English

Department Chair: Cynthia Malone

Faculty: Matthew Callahan, Mara Faulkner OSB, Jessica Harkins,Matthew Harkins, Cynthia Malone, Luke Mancuso OSB, Ozzie Mayers, Madhu Mitra, Michael Opitz, Christina Shouse-Tourino, Steven Thomas

The department of English offers traditional and innovative courses to meet the needs of both liberal arts and pre-professional students. We prepare majors for a wide range of careers as well as for further study of literature. We also work closely with the education department to help English majors with education minors meet state licensing requirements. The department encourages students to participate in the college’s International Studies Programs or to pursue independent studies abroad.

By studying literature in English, students gain insight into experiences and ways of thinking and feeling different from their own. As a result, they come to perceive the shared humanity of people as well as the differences determined by such circumstances as gender, race, and class. These insights foster cooperation and community, both in the classroom and in the larger world.

The English department teaches students to read thoughtfully and perceptively, to listen carefully, to analyze critically, and to express their ideas logically, clearly, and precisely. Through exposure to theoretical and critical debates, students learn various ways of interpreting and analyzing literature. Exploring literature – poetry, drama, fiction, and the essay – students develop an understanding of the growing and rapidly changing world of contemporary English studies. Courses include excellent writers who have been excluded from the literary mainstream in addition to traditionally respected British and American authors.

Through analytical and creative writing, students practice a variety of literary forms and develop their own talent. Through reading, writing, and discussing, students discover the values inherent in literary works and the theories which shape our interpretation of them. Students also come to a clearer and deeper awareness of their own values as they develop an individual voice to express them.

Assessment

The English Department conducts regular assessment of student learning in the major. Methods of assessment include: a yearly analysis of student sample essays, a survey of seniors’ perceptions of the curriculum, and focus-group interviews for graduating seniors.

Major

The English department offers concentrations in literature and English communication arts/literature for 5-12 education.

Concentration in Literature (40 credits)

Required Courses:
4 credits from courses numbered 130-134
4 credits of ENGL 243: Literary Theory and Criticism
4 credits of ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits of course work under each of the following clusters:

Literature and Literary History
Theory and Culture
Capstone

  • At least 16 credits must be in upper-division courses.
  • At least 16 credits must be in literature courses.
  • At least 4 credits must be in a course in which a major subject of study is poetry.*
  • At least 4 credits in the major must be in literature before 1800.*
  • Students may apply only one course from 130-134 toward the major.
  • Students must have sophomore standing to enroll in 300-level courses.

*See the English Department Course Description Booklet for courses which satisfy these requirements.

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to the department: (1) if they possess at least average college skills in speech, reading, and writing; (2) if they have completed four credits from courses numbered 130-134 and earned four other English credits above that level at CSB/SJU; and (3) if they have a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average in major coursework. The department may also request an interview.

Concentration in English – Communication Arts/Literature for 5-12 Education Licensure (44 or 45 credits)
Students in this program meet the same requirements as do other English majors. Secondary-education minors must also meet the requirements of the education department. Students are strongly encouraged to contact an English secondary education advisor as soon as possible in their college career, preferably as first-year students.

Students who transfer to these colleges should see an English secondary-education advisor before registering for classes. Students should contact both the education and the English departments for detailed information on their programs.

Required Courses:
4 credits ENGL 133: Reading Fiction and Poetry
4 credits ENGL 243: Literary Theory and Criticism
4 credits ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits of coursework under each of the following clusters:

Literature and Literary History – ENGL 352: Shakespeare
Theory and Culture – ENGL 387: English Language (Linguistics)
Capstone – EDUC 362: Student Teaching

To meet state requirements and fulfill the additional requirements listed under the Concentration in Literature, education minors must also take the following courses:
4 credits ENGL 342: British Literature after 1700
4 credits ENGL 346: American Literature to 1865
4 credits ENGL 383: Post-Colonial Literature or ENGL 382: Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Literatures 
Those students who complete the minor may also count 2 credits of COMM 200: Public Speaking, 2 credits of COMM 252: Listening, and 4 credits of COMM 103: Mass Communication and Society towards their major.

