomore year and before they declare the English major.  This course focuses on understanding the methods and approaches in the major areas of literary study: textual and aesthetic issues, literary history, and literature in relation to larger cultural and historical issues.  Its overarching concerns are: what do we study, how do we study it, and why do we study it?

 
Advanced Courses

Courses at the 300 level are designed to broaden students’ experience of literature in English while also deepening the study of the discipline through focused reading of texts, criticism, literary history and theory.  Students in advanced courses further develop their approaches to literary study on a more focused topic in the discipline of English. These courses are smaller in size to facilitate more intensive work than the 200-level courses.

 
400-Level Courses

English majors are required to enroll in a 400-level course to fulfill the major. A Senior Tutorial, a Senior Seminar, or  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 senior English majors.

Senior Seminars offer students (1) an opportunity to focus on a common set of critical issues and works and (2) 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.

Major


The English major is designed to meet the needs of students with various goals, including those seeking a foundation for postgraduate work or study in fields related to English (e.g., education, communications, editing and publishing, law, theater); those who want a humanistic base in reading, thinking, and writing for a liberal arts education; and those who desire training in English in preparation for graduate study in the field.

Students interested in graduate work in English should be aware that their candidacy will be strengthened by the following: readiness to define a likely direction or area of ongoing scholarly interest; evidence of the ability to conduct successful independent research and extended critical writing; reading knowledge of at least one foreign language; and a more ample distribution of historical period courses than that minimally required by the major. Students should consult with their advisors about the decision to go on for graduate work in English.

Before declaring the major in English, students must complete the following, in consultation with an advisor (a faculty member in the Department): a one-page Plan for the Major; a Majors Checklist (available from the Department office and web site); and the Declaration of Major form (available from the Office of the Registrar). Although the format of the Plan for the Major is flexible, it should describe the student’s intentions and goals for the major, as well as a strategy for achieving those goals. The student and advisor should re-visit the Plan for the Major several times during the student’s work in the Department and revise it as appropriate.

The Department offers two types of majors, regular and concentration majors, described in detail below. The regular major is primarily a course of study within the discipline of English; the concentration majors are interdisciplinary.

Students earning lower than a C– in a course may not count that course toward the major or the minor in English.

Standard Major

The regular major in English consists of at least 34 hours, including:

  • at least two 200-level courses, including ENGL 299 Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature
  • one course outside the English Department in a literature other than British, American, or Irish.  The course may be taught either in English or in another language.  Under normal circumstances such courses do not count toward the historical requirements or the diversity requirement for the English major.
  • four courses at the 300 level, and
  • a 400-level course—the Senior Tutorial, a Senior Seminar, or Honors in English.

Distribution Requirements


In order to assure cultural breadth, English majors must take at least one course designated as American, one as British, and one as Diversity – a category that encompasses areas of traditionally under-represented cultures. Furthermore, English majors must take at least one course in each of the following historical periods: Pre-1700, 1700-1900, and Post-1900. An individual course may satisfy several requirements. The Senior Tutorial does not satisfy distribution requirements.

Distribution category designations are included as part of individual course descriptions for 200-level and Advanced courses in the catalog.

English majors are urged, but not required, to take at least one course in poetry and one in drama. 

Checklists for working out these requirements are available from the Department office (Rice 130) or on the website.

 

Concentration Majors


The English Department allows students to declare a major with a concentration which allows them to bring studies in other disciplines to bear on their work in English.  A concentration major is the regular English major with three courses outside the major, usually at the 200 level or above, in the area of the concentration.  The student must also designate three courses in the English Department that are related to the area of concentration.  The Department has supported concentration in such areas as African American Studies, American Literature and Culture, Creative Writing, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Theater and Drama, Modern Culture and Media, and The History of the Book.  In consultation with their advisor and the Department Chair, majors may devise other concentrations to meet their particular interests.  The concentration major should be declared by the end of the student’s junior year.  Students who choose a concentration major have no guaranteed access to courses outside the English Department required for that major.

