Literature Survey Courses

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

Fall 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 MWF 1:00-1:50 CRN: 41479
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. You will also get 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: 41472
250-003 TR 1:00-2:15 CRN: 41577
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.


250-002 British Literary Tradition I TR 9:30-10:45 CRN: 41560
Chris Hill
This course begins with Beowulf and continues as a survey of some of the most prominent works of English literature written from the medieval period through the eighteenth century Shakespeare, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Jonson, Donne, and Pope are some of the writers we will be discussing. We will cover the nature of several genres written during the periods under discussion—epic, romance, lyric, drama, and so on—and how those genres respond to and determine the moral, ethical, and philosophical subjects confronted by their writers.


250H-002 Honors British Literary Tradition I MWF 9:00-9:50 CRN: 41996
John Glass
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, etc. Major writers we are sure to cover include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Jonson and Johnson, Sidney and Donne.


251-001 British Literary Tradition II TR 11:00-12:15 CRN: 41571
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 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 centuries.


260-001 American Literary Tradition I MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 41462
260-002 MWF 2:00-2:50 CRN: 41494
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: 41427
261-002 MWF 12:00-12:50 CRN: 41476
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?

270-001 World Literature MWF 10:00-10:50 CRN: 41463
John Glass
Students in English 270 will read a selection of masterpieces of world literature from different genres—epic, tragic and comedic drama, and poetry. While paying special attention to the particular qualities and effects of each kind of work, we will think about the kinds of stories humanity has told and why we continue to tell the stories we do. What does it suggest about cultures, about humanity, about ourselves that stories told thousands of years ago can still move readers in the twenty-first century?


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