Warren Wilson College Catalog 05-06

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Courses in English (ENG)

ENG 129 Religion in Literature 4cr **

This course concerns the ways in which authors address diverse religious issues that theologian Paul Tillich called fundamental matters of "ultimate concern." Students read selected plays, poems, essays, short fiction, and novels in which writers wrestle with controversies concerning science and the spiritual, determinism and free will, humanity and divinity, the sacred and the secular, reason and revelation, nature and the supernatural, and sinful action and authentic existence. Through reading and seminar discussion, students explore how authors adapt religious traditions as they define humankind as homo religiosus, or essentially religious in nature.
Triad: Literature

ENG 130 Scriptural and Doctrinal Backgrounds to Western Culture 4cr * (2005-06)

Students undertake a thoughtful primary reading of selections from the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament writings in the King James translation so that they can appreciate this literature for its own sake and be well prepared to understand how later writers were nourished by it and adapted it for their own purposes. Students also study significant developments in Christian doctrine that influenced later writers.
Triad: Literature

ENG 131 Classical Backgrounds to Western Culture 4cr **

Students undertake a thoughtful first reading of influential Greek and Latin works in modern English translation so that they can appreciate the literature for its own sake and be well prepared to understand how later writers were nourished by it and adapted it for their own purposes.
Triad: Literature

ENG 140 Introduction to Reading and Writing about Literature and Culture 4cr **

In this introductory-level course, students familiarize themselves with the craft of reading literature and with the process of thinking about literature in various historical and cultural contexts. Students also consider different theoretical approaches to the study of literature and culture so that they become well prepared to meet requirements in subsequent courses in the arts and humanities.
Triad: Literature or College Composition II.

ENG 151 Introduction to Fiction 4cr

Modern symbolism in literature is a tool for considering and communicating the antitheses and tensions of human living. Students compare various uses of the literary symbol in selected pieces of fiction.
Triad: Literature

ENG 155 Introduction to Reading Poetry 4cr

This course is an introduction to the close reading and interpretation of poetry; it is not an introduction to the writing of poetry. We will be discussing the basics of prosody--that is, the study of those qualities that make poetry different from prose, such as meter and rhyme--and we will be reading a variety of poems from a broad range of English-language poets spanning several centuries.
Triad: Literature

ENG 199 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENG 210 Autobiography and Biography: Selves and Others 4cr * (2006-07)

Both autobiography and biography have connections with religious writing (confessions and saints' lives) and often remain strongly religious in nature. Students read selected autobiographies, biographies, and "autobiographical fictions" in order to explore opportunities, choices, and problems that authors face in composing those spiritual and ethical reflections that distinguish the effort to tell a person's life.
Triad: Literature or College Composition II.

ENG 215 Epic-Heroic Mode 4cr * (2005-06)

Rather than simply endorsing values held as heroic in their cultures, Homer and Virgil offered critical examination of such values, challenging accepted attitudes toward war, conquest, and empire as they worked toward reformulations of traditional understandings of the heroic. Students explore the dynamics of such critical reflection in the three great classical epics (the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid); they also consider how later writers, in composing their own works, emulated Homer and Virgil.
Triad: Literature

ENG 223 Survey of American Literature 4cr * (2006-07)

Students trace developments in American literature from the early to the contemporary period, considering the literature in the context of American culture. By focusing on prominent authors, students explore the meaning of terms such as Puritanism, rationalism, transcendentalism, realism, naturalism, and modernism.
Triad: Literature

ENG 240 Work and Mission in the Nineteenth Century 4cr **

Through studying literary and other art works, participants in the course develop an understanding that those ideals of work and service that they have espoused in becoming Warren Wilson students received significant definition in the culture of the preceding century. Readings and visual arts works will familiarize students with the diversity of opinion and with the (sometimes heated) debate concerning both work and mission that were major aspects of intellectual discourse in the nineteenth century.
Triad: Literature

ENG 250 Introduction to Classical Theatre 4cr * (2005-06)

This course, which surveys Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the eighteenth century, focuses on character, dialogue, plot, symbolism, language, and other aspects of dramatic literature. We also consider drama in its historical, religious, and political contexts, and some consideration will be given to dramatic theory, dramatic innovation, and the modern performance of classical plays. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays we read.
Triad: Literature

ENG 251 Introduction to Modern Theatre 4cr * (2006-07)

This course surveys major works of modern (early and mid-20th century) and contemporary (post-1970s) drama, with an interdisciplinary focus on literary issues and theatre history. Plays from Europe, America, and Africa are considered. We begin with Ibsen's invention of modern drama and, during the semester, may cover such topics as theater of the absurd (Eugene Ionesco's The Lesson), gender (Caryl Churchill's Top Girls), gay identity and AIDS (Tony Kushner's Angels in America), race (Amiri Baraka's Dutchman), apartheid in South Africa (Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys), and much more. We view brief video clips for many of the plays so that we may discuss the work of literature in production. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays we read.

