English (ENG)

Course meets Triad Education Program Requirement in specified area.



English Program of Study

Link to English Program of Study



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.

Literature



ENG 130 – Scriptural and Doctrinal Backgrounds to Western Culture 4cr

In this course, 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. Irregularly offered.

Literature



ENG 131 – Classical Backgrounds to Western Culture 4cr

Students in this course 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. Irregularly offered.

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.

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. In this course, students compare various uses of the literary symbol in selected pieces of fiction.

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. The course includes the basics of prosody–that is, the study of those qualities that make poetry different from prose, such as meter and rhyme. A variety of poems from a broad range of English-language poets spanning several centuries are studied.

Literature



ENG 210 – Autobiography and Biography: Selves and Others 4cr

Both autobiography and biography have connections with religious writing (confessions and saints’ lives) and often remain strongly religious in nature. In this course, 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.

Literature or College Composition II



ENG 215 – Epic-Heroic Mode 4cr

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. In this course, 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.

Literature



ENG 217 – Contemporary Irish Fiction and Drama 4cr

This course presents an introductory survey of selected works of Anglophone Irish fiction and drama from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland within the context of Irish political, social, and cultural history.

Literature



ENG 223 – Survey of American Literature 4cr

In this course, 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.

Literature



ENG 230 – Modern English Grammar 2cr

In this course, students work to achieve a thorough command of English grammar and syntax so that they can compose and edit well their own and others’ writing.



ENG 240 – Traditions of Work and Service 4cr

Through studying literary and other art works, students in this 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 nineteenth century. Readings and visual arts works 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 more than a century ago.

Literature



ENG/THR 250 – Introduction to Classical Theatre 4cr

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. Students also consider drama in its historical, religious, and political contexts, and some consideration is 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 read.

Literature



ENG/THR 251 – Introduction to Modern Theatre 4cr

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. The course begins with Ibsen’s invention of modern drama and later 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. Materials include brief video clips for many of the plays so that students may discuss the work of literature in production. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays read.

Literature



ENG/GDS 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 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.

Literature



ENG 255-257 – Selected Nineteenth-Century Authors 4cr

Each year, different writers are considered in this course. Students examine the distinctive ways in which individual authors address significant issues of nineteenth-century culture. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics.

Literature



ENG 260-264 – Readings in the Humanities 1-4cr

In this course, 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. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics.

Literature



ENG 265-268 – The Novel 4cr

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

Literature



ENG 270 – African-American Writings 4cr

In this course, students undertake an introductory study of selected African-American writings (verse, drama, fiction, and non-fiction prose) from colonial times to the present.

Literature or Language/Global Issues



ENG/GDS 273 – Literature by Women 4cr

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. 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.

Literature



ENG 279 – Literature and Philosophy 4cr

This interdisciplinary course explores 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.

Literature



ENG 280 – Literature and War 4cr

This course examines literary representations of war. Although the readings are broad-ranging and begin with selections from pre-classical and classical Greece, the main focus is on texts associated with World War One. Authors include Siegfried Sassoon, Erich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, and Kurt Vonnegut. War-related subjects, such as the literature of peace advocacy, are taken up as well.

Literature



ENG 330 – Linguistics and History of the English Language: An Introduction and Survey 4cr

In this course, 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.

Literature



ENG 335 – Medieval Life and Literature 4cr

Students undertake investigations in the history of medieval ideas, cultures, and mentalities in this course. 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. First-year students who have not as yet completed a college-level literature course should consult with the instructor before enrolling in this course.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 336 – Literature and Culture of the Renaissance 4cr

In this course, students explore major representative works of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature as well as selected influential continental works. First-year students who have not as yet completed a college-level literature course should consult with the instructor before enrolling in this course.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 337 – Romanticism 4cr

Students in this course 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.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 338 – Literature and Culture of the Victorian Period 4cr

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 and criticism of the Bible, the Victorian era witnessed more far-reaching social, economic, and political reform than any period preceding or following it. In this course, students explore the richly diverse literature that reflects the ideals, anxieties, and controversies of this period.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 339 – Modernism 4cr

In this course, students read some of the major British works of the modernist era, a period of great artistic experimentation and innovation. Of particular focus is the relationship between politics and literary production. For example, students explore how the rise of radical feminism and organized labor in Britain in the years before the outbreak of World War One, and the development of Communism and Fascism after it, affected British fiction, poetry, and plays. Students also explore the question of why some of the greatest “British” writers of the modernist period were in fact not British at all, but rather Polish, Irish, and American.

Literature



ENG 340 – Chaucer 4cr

Students in this course pursue a close reading of Chaucer’s works in Middle English, excluding the prose and early verse translations. First-year students who have not as yet completed a college-level literature course should consult with the instructor before enrolling in this course.

Literature



ENG 341 – Shakespeare 4cr

This course offers a close study of the texts of selected plays–histories, comedies, tragedies, and late romances. Students encounter a variety of critical and scholarly approaches to Shakespeare, including stage history and performance studies. First-year students who have not as yet completed a college-level literature course should consult with the instructor before enrolling in this course.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 343 – Milton 4cr

Students in this course 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.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 344 – Literature and Culture of the Restoration and Queen Anne Period 4cr

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.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 345 – Literature and Culture of the Enlightenment Period 4cr

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 are 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.

College Composition II or Literature



ENG 347 – Colonial and Postcolonial Literature 4cr

In this course, 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.

Literature or Language/Global Issues



ENG 351-353 – Selected Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Authors 4cr

Each year, different writers are considered in this course. Students examine the distinctive ways in which individual authors address significant issues of twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics.

Literature



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 eventually present their research in a scholarly forum.

Course meets Triad Education Program Requirement in specified area.