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Undergraduate Courses - 200-Level Courses

ENG 205: Introduction to Creative Writing

Prerequisite: ENG 101 (strongly recommended) and by permission only.  Satisfies the general education Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

Offers students experience in writing in three major forms: autobiographical narrative, fiction, and poetry.


ENG 206: Descriptive & Narrative Writing

Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent. Satisfies the general education Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2008, Bishop

The course focuses on autobiographical narrative. How do we translate the materials of our own experience, tell our stories, in ways that are true to ourselves and compelling to others? To that end, students are encouraged to experiment with forms and modes of expression. Students will be asked to select areas of focus from their experience and, increasingly, to generate their own writing assignments. Students will share their work with others in a constructive collaborative workshop format. A serious commitment to engaging the materials of one’s own experience and to the workshop format is required.


ENG 212: Persuasive & Analytical Writing

Prerequisite: ENG 101 and at least sophomore standing. Satisfies the general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Designed for students wanting to practice in those forms of expository, analytical, and persuasive prose required in writing answers to essay test questions, term papers, research projects, and extended arguments.


ENG 222: Reading Poems

Prerequisite: 3 Hours of English (above 101), English major, or instructor permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

This course, required of all English majors, this is an introduction to the art of poetry for readers. The course focuses on helping students develop critical skills particularly suited to the interpretation and analysis of poetry. We will examine the function of poetic conventions–including figures of speech, meter, rhythm, and rhyme–in a variety of different poetic forms–both traditional and innovative–from many eras. We will also discuss the rhetorical stances that poets assume and the responses that poets seek to evoke in their readers. The goal of the course is to instill a lifelong love of poetry in its students.


ENG 229: Topics in Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English Some courses satisfy the general education Western Cultural Tradition requirement.

Recent offerings:

Science Fiction and Philosophy (Spring 2011, Marks)

Much of science fiction can be divided into two main categories: hard science fiction, which attempts to base itself on sound scientific ideas; and escapist “space opera” like the Star Trek and Star Wars novels. There is a third category, however, one that attempts to answer questions about existence that are beyond mere science, and one that is certainly not “escapist” fiction. That’s the type of thought-provoking science fiction that this course deals with. The goal of the course is to look beyond the surface of these texts to the philosophical, metaphysical and religious ideas that provide their focus and meaning, and which, ultimately, might make us look at the world around us in a different way.

Texts:

  • The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
  • Calculating God, Robert J. Sawyer
  • A Case of Conscience, James Blish
  • Valis, Philip K. Dick
  • Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein

Films:

  • The Matrix
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

Dark Humor in American Fiction (Fall 2010, Kress)

This class will explore fictional works that are both funny and disturbing, texts that make us laugh and then make us wonder what is so funny.  Sometimes written for social critique, other times in order to explore rarely traipsed aspects of the human psyche, and others still just for a lot of fun, these works are challenging and provocative:  in other words, they produce thought via laughter.

The Beats (Fall 2010, Crouch)

The Writers of the Beat Generation (1940s-1960s) were one of the most influential literary movements of the 20th Century. Rebellious, non-conformist, street wise, and passionate, these authors helped to change the course of American fiction and poetry, and their influence can still be felt strongly today. This class will examine selected texts from the major Beat authors—Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Burroughs, Snyder, and others—to see where these writers came from and how their legacy is still alive in such artists as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and others.

Scandalous Women (Fall 2010, Minutolo)

Non-conformity and social disgrace! Whether through social non-conformity or sexual awakening, when social mores are challenged by empowered women, women are deemed scandalous.  But are they really? This course examines the women in British and American literature who caused a stir in their social sphere and were forevermore depicted as immoral.  Students will discuss and analyze the literature within a feminist critical context, as well as the contexts in which the texts were written.  Students will examine the political, social, cultural, and religious history of the period to better understand the women, or their characters, whose “eccentricities” ostracized them from their communities.

