Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies; Chair
Laura Baudot, Associate Professor of English
Jennifer Bryan, Associate Professor of English
Santiago (Yago) Colas, Professor of English
Jan Cooper, John Charles Reid Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and English
William Patrick Day, Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Jed Deppman, Professor of Comparative Literature and English; Director, Comparative Literature
DeSales Harrison, Associate Professor of English
Wendy Hyman, Associate Professor of English
Gillian Johns, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies
T. Scott McMillin, Professor of English
Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, Donald R. Longman Professor of English
Geoff Pingree, Professor of Cinema Studies and English
Danielle Skeehan, Assistant Professor of English
Harrod Suarez, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative American Studies
Natasha Tessone, Associate Professor of English
Carol Tufts, Associate Professor of English and Theater
David L. Walker, Professor of English and Creative Writing
Sandra Abelson Zagarell, Donald R. Longman Professor of English
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/).
Students may receive a maximum of one full course towards graduation for a qualifying Advance Placement or IB Score. Courses awarded for Advanced Placement or IB scores do not count towards the English major.
- Students who earn a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature/Composition or English Language/Composition will be eligible to take 200-level English courses and may receive one full course towards graduation.
- Students receiving a 6 or 7 on the HL IB English Exam ( Language A: literature or Language A: language and literature) will be eligible for entry into 200-level English courses and may receive one full course towards graduation.
For other course 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.
Students earning a score of 710 or better on the writing section of the SAT will be eligible to take 200-level English courses.
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.
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 in English
English 299, Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, is required for English majors. This course is intended to prepare students for the English major and advanced work in literary study. Students who are interested in majoring 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?
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.
English majors are required to successfully complete a 400-level course to fulfill the major. The three options for fulfilling the 400-level course requirement are: a Senior Tutorial, a Senior Seminar, or admission to the Honors Program (see below for Honors). Application for a 400-level course 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 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.