ENGL 111. Studies in Western Literature. (4 Credits)

An introduction to Western literature for non-majors that equips students for life-long learning by teaching them the skills of literary study. Students will investigate enduring or perennial questions of Western literature and culture, including what comprises a "classic" or canonical text, in the context of either 1) a focused investigation of an influential period or author(s) or 2) a survey of texts that are joined by genre or central theme(s). The course will develop students' abilities to apply close-reading practices; to situate their interpretations within relevant literary, historical, biographical and/or cultural contexts and traditions; and to employ genre conventions in their writing. Across the semester, students will also reflect on the readings' harmony with and dissonance from Christian theological traditions, as well as the value of reading literature for the Christian life.

Tags: LE

ENGL 112. Studies in Western Literature: Comedy and Tragedy. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the genres of comedy and tragedy as both literary texts and performative productions. Students will examine plays by utilizing techniques of literary criticism and performance analysis. Students will develop a vocabulary for writing about theater, analyzing scripts, and crafting performance.

Tags: LE, VPAT

ENGL 115. Topics in Modern Global Literature. (4 Credits)

This survey course takes as its purview literatures from around the world since 1700. The class offers students an opportunity to develop literary, historical, and intercultural fluency through the analysis of elements intrinsic to literary works as well as the social, intellectual, and political contexts of those works. Because this is a world literature class, the course takes a special interest in topics such as literary circulation, reception, and translation; transnational relationships; the English language debate; and colonization/decolonization.

Tags: LE

ENGL 116. Reading and Culture. (4 Credits)

This course, designed for Wheaton's Vanguard Gap Year Program, introduces students to methods of literary study and cultural anthropology in an interdisciplinary examination of literature and culture through projects and readings associated with the major locations and activities of the Vanguard year:rural Wisconsin, Chicago, and Central America.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 121. Japanese Literature and Film. (4 Credits)

This course explores the non-Western spiritual tradition and cultural identity of Japan within a global framework. We will engage with select texts of classical and modern Japanese literature along with contemporary Japanese films and popular culture. Our discussion will center on how each work manifests essential beliefs about the world and the meaning of human life, examining the ways tradition, culture, and religion shape the notions of divinity, fate, ethical values, and beauty. Students will practice literary and cultural analysis with an aim of illuminating not only the literature and culture, but also the students' own Christian theological understanding.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 122. Speculative Fiction and Film. (4 Credits)

Speculative fiction is a supercategory that includes the well-established genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, as well as sub-genres like gothic literature, ghost stories, magical realism, dystopian and utopian fiction, and Afrofuturism. In this course, students will speculate, or ask the what-if question, alongside a variety of non-mimetic fiction and film. All students will be asked to reflect theologically on the coursework. Additional topics may include the alien, the Other, colonialism, evil, race, and feminism.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 123. African and African Diasporic Literature. (4 Credits)

This course undertakes a survey of African literatures, including that written by diasporic writers. Individual courses may take on a particular regional focus, such as the literatures of West, East, or South Africa, but all courses will address a variety of the multitude of African genres, some crucial historical moments, and the intersections between African peoples and Christian theology and history.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 124. Mixed-Race Identity in Modern Literature. (4 Credits)

This course will introduce students to the literary trope of the “Tragic Mulatto,” beginning with its inception in the early 1800s. We will explore the convention as it relates not only to literature, but also to the ways in which biracial and multiracial people in the twenty-first century wrestle with issues of identity as they consider the racial categories to which they are assigned and the ways in which those categories influence their cultural interactions.

