Literature Survey Courses

English 200, 250, 251, 260, 261, 271
Spring 2016

Prerequisite: Completion of English 111 and 112 or their equivalents.
The surveys do not have to be taken in sequence.

200-001 Introduction to Literary Style MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 21407
Charles Bradshaw

In this course, we’ll cover the basics of literary style, focusing on the relationship between form and content, text and context, theory and analysis. In short, you’ll learn the “language” of English studies and how to communicate in the literature classroom and through critical writing. We’ll also arrange for you to meet some of the instructors in the department, learn about options for the major, and read and respond to some great literature! (This course is required for all English majors and recommended for English minors.)


250-001 British Literary Tradition MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21437
Daniel Pigg
Discover the adventures that shaped British culture and literary traditions as they emerged. Where did those begin? How do monsters, villains, heroes, tyrannical leaders, devils, philosophers, and chivalric “knights” help to create those traditions? In English 250, students examine literature written in Britain from approximately the eighth century to 1798. In this section of English 250, we will focus on issues of growing political and literary identity, personal introspection and examination, and conceptual otherness as social constructs. Literature including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a couple of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Dr. Faustus, Othello, Paradise Lost, Oroonoko, Gulliver’s Travels, and Rasselas present these issues in differing and intriguing ways. Students will develop an understanding of the literary traditions in Britain in the context of historical, political, economic, religious, and philosophical developments.


250-002 British Literary Tradition TR 8:00-9:15 CRN: 21470
Chris Hill
This will be a fast-paced, reading-intensive introduction to the beginnings of English literature. Starting with Beowulf, we will read multiple works involving knightly heroism, love and desire, and how people determine what makes for true goodness. We will focus on social and material contexts of the works we read, but we will also spend some time discovering how writers respond to each other and to the demands of the forms they choose to write in: epic, romance, lyric, drama, religious prose, and so on. Major writers we are sure to cover include Shakespeare and Chaucer, Milton and Pope, Jonson and Johnson, Sidney and Donne.


251-001 British Literary Tradition II TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21484
Jeffrey Longacre
“The Two Faces of Empire”

By the late nineteenth century, Great Britain had become the most powerful and vast empire the world had ever seen. The British navy effectively controlled the commercial waterways, and the expanding colonial project brought approximately one quarter of the earth’s land mass and approximately one quarter of the earth’s population under some form of British control. By the early twentieth century, however, things began to fall apart; and by the 1990s, the mighty British Empire was no more. This section of English 251 will focus on the rise, decline, and fall of the British Empire as the primary historical context through which to survey much of the significant literature from approximately 1800 to the present. In particular, we will focus on the concept of duality and British identity in key texts from the period. Through the reading of poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction prose, students will be introduced to all of the major literary forms and major literary-critical terminology and to many of the major British and Commonwealth writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century.


251-002 British Literary Tradition II TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21490
Erin Garcia-Fernandez
This course will provide an introduction to the great works British literature from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. Beginning with the passionate and political Romantics, we will continue our study with the erudite writers of the Victorian era and conclude with the alienated modernists of the 20th century. Particular attention will be given to the influence of culture, history, and science on literature. We will also explore innovations in print media developing throughout this time period and consider how the publication format of periodicals, three-volume novels, and collections of poetry, short fiction, and essays influenced representations of culture in the literature we will be reading. Notable authors will include William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christina Rossetti, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and T. S. Eliot.


260-001 American Literary Tradition I MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21429
260-002 MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 21438
Charles Bradshaw
While we will look at some of the seminal texts and authors that make up the American Literary Tradition, our task will be to read, discuss, and describe the complexity and richness of American literature before the Civil war and its relationship to other cultures, both indigenous and foreign. We will move triumphantly—and certainly naively—from European discovery and exploration through colonization. Then, according to God’s sovereign pleasure, we’ll suffer with the Puritans and reason our way into the 18th century and Revolutionary War. We will end our class, rising above petty convention with the help of the Transcendentalists. We’ll also see what voices left out of these grand narratives have to say about America and being American. Certainly women, Native American, African American, and other writers will offer exception and richness to our literary tradition.

261-001 American Literary Tradition II MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21430
Melvin Hill

This course is a chronological survey of American literature that begins with the literature of realism and naturalism written after 1865 and concludes with a sampler of the contemporary memoir. The intention is to provide a broad overview of what constitutes American literature from the Civil War to the present. We will read and study works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose, including autobiography, by a range of writers, men and women of diverse backgrounds and interests. Our object will be to study some of the many voices that constitute what we call American literature, addressing questions such as: How do the gender, race, and class of writers and readers affect the creation and reception of a literary text? What constitutes a literary canon? What does American mean?

261-002 American Literary Tradition II TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21485
261-003 American Literary Tradition II TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21491
David Williams
This course surveys American literature from the mid-19th-century to the present. We will explore a broad range of literary works and their cultural implications. Significant attention will be paid to the ways in which each work reflects the cultural realities of its day, suggests the psychology of its author, and demonstrates the changing nature of our country. Highlighted authors include Walt Whitman, Eugene O’Neill, William Faulkner, and Sylvia Plath—all authors whose influence can still be felt today. Student writing and presentations will play an important role in the course, as will lively class discussion.

261H-001 Honors American Literary Tradition II MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 21394
John Glass
Students in English 261H-001 will study a selection of works by major American authors from the mid-19th though the mid-20th centuries. The study and discussion of assigned works will be guided by two goals: understanding the work in itself and understanding the work in its cultural and historical contexts. Special emphasis will be given to close reading skills and to discussions of the overarching social and historical movements surrounding the assigned works. Designation as an Honors section raises expectations that all students will involve themselves in the class and actively participate in daily class discussions. Prerequisite: Admission to the Honors Program or English 112 with a grade of A.

271-001 World Literature TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 21477
Jeff Longacre
Literature from across the globe! This course serves as an introduction to and survey of the wonderful expanse of world literature (excluding American and British authors) from the “Age of Enlightenment” through the rapidly shifting landscape of the twentieth century. We will explore a broad range of canonical classic literature by some of the world’s greatest authors, including: Molière, Voltaire, Goethe, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Chekhov, Baudelaire, Pirandello, Mann, Kafka, Borges, Walcott, and Achebe.


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