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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

ENGL Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • ENGL 200 The Experience of Literature (3)

    Teaches students how to read, understand and appreciate fiction, drama and poetry. Exploration of three major literary genres through close reading of selected works, with attention to the contexts that have shaped them. Understanding and applying literary terms and concepts to written analysis of literary works. [ENGL / HAT]

  • ENGL 250 Exploring Literature(3)

    Readings in the literature of self-discovery, initiation and the quest for identity. Contemporary racial, religious, sexual, sociocultural and class experiences are examined with a look back to their roots in tradition. [ENGL / HAT]

  • ENGL 297 Topics in English (3)

    Intensive exploration of topics in literature or language. The topic for study appears in the class schedule. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. [ENGL]

  • ENGL 301 Introduction to English Studies (3)

    Provides a foundation for the English major and introduces students to English studies through the exploration of fundamental questions related to reading, writing and the interpretation of texts. Covers creative, professional and critical writing; basic literary analysis; and cultural and historical timelines. Emphasizes development of students’ critical-thinking and written and oral communication skills.

  • ENGL 311 Wells of the Past: Classical Foundations (3)

    An intensive study of varieties of great literature organized thematically and in terms of ideas connected with periods of important historical or philosophical change. Stressed at present is the age of classical antiquity. Recommended for all students interested in a humanistic and cultural approach to literature and ideas. [HAT]

  • ENGL 313 Worlds Beyond the West (3)

    An intensive study of some of the great writing from non-Western literatures. This study may range from the Middle to Far East, from the Orient to Africa. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. [HAT]

  • ENGL 315 The Short Story (3)

    An investigation of the various forms a short story may take and the kinds of effects writers have tried to produce. Particular attention is given to authors of the 20th century. [HAT]

  • ENGL 316 Modern Poetry (3)

    A reading and discussion of 20th-century poetry. Emphasis is given to major works of those poets thought best to define the modern and its diversity of poetic response. [HAT]

  • ENGL 317 The Novel (3)

    Historical overview of the development of the novel genre from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Focuses on the development of narrative strategies and the role of the novel in the literary marketplace. [HAT]

  • ENGL 319 Topics in International Literature(3)

    Readings in global fiction, poetry and prose. May focus on the literature of one particular region/country or offer a broader comparative study. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • ENGL 320 Contemporary Literature (3)

    An investigation of trends and individual writers of today with respect to their immediacy and possible universality. Varied emphasis on the many different forms of current poetry, drama and prose. [HAT]

  • ENGL 327 Children's Literature (3)

    Explorations of classic and contemporary literature for children from an international and multicultural perspective. Emphasis on the art of storytelling through words and images, criteria for evaluating children's literature and techniques for classroom presentation. Attention to children's literature as an expression of its time. [HAT]

  • ENGL 328 Young Adult Literature and Culture (3)

    A study of literature written for adolescents or young adults. Examines differences between adolescent and adult literature, criteria for evaluating it, guidelines used by writers and ways in which teachers incorporate it into the curriculum. [HAT]

  • ENGL 331 Popular Genres (3)

    A genre-based approach to one or more popular forms of literature, such as graphic novels, mystery, science fiction, fantasy or chick lit. Focuses on the relationships between the genre and the contexts surrounding its production. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • ENGL 332 Literature & Film (3)

    A study of famous and infamous adaptations of literary classics, ancient and modern. The problems involved in adapting one medium of communication to another. Laboratory fee required. [HAT]

  • ENGL 333/CMAT 333 Media Genres (3)

    Analysis of the patterns and conventions of a specific type of media program (e.g., Western, science fiction, situation comedy), media artist (e.g., Hitchcock, Allen, Capra) or style (e.g., film noir). May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. Laboratory fee required. [HAT]

  • ENGL 334/CMAT 334 Oral Interpretation of Literature (3)

    Creative reading: the transformation of the writer's word through the reade's voice in expository, poetic, narrative and dramatic forms. A progression from reading to analysis to interpretation to presentation. Laboratory fee required. [HAT]

  • ENGL 337 Great Plays (3)

    A study of plays from major periods of world drama, with a view to showing the shaping of the literary movements, forms and techniques of the modern theater.

  • ENGL 338 Modern Drama (3)

    The drama of the 20th century, with emphasis on contemporary movements and innovations. [HAT]

  • ENGL 341 American Literature to 1900(3)

    A critical and historical study of representative 18th- and 19th-century American authors and movements, including Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism.