Required Texts (subject to change):

  • Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, 3rd- edition eds. Gilbert & Gubar
  • The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol 1 (1931-1934) Anais Nin
  • The Garden of Eden Ernest Hemingway

Excerpted Readings:

  • “The Incomparable Astrea” Aphra Behn Vita Sackville-West
  • Reason’s Disciples: Seventeenth-Century English Feminists Hilda Smith
  • D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study Anais Nin

Vampires in Literature (Fall 2010, Marks)

Other literary monsters come and go.  The Frankensteins, the wolf men, the mummies–they all go in and out of style.  And yet, the figure of the vampire remains with us today, if anything, more popular than ever.  What makes the vampire so much more appealing to us?  What explains its staying power?  This course will try to answer these questions by exploring the subject from its earliest mythology and literary inspirations, on through the present day.  We will look at the evolution of the genre by discussing classic early works such as Dracula and its first film adaptation, Nosferatu, later works such as Matheson’s novella, I Am Legend, and on into more modern works including those by Steven King, Anne Rice, and the recent film, 30 Days of Night.  Students will also have the opportunity to explore their own areas of interest by examining and writing about works not specifically covered in the class, from Blade to Buffy to Twilight, and beyond.

Required Texts (subject to change):

  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula:  Norton Critical Edition
  • Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend
  • Stephen King’s Salem‘s Lot
  • Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire
  • The film 30 Days of Night
  • Further texts and videos to be supplied through the WebCT course site.

Changing Planes: Alternative Realities (Spring 2010, Bishop)

In this course we will examine selected works of speculative fiction and film, not so much for the novelty and attraction of alien worlds, but to discover what we might learn from these imagined  alternative domains beyond our habitual ways of seeing and normal “givens,” about the nature and potentialities of our own kind. In other words, we’ll see what might be revealed about the possibilities, inspirational and otherwise, of being human.

Possible Texts (subject to change):

  • Phillip Pullman, The Golden Compass
  • Arthur Clarke, Childhood’s End
  • Stanislaw Lem, Solaris
  • Philip Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?î
  • Ursula Leguin, The Dispossessed
  • John Crowley, The Solitudes
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (film, Guillermo Del Toro, dir.)
  • Solaris (film, Andrei Tarkovsky, dir.)
  • Blade Runner (film, Ridley Scott, dir.)

Paganism and Christianity (Spring 2010, Wilson)

An exploration of the dynamic re-emergence of the classical pagan religious point of view in the nineteenth-century conflict between faith and reason, between the authority of the Renaissance and that of Medieval thought, between the Enlightenment and Fundamentalism in the context of Edward Gibbon and the following Victorians: Karl Marx, Thomas Carlyle, John Stewart Mill, Charles Darwin, Algernon Swinburne, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, and Thomas Hardy.

Vampires in Literature (Spring 2010, Marks)

Hopscotch to Oblivion: Dark Humor in American Fiction (Fall 2009, Kress)

Scandalous Women in Literature (Fall 2009, Minutolo)

Irish Literature (Spring 2009, Pratt)

This class will examine modern and post-modern short fiction from early and mid-twentieth century Irish masters including James Joyce, Liam O’Flaherty, Sean O Faolain, Frank O’Connor, Elizabeth Bowen, Mary Lavin, and George Moore, contemporary writers including William Trevor and Roddy Doyle, and Irish-American short fiction masters including Jack Driscoll, Joan Connor, John O’Hara, Michael White among others.  Though, as a nation Ireland has produced the Nobel Literature winners: Seamus Heaney, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, and W.B Yeats—primarily poets and dramatists—it has remained until recently, one of Europe’s most, if not the most, socially conservative and ardently Roman Catholic countries. The role of the church, colonization, and British hegemony, will be examined for their impact on Irish writing, especially its short fiction. This is a participatory class where discussion and opinion are encouraged and respected.

Paganism (Spring 2009, Wilson)

Science Fiction and Philosophy (Spring 2009, Marks)

Writers of The Beat Generation (Fall 2008, Crouch)

Hopscotch to Oblivion: Dark Humor in American Fiction (Fall 2008, Kress)

Canadian Women Writers (Fall 2008, Hutchison)

Beginning with a study of pioneer narratives by the first women settlers, the course will cover some works by nineteenth century and early twentieth century women authors, and then focus on the modern and contemporary period in the works of authors such as Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro. The purpose of the course will be to explore some distinctive features of Canadian literary identity, such as an obsession with the land and a focus on community, in the works of a wide range of women authors from Canada’s diverse cultures, including Micmac, Inuit and, French-Canadian women, in English translation where necessary.

