Course Offerings

Fall 2020

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 - Harrington, Jane F.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - Ball, Gordon V.

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

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.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

Literary Approaches to Poverty

ENGL 260 - Miranda, Deborah A.

Examines literary responses to the experience of poverty, imaginative representations of human life in straitened circumstances, and arguments about the causes and consequences of poverty that appear in literature. Critical consideration of dominant paradigms ("the country and the city," "the deserving poor," "the two nations," "from rags to riches," "the fallen woman," "the abyss") augments reading based in cultural contexts. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise.

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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 292A-01: Topics in British Literature: Literature of the British Slave Trade, 1688-2016 (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. The British slave trade lasted from the mid-1600s until 1807, but its legacy is more tenacious: more than 200 years after the abolition of the slave trade, novelists like Yaa Gyasi are still writing about the horrors of this violent institution. To study British literature, however, is often to encounter the slave trade as a shadow or a gap, something that lurks in the background of our favorite 18th- and 19th-century novels but never quite breaks through the surface. By placing novels like Mansfield Park (1814) and Jane Eyre (1847) alongside works that deal more explicitly with slavery, this course aims to disrupt that image of cozy, "civilized" England and demonstrate that British literature cannot be separated out from the Atlantic slave trade and British imperialism. (HL) Walle.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292B - 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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 292B-01: Topics in British Literature: Satan and the Romantics (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. An introductory survey of major British poets and novelists from the mid-17th to the mid-19th century with particular attention to how the radical poetics of the post-French Revolution Romantic Era was rooted in a fascination with John Milton's rebellious anti-hero, Satan. Swift, Pope, Fielding, Blake, Wordsworth, Austen, Byron, Percy Bysshe, and Mary Shelley, all canonical figures, are likely to be covered, but the course also attends to the challenges to this tradition by long unacknowledged women writers such as Aphra Behn, Charlotte Smith, and Felicia Hemans. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - 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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 293B-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 - Oliver, Bill

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 2020, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (3 ). A study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic (Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Melville) and international (Chekhov and Maupassant), tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th and 21st centuries. Among the writers we read: Flannery O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, John Updike, Philip Roth, Tobias Woolf, T.C. Boyle, Amy Hempel, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, and others. Additionally, we explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work—Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We see how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) Oliver.

Topics in World Literature in English

ENGL 294A - Ruiz, Florinda F. (Florinda)

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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 294A-01: Topics in World Literature in English: Art and Literature: Speaking Images and Painting Words (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. How would some artworks sound if they were poems? What would some poems look like if they were art works? How do writers and artists use and portray rhythm, emotion, pattern, contrast, or balance? Through different historical periods and cultural traditions, we explore the contexts, inspirations, processes, and techniques that inform and connect both aesthetic forms. From Homer's shield of Achilles to Ann Carson through Keats, Browning, Auden, Ann Sexton, or Sylvia Plath, we discover how visual and textual components mix, compliment, amplify, disrupt, expand, or converse with one another. Moving between the disciplines of semiotics, visual studies, psychology, rhetoric, and literary criticism, we analyze the creative powers that meet at the crossroads of poetry and visual art. (HL) Ruiz.

Topics in Law and Literature

ENGL 296A - Hill, Michael D.

A topical seminar in law and literature for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic is announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2020, LJS 296A-01: Topics in Law and Literature: The American Legal System in African-American Writing (3).   Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. Meets an Africana studies requirement. An exploration of African-American writers' regular portrayal of black encounters with the American legal system. We begin our survey on the eve of World War II and end just before the turn of the 21st century. Using novels, poetry, drama, and a short-story collection, we analyze how authors use accounts of arrests, courtrooms, exoneration, conviction, imprisonment, and re-entry to meditate on race and American democracy. Our study of the last seven decades of the 20th century clarify the 21st-century dilemmas that threaten the coherence of America. (HL) M. Hill.

Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 306 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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

Shakespearean Genres

ENGL 320 - Pickett, Holly C.

In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.

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 before 1700

ENGL 392A - Adams, Edward A.

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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 392A-01: Topics in Literature in English before 1700: Romance and Epic (3). Prerequisites: One English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Centering on Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene , among the greatest English-language epics but one indebted to the Italian Renaissance romance epics of Ariosto and Tasso, we take up literary theories and representative instances of romance, epic, heroic poetry, and the novel associated with the questions surrounding Spenser and his career. We begin with Beowulf (in Seamus Heaney's modern translation) to explore the differences between heroic poetry and classical epic before turning to Spenser and the rich perspective his multifaceted work lends to debates about open-ended romance narrative and more tightly-structured classicizing epic. From there, we look forward to the many English poets influenced by Spenser and to examples of the rising novel indebted to Spenser's wonderfully imaginative work—from Mary Wroth's The Countess of Montgomery's Urania to Henry Fielding's Tom Jones and, finally, the contemporary novelist Philip Pullman. (HL) Adams.

Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

ENGL 393A - Millan, Diego 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.

Fall 2020, ENGL 393A-01: Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900: Re(Negotiating) the 19th Century (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Enrollment limited. How has the 19th century echoed through the subsequent 20th and early 21st centuries? For instance, how have authors responded to the challenges of representing the institution and afterlife of slavery? More broadly, how have ideas of race been explored through the canon, and how has literature participated in creating, challenging, or perpetuating such ideas? In this seminar, students read and juxtapose canonical works from the 19th century with a smaller selection of contemporary works that call upon central conflicts from the 19th century as a site for exploring their echoes and impact. Potential writers include: Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Edgar Allan Poe, Ida B. Wells, James McCune Smith, William J. Wilson, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, George C. Wolfe, and Nafisa Thompson-Spires. (HL) Millan.

 

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 2020, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Southern Fiction Then and Now (3). Prerequisites: One English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. In this seminar, students read multiple works by six leading fiction writers to study changes in the American South and its literary expressions over the last century, from about 1920 to the present day. The authors are William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Cormac McCarthy, Lee Smith, Colson Whitehead, and Jesmyn Ward. Their work allows us to focus on such topics as race, class, gender, family, honor, violence, and history in considering whether the South can or should remain a distinctive region and life experience in the global village and the post-modern world. How should the South cope now with its legacy of slavery and segregation? What has changed and what has remained the same? Will the South survive as a region, or get swallowed up into America Everywhere? Who will tell its stories? (HL) Smout.

 

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.

Fall 2020, 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. 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. This course has two interconnected focuses: the development of narrative strategies in short creative forms (short stories, personal essays, one-act plays, etc.) and the analysis of a literary topic directly related to each student's narratives. Students conceive their own topics and develop them through workshops and student-run lessons. (HL) Gavaler.

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 ).

Spring 2020

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.

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."

 

Topics in Creative Writing

ENGL 210 - Harrington, Jane F.

A course in the practice of creative writing, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different.

Spring 2020, ENGL 210-01: Topic in Creative Writing: Writing for Children (4). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. Limited enrollment. Students identify and analyze juvenile literature that has endured over time; read and discuss academic essays about children's literature; become familiar with issues and trends in children's publishing via blogs, social media, and articles written by industry professionals; work from prompts to hone skills at writing for children; engage in a dialogue and writing workshop with a current children's author; and create a work of length for children through a recursive process that involves peer workshopping, instructor feedback, revisions, and analysis. (HA) Harrington.

The Music, Folklore, and Literature of Ireland

ENGL 238 - Dobbins, Christopher L. (Chris) / Conner, Marc C.

This course engages the music, folklore and literature of Ireland and the ways that the creation of these art forms is related to the places in which the art was created. We cover a wide variety of the history of Irish art and focus on the importance of place in the written, oral, and aural traditions of the island. Students study a range of musical compositions, styles, and traditions alongside the rich body of Irish folklore and folk customs that underlie these musical creations, as well as the rich literature that informs all of these artistic efforts. After the first week on campus, the remainder of the course takes place in Dingle in the West of Ireland and in Dublin.

Spring 2020, ENGL 238-01: The Music, Folklore, and Literature of Ireland (4). (Adapted for virtual instruction due to COVID-19 global health pandemic.)  An intensive engagement with the culture of Ireland, focusing particularly on music, folklore, and literature and the ways these artistic efforts interact with place and history. The main focus is on 20th-century and contemporary Ireland, particularly the rich period of the Celtic Revival, the Irish Renaissance, and the Irish War of Independence. We will also range over the periods of ancient Ireland, the Celtic period, early Christianity, the Vikings, and the development of Ireland from the Norman invasion through the Great Famine. Readings will include classics of Irish literature, such as the poetry of W.B. Yeats, the fiction of James Joyce, the travel writings of J.M. Synge, and the folklore of Lady Gregory, as well as other works of poetry and fiction. Musical elements will include the histories and modes of Irish music (traditional, classical, folk, modern, and more) as well as actual engagement with the music through tin whistle practice and playing. Instruction will take place via digital lectures, Zoom virtual classrooms, online discussion forums, short interpretive papers, musical listening forums, and video instruction and performance. Includes guest lectures by Alex Brown on Irish religion (focusing on St. Patrick and St. Brendan), and by musicians and folklorists from Co. Kerry, Ireland. (HL - approved for Spring 2020 only)

Reading Lolita in Lexington

ENGL 285 - Brodie, Laura F.

