Course Offerings

Winter 2022

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Fuentes, Freddy O.

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Oliver, Bill

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Brodie, Laura F.

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Eco-Poetry

ENGL 214 - Green, Leah N. (Leah Naomi)

A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. This study of poetry will have two aspects: (1) attention to the works of classic and contemporary ecopoets through close-reading, literary analysis, and discussion, and (2) attention to our own ecopoetry and the ecopoetry of our classmates through both the act of writing and participation in "writing workshop". 

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Walle, Taylor F.

An introductory study of the novel written in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of modern narrative.

 

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

ENGL 250 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - York, Gretchen (Gretchen)

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292A - Walle, Taylor F.

British literature, supported by attention to historical and cultural contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time or focus on a cultural phenomenon. Students develop their analytical writing skills through both short papers and a final multisource research paper. May be repeated for degree credit and for the major if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: All About Eve (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. Heavy hangs the head of the first woman. From Genesis to the femmes fatales of film noir, the figure of Eve—cunning, seductive, and treacherous—is arguably the most powerful and enduring image of woman in Western literature. Though brief, Eve's story and its permutations encapsulate several fundamental dilemmas in the representation of women, from Milton to the present day. Does a woman's sexuality make her blameworthy? Does her influence make her dangerous? Does her "disobedience" make her criminal? Looking at a variety of media—novels, poetry, and comics—this course examines shifting portrayals of Eve and her implications for womanhood and female sexuality. Anchoring our conversation in Genesis and Milton, and then moving to Shelley, Hardy, Carter, and others, we will consider what each era's version of Eve reveals about the perception of women, whether the depiction of Eve changes over time, and how Eve's legacy of guilt and temptation informs modern discussions of femininity. (HL) Walle.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - Adams, Edward A.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature of the Forest (3).

Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. Narratives set in and around forests, especially tales of adventure, danger, and even horror, run throughout the course of human history from the earliest surviving examples of story-telling to the present.  More pointedly, major theories of literature and civilization (concepts often equated) have long noted and explored the profound opposition to the forest seen as the enemy or, as one noted critic calls it, the "shadow" of civilization to the great project of civilization.  This course surveys the development from the forest seen in such terms to our current, increasingly anxious sense that humankind's long war with forests in now culminating in their looming destruction—and perhaps, as a consequence, our own.  Texts range from fairytales and short stories, through essays and poems, to novels and films with a few non-English language writers such as Tacitus, Madame de la Mothe, and the Brothers Grimm but the majority selected from a list including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Robert Frost through Stephen King, Annie Proulx, and several contemporary filmmakers.  Possible theorists include G.P. Marsh, Robert Pogue Harrison, Timothy Morton, and Amitav Ghosh. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - Smout, Kary

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature and Film of the American West (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. The American West is a land of striking landscapes, beautiful places to visit such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, and stories that have had a huge impact on the USA and the world, such as Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trial, Custer's Last Stand, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and Cowboy and Indian adventures galore.  This course studies some of these Western places, stories, art works, and movies.  What has made them so appealing?  How have they been used?  We study works by authors such as John Steinbeck, Frederic Remington, Willa Cather, Wallace Stegner, and Cormac McCarthy, plus movies with actors like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Kevin Costner to see how Western stories have played out and what is happening now in these contested spaces. (HL) Smout.

 

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293C - Kharputly, Nadeen

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: Asian American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. A study of literatures by Asian-American authors, with a focus on how Asian Americans—broadly and inclusively defined—have transformed the social, political, and cultural landscapes of the United States. With such topics as immigration and refugee politics, racism and xenophobia, exclusion and internment, civil-rights activism, the post-9/11 period, and the model-minority myth, our selected texts (novels, poetry, short stories) present both a historical and an intimate look into the lives of individuals who articulate what it means to identify as Asian American in the modern and contemporary United States. Potential texts include John Okada's No-No Boy, Ted Chiang's The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, R. O. Kwon's The Incendiaries, and Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. (HL) Kharputly.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - Brodie, Laura F.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Form and Freedom in Modern American Poetry (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. This survey course in American poetry will extend from Walt Whitman in the nineteenth century through Tracy Smith, today. We'll focus on how American poets have experimented with all kinds of free verse and traditional forms, including Langston Hughes's blues poetry, Sylvia Plath's syllabic verse, and Joy Harjo's prose poems. Robert Frost once said that "writing free verse is like playing tennis without a net." This course will look at the net in William Carlos Williams's poems and the freedom in Frost's. (HL) Brodie.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293E - Green, Leah N. (Leah Naomi)