Tags: DUS, LE

ENGL 125. Holocaust Literature. (4 Credits)

The word Shoah, a Biblical word that means “destruction,” has been in use since the Middle Ages; in the 1940s it became the standard Hebrew term for the murder of European Jewry. In the 1950s the word Holocaust became a corresponding term. For almost eighty years, the term has been associated viscerally with Hitler’s attempt to eliminate the entire Jewish race, as documented and chronicled by both survivors, rescuers, and second-generation voices. The void of what we call “Holocaust literature” in the Shoah’s immediate aftermath has since been filled by an outpouring of significant, poignant, instructive texts comprised mostly of memoirs, chief among which is Nobel Peace Prize winner Eliezer Wiesel’s "Night." We will begin our study with Wiesel and continue our scholarship through several other important voices in Holocaust literature and antisemitism studies. Although we will focus primarily on the Shoah in Germany, we will examine also genocides in countries such as Turkey, Bosnia, China, and Africa—all the while considering how God would have us expand our universe of moral obligation.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 131. Introduction to the Inklings. (4 Credits)

This course provides a foundation for the study of seven British authors who blended intellect, imagination and faith: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, George MacDonald, G. K. Chesterton, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. The course will focus on the lives and works of these authors in the context of their historical moment and the genres in which they were so accomplished—fiction, drama, memoir, and theological reflection. Students will make extensive use of the Marion E. Wade Center, the world’s pre-eminent archive and study center for these seven authors. Students will be encouraged to develop their own topics and programs of study for exploring the legacy of seven authors who are acknowledged as classics even while remaining surprisingly contemporary.

ENGL 155. Reading Writers: Introduction to Literary Studies. (4 Credits)

A topical seminar that introduces students to the joys and value of literary study, including writing and teaching. Recommended for English majors or prospective English majors.

Tags: LE

ENGL 156. Reading Writers: Introduction to Literary Studies (Shakespeare). (4 Credits)

A topical seminar that introduces students to the joys and value of literary study, including writing and teaching. This course will focus on William Shakespeare. Recommended for English majors who are interested in seeking teaching licensure.

Tags: LE

ENGL 205. The Makings of Middle Earth: Creation, Creativity, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. (2 Credits)

This course explores J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy literature in light of the doctrine of creation, issues of stewardship and creation care, and theories of human creativity. (Open to Wheaton College Summer Institute students only)

ENGL 206. Shakespearience. (2 Credits)

This course invites students to study, analyze and interpret Shakespeare's work as critics, actors, and people of faith. The course includes an acting component, as well as a trip to see a live performance in Chicago. (Open to Wheaton College Summer Institute students only)

ENGL 207. Otherworlds of Imagination in C. S. Lewis. (2 Credits)

C. S. Lewis was arguably the most influential Christian writer in the twentieth century, and his legacy continues undiminished in our own time. His works of fiction showcase his unique blend of intellect and imagination, merging Christian theology, otherworldly fantasy, and shrewd psychology. In this course, we will read Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Magician’s Nephew to explore how Lewis engages the mind and heart of the reader, in deceptively simply fantasy stories. (Open to Wheaton College Summer Institute students only)

ENGL 215. Classical and Early British Literature. (4 Credits)

From its earliest beginnings in the seventh century, the English literary tradition defined itself alongside and against the Classical tradition: the earliest English lyrics translate Latin texts with incisiveness and vigor; Middle English romances and court poetry draw on Classical sources mediated by continental texts like Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose, Dante’s Commedia, and Bocaccio’s Decameron; and Shakespeare, arguably the canon’s most important author, drew on a range of sources from Roman comedy to Medieval historiography and England’s own recent history in fashioning his plays. While the Western tradition does not encompass all of English literature, a working knowledge of the tradition is both an invaluable aid to an English major and a source of great pleasure for an avid reader. This course will equip you with that knowledge, offering a broad exposure to seminal texts, historical contexts, and interpretive modes.

Tags: LE

ENGL 221. Contemporary Literary Conversations. (4 Credits)

A topical seminar that explores how writers, genres, and/or ideas engage with each other across time and space. Focuses on American and World/Anglophone literature in the modern period.

