English Department Catalogue

The list below includes all the English department courses listed in the Saint Mary's catalogue. For individual semester offerings, please click Current Course Offerings in the left menu. 

Lower Division

3 Practice in Writing 

Designed to enable students to bridge the gap between their present level of writing competency and that expected of students entering English 4. Students focus on developing and organizing ideas, constructing complex sentences, and enhancing proofreading and editing skills. Enrollment in each section limited to 10 to allow individu­alized instruction. A grade of at least C– is prerequisite to enrollment in English 4. Does not satisfy an Area require­ment in the pre-2012 general education requirements. 

4 Composition 

Students write analytical, expository and persuasive essays; they also study examples of good writing. Stu­dents are expected to produce thoughtful, lively essays characterized by a clear thesis, adequate development of ideas, careful organization, coherent paragraphs, and sentences that employ the conventions of standard written English. English 4 teaches a writing process that ranges from developing ideas through careful revision. Instructors often employ a peer-editing approach, in which students present their work to classmates, who respond with sug­gestions for improvement. This procedure teaches critical reading skills and helps students to become effective editors of their own and others’ writing. A grade of at least C– is prerequisite to enrollment in English 5. Does not satisfy an Area requirement in the pre-2012 general education requirements. 

5 Argument and Research 

Students continue to develop the rhetorical and critical thinking skills they need to analyze texts and to structure complex arguments. In addition, the course gives stu­dents practice in exploring ideas through library research and in supporting a thesis through appropriate use of sources. Students write and revise two or more essays, at least one of which is a substantial research essay that presents an extended argument. Does not satisfy an Area requirement in the pre-2012 general education requirements. 

19 Introduction to Literary Analysis 

A course to introduce skills of analysis and interpretation that will help students to understand and enjoy works of literature and to articulate their understanding in discus­sion and essays. Special attention is given to literary terms and conventions and to the problems involved in writing about works of literature. Required for English majors, this course begins the major and is prerequisite to English 29. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) in the Core Curriculum.

23 American Voices 

An introduction to some of the many voices that consti­tute the diverse literary cultures of the United States. Readings may include novels, poems, short stories, slave narratives, Native-American chants, or diaries and letters organized around a theme or issue. Examples of possible offerings: The Immigrant Experience, Race and Sexual­ity in America, The City in American Literature, American Autobiography, or Growing Up in America. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) and American Diversity in the Core Curriculum. 

25 Creative Writing: Multi-Genre Studies 

An introduction to the critical and creative techniques and vocabularies of the major genres of creative writ­ing—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. Students will be introduced to the craft of these genres while learning to explore their own written voice in a workshop-style environment. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis and Creative Practice) of the Core Curriculum. 

26 Creative Writing Reading Series (.25) 

Students enrolled in this course attend the public events of the Creative Writing Reading Series and have an oppor­tunity to meet visiting writers and discuss the writing and performances of the readers in the series. (Course may be repeated for credit. Students in the creative writing minor must take this course twice.) 

27 English Department Book Club (.25) 

This class meets for one hour a week or two hours every other week to discuss works chosen jointly by an instructor and interested students. Its focus will vary from semester to semester, but may include such topics as books and the films based on them, fantasy fiction, memoir, detective fiction, or contemporary writing. 

29 Issues in Literary Study 

An introduction to the disciplinary concerns relevant to the study of English and American literature. Through readings in theory and literature, class discussion and writing, students engage with the following topics: diverse interpretive approaches, the role of the reader, and canon formation. Prerequisite: English 19. This course is a prerequisite for English 167, 168 and 170. 


Upper Division


100 Advanced Composition 

This course is designed to improve students’ analyti­cal, persuasive and expository writing as well as to help them develop voice and style. Students will build on their research skills with the aim of producing effective upper division college papers on complex topics. In addition, the course will cover motivation and commitment to writing and revising, appealing to specific audiences, develop­ing and organizing ideas. Prerequisites: English 4 and 5. Exception: With the Permission of the Director of Compo­sition, transfer students with advanced standing may take this course in lieu of English 5.

101 Writing Adviser Training Workshop (.25)

Training in the art of helping fellow students develop, organize, and articulate their ideas in writing. Students develop tutoring skills through practice and discussion in a workshop setting.

