Course Offerings

Spring 2022

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

Topics in Creative Writing: Playwriting

ENGL 202 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Eco-Writing

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

An expeditionary, multi-genre course (fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry) in environmental creative writing. Readings focus on contemporary "EcoWriters". We take weekly expeditions, including creative writing hikes, a creative writing visit to a Thai Forest Buddhist monastery, and a creative writing visit to the workshops of a landscape painter and bloomsmith. The course involves 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 multi-genre eco-literature and (2) developing skill and craft in creating EcoWriting through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in "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 2022, ENGL 210-01: Topics in Creative Writing: Writing for Children (3).   In this course, students will read a variety of children's stories, analyzing each through a craft lens; become familiar with contemporary authors and industry trends via interviews and articles; write analytical and creative prose pieces from prompts; engage in open readings and peer critique sessions; and through a revision process produce a varied portfolio of creative works for children. (HA) Harrington.

Black Writers and the Allure of Paris

ENGL 286 - Hill, Lena M. / Hill, Michael D.

During two weeks on campus and two in Paris, students are immersed in the literary works of African American writers of the Harlem Renaissance through the mid-20th century, reading work by writers like Jessie Fauset, Gwendolyn Bennett, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes. In preparation for traveling to Paris, the site that represented new and promising possibilities for cultural exploration and artistic inspiration, we study how these literary texts examine the modern reality of racial identity. We also assess the significance of Paris as a site of cultural production and as a site of representation for early- to mid-20th century African American writers.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - 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.

Spring 2022, ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: Mary Shelley's Monster (3).   Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was only eighteen years old: one night, during a gloomy summer in Geneva, the idea came to Shelley in a dream, and her unusual story has captured our cultural imagination ever since. The past two hundred years have witnessed countless adaptations of Frankenstein (albeit with varying degrees of faithfulness); indeed, from Penny Dreadful (2014), to Victor Frankenstein (2015), to Mary Shelley (2017), it seems that practically every year brings a new take on this classic tale. But while many are familiar with the now-iconic face of Frankenstein's monster, the rich history of this text often goes unexamined. Written in the early nineteenth century, Frankenstein is a startling intersection of gothic horror, political philosophy, and science fiction. This class will begin by considering the historical and literary contexts that gave rise to Shelley's novel, before going on to examine how Frankenstein echoes throughout nineteenth-century science fiction, twentieth-century film, and twenty-first century novels and comics. (HL) Walle.

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 2022, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Business in Lit 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, 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 films, short stories, non-fiction essays, autobiographies, poems, advertisements, websites, some big corporations, and some local businesses. 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 .

Topics in World Literature in English

ENGL 294 - Kharputly, Nadeen

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.

Spring 2022, ENGL 294-01: Topics in World Literature in English: World of Tomorrow (3).   The future can incite both anticipation and dread. While political and entrepreneurial leaders often speak of the future with excitement and possibility, many literary authors have represented the future less optimistically, especially in dystopian narratives. This class explores the contrasts between those discourses. Authors may include Ted Chiang, Simon Jimenez, Octavia Butler, Kazuo Ishiguro, and N.K. Jemisin, and course topics may cover climate disaster, capitalism, artificial intelligence, technology, the space race, Afro and Indigenous futurisms, and apocalypses. (HL) Kharputly.

Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies

ENGL 295 - Brodie, Laura F.

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 2022, ENGL 295-01: Spring-Term Seminar in Literary Studies: Writing and Art (3).   Writing and Art A lot of great poetry and prose has been written in response to paintings, sculptures and other works of art. This is called ekphrastic writing, and our spring class will be an ekphrastic feast. We'll read many famous examples--from Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" to Anne Carson's "Hopper: Confessions." We'll also study new writings commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. Over the past few years MoMA has invited writers to reflect upon various works in their collection. Our focus will be Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series--60 small paintings that tell the story of the Great Migration--and we'll zoom with Leah Dickerman, the MoMA art historian who curated an exhibit on that series. Then we'll close-read poems written in response to Lawrence's paintings, including works by Rita Dove and W&L alumna Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. We'll also spend considerable time each week visiting local galleries and private studios, and exploring W&L's art collection. Students will keep a journal of their own informal ekphrastic writings, graded pass/fail. Course requirements will include two analytical papers and a take-home final essay/exam. (HL) Brodie.