Tags: LE

ENGL 329. Old English Language and Literature. (4 Credits)

This course offers an in-depth introduction to the literature of pre-Conquest England in the original language. While the class will be anchored in philology, it is taught in such a way as to get students reading as quickly as possible, and we will supplement our readings in Old English with some readings in translation. We will spend the first half of the semester on Old English grammar, and the second half reading Beowulf in Old English, though we will visit other texts, historical events, and linguistic ideas along the way. We will also visit the Wade Center and read some of J.R.R. Tolkien's original Old English verse.

ENGL 331. Medieval Literature. (4 Credits)

The Middle Ages, depending on whom you ask, begin sometime around 500 A.D. with the fall of the Roman Empire and last until the dramatic changes of the late 15th and early 16th centuries—the discovery of the New World, the invention of printing, Humanism and (last but not least) the Reformation—swept through Western Europe. England, remote as it was from the great cultural centers of Late Antiquity, nonetheless proved a fertile ground for new ideas that took root and flowered in unexpected ways. This course offers a chronological overview of medieval English literature with an emphasis on its religious and philosophical background. By the end of this course, students will see how the great works of the English Middle Ages—Beowulf, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Old English elegies and Middle English Marian lyrics—make use of Christianity’s rich linguistic, philosophical and doctrinal heritage as they enjoin their readers to the pursuit of Christian wisdom.

Tags: LE, PI

ENGL 336. The English Renaissance. (4 Credits)

The English Renaissance is justly celebrated as a high watermark of literary achievement: Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, Marlowe and Jonson all wrote remarkable work that expanded the horizons of the English literary tradition. But the English Renaissance is not just the story of the Elizabethans, who worked in a time of relative political stability, but also of early writers, like Wyatt, Surrey and More, who wrote amid unprecedented religious and social change and, in some cases, bitter religious persecution. The sixteenth century also saw the production of two monumental works for the history of the Protestant faith: William Tyndale's English Bible and the Book of Common Prayer largely written by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. This course offers an overview of Renaissance literature that covers the entire sixteenth century, focusing mainly on the Elizabethans, but reading them against the background of religious and intellectual reform and counter-reform that defined the early decades of the sixteenth century.

ENGL 337. Seventeenth-Century English Literature. (4 Credits)

An introduction to poetry, drama, and prose of the seventeenth-century that examines works in relation to the social, political, economic, and religious changes that define the period. Students will engage with writers such as Margaret Cavendish, John Donne, George Herbert, Ben Johnson, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, and Katherine Philips. Students will gain insight into the works of various authors, develop an overall scope of the period and where it fits within literary history, and consider the relevance of seventeenth-century writers today.

ENGL 338. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the poetry, fiction, and prose of the Restoration and eighteenth-century (1660-1789) that places these works within the social, political, economic, and religious changes that define the period. Students will engage with writers such as John Milton, Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Eliza Haywood, Thomas Gray, Samuel Johnson, Laurence Sterne, and Horace Walpole. While gaining insight into the works of various authors, students will develop an understanding of the overall scope of the period and its place in literary history, and consider the relevance of eighteenth-century writers today.

ENGL 341. 18th- and 19th-Century American Literature. (4 Credits)

A focused survey of American literature of the 18th- and/or 19th-century, which may include address of topics including American literary nationalisms; activism and abolitionism in the print culture of the early republic; slavery and freedom in early American letters; indigenous rights, removal, and land use; Transcendentalism; American literary romanticism; and American literary realism. Students will read works in literary and historical context.

ENGL 342. American Modernism/Global Modernism. (4 Credits)

This course surveys American modernist texts in the context of global modernisms, exploring how literary artists in a newly connected and vastly transformed 20th-century world sought to “make it new”—to renew language’s ability to make meaning--and to find “what will suffice.” American avant gardes and their fragmentary difficulties, the Harlem Renaissance/Chicago Renaissance, imagism, high modernisms, little magazines and manifestos, and other manifestations will be explored in conversation with global multi-media and multi-genre-modernist impulses which shaped them and were/are shaped by them in cosmopolitan networks of exchange seeking the renewal of literature.