  • ENGL 342 Melville, Poe & Whitman: American Voyagers (3)

    A study of three major American authors whose work explores the romantic figure of the voyager and of the voyage itself, both physical and metaphysical. Emphasis is placed on these authors' use of allegory and symbolism and their affirmation and criticism of certain American ideals and dreams.

  • ENGL 344 American Literature Since 1900 (3)

    A critical and historical study of the ideas, structure and themes of major American novels, drama, poetry and short stories of the 20th and 21st centuries. [HAT]

  • ENGL 346 The American Dream (3)

    The continuing cycle of faith and doubt in the brave new world of America, with particular attention to the writers of America's maturity. [HAT]

  • ENGL 348 Multiethnic American Literature (3)

    A survey of the diversity of the literature of the Americas, focusing on indigenous or nonwhite populations, with an emphasis on cultural traditions and exchanges. [HAT]

  • ENGL 349 American Identities: Explorations in the Past & Present (3)

    A study of problems of individual identity and social roles: racial, ethnic and sexual. The voices of writers and poets that reflect two worlds, yet are urgently their own. [HAT]

  • ENGL 350 Topics in African-American Literature (3)

    Introduces major genres of the African-American literary canon: folktale, slave narrative, activist poetry, political essay, short story and novel. Broaches themes such as bondage, religion, racism, morality, national identity, abolitionism and group aesthetics. Explores texts from major writers spanning the 18th-early 20th centuries (Harlem Renaissance and realism of the early- to mid-20th century). [HAT]

  • ENGL 351 Ancient Myth: Paradigms & Transformations (3)

    An introduction to classical mythology as well as other ancient literatures and mythographies along with their later adapters and interpreters. [ENGL]

  • ENGL 354 Love in Literature (3)

    A varying look at the faces and reflections of love in literature, art and myth. Readings in selected classical and modern works invite students to compare and contrast modern and traditional ideas about love. [HAT]

  • ENGL 356 Literature & Law (3)

    Examines the relationship between law and literature through close readings of literature dealing with the law, along with close readings of legal texts from a literary perspective. Students read primary course materials with special attention to historical, social and cultural contexts that have shaped them. Along the way, students look at ways that writers employ various techniques and devices to evoke both clarity and ambiguity for different audiences and different purposes. [HAT]

  • ENGL 358 Tolkien: Master of Fantasy (3)

    A close examination of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien in fiction and criticism, with emphasis on The Lord of the Rings. Also considers some of Tolkien's sources and inspiration from fairy tale, legend and myth. [HAT]

  • ENGL 360 Major Authors (3)

    An in-depth study of one, two or three authors connected by historical period, literary movement or major themes in their work. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. [HAT]

  • ENGL 361 The Hero & the Quest (3)

    The hero and the quest as archetypes, and an introduction to the mythic quest in early English literature from Beowulf to the Arthurian romance. Modern works are read against the background of the heroic tradition.

  • ENGL 362 Dante, Chaucer & Cervantes: Three Versions of Pilgrimage (3)

    An examination of Medieval and Renaissance concepts of love and the journey as they are reflected in the major works of these three writers.

  • ENGL 364 Shakespeare: Kings, Knaves & Fools (3)

    A thematic approach to Shakespeare's development and variety, revolving around one work such as Hamlet, and dealing with Renaissance attitudes toward power, freedom and the individual. Shakespeare's plays are viewed against the background of the Elizabethan period.

  • ENGL 365 Shakespeare: Love, Myth & Metamorphosis (3)

    A thematic approach to Shakespeare's development and variety, centering on one play such as Othello, and dealing with Renaissance attitudes toward love and myth. Shakespeare's plays are viewed against the background of his age.

  • ENGL 366 Milton, Blake & Yeats: Poet as Prophet (3)

    A study in development and contrast: concepts of order and revolt, of vision and revision, in the major works of the three poets. Emphasis among the three may vary from year to year.

  • ENGL 371 Women's Literary History (3)

    Historical study of sexual roles and politics in literature from the 18th century to the present. Consideration is given to the relationship between gender and genre. [HAT]

  • ENGL 372 Topics in Women's Literature (3)

    Women's writing and writing about women in the context of specific times and/or places. Emphasis on the literature, legends and other means (e.g., letters, journals, biographies) by which women's voices can be heard. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. [HAT]

  • ENGL 374 Austen, the Brontes & Woolf: Rooms of Their Own (3)

    Classic, Romantic, Modern—these women brought their unique visions to life within the context of larger literary movements but created rooms of their own within which to write and live.