ENG/WMS 254 Gender Issues in the Nineteenth Century 4cr **

This course concerns the controversial redefining of gender roles, for both women and men, that took place in the nineteenth century. In order to explore the cultural concerns about gender that perplexed and sometimes polarized society, students will read a variety of literary works and cultural documents as they assess the complex matrix of cultural attitudes out of which evolved those dominant conceptions of manhood and womanhood that determine common modern constructions of gender. This course counts towards the Women's Studies Major.
Triad: Literature

ENG 255-257 Selected Nineteenth-Century Authors 4cr * (2005-06)

Each year, different writers are considered. Students examine the distinctive ways in which individual authors address significant issues of nineteenth-century culture.
Triad: Literature

ENG 260-264 Readings in the Humanities 4cr * (2005-06)

Students undertake individual and divergent readings in the humanities, committing a minimum of ten hours a week to exploration of issues basic to humanities study, such as the function of paradox, the purpose of liberal arts, the problems of self-representation, and the nature of freedom.
Triad: Literature

ENG 265-268 The Novel 4cr * (2006-07)

Each year the course focuses on a different topic within the study of the novel. Students explore historical development, cultural contexts, major authors, and principal forms. The course may be repeated for credit under different topics.
Triad: Literature

ENG 270 African-American Writings 4cr **

Students undertake an introductory study of selected African-American writings (verse, drama, fiction, and non-fiction prose) from colonial times to the present.
Triad: Literature or Language/Global Issues

ENG/WMS 273 Literature by Women 4cr * (2006-07)

This course focuses on English-language poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction prose by women and examines the aesthetic, social, and historical contexts in which these writings took place. Our readings stretch from the Middle Ages to the present and represent writers primarily from England and the United States but also from several other countries around the world. This course counts toward the Women's Studies Major.
Triad: Literature

ENG 279 Literature and Philosophy 4cr * (2006-07)

This interdisciplinary course will explore mutually illuminating works of literature and philosophy. Readings are divided into eight topics: Platonic Idealism, Enlightenment Rationalism, Religious Faith, Marxism, Nietzschean Thought, Feminism, Psychology, and Existentialism. Philosophical expositions will be read as well as works of fiction, poetry, and/or drama that explore the guiding ideas of each of these topics. A major aim of the course is to enrich the understanding of both literature and philosophy by engaging with texts from each of these disciplines in a way that transcends the traditional boundaries between the fields.
Triad: Literature

ENG 290-298 Special Topics in English 2-4cr

Students undertake an in-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of English. The course may be repeated for credit under different topics.

ENG 299 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENG 330 Linguistics and History of the English Language: An Introduction and Survey 4cr * (2005-06)

Students approach language as a medium for thought and expression. They begin the survey with the sounds of language (phonology) and proceed to consider the makeup of words (morphology), the structure of sentences (grammars, both traditional and modern), the meaning of meaning (semantics), the relationship of language and mind (psycholinguistics), and other matters related to language and communications. Counts toward the Women's Studies Major.
Triad: Literature

ENG 335 Medieval Life and Literature 4cr * (2005-06)

Students undertake investigations in the history of medieval ideas, cultures, and mentalities. The main focus is the study, in modern English translation, of seminal works of medieval literature, philosophy, theology, mystical speculation, ethics, and political theory, drawn from both English and continental traditions.
Triad: Literature

ENG 336 Literature and Culture of the Renaissance 4cr * (2006-07)

Students explore major representative works of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature as well as selected influential continental works and major artists and musicians of the period.
Triad: Literature

ENG 337 Romanticism 4cr * (2005-06)

Students explore the literature, ideas, and setting of that revolutionary era (late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) subsequently called the romantic period. They consider how romanticism develops from yet stands over against neoclassicism and how romantic writers anticipate modern concerns. Students read some continental and American works, but their primary focus is on British romanticism.
Triad: Literature

ENG 338 Literature and Culture of the Victorian Period 4cr * (2006-07)

Contrary to common misunderstanding, an accurate description of the Victorian era would stress its rebellious, liberal, nakedly honest spirit. Transformed by the intellectual and religious reassessments caused by the theory of evolution and by scientific investigation/criticism of the Bible, the Victorian era witnessed more far-reaching social, economic, and political reform than any period preceding or following it. Students explore the richly diverse literature that reflects the ideals, anxieties, and controversies of this period.
Triad: Literature