ENGL 343. American Literature after 1945. (4 Credits)

An exploration of prominent, diverse works of American literature produced after World War II in several literary genres. Students will read and analyze these works in their literary, historical, and critical contexts, giving attention to ways scholars have understood literary movements including the Beats, Black Arts, Black Mountain poetry, and Confessional poetry, among others.

ENGL 344. Diverse Traditions in 20th- and 21st-Century American Literature. (4 Credits)

Diverse Traditions in 20th- and 21st-century American Literature will allow students to read literature from racial and/or ethnic traditions in American literature in literary and historical context. Students will also critique patterns of injustice and inequality that mark and/or inflect the literary traditions the course engages and reflect on their own racial and ethnic backgrounds in light of Christian theologies of diversity and unity.

Tags: DUS

ENGL 352. Transatlantic Crossroads in Modern Literature. (4 Credits)

In this course, we will examine global movements that created in earlier times significant cultural upheaval as peoples and their literatures moved across the transatlantic from regions as diverse as the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and Great Britain. We will analyze the intersections between assorted writers from these varied regions and England, and we will focus on the ways in which these narratives and people influenced international culture, political environs, and history. We will also look at how certain Christian writers made the most of these crossings and maintained their distinctive witness in new cultural surroundings.

Tags: GP, LE

ENGL 355. The Romantic Period. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the poetry, fiction, prose, and drama of the Romantic era (1783-1832) that places these works within the tumultuous realities of this revolutionary period. Students will explore how this turbulent world provided writers such as Austen, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Mary Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley with inspiration for their creativity as they crafted the literature that we now call Romantic. Students will gain insight into the qualities that are unique to Romantic literature as they use evidence from these writers to develop a comprehensive definition of Romanticism. Students will not only gain an understanding of the complexities of this literary time period but also reflect on what we can learn from these authors today.

ENGL 361. Victorian Literature. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the poetry, fiction, prose, and drama of the Victorian era (1832-1901) that places these works within the complex social, political, economic, and religious changes that occurred during this time period. Students will explore how Victorian writers such as Dickens, the Brontës, Eliot, Tennyson, the Brownings, Rossetti, and Hopkins imaginatively engaged with the complexities of their society as they attempted to make sense of their world and improve it. Students will gain insight into the works of various authors, develop a sense of the overall scope of the period and where it fits within literary history, and reflect on what we can learn from the Victorians today.

ENGL 364. British Modernism: 1900-1939. (4 Credits)

An exploration of some of the key authors and themes of 20th century British Literature, with particular emphasis on High Modernism: Joyce, Yeats, Woolf, and their contemporaries.

ENGL 365. British Literature after 1939. (4 Credits)

An exploration of some of the major authors and themes in the literature of the British Isles since the end of World War II.

ENGL 366. British Black and Asian Literature. (4 Credits)

An exploration of the profound impact of British black and Asian writers on the corpus of British literature since around the end of World War II, and the decline of the British empire, until the present. Students will listen to the experiences, concerns, and insights of writers such as Sam Selvon, Louise Bennett, VS Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, Helen Oyeyemi, and Zadie Smith. Required readings will include literary, historical, and theoretical materials.

ENGL 371. Modern European Literature. (4 Credits)

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, this course examines the efforts of major European writers to grapple with the complex and shifting social, psychological, and religious condition that is modernity. The syllabus will mix established (even "titanic") figures such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Proust, Brecht, and Camus, lesser-known greats such as Halldór Laxness, and recent European writers such as Elena Ferrante and Judith Schalansky. Wide-ranging in both geography and genre, the course will touch on writers from the fringes of Europe and its center and examine the modern condition through novels, essays, poems, and plays.

ENGL 415. The Archaeology of Texts: Bibliographical Investigations. (4 Credits)

An exploration of the overlapping fields of bibliography, textual criticism, and book history as they have developed in the last one hundred years. Students will both read landmark works within these fields and undertake hands-on applications of the theories that they encounter in readings.

