Course Offerings

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.
 

Winter 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.

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: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Staples, Beth A.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Green, Leah N. (Leah Naomi)

A course in the practice of writing poetry, 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.

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.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - Millan, Diego 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 2021, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Urban Rural Frontier (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  The goal of this course is to trace how writers and other artists imagined and reimagined changing urban, rural, and frontier landscapes throughout the US 19th century. What significance does the notion of "place" hold in America's imagination? How has that conception of place and space consolidated over time? Potential authors include: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chesnutt, Margaret Fuller, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Sui Sin Far. (HL) Millan.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - 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 2021, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: King and Kubrick (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  The surprisingly bitter (and long lasting) dispute between Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick over the latter's adaptation of King's seminal novel The Shining proved a major cultural and artistic event that continues to shed light upon a range of important questions: theories of the novel and film, perennial debates about adaptation, bitter matters of cultural valuation and prejudice, especially the great dispute between highbrow and middlebrow, the status of such genres as horror and epic in modern literature and film, and the complex relations between modernism and postmodernism. Centering on the dispute over The Shining, this course ranges over these broader questions by surveying the careers and oeuvres of these two imposing figures in the landscape of twentieth- and now twenty-first-century art and culture. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293C - 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 2021, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: The American West (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing 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 Brad Pitt to see how Western stories have played out and what is happening now in these contested spaces. (HL) Smout.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - 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 2021, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Asian American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing 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 293E - Ball, Gordon V.

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 2021, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature of the Beat Generation (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  A study of a revolutionary literary movement, focusing on the ways in which cultural and historical context have influenced the composition of and response to literature in the United States. This course examines the writings of several American authors (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder) active from the mid-1940s through recent decades, loosely grouped together as the Beat Generation. What cultural, literary, historical, and religious influences from the U.S. and other parts of the world have shaped their work? What challenges did their boldly different writings face, and how did their reception change over time? What are their themes? Their notions of style? What have they contributed to American (and world) life and letters? The goal of this course is to lay a strong foundation from which such questions can be richly addressed and answered. (HL) Ball.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293F - Miranda, Deborah 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 2021, ENGL 293F-01: Topics in American Literature: Memoir (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  In this course we'll read a variety of memoir forms, from the expected prose to documentary memoir, poetic memoir, graphic memoir and visual memoir. Readings include primary texts such as Belonging , by Nora Krug, Hardly War by Don Mee Choi, One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry, and others. The final project will be devoted to writing and constructing a mixed-media, documentary memoir. (HL) Miranda.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293G - 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 2021, ENGL 293G-01: Topics in American Literature: Environmental Literature in the Anthropocene (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing 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.  

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293H - 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 2021, ENGL 293H-01: Topics in American Literature: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Fiction (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  This class offers an immersion in contemporary American fiction by focusing on Pulitzer winners and finalists. We begin by studying the history of the prize, and the selection process. Then we read some past winners, including Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, Paul Harding's Tinkers, and Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys. Students individually survey past finalists by reading the first ten pages of twenty novels of their choice, keeping a log of their impressions and reporting back to the class. For the final project, the class plays the role of the Pulitzer committee, and chooses a winner for 2012—the last year in which no prize for fiction was awarded. We read the three finalists from that year: Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, Karen Russell's Swamplandia, and David Foster Wallace's unfinished The Pale King (limited excerpts). Each student will write a final paper that makes their case for the novel that should have won in 2012, through close attention to the novel's style and structure, discussion of how the book meets the Pulitzer criteria of portraying American life, and comparison with the other finalists. (HL) Brodie.

 

Topics in World Literature in English

ENGL 294A - Walle, Taylor F.

World literature, taught in English, 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 2021, ENGL 294A-01: Topics in World Literature in English: Jane in the Modern World (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement.  Jane Austen's work has captivated audiences for 200 years, and an enthusiastic fan culture has sprung up around Dear Jane herself. But what does it mean to read these novels, set among the country houses of the English gentry, in the 21st century? Do her novels represent nostalgia for a romanticized past? Is Austen's biting satire specific to her time? Or does her sharp observation, especially of gender and class, still resonate today? Looking at Austen's novels alongside recent adaptations of her work, we will consider how and whether Austen speaks to the experience of 21st-century audiences, not only in the USA and Britain but across the world. (HL) Walle.

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Winter 2021, ENGL 308-01: Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction: Literary Genre Fiction (3). Prerequisites: Three credits in any 200- or 300-level creative writing workshop, ENGL 203 recommended. Reflecting literary trends of the last decade, students will explore the intersections between traditional pulp genres and narrative realism. They will draft and revise stories that use elements from a range of possible genres—SF, fantasy, horror, detective, romance--while also developing complex characters grounded in psychological realism. Students must have already taken a 200-level creative writing course. (HA) Gavaler.

 

Shakespeare and Company

ENGL 319 - Pickett, Holly C.

Focusing on the repertory and working conditions of the two play companies with which he was centrally involved, this course examines plays by Shakespeare and several of his contemporary collaborators and colleagues (Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher). Attentive to stage history and the evolution of dramatic texts within print culture, students consider the degree to which Shakespeare was both a representative and an exceptional player in Renaissance London's "show business."

