Literature Survey Courses

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

Spring 2015


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 TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21451
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 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21204
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.

 

250-002 British Literary Tradition I TR 1:00- 2:15 CRN: 21460
David Williams
This course surveys British literature from its Anglo-Saxon origins through the 18th-century. 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, contributes to the evolution of British literary tradition, and demonstrates the changing nature of our language. Highlighted authors include Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Milton—all authors whose works helped to shape our language, and whose influence can still be felt today. Student writing and presentations will play an important role in the course, as will lively class discussion.

 

251-001 British Literary Tradition II: “The Two Faces of Empire” MW 3:00-4:15 CRN: 21372
Jeffrey Longacre
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: 21461
Daniel Pigg
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 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.

 

251H-001 Honors British Literary Tradition II TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 21462
Jeff Longacre
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. This Honors British Literature course will have enrichment assignments and extensive opportunities for discussion. Prerequisite: Admission to the Honors Program or English 112 with a grade of A.


260-001 American Literary Tradition I MWF 11:00-11:50 CRN: 21205
260-002 MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21339
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 9:00-9:50 CRN: 21167
John Glass
Students in English 261-001 will study a selection of works by major American authors from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries with the goals of understanding each work in itself, and 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. There will be mid-term and final exams, two papers, and quizzes on the readings.

 

261-002 American Literary Tradition II TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21452
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 American Literary Tradition MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 21344
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 11:00-12:15 CRN: 21453
Mary Ellen Cowser
What distinguishes good from evil? What is the value of suffering? What is the place of the individual in society? These are all questions raised by writers from the eighteenth century to the present. Explore these and other crucial concerns of the modern world in texts such as Goethe’s Faust, Voltaire’s Candide, works by Tolstoy, and other important figures in western European literature.

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