Literature

Literature

Overview Requirements Course Descriptions Department Faculty

The English major introduces students to the aesthetic, communicative, and cultural dimensions of language. Students examine major topics in literature and language; English electives allow students to pursue special interests. English majors choose between a literature and a creative writing concentration. During the senior year, students complete a capstone research or creative writing project, depending on the concentration, and an internship in an area related to the study of English. In all coursework, there is an emphasis on the development of sophisticated writing skills. Students majoring in English also complete three service-learning credits through service-learning courses and/or linked credits. The English major helps students to prepare for careers involving oral and written communication, language applications, or the analysis of literature. Students in the English major may also prepare to be teachers at the elementary or secondary level. Students interested in this option should consult the program plans for English with Elementary Education Concentration or English with Secondary Education Concentration, to ensure that they meet requirements for licensure. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts in English.

The following goals and associated learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete the major program of study in English:

Goal 1: Canons and conventions
Upon completion of the major program of study in English, students will be able to

  1. articulate why qualitative approaches have special significance for scholars who work in the humanities (e.g., literary studies, composition, history, cultural studies, art, music, philosophy, and language), although quantitative approaches make good complements
  2. demonstrate a familiarity with the ethical and moral questions that attend the human condition and the human experience
  3. demonstrate an openness to and an appreciation of the richness and diversity of the human condition and experience

Goal 2: Interpretive and critical thinking
Upon completion of the major program of study in English, students will be able to

  1. research topics, themes, and questions
  2. summarize content in materials from the various fields of the humanities
  3. interpret humanities texts critically through close reading
  4. create a valid argument, while differentiating between argument and opinion

Goal 3: Discourse and dialogue
Upon completion of the major program of study in English, students will be able to

  1. write in a professional manner
  2. speak in a professional manner

Goal 4: Professionalism
Upon completion of the major program of study in English, students will be able to

  1. adapt to professional culture
  2. manifest good work etiquette
  3. explore career options

Additional Requirements: 18-33 credits
Social Science Electives AI (PS): 6-7 credits
Science Electives AI (S): 6-8 credits

Foreign Language *
* The Foreign Language Proficiency requirement is detailed in the Academic Information section.

General Education Core Requirements and remaining Unrestricted Electives: 37-55 credits

Minimum credits required for graduation: 120

Courses listed below fulfill Area of Inquiry requirements:
Aesthetic
ENG 209: Introduction to Literature
History
HIST 103 & 104: World Civilization I & II
HIST 123 & 124: American Civilization I & II

Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
ENG209 Intro to Literature & Literary Studies 3
ENG210 Survey of American Literature 3
ENG218 British Literature 3
HUM103 Invitation to the Humanities 3
HUM399 Humanities Internship Seminar 1
HUM400 Humanities Field Experience 4
HUM419 Seminar in Hum: Readings & Research 3
HUM420 Seminar in Humanities 3
Choose 1 from the following:
ENG312 Literature of Postcolonial World 3
ENG313 American Multiethnic Literature 3
Choose 1 from the following:
COM209 Journalism 3
ENG208 The Structure of the English Language 3
ENG219 Creative Writing 3
Choose 2 from the following:
ENG211 Modern Drama 3
ENG214 Special Topics in Literature 3
ENG217 Contemporary Literature 3
ENG222 Lyric Poetry 3
ENG224 Film & Literature 3
ENG225 The Short Story 3
Choose 1 from the following:
ENG304 Stories of Origin 3
ENG340 Classics of World Literature 3
Choose 2 from the following:
HIST103 World Civilization I 3
HIST104 World Civilization II 3
HIST123 American Civilization I 3
HIST124 American Civilization II 3
Science
ENV211 Environmental Science 3

Additional Requirements: 18-33 credits
Social Science Electives AI (PS): 6-7 credits
Science Electives AI (S): 6-8 credits

Foreign Language *
* The Foreign Language Proficiency requirement is detailed in the Academic Information section.

General Education Core Requirements and remaining Unrestricted Electives: 37-55 credits

Minimum credits required for graduation: 120

Courses listed below fulfill Area of Inquiry requirements:
Aesthetic
ENG 209: Introduction to Literature
History
HIST 103 & 104: World Civilization I & II
HIST 123 & 124: American Civilization I & II

HIST203 - The History of Women in U.S.