See also the education department’s listing of courses required for a 5-12 licensure.

Minor: (24 credits)

Writing Minor:
ENGL 311: Writing Essays
12 credits of additional writing courses within the English major. Students may substitute COMM 245: Introduction to Media Writing and COMM 345: Advanced Media Writing
8 elective credits in English, 4 of which must be in literature
The English department strongly recommends that students pursuing the writing minor take a linguistics course.

Literary Studies Minor:
ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits from courses numbered 130-134
4 credits from each of the following clusters (8 credits total):

Literature and Literary History
Theory and Culture
8 elective credits in English, 4 of which must be in a 300-level course

  • Students may apply only one course from 130-134 toward the minor.

Courses (ENGL)

100-Level Courses

The department of English offers a variety of 100-level courses in order to introduce students to critical reading skills, analytical thinking, and competent writing. Students have the opportunity to learn methods for understanding literary genres, history, and the crafts of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Faculty members are committed to both the traditional canon of literature and to the expansion of the traditional canon through attention to the literatures of women, minorities, and non-Western cultures. Faculty members usually supplement the study of literary texts with consideration of other cultural forms—examples might include paintings, photography, music, film, video, popular culture—and with significant texts from other fields, including history, philosophy, psychology and the social sciences. Course content will vary from course to course, and not all 100-level courses may be offered each semester. Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a description of each semester’s offerings.

  • Students may apply only one course from 130-134 toward the major or minor.

130 Reading Fiction.
131 Reading Poetry.
132 Reading Drama.
133 Reading Fiction and Poetry.
134 Reading: Special Topics.

Writing

Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a description of each semester’s offerings.

211 Writing Well. (4)
Practice in writing for various audiences and in a variety of nonfiction forms. Attention to grammar, mechanics, paragraph development, etc. Prerequisite: completion of First-year Symposium.

213 Seminar in Creative Writing. (4)
Workshop/seminar in the principles and techniques of writing any two genres such as short fiction, poetry, mixed genres and creative non-fiction prose. Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a specific description of each semester’s offering.

220 Investigative Writing. (4)
The theory and practice of research in literary and cultural studies in preparation for a written project of the student’s choice—literary or cultural critique, memoir, historical fiction, biography, etc. This course is an excellent preparation for an honors thesis in the humanities.

311 Writing Essays. (4)
Theory and practice of writing longer nonfiction forms (essays, articles) dealing with complex subject matter. Study of the rhetorical strategies used in non-technical writing drawn from a variety of disciplines. Concentration on development of the student writer’s voice and style. Prerequisite: Completion of First-year Symposium and junior standing.

313 Advanced Seminar in Creative Writing. (4)
Advanced workshop/seminar in a particular genre such as poetry, fiction, mixed genres or creative non-fiction prose. Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a specific description of each semester’s offering.

315 Writing: Special Topics. (4)
Theory and practice of writing special genres—such as biography or memoir, normally not included in other writing courses, or workshop/seminar in editing and publishing, business writing, technical writing, etc. See the English Department Course Description Booklet for a description of a specific semester’s offering. This course may also be cross-listed with writing courses in other disciplines.

Literature and Literary History

Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a description of each semester’s offerings.

283 Western Literature in Translation: Ancient Greece to the Medieval Period. (4)
Writings from the past, with emphasis on classical and biblical works and literature of the medieval West.

284 Western Literature in Translation: Renaissance to the Present. (4)
Reading and analysis of Renaissance and/or modern literature in translation.

325 Studies in Drama. (4)
Study of a number of plays related to one another by theme, historic or national provenance, subgenre, or by some other significant connection. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

341 Studies in British Literature to 1700. (4)
Course offerings under this title might be organized by theme, by historical period, by region or by genre. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

342 Studies in British Literature after 1700. (4)
Course offerings under this title might be organized by theme, by historical period, by region or by genre. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.
 
