Course Descriptions

English Literature and English Writing Course Descriptions

ENLT 109W - Saint Mary's Women  -  11:00-12:15 TR & 2:00-2:50 F

Laura Haigwood   -   4 credits

This course meets the following requirements: Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Writing Proficiency (upon recommendation of instructor), Women's Voices

This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level.  While reading novels, biographies, memoirs and poetry by and about Saint Mary's women, students gain skill in accurate, insightful interpretation of texts and develop their ability to write clearly phrased, logically organized prose.  Successful completion of this course satisfies the Sophia Program's literature and women's voices requirements.  Students also work toward fulfilling the basic writing proficiency ("W") requirement by creating a writing portfolio for assessment.

ENLT 109W - The Double in Literature  -  10:00-10:50 MWF & 3:30-4:20 R

Ted Billy  -  4 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Writing Proficiency (upon recommendation of instructor)

Focusing on the psychological implications of the double in 19th-and 20th- century literature, this course provides a fundamental understanding of the elements of fiction, in addition to an acquaintance with the critical approaches and terminology required in the composition and revision of analytical papers.  At the end of the "W" course, students should be better equipped to read criticaly, think logically, and write clearly.  Readings include the Turn of the Screw, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, Fight Club, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

ENLT 109W - Latina Literature - 9:30-10:45 TR & 2:00-2:50 W 

Ann Marie Alfonso  -  4 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Writing Proficiency (upon recommendation of instructor), Women's Voices (pending as of 10/28/14), Sophia LO3:  Intercultural Competence A (pending as of 10/28/14)

This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level.  Throughout the semester we will focus on skills that will help you produce insightful literary analysis, such as active reading, close reading, moving from observation to analysis, constructing interpretive arguments, and using literary texts as evidence.  We will also focus on the elements of basic writing proficiency, such as thesis statements, suport, organization, style and revision.

Our readings will include novels, short stories, nonfiction, film, graphic novels, and poetry by Latina writers and artists.  These texts provide rich and varied representations of immigration, second-generation experiences, and the politics of Latina identity in America.  More specifically, we will examine how these texts engage with issues surrounding ethnicity, culture, racialized discrimination, class, gender, and sexuality.  Writers may include Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Menendez, Cherri Moraga, Jessica Abel, Pat Mora, and others.

ENLT 109 W    The Work of Literature     9:00-9:50 MWF & 8:30-9:20 R 

Aaron Moe  -  4 credits             

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Writing Proficiency (upon recommendation of instructor)

This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level.  The following question drives our exploration:  this thing called literature-what work does it do?  The course is concerned with what literature means, but is much more concerned with what literature doesAs the course unfolds, students will explore and articulate many responses to this question including the following:

  • Literature can prompt existential/spiritual growth for the individual (Kafka);
  • Literature can expose the intersections between social and environmental justice (Alexie; Kincaid);
  • Literature can revel in the ways nature, culture, power, and politics interrelate (Alexie; Kincaid; Dickinson; Hillman);
  • Literature can cultivate a sense of dwelling in language and on the earth (Dickinson; Hillman);
  • Literature can explore the complexity of identity (Shakespeare; Alexie; Kincaid);
  • Literature can enhance an awareness of multispecies communities (Dickinson; Hillman)
  • Literature can create and sustain community (applies generally to all literature);
  • Literature can fight against a failure of imagination (applies generally to all literature);
  • Literature can explore transformative moments in individuals and in society (applies generally to all literature);

The above list is just a start for the class to grapple with what happens when we read and circulate stories and poems through the community of a classroom.

Students write four in-class essays and five take-home essays.