This course explores the social history of women in the United States, beginning in the colonial period and ending with an examination of twen­tieth century issues. Emphasis is on the image of women held during these periods, in contrast to actual conditions. Contributions of women to social change and the growth of women’s move­ments are also analyzed. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST204 - Recent American History

This course focuses on the presidencies beginning with Kennedy to the present. Work is divided roughly into three areas: foreign affairs; domestic politics; economic, social, and cultural needs. Topics range from the Vietnam War to the Iraq War, the weakening of Congress and the expansion of the presidency, the women's movement, changes in popular culture, and domestic economic developments. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST207 - African American History

This course explores the history of African Americans in the United States from their African beginnings to the present. It traces the lives and status of African Americans, enslaved and emancipated, as they confronted the barriers of legal, institutional, and cultural prejudices; examines the socioeconomic and political experiences of blacks in America; and investigates strategies of accommodation, resistance, and protest in the struggle of African Americans to gain human and first-class citizenship rights. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST208 - Sub-Saharan Africa after 1800

This survey of sub-Saharan African history explores the ongoing story of African political, social, and economic developments from the post trans-Atlantic slave trade period to the present. The course includes treatment of the impact of European merchants, missionaries, and adventurers on Africa from the time immediately preceding imperialism and colonialism up through the emergence of nationalism and decolonization and liberation movements. The new nation-states, their post-colonial economies, and their developing systems of justice, education, and rule are investigated. Finally, topics such as soil erosion, disease, conservation, famine, and Africa’s relationships with the wider world are discussed. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST209 - China from 1600 to Present

This course is a survey of modern Chinese history from the founding of the Qing Dynasty in the seventeenth century to Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms of the 1990s. Special attention will be paid to modernization, Western and Japanese imperialism in China, and the rise of Communism under Mao Zedong. In addition to learning about important milestones in Chinese history, students will also be introduced to aspects of Chinese art, culture, and women's issues through primary sources translated into English. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST210 - Latin Amer Colonial Period to Present

This survey looks at Latin American history from pre-Columbian to contemporary times. Emphasis is on native cultures, the “discovery” of the New World, European presence, colonialism, imperialism, the creation of the peasantry, wars of independence, the formation of nation-states, the role of the military, slavery and racism, development and underdevelopment, the Catholic Church, liberation theology, poverty, and revolution. Major emphasis in South America is on Argentina, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, and the Portuguese speaking nation of Brazil. The course also includes examination of foreign intervention and inner instability in Mexico, including struggles for democracy, economic rights, and social justice. In the Hispanic Caribbean and Central America, especially, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, land and labor systems, gender relations, race and ethnicity, and varied forms of rule are discussed. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST211 - Middle East & Islamic World Since 1800

This course looks at the Middle East and its relations with the wider world, from the appearance of Napoleon to the present. Topics include attempts at reform and modernization in the Ottoman Empire; the impact of Western imperialism on the region as a whole; and twentieth-century developments in the area, including nationalism, pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, the cult of the personality, coup, revolution, Zionism, and the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation. The economic and social impact of oil, the influence of fundamentalism, and the Great Power rivalry down through the position of the United States toward the area are investigated. The efforts of Iran to gain acceptance in/by the contemporary world is examined, as is the shifting attitude of Egypt toward modernity. Finally, connections between the region and the rest of the Islamic world are explored. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST212 - Mod Japan: Culture & History

This course is a survey of Japan's modernization from the fall of the "warring states" period to the economic bubble of the 1980s. Special attention will be paid to the contributions of the "early modern" Tokugawa Shogunate, the Meiji period of cultural borrowing from the West, and the cultural nationalism of the Japanese empire until 1945. In addition to learning about important milestones in Japanese history, students will be introduced to aspects of Japanese art and culture through a variety of primary and secondary sources and film clips. This is a presentation-intensive course. Prerequisite: a 100 level history course or ENG 102.

HIST330 - Europe & The World/ Age of Expansion

This course examines political, economic, social, scientific, and religious developments that contributed to European desire for land and power, and also to fantasies and phobias directed by European conquerors toward those whom they subdued and subjected to Western rule. The reaction toward the white Westerners on the part of those exploited is also explored. The period covered is from the mid-fifteenth century through the eighteenth century. Prerequisite: a 200 level history course or permission of instructor.

