Degree Essentials

English

Faculty

Professor Ann Townsend, Chair

Professors David Baker, Kirk Combe, Ann Townsend; Associate Professors Brenda Boyle, James P. Davis, Linda Krumholz, Lisa J. McDonnell, Fred Porcheddu, Dennis Read, Sandra Runzo, Jack Shuler, Margot Singer; Assistant Professors Peter Grandbois, Jeehyun Lim, Diana Mafe, Regina Martin, James Weaver; Visiting Assistant Professors Paul Barickman, Sylvia Brown, Michael Croley, Michael Mayne; Visiting Instructor Sally Bulford; Academic Administrative Assistant Anneliese Deimel Davis

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

The English curriculum is intended to serve the general needs of the liberal arts student and at the same time provide coherent programs for the more specialized needs of students who wish to major in English with an emphasis in literature or creative writing. In the last twenty years, English literary studies have changed in response to new theoretical and cultural models as well as greater attention to Anglophone international and non-canonical literature and genres. In our courses and major, we approach the study of language and literature as a dynamic, living, and lively pursuit, one that integrates political, social, philosophic, cultural, and aesthetic values. We have designed a program that enables students to pursue a variety of personal and professional goals, one that seeks to balance a variety of needs: for experiences shared by all students majoring in English as well as opportunities for students to pursue individual interests; for historical breadth as well as depth of inquiry; for a variety of classroom experiences, including comprehensive historical surveys, specialized seminars (focusing on particular authors, genres, themes, critical approaches, or historical moments), and individual writing projects, whether scholarly or creative. The faculty in English participate actively in the General Education program, the Women's Studies program, the Black Studies program, service learning opportunities, the Queer Studies concentration, and International Studies.

All students may enjoy readings and lectures made possible by the endowed Harriet Ewens Beck Fund, which has brought such writers as Susan Orlean, Ted Kooser, Alice Walker, Bill Bryson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Adrienne Rich, Louise Erdrich, and Antonya Nelson for visits or short residencies each year. The curriculum in English is also enhanced by a variety of opportunities for students to pursue publishing their works locally in a variety of student-edited journals. ARTICULATE (a forum for cultural and literary criticism) and EXILE (a journal of creative writing) are among the publications associated with students in English.

English Major

Students who major in English must choose an advisor in the English Department to assist them in selecting and sequencing classes to meet their academic and professional goals. All students who major in English must complete a minimum of ten classes in the department, excluding FYS-101. The English major and minor each have two options: the literature emphasis and the creative writing emphasis. The two courses of study overlap and complement one another. Both literature and creative writing students should graduate from Denison with a strong knowledge of the history and practice of literary studies.

Each semester, students wishing to take classes in English should read the semester's course descriptions, available online and from the English office, which provide more detailed information about specific classes than what appears below.

LITERATURE EMPHASIS

Students who major in English with the Literature emphasis must take ten courses. Four courses are chosen from among the five core courses: four of those courses are historical survey courses that cover a variety of periods in English and American literature; the fifth course introduces students to literary theory and critical methods. Critical methods and literary theory are taught in many courses in the major, but English 202 provides an overview of literary theoretical debates, familiarity with some primary theoretical texts, and attention to research and critical practices in literary studies. This course is recommended for all students, particularly for students who wish to take advanced courses in literary theory or plan to pursue graduate studies in English.

All students with the Literature emphasis are strongly urged to begin their coursework with the required "four-of-five" courses that provide useful historical and theoretical contexts for subsequent, more focused study in the seminars. But, because specific 300-level seminars probably are not offered every semester, students are encouraged to take seminars, even before they have completed the required surveys, if they are interested in the topic. English 400, the Senior Seminar, is the English capstone course offered every semester on a variety of topics. Students who major in English with the Literature emphasis may choose to do a year-long senior research project in literary studies (English 451-452). Students can transfer only two courses to the Major from off-campus.

English majors with the Literature emphasis must take four of the following five courses:

English 202: Introduction to Literary Studies: Literary Theory and Critical Methods

English 213: Early British Literature

English 214: 18th- and 19th-Century British Literature

English 230: American Literature before 1900

One 200 level 20th-century survey course (courses that fulfill this requirement will be noted on the registration database)

English majors with the Literature emphasis are also required to take the following:

Four 300 level English seminar courses

One elective at any level

English 400: Senior Seminar

CREATIVE WRITING EMPHASIS

Students who major in English with the Creative Writing emphasis must take ten courses. English majors with a Creative Writing emphasis will read and write extensively, learn from practicing published writers, and hone their skills while studying a wide range of literary texts. Students majoring with an emphasis in Creative Writing will choose from a variety of courses divided among workshops and literature courses. The core of the creative writing courses is the workshop. Writing students take a series of increasingly advanced workshops to culminate, in the senior year, in a year-long writing project conducted on campus. The senior capstone is English 453-454 in which students complete a collection of their work (poetry, stories, drama, and/or nonfiction) by year's end.

English majors with the Creative Writing emphasis must take three of the following five courses:

English 202: Introduction to Literary Studies: Literary Theory and Critical Methods

English 213: Early British Literature

English 214: 18th- and 19th-Century British Literature

English 230: American Literature before 1900

One 200 level 20th-century survey course (courses that fulfill this requirement will be noted on the registration database)

English majors with the Creative Writing emphasis must take three 300 level English seminars.

English majors with the Creative Writing emphasis must take four courses in the series of Creative Writing workshops:

English 237: Creative Writing

English 383, 384, or 385: students choose either Fiction Writing, Nonfiction Writing, or Poetry Writing. (Students may, if their schedules permit, take more than one of these advanced workshops.) Students may not take any of these courses concurrent with the Senior Writing Project.

English 453 and English 454: Senior Writing Project

English 453-454 serves as the capstone experience for English majors with the Creative Writing emphasis; this 8-credit course consists of weekly group workshops, individual tutorials, a monthly colloquium and practicum, as well as a series of master classes and workshops with visiting writers. Students must submit a writing sample and show reasonable progress in creative writing courses at the end of their junior year to get permission to take the year-long senior project to complete the major with a Creative Writing emphasis.

English Minor

The English minor consists of six courses:

To minor in English with a Literature emphasis, students must take three of the five required core 200 level courses (see above) and three courses at the 300 level (one may be at the 400 level).

To minor in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, students must take English 237, one advanced writing workshop (English 383, 384, or 385), two of the five required core 200 level courses, and two courses at the 300 level.