ENLT 109W - Writing and Nature  3:30-4:45 TR & 5:00-5:45 R

John Higgins - 4 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Writing Proficiency (upon recommendation of instructor)

This course introduces students to reading and writing about literature at the college level.  It focuses on a single question:  what is nature?  Is nature the dangerous frontier where human civilization ends, a greater world where human beings share an equal place with other living things, or something more than human, an ideal realm that inspires devotion?  In fact, should human priorities always come second to nature, as deep ecologists claim?  In this class, we will read literature that engages with these fundamental questions in the genres of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and the essay.  Readings include the Romantic poets, who draw upon an awe of nature as inspiration; Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who fashion a personal mystical view of the natural world; Gerard Manley Hopkins, who writes verse charged with the power of God perceived through nature; Jack London and Stephen Crane, who describe a cold and dangerous nature that cares nothing for humanity; Louise Erdrich and Paula Gunn Allen, whose writing is filtered through their Native American traditions; and others.  In your own writing, you will discuss and explain course readings, making connections and offering understanding through the use of literary terms and theories.  The environmental theme to this course will help you shape your own understanding of nature as well as the roles and responsibilities of human beings in relation to the natural world.

ENLT 202 - Jane Austen Dance - 12:00-12:50 F

Rosalind Clark  -  1 credit

This course is counts as a free elective only

This course is an introduction to English Country Dancing, the dancing popular in Jane Austen's day.  These were the dances danced by Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Marianne and Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility.  English Country Dancing is a "living tradition" - learn how, and if you live in a large city or big university town, you may be able to join a group that meets regularly!

We will learn about twelve dances from this tradition, starting with very simple ones, and gradually adding more complex ones as you become more expert with the figures.  As in square-dancing, most dances are done with a walking step, but we will do a few Scottish ones that require some step practice.  In most classes, we will learn at least one new dance and review several old ones.  The course will finish with a Grand Ball! 

ENLT 203 -  Environmental Literature         9:30-10:45 TR                     

Christopher Cob  -  3 credits

This course meet the following requirements:  Sophia L)1:  Humanities/Literature (pending as of 10/28/14), Sophia LO2:  Women's Voices (pending as of 10/28/14), Sophia LO3:  Global Learning B (pending as of 10/28/14).  ENLT:  Literature Elective, Minor in Lit:  Literature Elective

This class introduces the study of literature at the college level through writings, mainly from the last half century, that engage their readers with the natural environment.  The course readings - poetry, fiction, and non-fiction - are organized into three units, each of which emphasizes a different mode of contact with our environment.  The first unit - Observing Nature - focuses on writings that function as exemplary observation of nature.  These writings activate our senses and our sympathies, alerting us to the depth and dynamism of the world around us.  The second unit - Dwelling in Nature - focuses on writings that reveal the interpretation of human and natural worlds, which have often been considered to be separate in Western cultural traditions.  These writings ask us to reconsider our assumptions about our identity and the relationships that make up our worlds, extending our sense of community.  The third unit - Living From Nature - focuses on writings that explore human dependence upon nature for the substance of life and responsibility to care for nature through the practices of agriculture.  These readings follow the growth of plants and our own lives and cultures out of the soil, to be returned to the soil as part of the natural cycle by which the fertility of the earth is sustained.

ENLT 365   African American Literature  -  11:00-12:15 MW

Aaron Moe  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature (pending as of 10/28/14), Sophia LO3:  Intercultural Competence A (pending as of 10/28/14).  English Majors:  Amerian Literature or 20th/21st Century Literature.  Minor in Lit:  20th/21st Century Literature.

The stories and poems of a given culture provide an intimate engagement with the complexity of that culture - its roots, its wounds, it oppression, its struggles, its triumphs, its becoming - so much so that Ishmael Reed forewarns us:  "Beware:  Do Not Read This Poem."  But when we read, we witness the power of stories and poems to shape and alter intercultural interactions.  This course, then, provides students of any ethnic background the opportunity to enrich their intercultural competence through an engagement with African American literature.

This course has three complementary foci:  1) we engage African American stories and poems to understand the roots of African American culture; 2) we trace the evolution of the form and content of African American literature from the early spirituals, work songs, and folktales on through to the present; and 3) we continue to develop the skills necessary for literary inquiry and exploration.

