Courses in English
- Courses in Language/Writing
EN 104 Writing & Revising Studio (4)
This course reviews basic strategies for forming good sentences (including good thesis statements) and editing writing and is appropriate to take before or concurrently with English 121. Students will review rules of grammar, mechanics, vocabulary usage, and punctuation and apply them to very short essays. The work assigned will be tailored to individual needs. The course has a computer lab studio component to help practice skills. Students will work with the instructor as well as student peer tutors or writing center consultants. No prerequisite. This course does not fulfill the all-college general education requirement in writing or count toward the English major.
EN 121 Writing (4)
A writing course designed to enable the student through practice and revision to demonstrate an acceptable standard of written expression. Focus upon description, exposition, and argumentation. Critical reading and thinking are also stressed. College librarians present class sessions focusing on the effective use of library and online resources, concentrating on developing research skills as well as locating and evaluating information sources. Course requirements include completion of a research paper. Course theme varies.
EN 205 Intermediate Expository Writing (4)
The study and practice of expository writing in a variety of modes with attention paid to the analysis of texts and to developing an appropriate and engaging voice while writing in various rhetorical situations. Emphasis on nonfiction writing. Course topic varies.
EN 207 Introduction to Creative Writing (4)
A workshop for students interested in exploring the various forms of creative writing including fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry. Students and instructor work closely together to evaluate the individual and class writing projects in an informal setting. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 208 Argumentative Writing (4)
The study and practice of writing persuasively and logically.
EN 212 Journalistic Writing (4)
A study of newspapers and the techniques of news gathering and news writing; writing and criticism of news stories. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 280 Editing and Publishing I
Wherever there are words, there are writers, and jobs for writers. The Internet has created a staggering array of new platforms through which writers seek to reach readers. This course will offer students the opportunity to study these new writing landscapes, to participate and publish their thinking and writing, and to learn how to protect against the various hazards of such activity. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 304 Fiction Workshop (4)
A course in fiction writing for advanced students. Prerequisite: EN 207 or consent of the instructor.
EN 305 Poetry Workshop (4)
A course in poetry writing for advanced students. Prerequisite: EN 207 or consent of the instructor.
EN 307 Advanced Writing (4)
An advanced course in writing for students who wish to pursue their writing interests in one or more types of writing. Prerequisite: completion of EN 207, EN 208, or a 300-level writing workshop. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 hours.
EN 308 Journeys through Nonfiction (4)
The practice of writing longer, more sophisticated works of nonfiction prose in a workshop setting. Prerequisite: EN 205, 208 or 212.
EN 309 Creative Nonfiction Workshop (4)
A workshop focused on the study and production of the four major genres of contemporary creative nonfiction: the profile, the general-interest article, popular criticism, and the personal or programmatic informal essay. Prerequisite: EN 205, 207, 208, 212 or consent of the instructor.
EN 380 Editing and Publishing II (4)
This course covers the basic procedures of editing and publishing texts. It will use the Chicago Manual of Style as a primary textbook, and it will enable students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes necessary to work effectively as an editorial assistant, editor, new-media writer, or professional writer. Prerequisite: one 200-level writing course or instructor’s permission.
EN 388 Literary Explorations (4)
Topic, area or authors chosen by the instructor. This course provides the opportunity for the instructor and students to work intensively in a special area of interest. May be repeated with
consent of instructor.
- Courses in Literature
EN 131 American Literature: Colonial to the Twentieth Century (4)
A treatment of the literature of America through the end of the nineteenth century, with consideration of genres from Native American mythology to early modern fiction.
EN 132 American Literature: the Twentieth Century (4)
Examination of modern and contemporary American literature in the principal genres poetry, drama, and fiction.
EN 141 God and Heroes (4)
A survey of significant authors and literary movements from ancient times through the Renaissance.
EN 142 Heroes and Anti-Heroes (4)
A survey of significant authors and literary movements since the Renaissance.
EN 145 Literature and Science
This course focuses on how works of literature depict science and scientists. In 1959, scientist and novelist C.P. Snow declared that there were two cultures, the literary and the scientific, and that this divide prevented us from finding solutions to important problems. Scientists have written literature, and writers have written about science in ways that influence how society understands science and its achievements. The course may be themed around literature and medicine, climate change and the environment, technology and science fiction, or other topics bridging the “two cultures.”
EN 171 Global Literatures (4)
Consideration of varying themes as they appear in texts from diverse cultures around the world. Genres of fiction, autobiography, graphic novel, and film included.