Required Texts: We will be studying 4 poets and 6 novelists. The students will have to buy the books of each of the 10 authors, which I will order. The works are: Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moodie, Obasan by Joy Kogawa,  A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence (short stories)  and Vintage Munro, Selected Stories of Alice Munro. Poets will be Dorothy Livesay, Anne Hebert, Rita Joe, Margaret Atwood, and Margaret Avison.

Evaluation:

  • One Take-home Exam= 25 %
  • One In-Class Exam= 25 %
  • One Research Paper= 25 %
  • Attendance= 15%
  • Class Participation= 10%

Literature of the Vietnam War (Fall 2008, Whelan)

This course is designed to allow the student to gain an understanding of the literature that has grown from the war in Viet Nam.  In this regard, it will focus on the responses of the human imagination to war, specifically the American and Vietnamese experiences in Viet Nam.  The course will explore the tension between despair and hope that is created as the imagination attempts to reconcile facts of war and earlier lessons regarding humanity, goodness and truth. It will also explore reactions of both participants and non-participants in the aftermath of the war.  To the extent possible in a course focusing on literature, students should gain an appreciation of the social, cultural and historical context of the war. Additionally, the course will provide students with tools to use when critically reading works of fiction.

Required Texts: To be announced.

Evaluation: Since there will be two out-of-class writing assignments, as well as a prelim and a final which will provide an opportunity to write in a classroom setting, it seems fitting that a final objective should be to improve written expression, using essays of moderate length to do so.

Scandalous Women in Literature (Fall 2008, Minutolo)

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock (Spring 2008, Phippen)

Called “The Shakespeare of the Cinema,” Alfred Hitchcock directed 53 films during his career in England and the United States. In this survey course we will be studying 12 of his best films, including at least one of his early English films and 11 American films from the 1940s, including Rebecca, Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, Rear Window, and Psycho. Students will be expected to write about and critique a number of the films.

Paganism/Christianity (Spring 2008, Wilson)


ENG 231: Western Tradition in Literature – Homer through the Renaissance

Prerequisite: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2009, Alex Irvine

An introduction to the foundations of the western literary and cultural tradition from Stone Age Europe and its matriarchal culture witnessed in the profusion of goddess figures; through the heritage of ancient Babylon and Gilgamesh; to the drama of ancient Greek art, literature, and culture; to the religious forces of the Hebrew and the Christian; and then to the power and vitality of the Roman Empire; ending with the push into the modern with Dante’s Divine Comedy. Ancient Babylon, Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome will become the icons for this trip, one using WebCT and the other various technological resources so that we may both read the literature and view the art and drama of this period. Enhancing the classroom work will be video lectures by UMaine specialists Tina Passman, Classics; Michael Grillo, Art; Jay Bregman, History, and Michael Howard, Philosophy. Additionally, we’ll view Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata on film. We’ll explore these foundations within the context of their history and geography in an effort to come to some understanding as to the significance of these cultures and literature to the modern western world.

Fall 2008, Alex Irvine

Spring 2008, Wilson


ENG 235: Literature & the Modern World

Prerequisite: 3 hours of literature or permission Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Ethics requirements.

An examination of the modern sensibility as it has manifested itself in 20th century literature. Some attention also to the history, music, visual arts, social thought, and science of the contemporary epoch.


ENG 236: Canadian Literature (Norris)

Prerequisite: ENG 101 Satisfies the general education Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives, Artistic & Creative Expression, and Ethics requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010

A survey of Canadian literature from 1850 to the present. Interpretation and analysis of the poetry and prose of major literary figures. Some examination of the impact of British and American models upon the tradition of Canadian literature.