Hotel Orient

ENGL 382 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This seminar charts the historical encounters between East and West through the very spaces that facilitate cross-cultural transactions from the medieval to the postmodern. If modern hotel consciousness is marked by transience, ennui, eroticism, and isolation, we ask whether or not the same characteristics held true in premodern hotel practices, and if the space of the Orient makes a difference in hotel writing. Semantically, "Orient" means not only the geographic east. As a verb, to orient means to position and ascertain one's bearings. In this sense, to write about lodging in the East is to sort out one's cultural and geopolitical orientation.

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395 - Womer, Brenna

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.

Spring 2022, ENGL 395-01: Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions: Women's Memoir (3).   For all of American history, the rights of women have been under attack—our right to vote, to pursue education, to own property, to work and have careers, to make decisions about our bodies—and since 2016, rights and securities that have been guaranteed us for decades are back on the chopping block. In this class, we'll read a selection of memoirs by women published between 2016 and 2021 and consider how they're in conversation with the current social, political, economic, and environmental climates in the United States. (HL) Womer.

Winter 2022

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

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Fuentes, Freddy O.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Oliver, Bill

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Brodie, Laura F.

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

Eco-Poetry

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

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

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Walle, Taylor F.

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

 

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

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

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

ENGL 250 - Ard, DeVan

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

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - York, Gretchen

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

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292A - Walle, Taylor F.

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

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

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293A - Adams, Edward A.

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

Winter 2022, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature of the Forest (3).   Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW requirement. Narratives set in and around forests, especially tales of adventure, danger, and even horror, run throughout the course of human history from the earliest surviving examples of story-telling to the present.  More pointedly, major theories of literature and civilization (concepts often equated) have long noted and explored the profound opposition to the forest seen as the enemy or, as one noted critic calls it, the "shadow" of civilization to the great project of civilization.  This course surveys the development from the forest seen in such terms to our current, increasingly anxious sense that humankind's long war with forests in now culminating in their looming destruction—and perhaps, as a consequence, our own.  Texts range from fairytales and short stories, through essays and poems, to novels and films with a few non-English language writers such as Tacitus, Madame de la Mothe, and the Brothers Grimm but the majority selected from a list including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Robert Frost through Stephen King, Annie Proulx, and several contemporary filmmakers.  Possible theorists include G.P. Marsh, Robert Pogue Harrison, Timothy Morton, and Amitav Ghosh. (HL) Adams.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293B - Smout, Kary

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

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

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293C - Kharputly, Nadeen

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

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

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293D - Brodie, Laura F.

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

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

Topics in American Literature

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

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

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

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

 

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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

Studies in the 19th-Century British Novel

ENGL 345 - Adams, Edward A.

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

Studies in Contemporary Poetry

ENGL 365A - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

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

 

Topics in Literature in English before 1700

ENGL 392A - York, Gretchen

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

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

 

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395A - Kharputly, Nadeen

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

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

ENGL 401 - Adams, Edward A.

ENGL 401 - Pickett, Holly C.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Smout, Kary

A course designed for continuing a line of study begun in an earlier or concurrent course, or in an area not covered by other courses. All topics of study must be approved by the department and by the faculty director. This independent study culminates in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

 

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Adams, Edward A.

A course designed for continuing a line of study begun in an earlier or concurrent course, or in an area not covered by other courses. All topics of study must be approved by the department and by the faculty director. This independent study culminates in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. 

 

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

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

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Adams, Edward A.

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

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Walle, Taylor F.

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

Fall 2021

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

Introduction to Creative Writing

ENGL 201 - Womer, Brenna

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

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Fuentes, Freddy O.

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

 

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Harrington, Jane F.

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

 

Protest Poetry

ENGL 229 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Adams, Edward A.

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

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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

Literature of the American South

ENGL 253 - Smout, Kary

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

English Works: Careers for English Majors

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

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

Topics in American Literature

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

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

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

 

Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 306 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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

18th-Century Novels

ENGL 335 - Walle, Taylor F.

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

 

Topics in Literature in English since 1900

ENGL 394A - Smout, Kary

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

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

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395A - Hill, Michael D.

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

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

Topics in Literature in English in Counter Traditions

ENGL 395B - Kharputly, Nadeen

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

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

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Wheeler, Lesley M.

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

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

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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

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

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Womer, Brenna

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

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

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Walle, Taylor F.

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