Gillian Johns, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies; Chair
Laura Baudot, Associate Professor of English; Director, Gertrude B. Lemle Teaching Center; Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Bryan, 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; Director, Cinema Studies
DeSales Harrison, Associate Professor of English; Director, Creative Writing
Wendy Beth Hyman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature
T. Scott McMillin, Professor of English
Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, Donald R. Longman Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Geoff Pingree, Professor of Cinema Studies and English
Danielle Skeehan, Associate Professor of English
Harrod Suarez, Associate 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, Emerita Donald R. Longman Professor of English
Visit the department webpage for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers and special events.
English, or the practice of literary study, is integral to the work of the Humanities. Interpretation is integral to the work we do in English. For students who enroll in courses in the English department, the “literary” remains a crucial, but not the only, operative category of thought or object of study. Students will come to understand that literary study is more than textual analysis, but also a way of viewing the world, a set of transferable skills and practices, a capacity for creativity, and a heightened awareness of how all kinds of formal and cultural practices make their meanings. Reading texts is the center of what we do. But collectively, we attend not only to poetics, but also the poetics of culture. Classes are organized, in other words, by animating questions that turn to a wide array of literary and non-literary objects to answer. Student inquiry revolves around making meaning, nourishing better thinking, and cultivating effective communication, and assisting students in the making of meaningful lives.
See information about Research, Internships, Study Away and Experiential Learning (RISE).
Students who earn a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature/Composition will receive credit for one full course. For 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. Courses awarded for Advanced Placement or IB scores do not count towards the English major.
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Majors and Minors
Types of Courses: Overview
Interpretation, the making of meaning through textual study, involves a mix of modes:
- Examination: careful attention to the details of a text and its general nature
- Explication: connecting details & contexts to create plausible meanings for a text
- Extrapolation: connecting the meanings of a text to broader questions
- Reflection: self-evaluation of one’s process of making meaning; further thought on the meanings being made
These modes do not necessarily occur sequentially; each interacts with the other, multiplying the possibilities for meaningful encounters with texts. The course offerings of the Department of English represent the numerous ways in which these modes of interpretation can be practiced, with each level of the curriculum emphasizing a particular mode but also its connection to interpretation as a whole.
The English Department welcomes students who are not majors into its advanced courses. The expectations of skills in interpretation and written expression increase at each level, and students should balance their interest in a topic with their sense of readiness for a course’s demands.
- Emphasize Examination; introduce students to different types of texts and interpretive practices.
Although these small Writing Intensive seminars do not count as part of the English major, they are nonetheless highly recommended.
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. One 100-level course may be counted toward the major.
- Emphasize Explication; identification of significant textual elements, explanation of what they mean in different contexts, connection of text and contexts to create meaning.
- Most English courses above the 100 level are Writing Intensive or Writing Advanced courses.
- Emphasize Extrapolation; drawing larger ideas, questions, and themes from a text; implications of a text’s meanings in other contexts; application of interpretation to other issues.
- These courses are smaller in size to facilitate more intensive work than the 200-level courses.
- Emphasize Reflection on the interpretive process, connecting different modes of interpretation, further application of interpretation.
- 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 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 substantial final project. If spaces remain in Senior Seminars after all senior English majors have been accommodated, they will be available, by application, to other qualified students.
- ENGL 104 - Supervidere: Surveillance Cultures of the American Canon
- ENGL 110 - A History of the English Language
- ENGL 112 - One Hundred Poems
- ENGL 123 - Introduction to Shakespeare
- ENGL 140 - Arthurian Fictions
- ENGL 141 - Rivers in American Literature
- ENGL 167 - Thirteen Ways of Looking at Sports
- ENGL 190 - Percival Everett: Sampling Dialogic Contemporary Fiction(s)
- ENGL 202 - Medieval British Literature
- ENGL 203 - Early British Literature: Points of Departure
- ENGL 206 - Shakespearean Tragedy
- ENGL 207 - Lovers, Philosophers, and Revolutionaries: A Survey of Renaissance Literature
- ENGL 209 - Ovid in the Middle Ages
- ENGL 210 - Shakespeare
- ENGL 213 - Desire and Literature
- ENGL 214 - Image and Enlightenment
- ENGL 218 - Shakespeare and the Limits of Genre: Problem Comedy and Romance
- ENGL 219 - Persona and Impersonation
- ENGL 220 - British Romantic Literature in England
- ENGL 223 - Meaning and Being: Nature in 19th-Century American Narrative
- ENGL 225 - Victoria’s Secrets
- ENGL 226 - Victorian Crime, Mystery, and Detective Fiction
- ENGL 227 - Jane Austen and Company: Romantic Revolutions
- ENGL 228 - Modern British and Irish Fiction
- ENGL 229 - The Poets’ Bible
- ENGL 231 - Sports Literature and Cultural Fantasy
- ENGL 233 - Women of Color in the Avant-Garde
- ENGL 238 - Contemporary American Fiction
- ENGL 242 - Asian American Literature at the Crossroads
- ENGL 243 - Promise and Peril: Race and Multicultural America
- ENGL 244 - Supervidere: Surveillance Cultures of the American Canon
- ENGL 247OC - Shakespeare in the Colonies
- ENGL 249 - Introduction to Book Studies
- ENGL 250 - What was a book? What is a book?