ENGL 421. Studies in Literary Genre. (4 Credits)

Each offering of this course will investigate one of the major literary genres-novel, epic, tragedy, lyric, drama, essay, and so on-investigating its characteristic features and tracing its development over time.

ENGL 422. Romance. (4 Credits)

This course explores the long history of Romance: a genre that came into existence in Europe in the 11th century, and has survived, through many transformations, until the present. While Romance as it existed in the Middle Ages declined around the time of the Reformation, it has been reborn many times over in speculative fiction that imagines how the everyday world might suddenly give way to a realm of enchantment, mystery, and danger: both the sentimental medievalism of the Victorians and the great tradition of modern Christian fantasy were inspired by the romances of the Middle Ages. This course will explore Romance from its origins until the present, using important pieces on the theory of Romance (and its descendants) to give our readings both richness and rigor.

ENGL 423. World Drama. (4 Credits)

In this course, students will explore dramatic literature from around the world and will contextualize these works within the framework of genre, history, culture, and politics. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on what makes the genre of drama unique, focusing on the collaborative nature of the art, its connection to other forms of performance, and the impact that it can have on culture. Given the topic’s breadth, this course will vary from one instantiation to another based on theme and instructor. Instructors may or may not consider the development of drama over time, and while instructors may include student performances (acting, directing, and even playwrighting), the course’s primary focus is on drama as literature.

ENGL 424. Science Fiction. (2 Credits)

Science fiction explores extraordinary futures made possible by plausible scientific technology. While the genre is only one hundred years old, its speculative roots go back to the beginnings of literature. As C. S. Lewis knew, science fiction is a powerful genre to explore issues important to Christians, including the purpose of the cosmos, a deep understanding of natural processes, the place of the supernatural in the universe, a longing for immortality, and the endless search of a home fit for the restless human heart. This course is designed both to trace the genre’s history and to redress the dearth of Christian literature on the topic.

ENGL 425. Fairy Tales. (2 Credits)

Tolkien said that fairy tales have a unique quality of “evangelium,” the delivery of good news that brings “a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world.” Because fairy tales express deep spiritual truths, the study of fairy tales can lay not only a foundation for the Christian faith, but also for intellectual development as the subject is approached with a variety of disciplinary tools. In this course, we will survey prominent historical examples of the genre alongside examples produced by contemporary writers. As we do so, we will explore the nature of fairy tales and what they uniquely say about us and the world.

ENGL 426. Children's Literature. (4 Credits)

An in-depth study of the genre of children's literature. Students will analyze and evaluate canonical and contemporary texts written for children from preschool to sixth grade. The course emphasizes the literary theory, historical background, and literary qualities of children’s literature as a unique literary genre.

ENGL 427. Young Adult Literature. (4 Credits)

Critical analysis and evaluation of contemporary novels for adolescents in grades six through twelve. At least half of the novels discussed in this course will be works outside the Anglo/Anglo American context. Required for teaching concentration students.

ENGL 428. Magical Realist Literature and Film. (4 Credits)

A genre course focusing on the literature and film of magical realism, a hybrid storytelling mode comprised of the dual codes of the supernatural and realism. Students who take this course will gain a theoretical foundation and narrative breadth that enables them to better appreciate the perennial appeal of this storytelling form, including how it might have special significance to Christian readers and other people of faith. Because magical realism is a transnational and transhistorical mode, the literature and film covered derive from around the world.

ENGL 431. Christianity and Fantasy. (4 Credits)

An exploration of the complex interrelations of Christianity and the fantastic, primarily in twentieth-century literature. Authors studied may include George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ursula K. Le Guin, John Crowley, Salman Rushdie, Susanna Clarke, and Neil Gaiman.

Tags: LE

ENGL 433. Varied Literary Topics. (2 or 4 Credits)

Selected topics, studied with a view to giving added breadth and depth to the understanding of special areas of literature. Where appropriate, this course may be substituted for listed requirements.