This class uses Azar Nafisi's memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran , as a centerpiece for learning about Islam, Iran, and the intersections between Western literature and the lives of contemporary Iranian women. We read The Great Gatsby , Lolita , and Pride and Prejudice , exploring how they resonated in the lives of Nafisi's students in Tehran. We also visit The Islamic Center of Washington and conduct journalistic research into attitudes about Iran and Islam.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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 2020, ENGL 292-01: Topic in British Literature: Celluloid Shakespeare (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. 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. (HL) Dobin . [counts toward MRST requirements and FILM minor as a film course, when appropriate]

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - 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.

Spring 2020, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Business in American Literature and Film (4). In his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith tells a powerful story of the free market as a way to organize our political and economic lives, a story that has governed much of the world ever since. This course studies that story (also called capitalism), considers alternate stories of human economic organization, such as those of American Indian tribes, and sees how these stories have been acted out in American business and society. We study novels, films, short stories, non-fiction essays, autobiographies, advertisements, websites, some big corporations, and some businesses in the Lexington area. Our goal is not to attack American business but to understand its characteristic strengths and weaknesses so we can make the best choices about how to live and work happily in a free-market society. (HL) Smout.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

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 2020, ENGL 295-01: Spring Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Transforming Literature: Fan Fiction, Literary Mashups and Other Canon Fodder (4). This course considers ways that people take works of literature, classic or otherwise, and transform them into something new. We read literary works ranging from "The Yellow Wallpaper" to "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as cartoons, poems, videos and text conversations that remake, remix and transform those literary works. We think about what makes something literature, what makes something fan fiction, and what fan fiction can show us about classic works of literature. We also create our own literary transformations, analyze the role of the internet in fan culture, and experiment with transformative technologies. (HL) Bufkin.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Kharputly, Nadeen

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 2020, ENGL 295-02: Spring Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Postcolonial and Decolonial Poetry (3). A study of postcolonial and decolonial themes and concerns, including decolonization, indigeneity, protest and resistance, identity and migration, through poetic form. Students develop an understanding of how postcolonial poets have adapted existing poetic forms or created new ones to reflect the struggle for land, nationhood, individual human rights, and independence in the latter half of the 20th century to the present day. (HL) Kharputly.

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 2020, ENGL 295-03: Spring Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Funny Women (3). Is comedy gendered? How does what makes us laugh, and how we make others laugh, position us in the world? What does the intersection of comedy and performance have to show us about identity formation in relation to race, class, and gender? How have women, in particular, mobilized comedy to disrupt, to refuse, or to otherwise affect structures of power? In seeking answers to these questions and more, this seminar examines a history of funny women and the many cultural expectations that surround them. For instance, we consider other meanings of "funny"—as oddity or curiosity—to explore the many cultural associations that both police women's behavior and provide foundations for imagining resistance. Possible authors/genres include Fran Ross, Alison Bechdel, Tina Fey, Toni Cade Bambara, stand-up comedy, drama, memoir, graphic novel/comic strips. In addition to more traditional styles of writing (formal analysis, argument-driven essays), students have an opportunity to generate their own comedic/creative projects. (HL) Millan.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Hill, Michael D.

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 2020, ENGL 295-04: Adolescence in the African-American Novel (3). Adolescence names a complicated moment in human development. Considering this complexity, it is not surprising that writers use this theme to convey the knotty realities that attend black self-definition. Focusing on the post-Harlem Renaissance era, we examine novels about adolescence. We identify sexuality as a key theme in these works. By term's end, students should emerge with a mature understanding of how adolescent sexuality symbolizes black participation in American democracy. (HL) Hill.

Whitman vs Dickinson

ENGL 356 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

In this seminar, students read two wild and wildly different U.S. poets alongside queer theory about temporality. Since we are discussing queerness in the past, present, and future, we will also consider 2lst-century reception of 19th-century literature and history, and students will participate in a Nineteenth-Century Poetry Slam.

Topics in Creative Writing

ENGL 391 - Miranda, Deborah A.

An advance workshop in creative writing. Genres and topics will vary, but all versions involve intensive reading and writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2020, ENGL 391: Topics in Creative Writing: Advanced Poetry Workshop: The Poetics and Politics of Food (3). Prerequisite: One creative writing course completed at W&L, chosen from ENGL 201, 202, 203, 204, 206, 207, 210, 215, 304, 306, 307, 308, 309, or instructor consent. An advanced workshop in creative writing. Miranda .