ENLT 372   18th Cen Script to Stage: 1660-1790      9:00-9:50 MWF

Thomas Bonnell  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature (pending as of 10/28/14), Sophia LO2:  Women's Voices (pending as of 10/28/14).  English Majors:  18th19th Century British Literature.  Minor in Lit.  18th/19th Century British Literature.

This course explores the world of the Resoration and eighteenth century stage.  Restoration was one of the great periodsof English drama, a time when an especially brilliant form of theatre - Restoration comedy - created.  This genre will hold our interest for a while, but we will examine the effects of politics, religion, and class as we progress through the period, encountering opera along the way, as well as such mongrel genres as weeping comedy and borgeois tragedy.

Among other influences on the drama of the period we will consider theater design, the changing composition of audiences, and the advent of women as actors and professional playwrights.  The memory of one of these playwrights was held sacred by Virginia Woolf: "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds."

Requirements:  two exams, one essay, small group projects.

ENLT 374      Contemporary Global Literature     12:30-1:45 TR

Ann Marie Alfonso - 3 Credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO3:  Global Learning A, Global Learning B, Intercultural Competence A.  English Majors:  20th/21st Century Literature or Literature of Diversity, Minor in Lit:  20th/21st Century Literature.

In this course, we will read and analyze a variety of genres of texts by contemporary authors from around the world, including novels, short stories, poetry, graphic narrative, and creative nonfiction.  All of the texts on the syllabus can be analyzed es examples of cultural and artistic expression and are informed by their varied and complex national, ethnic, religious, socio-political, and gendered contexts.  Throughout the semester, we will discuss how the texts reflect the varied and intertwined histories from which these writers emerge, and how they participate in a larger conversation about our increasingly globalized perspectives.  Moreover, we will note the multiplicity of stylistic and artistic choices reflected in the literature we read and consider how global literature challenges our expectations as Western readers.

ENLT 377      American Literature 1945-Present    9:30-10:45 TR

Aaron Moe  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature (pending as of 10/28/14).  English Majors:  American Literature or 20th/21st Century.  Minor in Lit:  20th/21st Century Literature.

Ezra Pound's central imperative - "Make it new" - continues to carry resonance in the literature ranging from 1945 on through to the present.  If a common thread exists, it is the relentless experiments, discoveries, and breakthroughs in the ways poems are made and stories are told.  Attempts to categorize the literature into movements or schools often become subverted by how the stories and poems dwell and flourish within "borderlands" that exist amidst cultures and genres.  How can one pin a bilingual poem down that is part lyric and part narative as it calls for social justice in an urban-pastoral setting?  Moreover, the literature of this time period continues to confront, expose, and grapple with humanity's failure of imagination and failure of compassion.  Brenda Hillman, in 2013, sees literature as "tired" and worn-out from , I infer, all of its effort to push against power in the realms of race, gender, class, and the environment.  Where are we now?  What good have our stories and poems been?  Have we "progressed"?  Why does one write?  Why does one read?  What work does literature accomplish?  If literature is tired, what might revitalize it?  Simon Gikandi has argued that within literature one finds both "a poison and a cure."  What and where is the cure?  How is it made manifest?

These questions provide impetus for the course's exploration.

ENLT 379   16th/17th Century British Literature      10:00-10:50 MWF

Rosalind Clark  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia L01:  Humanities/Literature.  English Majors:  Pre-1700 British Literature.  Minor in Lit:  Pre-1700 British Literature. 

Readings will include selections from Spenser's The Faerie Queene, sonnets by Shakespeare, Sidney's Defense of Poesy the metaphysical poetry of Donne and Herbert, Milton's Paradise Lost, and plays including Webster's The Duchess of Malfi and a Shakespeare play (which we will see performed in Chicago).  Paradise Lost and Faerie Queene introduce two huge fantasy realms, peopled with humans and supernatural beings whose stories teach us religious beliefs and political, ethical, and theological ideas of the period.