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Nature as Self: Environmental Literature in the Anthropocene (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. In this course we study American ideas of Nature and Self in environmental literature. We discuss wilderness, cultivation, loss, hope, and interconnection for humans as members of societies and of ecosystems. Texts come from the cutting edge of EcoWriting (Robin Wall-Kimmerer, Ross Gay, Camille Dungy, and many more) with a framing in traditional environmental literature (Thoreau, Whitman, etc.) and in environmental theory (William Cronon, Robert Macfarlane, etc.). With the help of these thinkers, we test our own understandings of human relationships to the more-than-human world. (HL) Green.

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A workshop in writing fiction, requiring regular writing and outside reading.

 

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales . We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales , as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

Studies in the 19th-Century British Novel

ENGL 345 - Adams, Edward A.

Novels and topics vary from year to year depending upon the interests of the instructor and of the students (who are encouraged to express their views early in the preceding semester). Authors range from Austen and Scott through such high Victorians as Dickens, Gaskell, Eliot, and Trollope to late figures such as Hardy, Bennett, and James. Possible topics include the multiplot novel, women novelists, industrial and country house novels, mysteries and gothics, and the bildungsroman .

Studies in Contemporary Poetry

ENGL 365A - Wheeler, Lesley M.

Focused study of poetry in English from 1980 to the present. Topics vary but can include the role of place in contemporary writing or 21st-century poetry and performance. Depending on interest and department needs, readings may involve mainly U.S. authors or English-language poetry from other regions such as Ireland or the Pacific.

Winter 2022, ENGL 365A-01: Studies in Contemporary Poetry: Twenty-First Century Poetry (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Place—imperiled by climate change—is enormously important to twenty-first century poetry in English, no matter where the writer lives. Students in this class will read and discuss ecopoetic work from Jamaica, Oceania, the U.S. South, and elsewhere. Because place and time are always mutually implicated, many of the readings situate their material in history as well as exploring contemporary environments. For the final project, students will each choose a spacetime and edit a digital anthology of poetry about it. (HL) Wheeler .

 

Topics in Literature in English before 1700

ENGL 392A - York, Gretchen (Gretchen)

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English before 1700 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 392A-01: Topics in Literature in English before 1700: Villainy and Virtue on Stage (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. English theater of the Middle Ages and Renaissance revels in displays of rampant vice and spectacles of maligned virtue. When Shakespeare's Falstaff delights audiences with his combination of outrageous lies and quick wit, his charm is buoyed by a tradition of unabashed villainy and skillful temptation that began with medieval representations of Lucifer. When Hermione stands trial for adultery in The Winter's Tale, the authority of her defense (and the stone-heartedness of her accuser) recalls popular tales of female saints and mystics. Why were these character types so compelling for so long—and to audiences who vowed to shut down the public theater, what made them so potentially dangerous? This course, by focusing on the villains that audiences love to hate and the saintly figures who inspire both faith and doubt, exposes the rich transhistorical conversations that occur between plays and across genres; with works like Mankind and the Chester Antichrist set next to Dr. Faustus and The Devil is an Ass, the schedule connects Shakespeare and his contemporaries to their predecessors in order to uncover the active, unruly, and even profane world of early English drama. (HL) York.

 

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395A - Kharputly, Nadeen

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English in an area of "counter traditions" with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2022, ENGL 395A-01: Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions: Malcolm X (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299.  Malcolm X was one of the most significant civil and human rights activists in the world, and yet few among us in the United States remember or acknowledge the fullest scope of his legacy. This class will offer an in-depth study of his literary, cultural, political, and religious impact, from his encounters with his contemporaries (Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, John Lewis, Yuri Kochiyama) to his effect on hip hop culture. Texts will include the Autobiography of Malcolm X, speeches by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, and other select primary and secondary sources. (HL) Kharputly.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Smout, Kary

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

 

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Winter 2022, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: The Art of Narrative (3). Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Enrollment limited to six. The course focuses on the analysis and development of narrative strategies in short creative works. Students will produce two types of writings: creative narratives and an analytical essay exploring a related literary topic. (HL) Gavaler.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Adams, Edward A.