Topics in Literature in English before 1700

ENGL 392 - Pickett, Holly C. / Levy, Jemma A.

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.

Spring 2020, ENGL 392-01: Topics in Literature in English before 1700: Romeo and Juliet and its Aftermath (3).   A study of Shakespeare's play and the myriad responses to it in both theatrical and other media. Profs. Holly Pickett and Jemma Levy.

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

Spring 2020, ENGL 394-01: Advanced Seminar in English after 1900: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). 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. (HL) Dobin .

 

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 401 - Miranda, Deborah A.

(One-time offering in Spring 2020 due to changes resulting from COVID-19)  Directed study individually arranged and supervised. 

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 401 - Harrington, Jane F.

(One-time offering in Spring 2020 due to changes resulting from COVID-19)  Directed study individually arranged and supervised. 

Winter 2020

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 - Harrington, Jane F.

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 - 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: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Miranda, Deborah A.

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.

Poetry and Music

ENGL 230 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

An introduction to the study of poetry in English with an emphasis on music. After starting with a consideration of how poems in print can be said to have rhythm and sound effects, students then investigate a series of questions about poetry and music, including: What's the relationship between lyric poetry and song lyrics? What makes a poem musical? What kinds of music have most influenced poetry during the last hundred years, and in what ways?

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Kharputly, Nadeen

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.

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.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Pickett, Holly C.

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.

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 - 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 2020, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: The American West (3). 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 Trail, 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 293B - 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 2020, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature of the Beat Generation (3). 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 293C - Bufkin, Sydney M.

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 2020, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: How We Read (3). What's the difference between reading for class and reading for fun? How does an English professor read a novel? How does Oprah read a novel? Why do we even read novels, anyway? For that matter, why do we join book clubs, post reviews on Goodreads, and add our photos to #bookstagram? What do all those different ways of reading look like, and how do they work? This class examines, analyzes, and practices different ways of reading, from academic study to pleasure reading to book clubs. Over the course of the term, we hone the skills necessary to literary analysis, focusing on close reading, strong arguments, and precise claims and evidence. In addition, we practice writing about what we read for non-academic audiences like Goodreads, Instagram, and friends and family. Because revision is an essential part of the writing process, you have several opportunities to revise your writing. (HL) Bufkin.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - 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 2020, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Toni Morrison (3). This course takes into account the literary, professional, and scholarly career of Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison. As a class, we read several of Morrison's works as well as her non-fiction scholarship to better understand the worlds she created in her fiction and the ideas she developed across her career, asking questions about history, representation, style, and identity. Potential works include: The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Home, Playing in the Dark, and The Origin of Others . Particular attention is paid to Morrison's writing in relation to the changing literary landscape into which she both wrote and left her indelible mark. (HL) Millan.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293E - 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 2020, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Asian-American Literature (3) . 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 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 Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior , John Okada's No-No Boy , Nam Le's The Boat , Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist , and R. O. Kwon's The Incendiaries . (HL) Kharputly.

Topics in World Literature in English

ENGL 294A - Ruiz, Florinda F. (Florinda)

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 2020, ENGL 294A-01: Topics in World Literature in English: Visual Art and Poetry in World Literature (3). For centuries, visual art has inspired poets, and poetry has inspired artists. How would some artworks sound if they were poems? What would some poems look like if they were art works? Moving through different historical periods and cultural contexts, this course explores the interrelation of both forms of expression to discover the aesthetic norms and values that inform and connect them. How do writers and visual artists use and portray rhythm, emotion, pattern, contrast, balance? Moving between the disciplines of semiotics, visual studies, history, rhetoric, and literary criticism, we analyze the creative powers that meet at the crossroads of poetry and visual art. (HL) Ruiz.

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Staples, Beth A.

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

 

 

Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages

ENGL 312 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A study of the complex nexus of gender, love, and marriage in medieval legal, theological, political, and cultural discourses. Reading an eclectic range of texts--such as romance, hagiography, fabliau, (auto)biography, conduct literature, and drama--we consider questions of desire, masculinity, femininity, and agency, as well as the production and maintenance of gender roles and of emotional bonds within medieval conjugality. Authors include Chaucer, Chretien de Troyes, Heldris of Cornwall, Andreas Capellanus, Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pisan. Readings in Middle English or in translation. No prior knowledge of medieval languages necessary.