ENLT 384         Romantic era Feminism           3:30-4:45 TR

Laura Haigwood  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature, Sophia LO2:  Women's Voices.  English Majors:  18th/19th Century British Literature.  Minor in Lit:  18th/19th Century British Literature.

Women writers of the romantic era did not call themselves "feminists," but their vindication of the rights of woman inspired all subsequent waves.  Responding to parallel political demands for democratic government and the abolition of slavery, Romantic women authors began a movement that - despite obstacles and backlashes - has blazed a steady trail into the present day.  We will begin by reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to situate the educated, middle-class Englishwomen who led this movement in their time and place.  Our central focus will be the life and work of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose career exemplifies persistent tensions between "sense" and "sensibility" in feminist discourse and feminine experience.  We will also read her contemporaries for a wide range of perspectives on women's issues.  The heartening fact that good men side with feminists against sexist oppression will be demonstrated by William Godwin and John Stuart Mill, among others.

ENLT 415       Shakespeare the World        2:00-3:15 TR

Christopher Cobb  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO1:  Humanities/Literature.  English Majors:  Shakespeare.  Minor in Lit:  Shakespeare.

In this course, we will read a representative selection of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances with particular attention to historical analysis of the plays.  Shakespeare's plays possess a timeless artistry, but a major purpose of that artistry was directed toward enabling Shakespeare's original audiences to see their world in a new say.  This class will focus on Shakespeare's engagement with the social, political, and religious issues of his contemporary world, with some attention also to how these issues of Renaissance England resonate in twenty-first century performances.  Requirements for the course include regular short assignments, two formal essays, three short exams, and attendance at two live performances.

ENLT 417 Major Brit Lit Figures:  Yeats & Joyce       11:00-12:15 TR

Rosalind Clark  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  English Majors:  20th/21st Century Literature.  Minor in Lit:  20th/21st Century Literature.

This course is primarily concerned with W. B. Yeats and James Joyce, the two greatest writers of the Irish Literary Renaissance period (1892-1941).  We will trace the development of Yeat's poetry from his early Romanticism to later Modernisn, and his plays from the early heroic and folk plays to his experiments with the form of Japanese Noh drama and his symbolic presentation of his occult system in A Vision.  In Joyce's short story collection Dubliners, his novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and excerpts from Ulysses, we will study his development of stream of consciousness technique, so influential in twentieth-century fiction.  There will be some complementary works by other authors (Synge, Gregory, O'Casey), demonstrating the development of the Abbey Theatre.  The works will be set in the context of Irish history, politics, religion, folklore, and mythology, as they relate to the literature.

ENLT 497 - Independent Study - 1-3 credits - Each instructor is assigned a section

To do an independent study, you must arrange it with the appropriate professor and submit your proposal to the department Chair.

ENGLISH WRITING COURSES

ENWR 252 -  Theory and Practice of Tutoring II       3:00-3:50 F

Aaron Bremyer - 1 Credit

This course counts as a Free Elective Credit only (course open only to Writing Tutors)

ENWR 310 - Introduction to Non-Fiction Prose -11:00 - 12:15 TR

Joseph Cardinale  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  ENWR & ENLW:  Introduction to Creative Writing. ENLT:  English Elective.  Minor in Professional Writing:  Introduction to Writing

This course works to define and explore the genre of creative nonfiction while asking what the term implies, what forms it takes, and what literary craft and narrative techniques are necessary for writing engaging and engaged creative non-fiction.  In this course, you will study and practice a variety of forms, including the memoir, lyric essay, the personal essay, journalistic forms, and profiles.  Our classes will include a combination of lectures, discussion and writing workshops.