Joseph Aieta III

Professor of History

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Stephanie Athey

Director of the Honors Program; Associate Professor of English

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Steven Bloom

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Professor of English

Office: 70 Maple Street

Laura Commins

Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Dennis Frey Jr

Associate Professor of History

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Hortense Gerardo

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Performing Arts

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Jennifer Gerstel

Assistant Professor of English

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Jose Guzman

Associate Professor of Spanish

Office: Winslow Putnam Center

Rebecca Kennedy

Chair of Humanities; Associate Professor of English

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Sharyn Lowenstein

Director of Center for Community-Based Learning; Associate Professor of English

Office: Klingbeil House

Lizbeth Piel

Assistant Professor of History

Office: Winslow Academic Center

Patricia Roy

Assistant Professor of English

Office: Winslow Putnam Center

Thomas Sullivan

Associate Professor of Ethics

Office: Holway, 2nd Floor

ENG209 - Intro to Literature & Literary Studies

This is a foundations course required for the major and the minor in English. The course provides an introduction to a variety of forms and styles in poetry, drama, short story, fiction, memoir, and essay; European, African, North American, Central and South American, and Asian literatures are considered. The focus is on interpreting texts; students are introduced to various schools of interpretation and to standards for supporting an interpretation. Students become familiar with the conventional elements of each genre and with the terminology of critical interpretation. The course introduces print and database tools for research on literature. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG210 - Survey of American Literature

This course surveys representative periods, authors, or genres in American literature from beginnings in Native American oral literatures through contemporary works. Individual sections organize study of classic and contemporary texts around particular themes, such as Queering American Literatures, American Migrations, Hemispheric American Literature, or Americans on the Edge: "Frontiers" in the American Imagination. Individual sections also trace twentieth- or twenty-first-century movements to their roots in or resistance to earlier movements or forms. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG218 - British Literature

This course surveys British writing in poetry, fiction, and drama, with a focus on key periods in the development of British literature. Emphasis is on representative writers in each period. Periods and movements surveyed include Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Romanticism, Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary or Postmodern. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

HUM103 - Invitation to the Humanities

This course invites students to consider what it means to be human from manifold scholarly perspectives. As such, students are introduced to the many disciplines included in the Humanities. Arguably, there are eight: art, communication, history, language, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. Taking a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach, this course investigates how humanists employ these varied disciplines in studying and expressing humanness.

HUM399 - Humanities Internship Seminar

This seminar helps students to develop objectives and identify potential sites for the senior internship. Topics include the application of humanities course work to a professional career and the development of skills necessary to locate an internship. The final goal of this course is to locate an appropriate internship. Junior or senior standing is required; this course is designed for Humanities Department majors only.

HUM400 - Humanities Field Experience

This course provides individually arranged participation in a work setting related to students' majors. Students spend 150 hours at the internship site over the course of the semester. Primary responsibility rests with students in identifying and pursuing an area of interest in consultation with the instructor. Students participate in a one-hour seminar each week that focuses on reflective activities that enhance the internship experience. Students complete written exercises about and evaluations of the experience. Evaluation of the field experience is based on student performance as reviewed by the employer and instructor at the internship site as well as participation in the seminar and written assignments. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, approval of instructor, HUM 399. Humanities Department majors only.

HUM419 - Seminar in Hum: Readings & Research

This capstone course serves as the direct complement to HUM420. Whereas HUM420 is a writing-intensive course, this course is research and reading intensive; students work in a tutorial fashion (i.e., one on one) with the instructor to choose a research topic, read closely in pertinent sources, and report back through informative and exploratory writing assignments and conversations. Like HUM420, this course focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and the solution of problems; when taken together, these courses serve as a capstone experience. Prerequisite: senior standing. Humanities Department and IDS majors only.

HUM420 - Seminar in Humanities

This capstone course focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and problem solving. The topic will change; however, the course emphasizes extensive research projects related to students' fields of interest. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisites: HUM419 and senior standing. Humanities Department and IDS majors only.

ENG312 - Literature of Postcolonial World

In this course, students consider issues, movements, or traditions in literatures that respond to a history of colonization and/or imperialism. Latin American, African, and Asian cultures or traditions are emphasized in English or in English translations; issues addressed might include matters of publication and criticism, myths about the "third world," nationalism, fundamentalism, human rights, technology, and cultural resistance. Example topics include The Novel in India, Caribbean Dub Poetry, Prison Writing, Major South African Writers, Magic Realism. This is a presentation-intensive course. Prerequisite: Any 200-level English course.

ENG313 - American Multiethnic Literature

This course focuses on the history, variety, and aesthetic conventions of one or more racial-ethnic traditions in American writing. Individual courses might focus on key forms or authors; distinct traditions such as African-American, Latino, Asian-American, or Native American literature; or a survey across several traditions. Examples include Barack Obama and the African-American Tradition, Contemporary Latino Literatures, or Haiti and the US in Haitian-American Writing. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: Any 200-level English course.