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Winter 2022, ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Versions of Epic (3). Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Enrollment limited to six. This capstone courses centers upon the theory and practice of epic from Aristotle and Le Bossu through leading modern theorists of this form or mode such as Georg Lukacs, Franco Moretti, and Herbert Tucker.  In addition to emphasizing the theoretical tradition, the course will sample exemplary instances from poetry, history, and the novel to film, television, and video games in order to provide a fruitful context in which individual students can conceive and pursue a major term paper on texts, theorists, and debates about epic that most appeal to them. (HL) Adams.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Walle, Taylor F.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGL 201 - Womer, Brenna

A course in the practice of creative writing, with attention to two or more genres. Pairings vary by instructor but examples might include narrative fiction and nonfiction; poetry and the lyric essay; and flash and hybrid forms. This course involves workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Fuentes, Freddy O.

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Harrington, Jane F.

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

 

Protest Poetry

ENGL 229 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

What kind of work can poetry do in the world? Students in this class study Civil Rights Era poetry, poetry about environmental crisis, and other bodies of work that try to change minds and hearts, including protest poems, prayers and curses, and poetry in performance. Students also put poetry into action, first by collaboratively organizing a benefit event for the Rockbridge Area Relief Association, then by creating activist projects for causes of their own choosing.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Adams, Edward A.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

Why does King Arthur continue to fascinate and haunt our cultural imagination? This course surveys the origins and histories of Arthurian literature, beginning with Celtic myths, Welsh tales, and Latin chronicles. We then examine medieval French and English traditions that include Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval , the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the Alliterative Morte Arthure , and Malory's Le Morte Darthur . In addition to historical and literary contexts, we explore theoretical issues surrounding the texts, especially the relationship between history and fantasy, courtly love and adultery, erotic love and madness, romance and chivalry, gender and agency, and Europe and its Others. Finally, we investigate Arthurian medievalisms in Victorian England and in American (post)modernity through Tennyson, Twain, Barthelme, and Ishiguro. Along the way, we view various film adaptations of Arthurian legends. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Literature of the American South

ENGL 253 - Smout, Kary

A study of selected fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction by Southern writers in their historical and literary contexts. We practice multiple approaches to critical reading, and students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers.

English Works: Careers for English Majors

ENGL 290 - Gertz, Genelle C. / Olan, Lorriann T. (Lorri)

A course for English majors and students considering the major to explore and prepare for careers. Students have the opportunity to assess their abilities and skills, learn about a variety of industries, develop professional documents as well as online profiles, participate in mock interviews, network with alumni, and apply for internships and jobs.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2021, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Introduction to Graphic Narratives (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. This course briefly explores early works in the graphic novel form before shifting to a central focus on 21st-century publications from a range of presses outside of U.S. mainstream comics. Students also read a range of literary theory on the formal qualities of graphic novels and then apply those theories to the analysis of selected works. (HL) Gavaler.

 

Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 306 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

A workshop in writing poems, requiring regular writing and outside reading.

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

Famous for his mistresses and marriages, his fickle treatment of courtiers, and his vaunting ambition, Henry VIII did more to change English society and religion than any other king. No one understood Henry's power more carefully than his daughter Elizabeth, who oversaw England's first spy network and jealously guarded her throne from rebel contenders. This course studies the writers who worked for the legendary Tudors, focusing on the love poetry of courtiers, trials, and persecution of religious dissidents, plays, and accounts of exploration to the new world. We trace how the ambitions of the monarch, along with religious revolution and colonial expansion, figure in the work of writers like Wyatt, Surrey, and Anne Askew; Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Southwell; and Thomas More and Walter Ralegh.

18th-Century Novels

ENGL 335 - Walle, Taylor F.

A study of prose fiction up to about 1800, focusing on the 18th-century literary and social developments that have been called "the rise of the novel." Authors likely include Behn, Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Burney, and/or Austen.

 

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394A - Smout, Kary

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English since 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2021, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: American Outdoor Adventure Stories (3). Prerequisites: One English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Here in the New World, where Europeans arrived already excited about untouched wilderness waiting to be explored (and willfully blind to the native peoples living here), stories about travel and adventure were popular from the start. This class studies selected stories historically, seeing how the careers of writers like Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville began with travel writings, and how adventure stories since then have developed, contributing to an explosion in extreme sports and outdoor recreation. Other authors may include John Muir, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Hampton Sides, Jon Krakauer, and Cheryl Strayed. We also study contemporary movies like Free Solo and corporations like Patagonia. How do these outdoor adventure stories impact our lives and culture now? (HL) Smout.