EN 172 Multicultural Literature of the Americas (4)
Focus on literatures and cultures of the Americas with special consideration of the formation of cultural and individual identity in a variety of texts. Topics include the Culture of War, immigration and assimilation, cross-cultural contact, Sundown towns in the Midwest, among others. Genres of fiction, memoir, graphic novel, and film included.
EN 173 Literatures of the Middle East and North Africa (4)
This course is an introductory survey of contemporary literatures of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We will read works of fiction, non-fiction, and verse; we will view films, video, and art; and we will listen to music keeping in mind the cultural and historical contexts influencing the production of these texts. We will consider questions of national identity; the dialectic between gender, politics, and religion; and anti-colonial movements and the West, among others.
EN 176 Introduction to African American Studies (4)
This course is an introductory survey of African American Studies. Readings will include works of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and verse, from Phyllis Wheatley (b 1735) to D-Knowledge (b 1970); various forms of oral expression and music, from speeches of Sojourner Truth and Malcolm X, from spirituals to hip-hop; and artists from Jacob Lawrence to Kara Walker, and cultural critics/ intellectuals W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bell hooks, and Cornell West. Discussions will include overlapping theoretical, artistic, and historical issues: questions of assimilation, the Middle Passage, Slave Narratives, the Abolition Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement, Black Nationalism, Womanism, the “Sundown Towns” of Illinois, writing as witness, and political resistance, among others.
EN 225 Concepts of Comedy (4)
An exploration of various forms of ‘literature of laughter’ – from humor to satire, from comedy to the Absurd – focusing on the uses and effects of comic genres and techniques to express what it is to be human. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 230 Young Adult Literature (4)
What is “YA” literature? Should it only be read by Young Adults? How does it fit into literary studies and into popular culture? What can fiction do for Young Adult (or adult) readers? Can it make readers more aware of global diversity and world events? In this course we will read and analyze works of YA fiction and discuss genre, theme, representation, and interpretation. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 236 Narrative in Fiction and Film (4)
A study of story-telling methods and purposes in literature (primarily short fiction) and in film. Special attention will be given to film adaptation of literary texts and the comparison of fiction writers’ and filmmakers’ approaches to narrative. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 238 Classical Literature (4)
A survey of selected masterworks from ancient Greece and Rome. Emphasis on major figures, including Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Virgil, and Ovid. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 245 From Middle-Earth to Outer Space (4)
A reading of the major works of fantasy and science fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, the principle members of the Inklings, an influential group of scholar-novelists in Oxford during the 1930s and 1940s. Includes The Lord of the Rings. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 250 Introduction to Literature: Special Topics (4)
A course with a topical approach to literary study. The particular topic for a given offering of this course will be indicated in the semester’s course schedule.The courses are introductory and appropriate for first-year students.
EN 262 Power Plays (4)
An examination of a selection of plays which use historical material to consider issues relating to power: its use and abuse, when and how to resist it. The plays, written between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, provide an opportunity to consider how attitudes toward power have changed over time. This is primarily a literature course, so students will be expected to understand the plays as works of literature. This is the major reason for terms/characters tests. Students will also consider the philosophical, ethical, and political implications of the plays in class discussion and brief response papers. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 263 Shakespeare I (4)
Histories and tragedies. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students.
EN 310 Medieval Literature (4)
Major works written on the Continent during the Middle Ages, with the focus on Dante.
EN 311 The Age of Chaucer (4)
Fourteenth- and fifteenth-century British literature, emphasizing Chaucer, Langland, and the Gawain-Poet.
EN 322 Shakespeare II (4)
Comedies and tragedies (different selections).
EN 326 Studies in the Renaissance (4)
A study of the major works of British and Continental literature written during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, exclusive of the dramatic works of Shakespeare.
EN 331 The English Novel (4)
The development of the novel as a literary form coincided with an era of rapid social change which occasioned both opportunity and uncertainty, an era much like the one in which we find ourselves today. The novel reflected this situation in a theme which will be the focus of this course. The “apprenticeship” or “coming of age” novel deals with the struggle of young creative individuals to find a place in a society where rules are in the process of being rewritten. Some works in translation will be included to give context to the development of the English novel.
EN 335 Modern European Drama (4)
Or reality is overrated. Does that mean we should create a better reality? Or that we have no idea of what reality is? Focus on the theatre of the absurd and the epic theatre. Consideration of the philosophical and theoretical assumptions of these two seemingly contradictory statements.