ENGL 434. Modern Literary Theory. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the most influential modern theories about what literature is and how we experience it, with particular emphasis on deconstruction and cultural poetics.

Tags: PI

ENGL 435. History of Literary Criticism. (4 Credits)

Key documents in the history of Western thought about literature, from Plato's banishment of the poets to the advent of Modernism. Other authors studied include Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, Sidney, Kant, Coleridge, Arnold, Nietzsche, and Marx.

ENGL 436. Modern Drama. (4 Credits)

This course focuses on selected dramatic literature from the late nineteenth century to the present. Students will learn how to read a modern play, with attention to the theories of drama that influence theater artists in this period, as well as the historical, cultural, and political contexts for the dramatic works. Given the topic’s breadth, this course will vary from one instantiation to another based on theme and instructor. Instructors may or may not consider the development of drama over time, and while instructors may include student performances (acting, directing, and even playwrighting), the course’s primary focus is on drama as literature.

ENGL 442. History of the English Language. (2 Credits)

This course will survey the origins and development of the English language from its beginnings in the 6th-7th centuries until the modern day. Along the way, we will consider the ways in which the grammar and syntax of English shaped, and were shaped by, historical and cultural forces. The course culminates in a final project that invites students to consider how deeper knowledge of English’s history enriches the understanding of a particular text, culture, or community.

ENGL 443. Literature of the Bible. (4 Credits)

An understanding of the Bible is not only essential for the Christian life, but an interdisciplinary knowledge of the Bible is indispensable for understanding world institutions, art, and literature. A sweeping panorama that covers the whole canvas of the ancient world, the Bible takes in vast tracts of geography, history, and culture. Its scope looks back to a pre-recorded past at time’s beginning and looks forward to history’s end. Across its pages, a record of divine and human interaction unfolds in narratives, moral instruction, prophecy, praise, history, wisdom literature, love poetry, and apocalypse. Its genres proliferate across a progressive revelation as the heart of God expresses itself in all major literary forms we still have today. Understanding that literary language and those literary forms is a key to understanding the Bible’s message. This course covers the Bible not only within its historical and cultural context, but especially in its unique literary character. Students explore the import that meaning holds for an understanding of God and his acts in this world and trace the Bible’s lasting influence on subsequent art and literature.

Tags: LE

ENGL 444. Christianity and Crime. (4 Credits)

An exploration of British detective fiction that focuses on how various authors interact with theological questions regarding sin, evil, justice, mercy, and forgiveness. The course will include works by two of our Wade Center authors, G. K. Chesterton and Dorothy L. Sayers, as well as selections from other writers such as Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, J. B. Priestley, and P. D. James.

Tags: LE

ENGL 445. Literature and Place. (2 Credits)

This course enables students to engage deeply with literature and culture of the past and present as it is rooted in particular places. Students will be asked to pay close attention to the intersections of place, literature, culture, and identity as they read and reflect on works associated with the locations that they are visiting. By the end of the course, students should be able to pull together complex interpretations of the connections they have been making amongst place, literature, culture, and identity while on the trip. Generally taught as part of the Wheaton in England program but may be taught in other locations as well.

ENGL 446. Advanced Research and Writing. (4 Credits)

In this course, students will plan and complete a large-scale (20-25 pp.) research project in the field of literary studies, broadly construed. We will begin by offering students an overview of traditional and current approaches that will help them to identify and develop their own identities as scholars. The bulk of the course will be devoted to research and writing, and students will enjoy the camaraderie and inspiration that comes from small-group workshops, one-on-one sessions with faculty, and close engagement with one another’s work as they bring their research to fruition. The nature of the final project makes this course a good fit for students who wish to go to graduate school, to enter research-intensive fields, to analyze specific literary milieux in depth, or who simply desire the challenge of finishing a large-scale project. As a way of helping students to think about the afterlives of their research, the course will help students to identify and compete for conference presentations and research prizes. While this course is taught in the English department, any student interested in advanced literary studies is welcome to join: modern literary studies draws on many different methodologies and disciplines, and a vibrantly interdisciplinary class can be an irreplaceable intellectual experience. Prerequisite: One 300- or 400-level English course or permission of instructor(s).