346 United States Literature to 1865. (4)
Reading and analysis of prose and poetry from pre-Colonial times to the Civil War.

347 United States Literature after 1865. (4)
Reading and analysis of prose and poetry from the Civil War to about 1920. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

351 Chaucer. (4)
The Canterbury Tales and other works in the literary and social context of the Medieval period. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

352 Shakespeare. (4)
Representative plays. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

355 Studies in Individual Authors. (4)
Study of several works by one or two authors. Works in translation acceptable.

361 British Novel to 1900. (4)
Longer prose fiction from Defoe to Eliot and Hardy. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

362 American Novel to 1920. (4)
A selection of American novels to 1920. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

366 Studies in Modern Literature. (4)
A selection of fiction, poetry and/or other forms written in late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML Literature.

367 Studies in Contemporary Literature. (4)
A selection of fiction, poetry and/or other forms written in the past 30-50 years. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML Literature.

381 Literature by Women. (4)
Selection of works written by women. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

382 Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Literatures. (4)
A study of literature from several of the ethnic, racial and other groups that make up United States culture. Some attention to the historical and social contexts in which this literature arises. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

383 Post-Colonial Literature. (4)
A study of literature, partly in translation, from African, Asian and the Caribbean countries. The course focuses on the specific historical and cultural contexts in which these literatures arise. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

385 Studies in Literature. (4)
See listing under Special Courses. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

Theory and Culture

Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a description of each semester’s offerings.

243 Literary Theory and Criticism. (4)
Introduction to literary and cultural theory. Students apply theoretical texts or concepts to literary or cultural texts (e.g., novels, films, television, popular arts, clothing, architecture, and public spaces).

286 Introduction to Film Studies. (4)
This course offers an introduction to film as a medium of communication and representation. Possible topics include but are not limited to a survey of the development of film and the movie business, techniques of acting, directing, cinematography, narrative style, and film theory. The vocabulary of cinema and representative films of the first hundred years of filmmaking is covered.

369 Studies in Critical Theory. (4)
Study of selected critical theories and application, using such approaches. Recommended for majors planning for graduate English studies.

386 Studies in Film. (4)
This course analyzes film through one or more theoretical aspects. Psychoanalytic, feminist, cultural studies, and reader-response theories are among possible approaches offered. A selection of films is viewed for illustrative and interpretive purposes. Prerequisite: fulfillment of HML literature.

387 Introduction to Linguistics. (4)
This course covers the history and development of the English language, its grammar and structure, and also language acquisition and use in society.

388 Studies in Popular Culture. (4)
Critical reading of such popular arts and practices as film, television, music, newspapers, etc.

Capstone

365 Current Issues in Literary Studies. (4)
Explores the history and current state of literary studies. Students analyze and discuss significant literary texts; they examine debates that have shaped the discipline of literary studies; and they complete a substantial research project. Thematic focus of the course varies with instructor.

397 Internship. (4 credits in English)
Integration of the skills of the English major, a liberal arts background and the expectations of a career. Individually tailored by the student with the advice and approval of a department advisor and the college’s director of internships. Four credits may be counted toward the capstone requirement. S/U grading only.

HONR 398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with “Distinction in English.” Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.

EDUC 362 Student Teaching. (4-16)
Observations and supervised teaching in the student’s major subject at area schools. Full-time off-campus student teaching assignments arranged by director of 5-12/K-12 student teaching. Four credits may be counted toward the capstone requirement.

Students may also fulfill the capstone requirement by submitting a petition to count a course in the major that serves as a culminating experience of the major. In special cases, the student may submit a petition to count a course outside the English department which is closely related to his or her work in the major and fulfills this capstone function.

Special Courses

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

385 Studies in Literature. (4)
Study of a special topic. Intended for subjects that are not readily treated in standard courses. Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for specific titles and descriptions.