ENG 339 Modernism 4cr * (2006-07)

Students read selected texts to explore significant modern issues such as the relativity of perspective; the autonomy of art and artist; alienations and anxiety; intensified social consciousness; and the synthesis of scientific, psychological, and religious thought with literary endeavor.
Triad: Literature

ENG 340 Chaucer 4cr * (2006-07)

Students pursue a close reading of Chaucer's works, excluding the prose and early verse translations.
Triad: Literature

ENG 341 Shakespeare 4cr * (2005-06)

This course offers a close study of the texts of selected plays -- comedies, tragedies, and late romances -- together with a more cursory examination of later adaptations, including cross-cultural and cross-genre works, as well as some of the music and visual art that Shakespeare's works have inspired. Students will encounter a variety of critical and scholarly approaches to Shakespeare, including stage history and performance studies.
Triad: Literature

ENG 343 Milton 4cr * (2006-07)

Students examine Milton's major works, focusing upon the problem of how the artist and the man endeavored to reconcile two disparate traditions that shaped the Renaissance: Christianity and the classical heritage.
Triad: Literature

ENG 344 Literature and Culture of the Restoration and Queen Anne Period 4cr * (2005-06)

In this course, students examine the plays, poetry, fiction, letters, autobiographical writings, scientific writings, newspaper accounts, and visual arts of England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. During this period, English men and women witnessed continual wars with European powers, nation-shaking political plots and intrigues, a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague, the Great Fire of London, and the first actresses upon the London stage. Politicians and some writers of this age sought, against all odds, to restore stability to society and politics, while other writers and artists celebrated the new cultural freedoms at the royal court, as well as innovations in science, literature, and the theatre.
Triad: Literature

ENG 345 Literature and Culture of the Enlightenment Period 4cr * (2006-07)

This interdisciplinary course explores primarily the literature but also the aesthetics, politics, philosophy, and economic theory of a movement that corresponds roughly with the eighteenth century and whose legacy we are still living today. Works by British, continental, and American writers will be considered, and, apart from a central focus on the revolutions in knowledge that characterize this period, literary topics may include the origins of the novel; neoclassical and proto-romantic satire, poetry, and poetics; and comic and tragic drama.
Triad: Literature

ENG 347 Colonial and Postcolonial Literature 4cr * (2005-06)

Students explore the development and legacy of British imperialism by reading the work of a variety of major Anglophone (i.e., English-language) novelists, playwrights, and poets. Students also read essays about the colonial and postcolonial conditions by some of the leading thinkers on this subject. Texts include works by authors from India, South Africa, Nigeria, and other postimperial nations from around the world.
Triad: Literature or Language/Global Issues

ENG 351-353 Selected Twentieth-Century Authors 4cr * (2005-06)

Each year, different writers are considered. Students examine the distinctive ways in which individual authors address significant issues of twentieth-century culture.
Triad: Literature

ENG 390 Junior Honors: Selected Classics 4cr

Both juniors and seniors in the Honors Program take part in the same fall-semester honors seminar in which students strengthen and refine their skills in conducting research and in writing the extended literary essay. The course explores a range of classic literary works that have had a profound influence on American and/or European cultures and, in some cases, world cultures. English majors not pursuing the honors degree and non-English majors with a strong interest in literature should seek the instructor's permission to enroll in the course.
Triad: Literature or College Composition II

ENG 399 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENG 488 Senior Honors: Selected Classics 4cr

Both juniors and seniors in the Honors Program take part in the same fall-semester honors seminar in which students strengthen and refine their skills in conducting research and in writing the extended literary essay. The course explores a range of classic literary works that have had a profound influence on American and/or European cultures and, in some cases, world cultures. English majors not pursuing the honors degree and non-English majors with a strong interest in literature should seek the instructor's permission to enroll in the course.
Triad: College Composition II

ENG 489 Honors Thesis 4cr

This tutorial allows seniors in the Honors Program to engage in intensive research and sustained critical writing. Under the supervision of one or more English faculty, students prepare senior honors theses on subjects of their choice. A departmental committee evaluates these theses. Students may also share their work with other thesis writers and faculty at informal gatherings during the semester and may eventually present their research in a round-table discussion.

ENG 490-498 Special Topics in English 2-4cr

Students undertake an in-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of English. The course may be repeated for credit under different topics.

ENG 499 Independent Study 1-4cr