102 Creative Writing 

Offerings rotate among poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic writing. May be repeated for credit as genre varies. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis and Creative Practice) of the Core Curriculum. 

103 British Literature I 

Chronological study of British literature from the Middle Ages to 1700, including Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, with attention to close reading and historical context. English 103 is not prerequisite to English 104. 

104 British Literature II 

Chronological study of British literature from the Neo­classic, Romantic, Victorian and Modern periods, with attention to close reading and historical context. Writers studied may include Pope, Wordsworth, Austen, Mary Shelley, Dickens, Woolf, Yeats and T.S. Eliot. English 103 is not prerequisite to English 104. 

105 Children’s Literature 

Intensive readings in imaginative literature for children. Topics may include adolescent fiction, multicultural litera­ture, picture books, fairy tales, issues in selecting books for children, history, enduring themes, forms of fantasy, conventions and relationship to adult literature. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

110 Linguistics 

An introduction to the scientific study of language. Lan­guage as a system: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and discourse. Language in context: language in relation to history, culture, social class, region, ethnicity, and gender. Language considered biologically: as a uniquely human characteristic, in brain development, first- and second-language acquisition, and in animal com­munication systems. 

111 Topics in Linguistics 

Study of specialized topics in linguistics. Topics may include language and thought, language acquisition, second-language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and language and literature. 

115 Chaucer 

Studies in the poetry of Chaucer with emphasis on the Canterbury Tales; a study of Chaucer’s language directed toward the ability to read the poetry with ease and under­standing. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

118 20th-Century Literature 

Reading and discussion of major works of literature writ­ten since 1900. Poetry, fiction, drama or essays included. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum.

119 Contemporary Literature 

Reading and discussion of contemporary poetry, fiction, drama, or essay, with occasional inclusion of other media. 

120 The Short Poem 

Study of the development of lyric poetry written in English from the 16th century to the present. 

125 Film 

Viewing and discussion of films with emphasis on theory, history and aesthetics of film. Satisfies Artistic Under­standing (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

126 Film 

Viewing and discussion of films of a particular genre, country, or director. Examples: American comic film, Japa­nese film, film noir, films of Hitchcock. May be repeated for credit as content varies. Satisfies Artistic Understand­ing (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

130 Single Author 

Intensive study of the major works of one important author. Some attention to background and biography. May be repeated for credit as author varies. 

138 Short Fiction 

Close reading of short stories and novellas of the 19th and 20th centuries. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

140 Studies in Literary Genre 

Exploration of a particular literary genre. Examples of pos­sible offerings: satire, tragedy, comedy, memoir, science fiction, detective fiction, Gothic fiction and nature writing. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

141 Studies in Medieval Literature 

Study of British literature through 1500, focusing on the period as a whole or some aspect of it. Examples of pos­sible offerings: Chaucer and His Contemporaries; Fabliau and Romance; the Arthurian Tradition; Medieval Allegory and Enigma; Women Writers of the Middle Ages. 

142 Studies in Renaissance and 17th-Century Literature 

Study of British literature from 1500 to 1660, focusing on the period as a whole or some aspect of it. Examples of possible offerings: Renaissance Drama Exclusive of Shake­speare; 16th-Century Poetry; 17th-Century Poetry; Prose of the English Renaissance; Renaissance Storytelling. 

143 Studies in Restoration and 18th-Century Literature 

Study of British literature from 1660 –1800, focusing on the period as a whole or some aspect of it. Examples of possible offerings: Tory Satirists; Johnson and His Circle; Pre-Romantic Poetry; the Emergence of the Professional Woman Writer. 

144 Studies in 19th-Century Literature 

Study of British literature from1800 –1900, focusing on the period as a whole or on some aspect of it. Examples of possible offerings: Romantic Poetry; Victorian Poetry; the Social Problem Novel; Gothic Fiction; the “Woman Ques­tion” in the 19th Century. 

150 American Literature Before 1800 

Study of American prose, poetry, and fiction of the 17th and 18th centuries with particular attention to the repre­sentation of cultural diversity. Readings may include Native American literature, Puritan journals and poetry, prose by the Founding Fathers, and “domestic” novels by women. 