African-American Literature

ENGL 366 - Millan, Diego A.

A focused engagement with the African-American literary tradition, from its beginnings in the late 18th century through its powerful assertions in the 21st. The focus of each term's offering may vary; different versions of the course might emphasize a genre, author, or period such as poetry, Ralph Ellison, or the Harlem Renaissance.

Winter 2021, ENGL 366-01: African-American Literature: Make a Body Riot: Laughter, Resistance, and African American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Discussing writing as a mode of salvation in Black Women Writers (1950-1980), Toni Cade Bambara writes, "While my heart is a laughing gland, near that chamber is a blast furnace where a rifle pokes from the ribs." What does it mean for Bambara to defend her heart, her "laughing gland"? Is laughter/comedy gendered? How does what makes us laugh position us, either as spectator or collaborator? What does the intersection of comedy and performance have to show us about the formation and regulation of racial, class, and gendered identities? How can we, as readers of written texts, account for laughter's ephemeral and acoustic valences? How might laughter—as release, as physical expression, as indicator of an interior life, or even as protest—help us better understand many aesthetic, thematic, rhetorical, and political aspects of African American literature? In posing these questions, this course centers recurring themes and genres in the development of African American literature throughout the twentieth century—such as the role of Black literature in society; the intersections of race, class, and gender in relation to power; "the afterlives of slavery"; the historical novel; and the role of humor in community formation, among others. Possible authors include Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Fran Ross, Langston Hughes, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Paul Beatty. (HL) Millan.

Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

ENGL 393A - Adams, Edward A.

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.

Winter 2021, ENGL 393A-01: Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900: Romantic and Victorian Poetry (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. The nineteenth century witnessed the peak of Great Britain's political, economic, and cultural role in the world and was, not surprisingly, an era of unprecedented literary innovation. This course explores its long list of magnificent poets through a wide-ranging survey combined with a focus on three or four major figures such as Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Tennyson, Rosetti, or Hardy. Though dedicated to poetry, this course contextualizes its primary concern by attending to the effects of economics (esp. industrial capitalism), politics (esp. democratic reform and imperial expansion), cultural changes (esp. the increasing importance of women readers and writers), and wider literary developments (esp. the growing dominance of the rival novel). (HL) Adams.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394A - Kharputly, Nadeen

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.

Winter 2021, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: 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.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394B - 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.

Winter 2021, ENGL 394B-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Environmental Persuasion (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299.  This course is open to all majors and class years. It fulfills the humanities literature requirement and a humanities course requirement for the major or minor in environmental studies.

How do we resolve major environmental problems? How do we balance the science, economics, public policy, political, ethical, cultural, and other dimensions to create real solutions? Why is this so hard? This course studies strategies of persuasion used by participants in environmental debates to teach students how to enter and win these debates. We study some of the great environmental writers in many genres, look at key historical documents and multimedia works (documentaries, ads, movies, websites), and do some activities involving local leaders and issues. Students write short analytical papers and work on a big project that studies an important environmental debate historically, analyzing who won and why. How do we persuade others to join us in making the changes we want to make? (HL) Smout.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Miranda, Deborah 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 2021, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Disobedient Texts: Hybrid, Impure, and Bent Genres (3). Prerequisites: Six credits in English at the 300 level, senior major standing, and instructor consent. Hybrid texts combine, transform, and subvert the conventions of narrative sub-genres, breaking down the boundaries between fiction, poetry, memoir and drama.  Many hybrid texts also import/re-vision/transform non-literary discourses from traditional archival resources; within these hybrid texts, word and image combine to create a text that is neither purely written, nor purely visual.  This course explores alternative possibilities for literature to express and even bring about change in the worlds they describe.  Students will also compose a short hybrid text of their own as part of their final project. Possible authors include Silko, Carson, Spiegelman, Allison, Rankine, Cruse, Griffin, Phillips, Wright, Yamashita. (HL) Miranda.

Master Class in Creative Writing

ENGL 431A - Erdrich, Heidi E. / Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

An advanced workshop taught by the Glasgow Writer in Residence. The genre varies, but the course includes readings, workshops, and individual conferencing. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. Glasgow Writer in Residence.

Winter 2021, ENGL 431A-01: Master Class in Creative Writing: Poetry (1). Prerequisites: One 200- or 300-level English creative writing workshop (ENGL 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 210, 215, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309. 391). Please submit an application to Charity Corman ( ccorman@wlu.edu ) by Sunday, October 23rd for consideration; you will be notified before registration begins about whether you have been admitted to the course.  The Master Class taught by Glasgow Writer in Residence and award-winning poet Heid E. Erdrich is an intensive, generative poetry workshop for advanced writers; it will meet virtually for four 3-hour sessions, with interim writing, conferencing, and peer review. The dates are Sunday, January 24 2:00-5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, January 26  6:00-9:00 p.m., and either virtually or F2F in March on Sunday, March 14 2:00-5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, March 16 6:00-9:00 p.m. The course includes the study of poetry, workshops, individual conferencing, and a final group reading performance. (EXP) Erdrich.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Staples, Beth A.

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 - Adams, Edward A.

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 - Millan, Diego A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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 ).