Spring 2009

This semester we’ll be reading twelve Canadian novels. This is a course for people who really love to read. There will be three exams.


ENG 237: Coming of Age in America (Bishop)

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English or permission. Satisfies the general education Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirement.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010

The process of moving from innocence to experience has many faces in America, as our literature in the last few decades has begun to chronicle. Explores stories of coming of age in American fiction, nonfiction and film of the last fifty years from writers to many traditions, including Franco-American, Latino-Latina, Native American, African-American and Asian-American

Fall 2009

Spring 2008


ENG 238: Nature & Literature

Prerequisite: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2009, Cowan

Looks at the many different ways people have looked at nature and examines the philosophies and values which inform humans’ interactions with their environment. Authors will be drawn from traditional literary figures, American nature writers, environmentalists and especially, authors from Maine. Assignment may include field experience.


ENG 241: American Literature Survey – Beginnings through Romanticism

Prerequisites: 3 Hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2009, Lukens

An overview of American literature from before the first English settlements to just before the Civil War, this course has two objectives.  First, it traces the historical development of the first 250 (or more) years of American prose and poetry in English by focusing on representative works from the successive eras of that chronological period.  Second, it emphasizes some recurring themes, persistent attitudes, and chronic concerns that characterize this diverse literature and define it as peculiarly American.

Required Texts:

The Heath Anthology of American Literature, volumes A & B (5th edition), Ed. Paul Lauter, et al.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.


ENG 242: American Literature Survey – Realism to the Present

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. ENG 170 is recommended. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010, Jeff Evans

The major themes, ideas, attitudes and techniques which have developed in our national poetry, fiction, drama, and essay and which have defined them as particularly American.

Spring 2008, Friedlander


ENG 243: Topics in Multicultural Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010, Ruddy

This course is an introduction to some of the literary themes, symbols, tropes, and formal and stylistic features that are important in the African-American literary tradition. We’ll be reading fiction, poetry, critical essays, and a number of experimental works that are a mixture of all three. Most of the texts will be from the 20th-century, with authors including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Spring 2008, Sithole

This course is an exploration of African culture through literature from the African continent written in English.  The renowned post-literary writer and critic, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, advocated for “moving the center” in a bid to challenge the age-old idea of a fixed western literary canon.  This course will heed that call by examining a selection of literary works from four regions of Africa.  We shall attempt to analyze (through these works) how various countries and cultures have dealt with their post-colonial/post-independence experiences as historically defining cultural moments.  Some issues around which this course will be organized are nationalism, race, cultural identity, and feminism as well as concepts like hegemony, empire, center, margin, ideology and post-colonialism/neocolonialism

Required Texts:

  • No Sweetness Here by Ama Ata Aido
  • Nervous Conditions by Tsistsi Dangarembga
  • Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa
  • Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiongo
  • Fantasia/An Algerian Cavalcade by Gjebar Assia
  • The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
  • July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
  • Maru by Bessie Head

Evaluation: Letter grade based on quizzes, in-class written responses, one short paper, one longer group project and final take-home paper.  Attendance and participation will also affect final grade.


ENG 244: Writers of Maine

Prerequisite: ENG 101 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Ethics requirements.

The Maine scene and Maine people as presented by Sarah Orne Jewett, E.A. Robinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Ellen Chase, R.P.T. Coffin, Kenneth Roberts, E.B. White, and others.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Hakola

There is the postcard-Maine Tourism Bureau version of Maine, and then there is the real Maine—life the way it should be versus the way life it all too often really is. In this course we will read about aspects of Maine life and people that don’t often appear in promotional materials about the state. We will identify the kinds of lenses through which various authors view Maine and address the complexities of Maine life that good literature introduces its readers to. Since Writers of Maine is, after all, a literature course, we will also investigate how talented Maine authors use the various literary genres to present those complexities. Evaluation will be based on class participation, two essay prelims (open-book, open-notebook), one critical book report, a “Connections” essay or project, possibly reading quizzes, and an optional final exam.

Texts (subject to change):

  • Wednesday’s Child, Rhea Cote Robbins
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • Others to be announced

Additional Readings: Each student will read one additional book of his/her choice for a critical book report.