Minor


An English minor consists of at least 20 hours in the English Department, including:

  • at least two courses at the 200 level, including ENGL 299 - Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature
  • two courses at the 300 level
  • at least one course in Diversity
  • at least one course in either Pre-1700 or 1700-1900 

Honors


Honors in English is an intensive year-long program that will also fulfill the requirement for a 400-level course for the major. The two-semester program will include supervised research with a faculty member, submission of a 35-page essay (or equivalent project), and an oral examination on that project. During the Fall semester, Honors students will meet in a seminar to discuss their projects and common issues in literary criticism and theory.  Successful work in the Honors Program will render a student eligible for consideration for Honors at graduation, but it does not guarantee such Honors.

Students hoping to do Honors are advised to complete the majority of their major requirements, including distribution requirements and any specific requirements for a concentration major, and to have done significant work at the advanced level (in 300-level courses) by the end of their junior year.

Qualified students may apply for the Honors program during the second semester of their junior year on the basis of their previous record in English. Students should confer with potential faculty supervisors to design a project proposal. Acceptance into the Honors program will be based on a minimum major GPA of at least 3.33, the availability of faculty supervisors, the coherence and feasibility of the proposal, and a strong writing sample. 

Transfer of Credit


No more than 14 hours of transfer credit in English literature may be applied to the Oberlin English major. (Note: “English Literature” generally excludes basic composition, introductory creative writing, and more than one course in literature not written in English.) To have transfer credit approval toward the major and/or toward meeting prerequisites for upper-level courses, students should consult the faculty member in charge of Transfer of Credit (inquire at the Department office), with relevant materials in hand.

Winter Term


Winter Term projects sponsored by English faculty will be offered according to the interests and availability of staff.

Composition Courses


Students interested in taking introductory-level courses in expository writing should see the “Rhetoric and Composition” section of this catalog. Descriptions of writing-oriented courses and procedures to be followed in order to meet the college-wide writing requirements may be found there.

First-Year Seminars


Although First-year seminars do not count toward the English major (which begins with classes at the 200 level), they are an excellent preparation for introductory literary study. For descriptions, please see “First-Year Seminar Program.”

Courses Primarily for Non-Majors


The English Department offers several 100-level courses intended to serve a general audience interested in learning about literature from topical approaches.  Such courses do not normally qualify as Writing Intensive classes.

200-Level Courses


Courses at the 200 level are designed for students interested in the discipline of literary study in English.  These courses focus on fundamental issues and methods of interpretation in critical reading and writing, substantial coverage of texts, and instruction in the conventions of genre, period, and region as appropriate.

Prerequisites: These courses are open to students who have completed any Writing Intensive course, or have gained Writing Certification in any course in the Humanities. They are also open to those who have achieved a 5 on the AP exam in English Language/Composition or English Literature/Composition; a score of 710 or better on the SAT II writing test; or a score of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB). Other students may be admitted by consent of the instructor, with the understanding that students should be able to demonstrate skills typically taught in Writing Intensive classes (e.g. writing, discussion, and textual analysis).

Required Course for the Major and Minor in English


Intended to prepare students for the English major and advanced work in literary study, this course is required by English majors and minors who declare after July, 2009.  Students who are interested in majoring or minoring in English should take this course by the end of their sophomore year and before they declare the English major or minor.

Prerequisite: See headnote for 200-Level Courses (above).

Advanced Courses


Courses at the 300 level are designed to broaden students’ experience of literature in English while also deepening the study of the discipline through focused reading of texts, criticism, literary history and theory.

Prerequisites: ENGL 299 or two 200-level courses or consent of instructor.

Senior Tutorials and Seminars


Senior Tutorials and Senior Seminars are designed primarily for English majors, and fulfill the 400-level requirement for the English major. Rising senior English majors should apply for tutorials and seminars through a common application available at the Department office, not through individual instructors. Some places in seminars may be available for other qualified students after all English majors have been accommodated, by application to the Department.

Prerequisite: Admission based on a completed application form (available at the Department office, Rice 130).

Honors and Private Readings


Honors in English is only open to students who have been admitted through the application process.  Private Readings are available to students who have completed introductory coursework in the Department.

London Program


Frequently an English Department faculty member serves as co-director of the Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program, thereby facilitating applications for English majors interested in that semester’s program. For further information, see the section of the catalog entitled “London Program.”

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