 

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

ENGL 393A - Millan, Diego 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 2020, ENGL 393A-01: Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900: Early African-American Print (3). An examination of the early decades of African-American print culture as a way to explore the larger development of print in the early American republic and through the 19th century. We pay particular attention to the collective development of Black print personas and public discourse as well as to the early African-American novel. We also consider the ways in which print—black type on white pages—served as a metaphor for (re)producing racialization. Possible writers and texts include Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass' Paper , James McCune Smith, the "Afric-American Picture Gallery", William Wells Brown, and The Garies and Their Friends . There are opportunities for archival research, either through Special Collections or digital databases. (HL) Millan.

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.

Winter 2020, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: American Outdoor Adventure Stories (3). 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 since 1900

ENGL 394B - Miranda, Deborah A.

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 2020, ENGL 394B-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: She Had Some Horses: Native American Women's Literatures 1900-2019 (3). A seminar course with special emphasis on research and discussion. Elizabeth Cook Lynn, Crow Creek Sioux, says that "Art and literature and storytelling are at the epicenter of all that an individual or a nation intends to be. ...a nation which does not tell its own stories cannot be said to be a nation at all." How do Native women writers counter the misrepresentations of Native Americans in familiar narratives like Pocahontas, Sacajawea, or the Land O' Lakes Maiden? This course examines novels, short stories, and poetry by contemporary Native American women authors, addressing racial and gender oppression, reservation and urban life, acculturation, political and social emergence as well as the leadership role of Native American women. Writers may include Erdrich, Silko, Hogan, Tapahonso, Long Soldier, Chrystos, Brant, and Harjo. (HL) Miranda .

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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.

Fall 2019, ENGL 403-01: Directed Individual Study: The Bible as English Literature (3). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Conner.

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.

Winter 2020, ENGL 413A: Senior Research and Writing: Spatializing the Text (3). Text takes up space, as a physical object or a virtual entity. Crucially, text creates and interrogates psychic, bodily, and social spaces: rooms, households, neighborhoods, cities, and nations. Space is key to the construction of subjectivity, for without it, the embodied subject cannot exist. As Liz Bondi and Joyce Davidson suggest, "to be is to be somewhere." And beyond the human, nonhuman nature and the cosmos are equally important in textual figurations of space. This seminar investigates the entanglements of textuality and spatiality, from utopia to dystopia, desire to discipline, and containment to liberation. We look at selections from Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space , Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space , Michel Foucault's "Heterotopia", Christian Jacob's The Sovereign Map , Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place , Doreen Massey's For Space , and Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands . Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao.

Winter 2020, ENGL 413B: Senior Research and Writing: Documentary Poetics (3). How do 20th- and 21st-century poets bear witness to social change? Students in this capstone read works by Muriel Rukeyser, Carolyn Forché, Kevin Young, and others, considering the uses of poetry and the politics of documentation. What sources do documentary poets draw on, and how do they handle the ethics of representation and citation? In response to the readings, students write critically and creatively, eventually pursuing research-based poetry projects on topics of their choosing. (HL) Wheeler.

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.

Winter 2020, ENGL 413A: Senior Research and Writing: Spatializing the Text (3). Text takes up space, as a physical object or a virtual entity. Crucially, text creates and interrogates psychic, bodily, and social spaces: rooms, households, neighborhoods, cities, and nations. Space is key to the construction of subjectivity, for without it, the embodied subject cannot exist. As Liz Bondi and Joyce Davidson suggest, "to be is to be somewhere." And beyond the human, nonhuman nature and the cosmos are equally important in textual figurations of space. This seminar investigates the entanglements of textuality and spatiality, from utopia to dystopia, desire to discipline, and containment to liberation. We look at selections from Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space , Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space , Michel Foucault's "Heterotopia", Christian Jacob's The Sovereign Map , Yi-Fu Tuan's Space and Place , Doreen Massey's For Space , and Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands . Students compile a portfolio of reading responses in the first half of the seminar as preparation for their individual guided research project. (HL) Kao.

Winter 2020, ENGL 413B: Senior Research and Writing: Documentary Poetics (3). How do 20th- and 21st-century poets bear witness to social change? Students in this capstone read works by Muriel Rukeyser, Carolyn Forché, Kevin Young, and others, considering the uses of poetry and the politics of documentation. What sources do documentary poets draw on, and how do they handle the ethics of representation and citation? In response to the readings, students write critically and creatively, eventually pursuing research-based poetry projects on topics of their choosing. (HL) Wheeler.

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 - 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 - Pickett, Holly C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Smout, Kary

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Staples, Beth A.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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