Fall 2010, Margaret Irvine

Living in Maine has been compared to living in a corner, or living on the edge, or living on an island. If any of these descriptions is valid, our geography must have affected our writers and our literature. Accordingly, in this course we’ll read essays, novels, short stories and poetry in which the setting figures predominantly; we’ll try to determine in what ways that setting has left its mark.  Students will also, I hope, gain a greater appreciation of our state’s rich literary heritage. Finally, we’ll take a look at the recent controversy in Maine fiction:  what is the REAL Maine, and who’s writing about it?

Fall 2010, Phippen

Spring 2010, Hakola

Fall 2009, Margaret Irvine

Fall 2009, Phippen

Spring 2009, Hakola

Fall 2008, Margaret Irvine

Fall 2008, Phippen

Spring 2008, Hakola

Spring 2008, Phippen


ENG 245: American Short Fiction

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Rogers

A study of American short fiction from Irving to the present. We will proceed chronologically, concentrating on those formal developments that have made the short story a particularly American genre.

Evaluation will be based on exercises, quizzes, midterm, and final.

Required Texts (subject to change):

  • American Short Stories (8th edition). Virginia Kouidis and Bert Hitchcock, eds.
  • Great American Short Stories, ed. Paul Negri

Fall 2010, Callaway

This course studies the development in American Literature of a distinct art form known as “the short story.” Longer and more prosaic than poetry, but shorter and more “poetic” than most novels, the short story has evolved into one of the more powerful mediums American writers have available to them for the expression of their particular artistic visions.  Though the short story is a world wide phenomenon, this course will look at the history of the short story’s evolution in America and will help the student better understand how to read, interpret, and enjoy the short story as an artistic medium.

Fall 2010, Rogers

Spring 2010, Callaway

Spring 2010, Rogers

Fall 2009, Callaway

Fall 2009, Crouch

Spring 2009, Alex Irvine

This course will trace the development of the American short story, examining the ways in which short fiction serves as a cultural and artistic bellwether. Beginning with Washington Irving, the course will use the short story to take a snapshot look at American culture and literary movements from the American Renaissance through the Civil War and the rise of realism to the later movements in modernism and postmodernism to the present day.

Fall 2008, Callaway

Spring 2008, Rogers


ENG 246: American Women’s Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition, and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010, Lukens

A survey of the main traditions and writers in American women’s literature from the origins to the present.

Spring 2008, Ellis


ENG 248: Literature & the Sea

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2009, Kail

This is a course for students who identify in themselves a strong feeling for the sea, for the people who live and work under its many influences, and for the way literature transforms experience into art.  The aim of this course is to provide students with strategically located bearings in the huge expanse of sea literature, so that they can navigate their own way among the unique literary experiences it offers in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama.  Be prepared for bold voyaging on the tumultuous and frequently dangerous seas of the human imagination!

Required Texts:

  • William Carpenter, The Wooden Nickel
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and Other Stories
  • Lincoln Colcord, I Was Born in a Storm at Sea
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm
  • Rudyard Kipling, Captains Courageous
  • Herman Melville, Benito Cereno
  • Eugene O’Neill, The Long Voyage Home and Other Plays
  • Selected poetry and essays.

ENG 249: American Sports, Literature, and Film (Peterson)

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010

Uses readings in fiction, poetry, drama, essays and films to explore social, humanistic, ethical and aesthetic issues in sports and its literature. Examines ways writers capture physical action and the role of sports in various genres and media.

Spring 2008


ENG 251: English Literature Survey – Beginnings through Neoclassicism (Brinkley)

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission of the instructor (ENG 170 recommended). Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010

The major patterns of development within the English literary tradition, with emphasis on the cultural and historical forces which have shaped this tradition.

Fall 2009

Fall 2008


ENG 252: English Literature Survey – Romanticism to the Present (Brinkley)

Prerequisite: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2010

The major patterns of development within the English literary tradition, with emphasis on the cultural and historical forces which have shaped this tradition.