EN 339 Studies in Global Literature (4)
Consideration of a genre, period, or theme in transnational literatures, such as European, Japanese, or Russian (in translation). The specific topic will be announced in the course listing and schedule of classes for the semester.
EN 354 Major American Writers (4)
Evolution of American literature from Poe onward to Transcendentalism, Realism, and Naturalism. Focus on such figures as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Twain, James, and Dreiser.
EN 355 American Women Writers (4)
Focus on the accomplishments, conditions and contributions of American women writers from the seventeenth century to the present. Readings will cover works of fiction, poetry and drama by writers such as Bradstreet, Dickinson, Sedgwick, Stowe, Wharton, Cather, Stein, Hurston and Morrison.
EN 356 Native American Literature (4)
An exploration of Native American literatures, primarily of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Issues of “writing as witness,” identity and assimilation, oral and written storytelling, Red Power and Indigenist movements studied. Includes contemporary writers such as James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, LeAnne Howe, and Sherman Alexie. Several films and attendance at local pow wow.
EN 357 Modern American Literature (4)
Developments in American literature from the early twentieth century to the ’60s. Readings will cover major works of fiction, poetry and drama.
EN 358 Women Writers: Global Voices/World Visions (4)
A critical investigation of representative works by major women writers that reflect the social, philosophical, literary, and aesthetic standards of women’s literature worldwide from the late 19th century to the present. Readings will cover fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama by writers such as Anna Akhmatova, Buchi Emecheta, Simone de Beauvoir, Nadine Gordimer, Arundhati Roy, Christa Wolf, and Virginia Woolf, among others.
EN 359 Japanese and American Modernism (4)
Examination of literary Modernism as it manifests in America and in Japan. Specifically, we will examine how literature in both countries embodied and expressed the many cultural changes both societies underwent in the years between World Wars. Key themes include alienation, mass culture, urbanization, cosmopolitanism, race, gender, class, and the politics of experimental form and style.
EN 368 Contemporary American Literature (4)
A study of American literature – fiction, poetry, and drama – from the ’60s to the present.
EN 373 African-American Literature (4)
Focus on African-American literature from the period of slavery to the present. Consideration of writers such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Octavia Butler. Consideration of such artistic forms of music (Blues, Spiritual, Jazz, Hip Hop), genres as the vernacular, the slave narrative, video representation, and speculative fiction.
EN 388 Literary Explorations (4)
Topic, area, or authors chosen by the instructor. This course provides the opportunity for the instructor and students to work intensively in a special area of interest. May be repeated with consent of instructor.
- Special Purpose Courses
English Studies is a course for students who love to read and write. It serves as an overview of how scholars and writers study and produce language and literature. In this course, students learn not only basic skills like critical reading or literary explication but also the distinctions and connections among the various strands of the professional discipline, such as literary criticism or creative writing. This course is appropriate for both majors and non-majors.
EN 410 English Honors Thesis (1 - 4)
Open to English majors entering the second semester of their junior year. Students with a minimum 3.5 GPA in their English courses and a minimum 3.0 GPA overall can apply to enroll in English 410 by writing a proposal specifying the original project to be undertaken and indicating, via signature, the agreement of a supervising faculty member. This proposal should be submitted to the department chair no later than the end of the junior year. A second faculty reader will be selected in consultation with the primary supervisor and the department chair.
This project is to be pursued over two semesters (2 credits per semester) and will be beyond the 40-credit minimum required for the major. Students will conduct a sustained project culminating in an article-length essay or new creative work of approximately 20-30 pages that engages with relevant literary scholarship while aiming for an original contribution to the topic. Students will also give a public presentation of their work at the end of the spring semester
EN 430 Senior Seminar (4)
A seminar bringing together all senior majors and department faculty in literary study designed to synthesize learning within the discipline, requiring comprehensive proficiency in literary techniques and critical concepts treated throughout the major, and culminating in a major project. Prerequisites: senior standing and students must complete two 300-level literature courses before enrolling. Offered fall semesters.
EN 461, 462 Independent Study in English (1 - 4)
Independent Study in Language and Literature: A tutorial course providing intensive study of authors or areas of mutual interest to the instructor and students. Instructor permission required. May be repeated.
EN 463, 464 Internship in English (1 - 4)
A work-study internship in public relations, journalism, technical or professional writing, or publishing. Permission of instructor and department chair required. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 hours.
EN 465, 466 Independent Research in English (1 - 4)