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Supplemental Course Descriptions

Spring 2021

ENGL 1102 Renaissance and Modern Western Literature
Monday 3:30PM-6:05PM, Dr. Frederick Roden
Content Area: CA 1
Pre-Requisite(s): ENGL 1007 or ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1011 or ENGL 2011
Requirement(s) Met: GenEd 1-B (Literature)

What is the “modern”? Do we date that period to the “Renaissance” (literally the re-birth, of ancient “classical” learning), now called the “Early Modern period,” to the “renaissance of the twelfth century,” or to Modernity in art, music, and literature (the dawn of the 20th century)? In this course, we will examine representative texts of western literature (European and American, and their diasporas) to pose this question in doing the work of cultural history. What constructed the “modern” world, and modern sensibilities/subjectivities of the individual? We will pay close attention to identities: gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, abledness and otherness, to name a few.


ENGL 2200 American Literature to 1800
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00AM-12:15PM, Dr. Grégory Pierrot
Pre-Requisite(s) ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011

This course will focus on texts produced in and about North America --histories, autobiographies, poems, plays, and novels--in the period between initial European incursions and the first decade of the United States. While much of the course will focus on English-language material related principally to the English colonies of North America, we will also read material from and about Spanish, French and Dutch colonies in the same space, but also in the Caribbean. Matters of colonization; religious and political thought; growing regional and national identities; race and gender, and slavery in the region are simultaneously global and local, national and international. We will develop a sense and a picture of the roots of the cultures and literatures of North America.


ENGL 2214 African American Literature
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30PM-1:45PM, Dr. Grégory Pierrot
Pre-Requisite(s) ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011

Black experience in America has been marked by displacement and movement. Forcibly taken from Africa and deported to the New World, black people in the New World built cultures uprooted from Africa yet necessarily tied to it; of the West but not completely in it, in between, in flux. Movement is especially significant for ethnic groups long denied the security of racial and national belonging. Movement both acknowledges and overcomes borders, whether physical or conceptual, and it concretizes networks and communities. According to Paul Gilroy, global black culture is characterized by “long histories of the association of self-exploration with the exploration of new territories.” Black American literature overwhelms US borders and is essential to American culture.

In this course we will follow in the steps of black American authors in these explorations, by land, sea and air, from Afrofuturism back to the Middle Passage and back again, from Octavia Butler to Phillis Wheatley and back.


ENGL 3703 Article Writing for Magazines and Websites
Online, Fran Shaw
Requirement(s) Met: ENGL 3703 counts toward the English major (C.2 where applicable or elective credit) and minor.

Writing entertaining, informative, and creative non-fiction articles for print or online magazines and websites. We experiment with writing humor, gripe, memoir, reviews, and freelance articles on topics of greatest interest to the writer. Just email the professor ( for a permission number, if needed, so you can register. All are welcome!


ENGL 3509 Oscar Wilde (Studies in Individual Writers)
Tuesdays 5:30PM-8:00PM, Dr. Frederick Roden
Pre-Requisite(s): ENGL 1007 or ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1011 or ENGL 2011; open to juniors or higher. Please contact Prof. Roden if you require a permission number
Requirement(s) Met: This course counts towards the English major (D-Major Author and elective) and English minor.

Oscar Wilde was a gay icon and a queer artist. When he and his art were put on trial and Wilde was sent to prison in 1895 for the crime of homosexuality (“gross indecency”), Wilde opened the closet door of western civilization, shaping gender and sexuality for modernity. His life and works name identity as performance and call for the separation of art from public morality. We will read Wilde's oeuvre comparatively: in the context of the history that shaped it, which his works in turn influenced. The course includes Victorian theorists of art such as Ruskin, Arnold, Morris and Pater (Aestheticism) as well as the Continental novelist Huysmans (Decadence). We will explore later Wildean representations through the contemporary dramatists Hare, Kaufman, and Stoppard, and study women’s identities and sexology through an early lesbian novel. When Wilde was taken to court and prison, his literature was brought forward as evidence and he was made to defend it.


Past Semesters