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395A - Hill, Michael D.

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English in an area of "counter traditions" with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2021, ENGL 395A-01: Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions: Unchoreographed Duets: The Drama of August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks (3).  Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. While the elastic lyricism of August Wilson's dramas cannot accurately be termed "kitchen sink realism," they—in many significant ways—are worlds separated from Suzan-Lori Parks' experimental productions. These artists reflect the twin engines of post-Brown v. Board black theater as the older extends the efforts of Lorraine Hansberry and the younger refines the strategies of Adrienne Kennedy. Notwithstanding the differences in their creative works, these two playwrights ruled the last two decades of the twentieth century with a thoroughness that is unprecedented in black theater history. The Black Arts Movement may have propelled African American drama to widespread mainstream recognition; however, the string of Pulitzers and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards garnered by Wilson and Parks marks an unmatched degree of acclaim. Gauging their impact on American society between the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, this course will study Wilson's entire oeuvre and all of Parks' dramatic works up until 2006. (HL) Hill.

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395B - Kharputly, Nadeen

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English in an area of "counter traditions" with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2021, ENGL 395B-01: Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions: Asian American Racial Formations (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299.  A study of fiction and nonfiction narratives across genre (novels, short stories, poetry, essays, film) to explore racial formations in contemporary Asian American writing. We will examine literary representations of race and racism through the lens of immigration and citizenship, faith and religion, mixed race identity, the model minority myth, the perpetual foreigner syndrome, and transracial adoption. Potential authors include: Ocean Vuong, Cathy Park Hong, Randa Jarrar, Celeste Ng, Viet Thanh Nguyen. (HL) Kharputly.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Fall 2021, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Taking Literature Personally (3).  Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. This capstone seminar begins with readings about reading, emphasizing cognitive studies, queer theory, and the postcritique movement. Most other readings will be chosen by students for student-led discussions. For the final project, everyone is encouraged to choose a research topic and methodology informed by their previous studies or, perhaps, addressing a gap in their experience of the major. The topics will likely vary wildly, and their forms may, too: while projects must be well-researched and argument-driven, creative or hybrid approaches will be welcome. (HL) Wheeler.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Fall 2021, ENGL 413-02: Senior Research and Writing: Queering the Text (3). Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Does text have a gender or sexuality? Or does text both embody and challenge socio-political norms? One of the aims of this seminar is to investigate the inherent queerness and trans*ness of text. Reading across historical periods and working on individual projects, we ask whether constructs of sexuality and gender inform or problematize studies of texts, and how race, class, and culture complicate notions of the queer. We learn how to engage in practices of queering and trans*ing, a la Raymond Williams, through a series of keywords: body, prosthetic, desire, friendship, romance (and "bromance"), performativity, author, reader, time, space, normativity, marriage, conduct, and reproduction. (HL) Kao.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Womer, Brenna

An apprenticeship in editing with the editor of Shenandoah, Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and translations; substantive editing of manuscripts, copyediting; communicating with writers; social media; website maintenance; the design of promotional material. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Walle, Taylor F.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Spring 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Eco-Writing

ENGL 207 - Green, Leah N. (Leah Naomi)

An expeditionary course in environmental creative writing. Readings include canonical writers such as Frost, Emerson, Auden, Rumi, and Muir, as well as contemporary writers such as W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Janice Ray, Gary Snyder, Annie Dillard, Thich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, and Robert Hass. We take weekly "expeditions" including creative writing hikes, a landscape painting exhibit, and a Buddhist monastery. "Expeditionary courses" sometimes involve moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of eco-literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry) and (2) developing skill and craft in creating eco-writing through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in weekly "writing workshop."

 

Creating Comics

ENGL 215 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris) / Beavers, Leigh A.

A course which is both a creative-writing and a studio-art course. Students study graphic narratives as an art form that combines image-making and storytelling, producing their own multi-page narratives through the "writing" of images. The course includes a theoretical overview of the comics form, using a range of works as practical models.

Children's Literature

ENGL 234 - Harrington, Jane F.

A study of works written in English for children. The course treats major writers, thematic and generic groupings of texts, and children's literature in historical context. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books, including picture books that dispense with text.

Individual Novel

ENGL 270 - Kharputly, Nadeen

An intensive study of a single novel of significant length and global repute. Students will undertake an in-depth study of the text and its relevant social, political, cultural, and theoretical contexts. The primary goal of this class is to appreciate the many aspects of novel reading in the contemporary era, particularly with regard to relevant social issues, issues of representation, artistic license, and the publishing industry. 