COM209 - Journalism

In this course, students learn reporting and writing techniques necessary to produce a variety of types of articles. Assignments may include politics, sports, entertainment, and interviews. There is discussion of roles of reporters, columnists, editorial writers, editors, photographers, and graphic designers in the daily process of journalism as decisions are made in the news­room as to what stories to cover; what stories, photographs and video clips to publish or broadcast; and on what page to display them or in which order to broadcast them. The various reporting specialties covered in journalism – Health, Education, Business, Arts, Sports, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Travel - are explored. Students have the opportunity to publish their work in the campus newspaper, The 1851 Chronicle. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG208 - The Structure of the English Language

This course focuses on essential elements of the structure of the English language: its phonology (sound structure), morphology (word structure), and syntax (sentence structure). Students draw on their own knowledge of language as they examine spoken English; they then study the relationship between spoken and written language. As students discuss issues pertinent to teachers and to writers, the relevance of linguistic analysis both to written language development and to writing practice is considered. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG219 - Creative Writing

In this course, students explore various types of creative writing including fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Students do a wide range of in-class and out-of-class writing assignments, and they have the opportunity to select one form for a major project. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG211 - Modern Drama

This survey course introduces students to great modern works of drama, considering the late nineteenth century through the present. Plays are considered in terms of performance as well as in literary terms, with a focus on the ways in which the philosophies and sensibilities of modernism and postmodernism are reflected both on the page and on the stage. Readings include modern classics by such writers as Ibsen, O'Neill, Brecht, and Beckett, as well as more recent works. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG214 - Special Topics in Literature

This course concentrates on an interdisciplinary approach to literature. The focus is on one theme, one author, one period, or one genre. Students are responsible for substantial written and oral work in analysis, criticism, and/or research. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG217 - Contemporary Literature

This course explores key issues and texts in twentieth-century literature and surrounding periods. The course will focus on one or more literary movements and authors from the early modern period through the early twenty-first century. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG222 - Lyric Poetry

This course considers the lyric poem in global contexts, with attention to poetic voice, composition, sense, and sound. Form and content are examined in medieval to modern meditative and lyric poems. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG224 - Film & Literature

This course explores the nature of narrative in Literature and Film. Focus is on analysis of literature that has been made into movies. Students consider the types of changes involved in the transformation from one genre to another as well as the complex reasons for variations. Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG225 - The Short Story

In this course, students study the development of the short story as a twentieth-century form; critical and creative approaches are offered. Selections are taken from such authors as Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates, Doris Lessing, and Alice Walker. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG304 - Stories of Origin

This course considers both written and oral traditional texts. Texts originating in expressions of faith, devotion, cultural origin or expression, and ethnic identity are examined, with attention to narration, characterization, sacred mystery, moral /ethical content, and interpretation. Readings include selections from Ancient Greek and Roman literature, the Bible and/or the Qur’an, and world myths and folktales. Prerequisite: Any 200-level English course.

ENG340 - Classics of World Literature

This course explores representative fiction, poetry, or drama by major figures in world literature, centering on a theme such as love, tragedy, comedy, immortality, madness, wasteland, quest for knowledge, voyages, or exploration. This is a presentation-intensive course. Prerequisite: Any 200-level English course.

HIST103 - World Civilization I

Beginning with prehistory, this course explores early civilizations and then follows developments in a global context, showing interconnections between Asia, Africa, and Europe. Emphasis is placed on cultural, social, economic, religious, and political developments.

HIST104 - World Civilization II

This course emphasizes themes of interrelatedness and mutuality of influence between East and West. Internal as well as external developments are explored. Questions of exclusiveness, intolerance, and cooperation are examined.

HIST123 - American Civilization I

This course examines the chief political, social, and cultural features of American society as they have developed through the period of Reconstruction. Emphasis is on Colonial America, the War of Independence, the Constitution, and the emergence of the Republic through the Civil War.

HIST124 - American Civilization II

This course is a continuation of HIST 123 from the period of Reconstruction to the present. Emphasis is on reconstruction, industrializa­tion, immigration, constitutional issues, and the emergence of American foreign policy. There is some examination of American political life in the nuclear age.

ENV211 - Environmental Science

During this course, students are introduced to the concept of environmental sustainability. Issues such as climate change, biodiversity, food and agriculture, water resources, and energy are explored. Students are challenged to consider the impact of Lasell College on the environment and will complete a greenhouse gas inventory. Students also examine the role of science and technology in the pursuit of environmental sustainability.