- ENGL 251 - Coquettes & Confidence Men in Early America
- ENGL 253 - Pens and Needles: Gender and Media in Early America
- ENGL 254 - Nineteenth-Century New York: Writing the Modern City
- ENGL 255 - In Search of America: The Concept of Nature in Early American Literature
- ENGL 258 - August Wilson: The Century Cycle
- ENGL 260 - Black Humor and Irony: Modern Literary Experiments
- ENGL 261 - Constructing the Subject: African American Women and Auto/Biography
- ENGL 263 - Black English and Voice: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics
- ENGL 265 - Anglophone Postcolonial Literatures
- ENGL 267 - Ethnic American Literature
- ENGL 271 - Imagining America: Experimental Contemporary Ethnic American Literature
- ENGL 275 - Introduction to Comparative Literature
- ENGL 277 - American Drama
- ENGL 279 - Imagining Borders
- ENGL 282 - Shifting Scenes: Drama Survey
- ENGL 290 - Shakespearean Comedy and Social Justice
- ENGL 291 - Introduction to Advanced Study of Cinema
- ENGL 299 - What is Literature: Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature
- ENGL 300 - Race and Visual Culture in the 20th and 21st Centuries
- ENGL 301 - Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
- ENGL 304 - Shakespeare and Metamorphosis
- ENGL 306 - Literature and the Scientific Revolution
- ENGL 308 - Visuality, Materiality, and Renaissance Literature
- ENGL 309 - The Poetry of Love and Seduction in the Renaissance
- ENGL 310 - Early Medieval Literature: From Virgil to Dante
- ENGL 311 - Renaissance Drama (not including Shakespeare)
- ENGL 312 - Milton
- ENGL 313 - The Poetry of the English Renaissance
- ENGL 315 - The Eighteenth-Century British Novel and Print Culture
- ENGL 318 - From Don Quixote to Persepolis: History of the Novel
- ENGL 320 - From Frankenstein to Dracula: At the Margins of 19th-Century Britain
- ENGL 321 - Science Fiction as Social Critique: Identity, Ideology, Genre
- ENGL 322 - Imagining Immanence
- ENGL 323 - Six Poets: 1855-1955
- ENGL 324 - Six Poets: 1945-Present
- ENGL 327 - The Nineteenth-Century British Novel
- ENGL 328 - Modern Drama II: Brecht to Pinter
- ENGL 330 - Modernist Chicago: Urban Literature and Sociology
- ENGL 332 - Song and Book
- ENGL 338 - Modern Fiction and Sexual Difference
- ENGL 343 - American Gothic
- ENGL 344 - Race, Gender, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- ENGL 348 - Modern Drama: Ibsen to Pirandello
- ENGL 349 - Contemporary Drama, 1980 to the Present
- ENGL 353 - US Literature 1825-65: “To Write Like an American”
- ENGL 356 - New Orleans, New England: The Regional and the National
- ENGL 357 - Inventing America: Histories of the Book, Archive, and Empire
- ENGL 360 - Globalization and Diaspora
- ENGL 361 - Strange Cinema
- ENGL 363 - Gaines, Morrison, Wideman: Textualizing Orality and Literacy
- ENGL 366 - Nature and Transcendentalism
- ENGL 367 - The French Joyce
- ENGL 368 - Cultures of Basketball
- ENGL 370 - Seminar: Itineraries of Postmodernism
- ENGL 371 - Politics and Pleasure
- ENGL 372 - Contemporary Literary Theory: Post-Modernity and Imagination
- ENGL 375 - Realism: Mirror Up to Nature
- ENGL 376 - Migrant Subjects and the Postcolonial Novel
- ENGL 378 - Contemporary British and Irish Drama
- ENGL 379 - Welfare Queens and Tiger Moms: Narratives of the Maternal
- ENGL 381 - Hopeful Monsters: (Mixed-) Media Studies
- ENGL 383 - Selected Authors: Vladimir Nabokov
- ENGL 385 - Women in/and “Bollywood”
- ENGL 387 - “Bollywood“‘s India: An Introduction to Indian Cinema
- ENGL 388 - Selected Authors: Salman Rushdie
- ENGL 391 - European Modernism and the World
- ENGL 393 - Selected Authors: James Joyce and Virginia Woolf