ENGL 447. Reading and Writing about Theater. (4 Credits)

Practice in writing about and/or for the theater as a critic and/or as a dramaturg. Students will produce written work in relevant genres that may include performance reviews, scholarly articles about drama, production histories, character analyses, theater website content, and theater lobby display material.

ENGL 461. Selected Authors. (2 Credits)

In-depth study of a single author or a small number of authors.

ENGL 462. Selected Authors. (4 Credits)

In-depth study of a single author or a small number of authors.

ENGL 463. Shakespeare. (4 Credits)

It is probably no exaggeration to say that Shakespeare is the author who taught us to live in the modern world. Though his contemporaries like Sidney and Spenser wrote moving poetry, they often wrote retrospectively, harkening back to older traditions and forms. Shakespeare, in embracing the renewed dramatic tradition of the late 16th century, was decidedly forward looking, building new and wonderful things on the foundation of Renaissance Humanism he would have received at the King’s New School in Stratford-upon-Avon. Born in 1564, Shakespeare never experienced the turbulent political aftermath of Henry VIII’s reign, but it surely informed both his sense of history and his keen understanding of the political dimension of tragedy. This course offers a broad-based grounding in Shakespeare: we will read plays from all four genres (tragedy, comedy, history, romance) as well as a significant amount of non-dramatic poetry. The course will also introduce students to the ins and outs of Shakespeare’s language, and provide an experience of the substantial critical tradition that truly begins with the publication of the First Folio in 1623.

ENGL 466. Jane Austen in Her Time and Ours. (4 Credits)

An in-depth study of Jane Austen's novels that places them within the political, social and cultural contexts of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century England. As students explore Austen's novels in this course, they will develop their abilities to analyze literary works through close reading, to situate their interpretations within relevant contexts, and to explore enduring questions as they reflect on how Austen's ideas interact with Christian theological traditions. They will also develop their abilities to critically analyze historical sources, interpret the past using sound historical reasoning, and articulate connections between historical investigation and Christian conviction and practice as they explore the complexities of England during this time period.

Tags: HP, LE

ENGL 469. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. (4 Credits)

In-depth study of the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien.

Tags: LE

ENGL 471. Emily Dickinson. (2 Credits)

An in-depth study of the poetry of Emily Dickinson focusing on detailed, communal reading and analysis of her poems. Students gain experience reading these works and place them within material, biographical, regional, intellectual, socio-historical contexts of the 19th-century in America, paying attention to the works’ responses to religious movements, politics, gender dynamics, class, and war. Students also explore the contentious critical contexts for Dickinson’s works, the Emily Dickinson wars, the copyright battles, and major critical approaches to her works through literary history.

ENGL 472. Herman Melville. (4 Credits)

A study of the works of Herman Melville from the range of his literary career, short and long fiction, essays, and poetry, with a special, in-depth focus on Moby-Dick, or The Whale. Students will engage his works from biographical, historical, literary-critical, and theological perspectives, considering Melville’s response to Transcendentalism and 19th-century global literature. In addition, students will explore key religious questions at the heart of Melville’s career-long wrestling with meaning making and providence.

ENGL 473. Louisa May Alcott. (2 Credits)

This course addresses the writings of Louisa May Alcott in the context of American Transcendentalism, with particular attention to Little Women. Students will also read a biography of Alcott, as well as her journals. The course will allow students to explore questions related to female authorship, sisterhood, domesticity, marriage, the Christian family, and independence.

ENGL 474. T.S. Eliot. (2 Credits)

This course allows students to carefully and communally close-read major works by T.S. Eliot, including The Waste Land, The Four Quartets, Murder in the Cathedral, and more, along with key essays. In addition, students investigate the contexts (physical/place-based, biographical, literary-historical, religious, and literary-critical), especially literary modernism, interpreting the author’s works in light of them.