151 American Literature 1800 –1900 

Study of American prose, poetry and fiction of the 19th century from the Transcendentalists to 1900, with par­ticular attention to the representation of cultural diversity. Readings may include the literary traditions of Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants and women. 

152 20th-Century American Literature 

Study of American prose, poetry and fiction of the 20th century, with particular attention to the representation of cultural diversity. Readings may include writers repre­senting modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Jazz Age and the Great Depression, the literary traditions of Chicano-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans. 

153 American Ethnic Writers and Oral Traditions 

Study of the literary or oral imaginative achievement of an American ethnic or cultural group such as Native Americans, Asian Americans, American Jews, specific Black cultural groups, Hispanic Americans or Chicano communities. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) and American Diversity in the Core Curriculum. 

154 Studies in African-American Literature 

Study of some aspect of the African-American literary tradition. Examples of possible offerings are: Oral Tradition and Slave Narratives, African American Novelists, the Har­lem Renaissance, Contemporary African American Poets. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) and American Diversity in the Core Curriculum. 

160, 161 Development of English Fiction 

Studies in the origin and development of the English novel with attention to foreign influences. English 160 is not prerequisite to 161. 

162 The American Novel 

Studies in the range of varieties of the American novel. 

163 The Other English Literatures 

Studies in literature in English outside the English and American traditions. Examples: the Commonwealth Novel, the African Novel in English, Writers of the Carib­bean, and Canadian Literature. May be repeated for credit as content varies. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

167 Literary Criticism 

Readings in the development of critical theory from Aristotle to Coleridge. Prerequisite: English 29. 

168 Literary Criticism 

Readings in 19th- and 20th-century criticism and aesthetics. Prerequisite: English 29. 

170 Problems in Literary Theory 

Intensive study of the varying problems in literary theory. Examples of recent course offerings: Metaphor, Symbol and Myth; Philosophy in Literature; Feminist Theory; PostColonial Theory. May be repeated for credit as content varies. Prerequisite: English 29. 

171 Literary Movements 

Study of groups of writers related by time, place or inter­est. Examples of possible offerings are: The Metaphysical Poets, Modernism, the Bloomsbury Group, Negritude, American Expatriates, Surrealism, The Pre-Raphaelites. May be repeated for credit as content varies. 

173 Women Writers 

Intensive study of some aspect of literature by women. Examples of possible topics are: 19th-Century British Novelists; Contemporary Women Poets; and American and Canadian Short Story Writers. May be repeated for credit as content varies. Satisfies Artistic Understanding (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

175 Shakespeare 

Close study of selected major plays and poems with attention to developing the ability to read the plays with ease and to experience them with pleasure. May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Satisfies Artistic Under­standing (Analysis) of the Core Curriculum. 

180 Milton 

Study of the minor poems, of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, and of representative prose works such as the Areopagitica. Attention will be given to Milton’s life and times. 

182 The Drama 

Study of ancient, modern and contemporary forms of drama. May include film and television. Attention is given to plays as works designed for performance. Emphasis on the structure and forms of dramatic texts. 

183 Topics in Drama 

Intensive study of a group of plays as products of their times and places. Examples of possible offerings are: The­ater of the Absurd, Women Playwrights, Mythic Drama, Expressionist Drama, Restoration Drama. The plays are considered as works designed for theatrical production. May be repeated for credit as topic varies. 

184 Contemporary Drama 

Introduction to current plays by American and British playwrights. Attention is given to plays as works designed for theatrical production.

185 Individual Dramatist 

Intensive study of the major works of one important dramatist. Some attention to background, biography and criticism, as well as to the plays as works designed for theatrical production. May be repeated for credit as content varies. 

197 Special Study 

An independent study or research for students whose needs are not met by courses available in the regular offerings of the Department of English. Permission of the instructor and the department chair required. 

198 Senior Honors Thesis (Independent Study) 

Directed reading and research under the supervision of a department faculty member, culminating in the writing of an academic thesis. Senior standing required. Course admission by application to department chairperson. 

**For your convenience, the English Department's brochure is also available for download. Click the following link to download the complete Fall 2015 course offerings. 

PDF icon Brochure_Fall 2015.pdf767.96 KB