ENWR 319         Classical Rhetoric              11:00-12:15 MW

Thomas Bonnell  -  3 credits

 This course meets the following requirements:  ENWR & ENLW:  Adv. Expository Writing or Adv. Writing Elective.  ENLT:  English Elective.  Minor in Professional Writing:  Adv. Expository Writing or Adv. Writing Elective.

This course is intended for students who, having mastered the fundamentals of writing, are ready to hone their skills of persuasion.  Rhetoricians from ancient Greece and Rome formulated advice to help writers shape forceful arguments; in particular, they developed ways:

  • To discover what can be said on any given topic;
  • To arrange those materials in the most effective manner; and
  • To adjust one's prose style to suit the subject and the audience.

Concentrating on these techniques -  the arts of invention, arrangement, and style - we will analyze essays by modern writers (mostly women) who use them with versatility, and put our analysis to work by writing essays on controversial subjects that interest you.  To cover forensic rhetoric, we will read several  Supreme Court opinions to note the back-and-forth argumentation that decides such cases.  Understanding coupled with practice is the goal of the course.  By semester's end you will be a more skillful reader and a more persuasive writer.

Requirements:  Three essays, three exams, and class participation.

ENWR 321        Fiction Writing                   3:00-4:15 MW

Joseph Cardinale  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  ENWR & ENLW:  Adv. Writing Elective.  ENLT:  English Elective.  Minor in Professional Writing:  Adv. Writing Elective

In this course we're going to examine the art of the short tory.  Through creative writing and workshop discussions, we will exlore the various intersections between the traditional short story and more experimental forms of storytelling.  We will do a lot of writing both inside and outside of class, in addition to reading and discussing the work of accomplished fiction writer from a range of traditions and sensibilities.  Much of the class time will be devoted to sharing and discussing our own short stories; students will be expected to read and critique one another's work.  By the end of the semester, each student will have produced a final portfolio consisting of two carefully polished short stories and eight revised writing exercises.  We will also collaboratively produce a class anthology of short stories.

ENWR 323          Poetry Writing                2:00-3:15 TR

Eva Mary Hooker  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  ENWR & ENLW: Adv. Writing Elective.  ENLT:  English Elective.  Minor in Professional Writing:  Adv. Writing Elective.

Workshop in writing lyric poetry and prose-poems:  exercises in sparking the muses of imitation, invention, and framing.  Exploration of ways in which poems are shaped and of the relationships of words and sentences to the white space of the page.  Study of the making and shaping of the English sentence in contemporary lyric.  Particular attention will be given to writing about nature and the landscape of the city.

ENWR 325           Playwriting                              12:30-1:45 TR

Susan Baxter  -  3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  Sophia LO2:  Women's Voices.  ENWR & ENLW:  Adv. Writing Elective.  ENLT:  English Elective:  Minor in Professional Writing:  Adv. Writing Elective.

This course features experimentation and practice in writing plays within a workshop environment which uses performance and improvisation; principles of writing for the stage with emphasis on dramatic structure, character development, plot management, dialogue, and critical analysis.  This course is also listed as THTR 325.

ENWR 333                 Magazine Writing                         6:00-8:30 T           

Brendan O'Shaughnessy - 3 credits

This course meets the following requirements:  ENWR & ENLW:  Adv. Writing Elective.  ENLT:  English Elective.  Minor in Professional Writing:  Adv. Writing Elective.

Students in the course will learn to write, research, and edit magazine articles, with specific focus on developing ideas, planning research and interviews, writing a variety of stories, and working with editors.  The class will follow a workshop format with students performing in-class analysis and critiquing of peer-written and professionally written articles and essays.  On occasion there will be guest writers invited for discussion.

To do an independent study, you must arrange it with the appropriate professor and submit your proposal to the department Chair.

ENGL 499 - Internship - 1-3 credits - Each instructor is assigned a section

Practical experience in writing and/or editing at an approved site.  Supervised by faculty member and a representative from the sponsoring agency.  At least junior standing required.  Consent of department Chair required.