Literature Survey Courses

English 200, 250, 251, 260, 261, 270

Fall 2014


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: 41291
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 get 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 10:00-10:50 CRN: 41292
250-002 MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 41294
Daniel Pigg
Discover the adventures that shaped British culture and literary traditions as they emerged. Where did they 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. Prereq: English 111-112.

 

250H-001 Honors British Literary Tradition MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 41293
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 a good amount of 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: Self and Society TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 41296
Jeffrey Longacre
This course serves as an introduction to British literature across an approximately 200-year period, from the Romantic period beginning at the end of the 18th century through the “posts” of postmodernism and postcolonialism at the end of the 20th. This 200- year era is dominated by a preoccupation with the individual and how the self is understood and defined in opposition to society as whole. This will be our special focus in the section: literary expressions of the self in the works of major British authors such as William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Robert Browning, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Doris Lessing—just to name a few! Overall, this will be a fast-paced, reading-intensive introduction to some very exciting and influential periods of English literature, namely the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Post-Colonial, so students can expect a hefty amount of reading and writing throughout the course of the semester. In short, this is the story, told through masterpieces of English literature, of how the British became “modern.”

 

251-002 British Literary Tradition TR 2:30-3:45 CRN: 41297
David Williams
This course surveys British literature from the late 18th-century to the present. In 1798, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published a collection of poems called Lyrical Ballads. That work helped to describe and sculpt the artistic minds of the age. Beginning with the Romantics, and considering the Victorians and Modernists in turn, we will explore a broad range of literary works and their cultural implications. Significant attention will be paid to the ways in each literary work reflects the cultural realties of its day, and the psychology of its creator. Student writing and presentations will play an important role in the course, as will lively class discussion.

 

260-001 American Literary Tradition I MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 41285
260-003 MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 41288
John Glass
Students in 260-001 and 261-003 will read and discuss major, and some minor, literary works that shaped and continue to reflect the culture and character of America from the arrival of the first European explorers to the crisis and the division of the Civil War. Class discussion and writing assignments will focus on understanding individual readings in themselves and within the broader cultural contexts in which they appear. We will be guided by overarching questions about the forming of America’s national character and the relationship between the concerns and desires of past Americans and those now living. Students should expect daily readings, to participate in class discussion, write two papers, and take mid-term and final exams.


260-002 American Literary Tradition I MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 41286
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.


260H-001 Honors American Literary Tradition I MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 41290
Charles Bradshaw
Which is the “Great American Novel” (GAN)? You decide and tell the class why. While we will cover a broad range of texts in the American literary tradition, we will do so with an eye towards developing what, exactly, the GAN should express as quintessentially “American.” How will your novel link up with the themes, cultural pressures, historical events, and artistic aims of the various explorers, settlers, colonists, revolutionaries, and early citizens of what we have come to call “America”?

 

261-001 American Literary Tradition II MWF 12:00-12:50 CRN: 41298
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 W 6:00-8:45 CRN: 41299
261-003 TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 41300
Leslie LaChance
In this course we will study poetry and prose by American authors from the mid 1860s through the present. Through extensive reading and critical analysis of literary texts, we will seek insights regarding American history, culture, and the place of the literary artist and artifact within that culture. The course offers a consideration of literary responses to war and peace, the growth of empire, racism and discrimination, economic struggles, and to the extraordinary social changes wrought by the ever-evolving American project. We’ll ask what defines “American” literature and the “American” literary artist. Students will write critical essays in response to texts, undertake a substantial research project, and give presentations as we consider the relevance of American literature for today’s reader.

 

270-001 World Literature TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 41301
Mary Ellen Cowser
What makes a hero? What are the myths of our beginnings? English 270 asks such questions within the context of the Western tradition from the classical period through the seventeenth century. Experience the magnificence of the epic, the beauty of the lyric, and the passion of the tragedy. Uncover the historical, cultural, and philosophical paradoxes that have helped shape the modern world; discover the worlds of the Ancients through the texts such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, the plays by Sophocles, and the Divine Comedy.

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