English

Department Chair: Madhu Mitra 

Faculty: Matthew Callahan, Jessica Harkins, Matthew Harkins, Cynthia Malone, Luke Mancuso OSB, Rachel Marston, Madhu Mitra, Michael Opitz, Yvette Piggush, Christina Shouse-Tourino 

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 literatures 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. By exploring literature, film and other forms of discourse, 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.

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 120-124 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.

Major

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

English Major (40 credits)

Required Courses:
8 credits of ENGL 221-223 (may be differently numbered):
          221: World Literatures
          222: Literatures in English
          223: Literature of the Americas
4 credits of ENGL 243: Literary Theory and Criticism
4 credits of ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits of ENGL 365: Capstone or HONR 398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4), or EDUC 362 Student Teaching. (4-16)
Capstone
20 credits of English electives
          At least 16 credits must be in upper-division courses
          Students may apply only one course from 120-124 toward the major
          Students must have sophomore standing to enroll in 300-level courses

English Major with a Concentration in Creative Writing (44 credits)
4 credits of ENGL 213: Creative Writing - Fiction and Poetry
8 credits of ENGL 221-223 (must be differently numbered):
          221: World Literatures
          222: Literatures in English
          223: Literature of the Americas
4 credits of ENGL 243: Literary Theory and Criticism
4 credits of ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits of ENGL 313: Advanced Creative Writing
4 credits of ENGL 368: Creative Writing - Capstone or HONR 398 Honors Thesis
          Creative Project.
16 credits of English electives
          At least 16 credits must be in upper-division courses
          Students may also apply 4 credits from Comm 245: Media Writing, Comm 345:
          Advanced Media Writing, or THEA 211: Playwriting
          Students may apply only one course from 120-124 toward the major
          Students must have sophomore standing to enroll in 300-level courses

Concentration in English – Communication Arts/Literature for 5-12 Education Licensure (44 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:

8 credits of ENGL 221-223 (must be differently numbered)
            221: World Literatures
            222: Literatures in English
            223:Literatures of the Americas
4 credits of ENGL 243: Literary Theory and Criticism
4 credits of ENGL 311: Writing Essays
4 credits of ENGL 382 or ENGL 383
            382: Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Literatures
            383: Post-Colonial Literature  
4 credits of ENGL 387: English Language (Linguistics)
8 credits of required courses from the Communication Department (will count toward the major only for students who complete the education minor)
            2 credits of COMM 200: Public Speaking
            2 credits of COMM 252: Listening
            4 credits of COMM 103: Mass Communication
4 credits of EDUC 362 (Capstone)
Elective Courses:
8 credits of ENGL (The English Department strongly recommends ENGL 352: Shakespeare as 4 of these credits.) 

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

Minor: (20 credits)

English Minor:
20 credits of English courses, including at least 12 at the upper-division level. The English Department strongly recommends that students take English 311.
            Students may apply only one course from 120-124 toward the minor.

Writing Minor:
12 credits of writing courses within the English major. Students may substitute COMM 245: Introduction to Media Writing and COMM 345: Advanced Media Writing
8 additional elective English credits
The English department strongly recommends that students take English 311.

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, and psychology. 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 120-124 toward the major or minor.

112 Intro/Analytical/Rhetorical Writing. (4)
Analytical reading, writing, and critical reasoning for a variety of rhetorical purposes, including argumentation (broadly conceived). Practice in developing ideas, insights, and claims through the use of both personal observation/experience and external texts and perspectives. From this workshop-oriented course, you should gain awareness of the composing processes of invention, drafting, and revision; the rhetorical concepts of audience and purpose, methods, for developing, organizing, and editing your writing; and strategies for reading and analyzing various texts.

120 Fiction (4)
Introduction to fiction with emphases on close reading, critical thinking, discussion and writing skills.  Course topic and content vary from course to course. Recent offerings have included "Monstrosity and Metamorphosis," "Science Fiction: Of Aliens and Outer Space," and "Fiercely Funny Fiction."

121 Fiction and Film. (4)
Introduction to fiction and film with emphases on close reading, critical thinking, discussion, and writing skills.  Course topic and content vary from course to course.

122 Fiction and Poetry.
Introduction to fiction and poetry with emphases on close reading, critical thinking, discussion and writing skills.  Course topic and content vary from course to course.

122 Fiction and Poetry. (4)
Introduction to fiction and poetry with emphases on close reading, critical thinking, discussion and writing skills.  Course topic and content vary from course to course. Recent offerings include "Men, Women, and Aliens" and "An Atlas of a Difficult World."

123 Poetry. (4)
Introduction to poetry with emphases on close reading, critical thinking, discussion and writing skills.  Course topic and content vary from course to course. Recent offering have included "Poetry and Popular Music." 

124 Cultural Studies. (4)
Introduction to methods for understanding literary genres, history, and elements of popular culture by applying insights drawn from the field of Cultural Studies.  This course will expand upon the study of traditional literary texts by examining other forms of cultural discourse--painting, photography, music, film, video, and other elements of cultural discourse. Recent offerings have included "Looking Hard at Movies."

185 Special Topics. (4)
This introductory-level course fosters close reading, critical thinking, discussion and writing skills across a variety of genres -- from fiction and poetry to film, pop music, autobiography, blogs, travel, and beyond. The course topic and content vary from course to course.

Writing

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

211 Creative Writing: Nonfiction. (4)
Craft and practice of writing creative nonfiction. Students write original works of creative non-fiction, including forms such as memoir, personal essay, photographic essay, and literary journalism. Students closely examine published essays, and participate in peer-review workshops. This course prepares students for advanced writing courses at the 300 level. Attention to style, grammar, paragraph development, etc. Prerequisite: completion of First-year Seminar.