  • ENGL 391 Topics in Language & Society (3)

    A consideration of narratives in the information age, historical developments through which changes in linguistic practice manifest themselves, and information theory. Examines the role of languages in the social construction of reality as well as in the narrower sense of specific agents of change. May be repeated for credit when topic changes.

  • ENGL 392 The Archaeology of Language (3)

    A study of the beginnings, principles and designs of language. Competing paradigms of what language is and how it does what it does; how it communicates and conceals meaning; and how it expresses what we feel, think, represent and construe.

  • ENGL 395 Understanding Narrative (3)

    A study of narrative, both verbal and visual, as a form of discourse. The course focuses on the nature of narrative, types of narrative and the role of the reader/viewer in the narrative process. In addition to reading and viewing a wide range of narrative texts, from fairy tales to modern fiction, classical myths to television commercials and popular films, students compose their own narratives to gain a deeper understanding of what stories are and why they matter to us.

  • ENGL 397 Literary Theory & Interpretation (3)

    An introduction to various schools of literary theory and exploration of ways in which we make sense of literary works. Emphasizes the relationships between literary texts and theoretical approaches (e.g., formal, intertextual, historical, cultural) that make reading, as an interpretive act, a vital, rich and complex experience, and students apply various theoretical lenses to literary texts for the purposes of analysis and interpretation. prerequisite or co-requisite: 3 credits of literature coursework

  • ENGL 400 Literature in Society (3)

    An investigation of how literature emerges from and is shaped by the cultural and historical circumstances of specific times and places. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • ENGL 421 The Elizabethan Renaissance: In the Green World (3)

    A study, through poetry and drama, of the 16th-century English Renaissance. The world that molded Shakespeare and about which Shakespeare wrote.

  • ENGL 431 The Metaphysical Moment: From T.S. Eliot to John Donne (3)

    The 20th-century response to 17th-century literature and a study of the metaphysical idea and poetry that sparked that response.

  • ENGL 432 The Age of Reason (3)

    A study of major 18th-century writers; readings in poetry, prose and drama. The social, cultural and intellectual fabric of the age.

  • ENGL 441 The Romantic Imagination (3)

    A critical analysis of Romanticism and its meaning. The poetry, and some prose, is set against the background of the neoclassical and is viewed as a continuing literary force and ideal.

  • ENGL 442 The Victorian Paradox (3)

    Synthesis versus alienation. The Victorian consciousness torn by the emerging turmoil of modern society. Literature as the reflection of an age in transition.

  • ENGL 450 The Great Moderns (3)

    A seminar concentrating on three to five major writers of the early 20th century considered against the critical background of Modernism. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • ENGL 489 Directed Independent Study (3)

    Consideration and completion of a special topic or project in the study of literature or language. Each student works closely with a faculty member who helps to set goals, develop a course plan and guide progress. The project must be carefully planned and have the approval of both the instructor involved and the literature program director.

  • ENGL 490 Thesis in Literature (3)

    Directed individual instruction in the writing of a scholarly, critical or research paper. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The thesis must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the director and a second reader, one of whom is usually the division chair. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: 3.5 GPA and/or permission of both the program director and the division chair

  • ENGL 493 Honors Seminar (3)

    An advanced interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on important books and issues and encourages independent thinking, clear presentation and an understanding of the concerns and methods of various disciplines. The course may be team taught; topic and instructor(s) may change from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of the Denit Honors Program director

  • ENGL 494 Honors Project (3-6)

    Directed individual instruction in an advanced project of the student's choice; the project must be academically related to this discipline. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The project must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the faculty director and a second faculty member. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of both the Denit Honors Program director and the faculty director

  • ENGL 497 Topics in Literature (3)

    Intensive exploration of topics in literature of mutual interest to students and faculty. Content varies according to the concurrent interests of faculty and students. The topic studied appears under that name in the class schedule. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. prerequisite: none unless listed in the class schedule

  • ENGL 498 Seminar in English (3)

    A culminating close examination of a major author, work or period in the light of literary traditions. Emphasizes independent thought culminating in a written project, presented before the class. Subject may change from year to year. prerequisite: senior status and permission of the program director