ENGL 475. William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. (2 Credits)

This course allows students to carefully and communally close-read major poetic works by William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, comparing and contrasting them in the context of literary modernism and as a foundation for contemporary American poetry. As they read, students will explore biographical/autobiographical approaches and literary critical responses to the authors’ works.

ENGL 476. Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. (2 Credits)

This course addresses works of two well-known authors who knew each other well: Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Students in this course read their work in myriad forms: manifestoes, autobiographies, fiction, poetry, and the play, Mule Bone that became the bone of contention between them. Students explore these works in critical and early 20th-century literary-historical context, especially the Harlem Renaissance.

ENGL 477. Flannery O'Connor. (2 Credits)

This course allows students to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the works of Flannery O’Connor. Students will consider several crucial aspects of her work that contribute to its importance: the power of storytelling, the South, post WWII literature, personal illness, a sense of the comic, use of the grotesque, and vital Catholic faith. The class also includes a general introduction to extant literary critical approaches to O’Connor’s work.

ENGL 478. James Baldwin. (2 Credits)

This course allows students to read important works from three major modes important in James Baldwin’s career--fiction, essay, and drama—and to explore the interrelationship of these modes in the articulation of Baldwin’s prophetic voice in 20th-century American society. Students will read Baldwin’s work in conversation with major critics, paying special attention to race, religion, masculinity, and sexuality as they play out in Baldwin’s writing, and will also consider how his work resounds in contemporary racial reckonings within the Unites States. Select film treatments of Baldwin’s work may also be included.

ENGL 481. Cormac McCarthy. (2 Credits)

This course allows students to pursue understanding of and appreciation for major works by Cormac McCarthy, paying special attention to the following issues central to his work: evil and violence, role of narrative/the artist as storyteller, Biblical/archaic language, and theology.

ENGL 482. David Foster Wallace. (4 Credits)

This course allows students to read closely and communally a great deal of David Foster Wallace’s work, including the entirety of the controversial and sometimes disturbing masterpiece Infinite Jest, engaging with critical responses to his work. In so doing, students will gain a fuller picture of key debates in late 20th-century American fiction. Students, following the practice of the course author, will also experiment with practices for expanding their vocabularies. By engaging with Wallace’s work, students will consider enduring questions about faith, government, meaning, boredom, addiction, failure, fame and greatness, suffering, writing/narrative, bodies, gender, race, media, and entertainment.

ENGL 483. Achebe and Adichie. (4 Credits)

This in-depth author course pairs the Nigerian Anglophone writers Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie. In this class, students will read many of the multiple genres within which these writers have worked (the novel, short story, essay, memoir, and poetry), examining prominent issues including gender, post- and anti-colonialism, tradition, the political African writer, and religion and Christianity.

ENGL 485. Studies in Wade Center/Special Collections Authors. (2 Credits)

An in-depth study of a single author or a small number of authors included in the Wade Center and/or in Buswell's Special Collections. Students will be introduced to archival research as they explore authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, and Owen Barfield. (Open to Majors only, does not count for general education.)

ENGL 486. Studies in Wade Center/Special Collections Authors. (4 Credits)

An in-depth study of a single author or a small number of authors included in the Wade Center and/or in Buswell's Special Collections. Students will be introduced to archival research as they explore authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, and Owen Barfield. (Open to Majors only, does not count for general education.)

ENGL 494. Senior Seminar in English. (4 Credits)

Selected subjects, such as a group of writers, a literary form, or a theme, studied with a view to critical concerns and the integration of Christ at the Core experiences in literary study. Includes vocational component.

General Education: SHAR

ENGL 495. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)

An individually planned program of reading, research, and consultation under the supervision of a member of the department.

ENGL 496. Literature Internship. (1 to 4 Credits)

English Department approval. Graded pass/fail.

ENGL 499. Honors Thesis. (4 Credits)

An independent scholarly project requiring original research and culminating in an oral defense. By application only.