213 Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry. (4)
Craft and practice of writing short fiction and poetry. Students write original works of fiction and poetry, closely examine published short stories and poems, and participate in peer-review workshops.  This course prepares students for advanced creative writing workshops at the 300 level. Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a specific description of each semester's offering.

214 Writing the Experience. (4)
Training and experience in teaching poetry writing and fiction writing in local schools while developing a deeper engagement to poetry and fiction writing. Students will participate in writing workshops of peer work, closely examine published stories and poems, and co-teach creative-writing sessions to area youth.

220 Creative Inquiries. (4)
Exploration and incorporation of research into creative and critical works of original writing. Students examine research as a part of the creative and critical processes of writing-in genres including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students evaluate and experiment with approaches to research as well as ways of incorporating it into their writing. 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. This course explores the rhetorical strategies used in non-technical writing drawn from a variety of disciplines. Students focus on the development of their own voices and styles. Prerequisite: Completion of First-year Seminar and junior standing.

313 Advanced Creative Writing. (4)
Advanced creative writing workshop in poetry or fiction. This course alternates its topic semester to semester to offer students opportunity to take advanced workshops in more than one genre of creative writing Consult the English Department Course Description Booklet for a specific description of each semester's offering. Prerequisite: Completion of English 213 or permission of instructor.

315 Writing: Special Topics. (4)
Theory and practice of writing special genres, cross-listed genres, 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.

Gateway Courses: Literature

Engl 221, 222, and 223 are topics courses designed to introduce students to the practice of research-based literary criticism. Students must take two differently numbered courses (e.g. 221 and 222).  Every course will focus on literature produced within a historical period of at least 75-100 years, enabling students to examine the rich intersections of political, economic, religious, and aesthetic currents that shape literary/cultural productions.
 The topic and content will vary from course to course, but every version will include the following objectives:

•     Study of texts within a span of at least 75 to 100 years.  Emphasis on historical breadth helps students to trace shifts in genre, changes in aesthetic value, etc., and to draw connections between changing literary practice and contemporary historical, social, economic, and other forces.

•    Introduction to research practices in literary studies.  Students will learn the appropriate use of secondary critical material when writing interpretive analyses of literary texts.  Upper-division literature courses build on these intermediate research skills.

221 World Literature. (4)
Topics course focusing on major literary works from around the world, often read in translation.  Literary texts will be situated in historical breadth of at least 75-100 years, often a considerably longer span of time. No prerequisites.

222 Literatures in English. (4)
Topics course investigating texts from England, and/or Anglophone literatures from various English-speaking countries (India, Ireland, Australia, etc.).  The course may also address and investigate questions of literary or cultural continuity.  No prerequisites.

223 Literature of the Americas. (4)
Topics course focusing on literature written in the United States or by U.S. writers or, challenging the common notion that America equals the United States, on literary and historical content that spans North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean.  Literary texts will be situated in relevant social, political, and economic contexts. No prerequisites.

Gateway Courses: Theory

English 243 will introduce students to the major trends in literary and cultural theory.

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). No prerequisites.

Literature and Literary History

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

340 Topics in British Literature. (4)
Courses organized by theme, by historical period, by region, or by genre. Recent offerings include "Green Writing: 19th-Century British Nature Writing."

348 Topics in U.S. Literature. (4)
Courses organized by theme, by historical period, by region, or by genre. Recent offerings include "Disillusionment, Protest, and Promise in Modern U.S. Literature" and "Rags to Riches."

352 Shakespeare. (4)
Reading and analysis of selected plays in historical and literary context.

 355 Studies in Individual Authors. (4)
Study of several works by one or two authors. Recent offerings include "William Faulkner/Toni Morrison."

367 Studies in Contemporary Literature. (4)
A selection of fiction, poetry and/or other forms written in the past 30-50 years. Recent courses have emphasized emerging forms, including graphic novels, hybrid works, and online works.  

381 Literature by Women. (4)
Selection of works written by women.  Recent course offerings include "Literature by Women: African, Asian, and Caribbean."

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. This course gives attention to the historical and social contexts in which this literature arises.

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

385 Studies in Literature. (4)
Special topics in literature. Recent courses have included "Envisioning Nature," "Literature of South Asia," and "Women and Power in Medieval 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)
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. Recent titles have included "An Introductory Guide to Active Spectatorship" and "Introduction to Film Techniques, Meanings, and Pleasures."

369 Studies in Critical Theory. (4)
Study of selected critical theories and application, using such approaches. Recent course offerings have included "Globalization and American Literature." Recommended for majors planning for graduate English studies.

386 Studies in Film. (4)
Analysis of film through one or more theoretical aspects. Psychoanalytic, feminist, cultural studies, and reader-response theories are among possible approaches offered.

387 Introduction to Linguistics. (4)
Study of 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)
Analysis and discussion of significant literary texts. Students examine debates that have shaped the discipline of literary studies complete a substantial research project. Thematic focus of the course varies with instructor. Recent offerings include "Show Business: Race and the American Imaginary," and "Milton."

368 Creative Writing: Capstone. (4)
Practice and refinement of creative writing in a chosen genre. Students explore their creative writing practice through a  deeper engagement with the literary arts, including analysis of genre and form, discussion of significant texts and writers, and a sustained writing project culminating in a portfolio of original creative work. This class prepares students for writing beyond undergraduate studies.

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.

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.

397 Internship. (4)
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.