Reading Lolita in Lexington

ENGL 285 - Brodie, Laura F.

This course uses Azar Nafisi's memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran , as a lens for studying three novels, The Great Gatsby , Lolita and Pride and Prejudice . We learn how students in the Islamic Republic of Iran have responded to these novels, and how the works' major themes have played out in Nafisi's life, and the lives of young Iranian women. Excerpts from Geraldine Brooks' Nine Parts of Desire help to illuminate the lives of Muslim women, and complement our study of Islam and the history of Iran. Students conduct a journalistic survey of attitudes toward Islam and Iran in the Washington and Lee community, in addition to writing a final paper on the course texts.  

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Adams, Edward A.

British literature, supported by attention to historical and cultural contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time or focus on a cultural phenomenon. Students develop their analytical writing skills through both short papers and a final multisource research paper. May be repeated for degree credit and for the major if the topics are different.

Spring 2021, ENGL 292-02: Topics in British Literature: J.R.R. Tolkien on Page & Screen (3).  J.R.R. Tolkien has been praised as the "Author of the Century" (the Twentieth Century) on the basis of the remarkable artistic, cultural, and financial success of The Lord of the Rings --along with ancillary texts such as The Hobbit and The Silmarillion . Peter Jackson's ground-breaking, turn-of-the-millennium film adaptation greatly enhanced and extended such claims into the Twenty-First. This course focuses upon both the original and the films in the context of wide-ranging literary historical questions such as Tolkien's renewal of medieval romance, his contributions to the development of the modern fantasy novel, definitions and redefinitions of epic, debates regarding the problematic status of escapism and spectacle, and major film theories. (HL) Adams.

 

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Millan, Diego A.

Students in this course study a group of works related by theme, by culture, by topic, by genre, or by the critical approach taken to the texts. Involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2021, ENGL 295-01: Spring Term Seminar in Literary Study: Adapting the 19th Century (3).  This course considers what it takes to adapt facets of the 19th century for 21st century audiences. We will read literary works ranging from "Rip Van Winkle" to "The Tell-Tale Heart" to Frederick Douglass' Narrative, as well as neo slave narratives, film, and artifact curation that either adapt these works or otherwise engage the difficult questions that emerge from the process of reckoning with the 19th century in the United States. We will think about what makes something literature, what goes into adaptation, and what alternative versions of a given text can show us about their source. Part of the course may include a visit to Monticello and one other local site. The course culminates with student projects that adapt/curate an aspect of W&L's history from the nineteenth century, or a text from the course, for modern audiences. Over the course of the term, we will hone the skills necessary for literary analysis, focusing on close reading, strong arguments that make use of precise claims and evidence. There will be a regular emphasis on writing. (HL) Millan.

Literary Book Publishing

ENGL 304 - Staples, Beth A.

This course is an introduction to the publishing industry, its culture and commerce. We examine the history of the industry and how it operates today, with an emphasis on active learning and practice. This class consists, in part, of active discussions with industry professionals, studying the life of a single book: its author, its agent, its editor, its book designer, its publisher. It gives you an overview of how the publishing industry works through the eyes of the people who work in it. It also gives you a chance to put what you learn into practice. Using a book you're working on (or a theoretical book you may someday write), you compose a query letter, design a book jacket, and create marketing material in support of your project. The term culminates with a book auction where students form publishing teams and bid on the books they would most like to publish.

Celluloid Shakespeare

ENGL 321 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture—and through the new visual mode of film storytelling. We hear reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy.

Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

ENGL 393 - Walle, Taylor F.

Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English from 1700 to 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2021, ENGL 393-01: Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900: The Mad, Bad Women of the Eighteenth Century (3).  When you think of the eighteenth century, you might imagine a conservative society in which women's lives were highly restricted. Eighteenth-century women's literature, however, tells a different story. From Eliza Haywood's brazen depiction of female sexuality, to the queer friendship of the Ladies of Llangollen, the early feminism of Mary Wollstonecraft, and the powerful abolitionism of Mary Prince, the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries feature a range of subversive femininities. Pairing period texts with more recent scholarly and popular writing, this course will look at the lives of women outside the English country house: women who might be considered less "respectable" than their buttoned-up peers but whose lives are decidedly more interesting. (HL) Walle.