Spring 2009

Spring 2008


ENG 253: Shakespeare – Selected Plays

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression, and Ethics requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010, Alex Irvine

A study of ten to twelve plays, selected to represent the range of Shakespeare’s achievement as a playwright. Recommended for non-majors

Fall 2009, Brucher

This course introduces Shakespeare’s drama through close analysis of twelve plays. We’ll distinguish the conventions of comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances; determine the nature of major literary themes (including revenge, honor, justice, and love); and see the texts as both performance and cultural documents. We’ll use videos of plays to demonstrate staging and interpretation possibilities, but we’ll spend considerable time reading Shakespeare’s language.

Required Text:

Stephen Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition (Norton, 2008).

Spring 2009, Brucher


ENG 256: British Women’s Literature

Prerequisite: 3 hours of college literature or permission Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Minutolo

This is an introduction to literature by women of Britain and former British colonies from the Middle Ages to the present day—a group including some of the classic writers in English.  We’ll look at their poetry and fiction not only for their intrinsic pleasures and insights, but also to gain a sense of how literary conventions and gender ideology have interacted with women’s experiences to shape and inform their writing.  Some discussion of women’s history will be included.

Required texts

  • The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, 3rd edition (2 volume set)
  • Emma, Jane Austen

Spring 2009, Minutolo


ENG 271: The Act of Interpretation

Prerequisite: ENG 170. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Writing Intensive requirements.

An introduction to critical theory. Study of individual critics or schools of literary theory. Application of these interpretative strategies to literary texts.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2011, Billitteri

This course presents a compact and intensive introduction to modern hermeneutics (a discipline of study that concerns itself with the constitution of our acts of interpretation) and textual hermeneutics (a discipline that concerns itself with the modes of interpreting texts). Through the study of primary texts in hermeneutics and textual hermeneutics, students will gain a new appreciation of the dialectical nature of interpretation. Acts of interpretations are historical-specific acts of cultural intervention, shaped by the cultural horizon of the reader. Yet, in so far as the reader’s horizon is informed and transformed by the encounter with literary texts, acts of interpretations are also historical-specific acts of cultural dialogue that bring the interaction between text and reader to a temporary, if significant, resolution. The dialogical constitution of this interaction and its processual unfolding will be the focus of our course.

Fall 2010, Steve Evans

In this particular section of the class, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of consequential texts from the history of literary hermeneutics, poetics, and cultural studies, starting with Plato and Aristotle and extending to our own day. The central questions we will explore are: What is language? What makes an interpretation valid? Who is authorized to speak? What is ideology and how does it work to confer identity on subjects? In addition to our work with the printed word, we will occasionally apply hermeneutical principles to the analysis of pop songs selected by students in the class.

Required Texts (subject to change):

  • Leitch, et al. Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Norton, 2001. (ISBN 0393974294)
  • Freud, Sigmund. Interpretation of Dreams. Avon, 1980. (ISBN 0380010003)
  • Proust, Marcel. Swann’s Way. Penguin, 2004. (ISBN 0142437964)
  • Recommended Texts: It is assumed that students in this class have access to the most recent edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, edited by Joseph Gibaldi.

Students can expect to read approximately one hundred pages per class meeting (and sometimes more). Students will do a range of writing, including class and reading notes, text “mark-ups,” position papers, and formal essays. Performance on a cumulative final exam also contributes to the semester grade.

Fall 2010, Billiterri

Spring 2010, Steve Evans

Fall 2009, Billitteri

Fall 2009, Steve Evans

Spring 2009, Steve Evans

Fall 2008, Billitteri

Fall 2008, Steve Evans

Spring 2008, Billitterri


ENG 280: Introduction to Film

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English or permission of the instructor. Satisfies the general education Social Contexts & Institutions and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2010, Jeff Evans

The course will examine the medium of film from its inception at the end of the l9th century to the present.  Emphasis is placed on a beginning understanding of film techniques and analysis.  The course will concentrate on how films make their meanings.

Spring 2010, Phippen

Fall 2009, Jeff Evans

Fall 2008, Jeff Evans

Spring 2008, Jeff Evans


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