Warren Wilson College Department of  English

The English Major                                                                                

English Honors

Shakespeare Studies

Faculty Profiles

 

The English Major

English majors focus primarily on the study of British and American literature and on classics of the European tradition.  In the course on Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, majors also study other literatures of  the English-speaking world, including those of Africa and India.  We encourage our majors to develop, through careful readings, an appreciation of the language and artistry of classic and modern works of literature even as we expect them to gain a strong knowledge of these works in their historical and cultural contexts.  To this end, we offer a range of elective and required courses on the literature and culture of major historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present as well as courses on individual major authors, genres, and linguistics.  Some of our courses have a wide appeal among students outside the major; these include interdisciplinary courses such as Religion in Literature and Literature and Philosophy, courses on the study of race and gender in literature, and interdepartmental courses offered by English faculty, such as Medieval Islamic Culture(Complete course list and descriptions)  back

 

English Honors

The English Honors Program provides the student of unusual ability and interest in the study of American and English literatures with the opportunity to work in seminars with a group of students of similar ability and to pursue research in areas of individual interest.  Students satisfying the requirements of the English Honors Program receive special designation at graduation and on their diplomas and transcripts.  Students in the honors program must enrol in the honors seminar twice and must complete a thesis, usually of forty pages.  The honors seminar is offered every fall semester. The seminars are typically completed in the junior and senior years, although those who anticipate spending a semester abroad may wish to start the program in the sophomore year. Students should maintain a "B" average overall and must earn  "B" grades in the honors offerings, including the thesis students seeking an exception to the grade requirements must petition the department chair).

This year, students in the honors seminar will read a range of narratives from antiquity to the present, including Apuleius's The Golden Ass, Boccacio's Decameron, Montaigne's Essays, Cervantes's Don Quixote, Kleist's The Marquise of O and Other Stories, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Borges's Labyrinths, Laye's The Radiance of the King, and DeLillo's White Noise. Short selections of narrative theory  will also be consulted.  Topics include the novel, the novella, episodic romance, frame-tale, autobiography, realism, and magic realism. English majors not pursuing the honors degree and non-English majors with a strong interest in literature are encouraged to enroll in the course, but these students should consult the instructor first.  back

 

Shakespeare Studies

The Warren Wilson College English Department has a particular strength in the innovative study of Shakespeare (courses include Shakespeare, Shakespeare in Performance, and Acting Shakespeare), and several of us work closely with the Theatre Department to develop students’ understanding of classic and modern dramatic literature as it relates to stage production. Not only do we commit ourselves to creating thought-provoking interpretations of dramatic works on the Warren Wilson stage, but we regularly invite the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express to perform or lead workshops on our campus.  Our teaching faculty direct plays and act in productions with our students.  One faculty member takes students to London to study dramatic literature and theatre through the Warren Wilson WorldWide program, while others frequently lead field trips to theater productions in Asheville and around the state.  Students who have a strong interest in dramatic literature and the theater may opt to major in the combined Theatre/English major. back