2015 - 2016 Academic Catalog

Literature

Overview Requirements Course Descriptions Department Faculty

English majors who elect to concentrate in literature read, reflect on, discuss, and write about literature in its various forms and genres.  Progressing to an advanced level as readers and writers through a series of required survey and topics courses, they also select from electives in literature and language studies.  The capstone project is completed in a two-semester sequence; students read and research their chosen topic during a semester-long individual tutorial and write the capstone essay during the following semester. 

By planning early in consultation with an academic advisor, students may be able to reduce the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree in Literature to 3 or 3½ years. 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. demonstrate an awareness of the respective advantages of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, while demonstrating an appreciation for the special significance of the qualitative approach for scholars who work in the humanities areas (e.g., literary studies, composition, history, cultural studies, art, music, philosophy, and language)
  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. demonstrate respect for professional codes and standards
  2. demonstrate professional behavior in the workplace
  3. explore career options
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
Concentration Courses
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 (KP) 3
HIST123 American Civilization I 3
HIST124 American Civilization II 3
Science
ENV211 Environmental Science (KP) 3

Additional Courses
English Electives: 9 credits
Social Science Electives: 3-4 credits
Science Electives: 3-4 credits
Math Elective: 3 credits
Foreign Language: 0-12 credits
Service Learning:  3 credits

Major Requirements: 65-79 credits

Core Curriculum Requirements: 24-30 credits 

Unrestricted Electives: 11-31 credits


Minimum credits required for graduation: 120

Courses listed below fulfill Knowledge Perspective requirements:
Global/Historical Perspectives
HIST 104 World Civilization II

Math elective fulfills the quantitative literacy requirement of the Core Curriculum for English/Literature.

ENG100I - Writing for ESL

This course, designed to prepare the nonnative speaker of English for the Core Writing I - Writing II sequence, addresses the development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening competencies crucial to the successful completion of college coursework. Placed in this course on the basis of the TOFEL score, students work on oral and written English language skills through informal exercises and formal oral and written projects; the lab component of this course provides an opportunity for individual conferencing around written assignments. Students must receive a grade of “C” or higher in order to pass this course.

ENG100IL - Writing for ESL Lab

Writing for ESL Lab

ENG101 - Writing I

This course concentrates on improving the student’s attitude toward writing as well as the writing itself. The student can expect to write informal exercises, non-graded papers, graded papers, and journals. Scheduled individual conferences with the instructor are for the purpose of working on the student’s particular writing projects and problems. Based on the results of the writing assessment, students may be placed in a Writing Lab as part of this course or may be placed in an ESL section. Students must receive a grade of “C” or higher in order to pass this course.

ENG101TL - Writing I Lab

Writing I Lab

ENG102 - Writing II

This is a continuation of ENG 101 that concentrates on the student’s writing ability. There is a greater emphasis on exploring various literary types and themes, such as Women in Literature, Recent Fiction, and Family in Literature. Students may be placed into an ESL section of this course. Students must receive a grade of “C” or higher in order to pass this course. Prerequisite: ENG 101.

ENG104 - Academic Reading & Writing

This elective writing course is designed for any student who recognizes the need for additional work on reading and/or writing following completion of ENG 101 and 102. The course focuses on close reading and academic writing in response to readings about American culture from across the academic disciplines. Students develop and reinforce their skills in using reading strategies and in selecting and integrating text from a reading, analyzing issues, and synthesizing ideas in a focused and coherent essay. Students may be placed into an ESL section of this course. Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG201 - Eng Lit/Themes & Writers

This course offers a special thematic approach to the study of English literature. Various authors, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Shaw, and Yeats, are studied within such contexts as convention and revolt, the hero and the heroine, or evil and decadence. 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.

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 and memoir, or essay, including European, African, North, Central and South American, and Asian literature. The focus is on interpreting texts, including an introduction to preferred approaches of various schools of interpretation and standards for supporting one’s interpretation. Students become familiar with the conventional elements of each genre and 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 the present day. 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 periods or movements, such as captivity narratives and colonial "Brief and True Relations," American Romanticism and the American Renaissance, escaped slave narratives and the Civil War, Reconstruction and Reform, American Modernism, Harlem Renaissance, Beat Generation, Southern Gothic, or Postmodernism. This is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG211 - Modern Drama

This survey course introduces students to some of the great works of drama in the modern era (from the late nineteenth century to the present). The plays are considered in terms of performance, as well as in literary terms, with a focus on how the philosophies and sensibilities that have come to be called "modernism" and "postmodernism" are reflected in these plays, 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 writers. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ENG212 - Literature for Young Adults

This course is a survey of current books written for adolescent and teen readers. It prepares students to evaluate young adult books in terms of literary qualtiy, reader interest, and social and political perspectives. Strategies for use in the classroom are explored. A variety of genres of books are examined. 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.

ENG216 - The Mystery Novel

This course examines the history of one type of genre fiction, the mystery, beginning with texts from the late nineteenth century and ending with contemporary novels. Emphasis is on the development of the form, the social context of the texts including historical background, changes in popular taste, and analysis of the popularity of the genre. 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.

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.

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 have the opportunity to select one form for a major project. 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.

ENG223 - Ethics & Morality in War Literature

This course focuses on the role that ethics and morality play in a variety of literary texts. Emphasis is on analysis of characters' decisions and choices that relate to ethical issues as well as to the formation of their ethical codes. Characters' positions relating to ethical systems and the prevailing morality of their society are considered. Literature is selected from diverse genres and traditions. The focus of the course changes each semester. Possible topics include Literature of Human Rights, Prison Writing, Literature and the Environment, and Literature of War. 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.

ENG233X - Great War in Literature & History

World War I, which took place from 1914-1918, is still known as the Great War because of its tremendous impact on the course of history and the lives of individuals. Many of the roots of the current Iraq War can be found in the repercussions of the Great War. And the horror of the war inspired many participants to write poetry, fiction and memoirs describing their experience. This course will investigate the causes, course, and effects of World War I through analysis of historical and literary texts.

ENG235 - From Sounds to Sentences

This course considers the acquisition of human language as a biologically-based and species-specific communication system. The interaction, from infancy through early and later childhood, between biological preparedness and environmental influence is studied at the same time as the development of phonology (sound system), lexicon (vocabulary), syntax (sentence structure), and pragmatics (language use). The developmental phases through which a young learner passes as the language systems develop are also studied in this course. Bilingualism, dialect, language disorder, and early written language development are also considered. 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.

ENG308 - Fiction Writing Workshop

In this course students write various types of fiction. They work on different types of short stories and may have the opportunity to work with longer forms such as the novella or novel. Students will analyze the work of professional writers in order to understand a variety of writing strategies including the uses of and approaches to plot, dialog, point of view, and description. Students work on short and longer assignments to develop technique and also have the opportunity to structure some of their own assignments. Analysis of each other’s work is an extremely important component of the course. Prerequisite: ENG 219 or COM 209

ENG310 - Poetry Writing Workshop

In this course, we consider English verse by exploring lyric poetry and engaging in its practice. Work by class members is read and discussed, as are other example poems whose study illuminates the use of tools such as imagery, diction, sound device, structure, lineation, and figurative language in the construction of poetic meaning. Reading assignments involve the close examination of poems; written assignments include short poetry annotations and the creation of a portfolio of original poetry. Prerequisite: ENG 219 or ENG 222.

ENG312 - Literature of Post-Colonial 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. Examples 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 Multi Ethnic 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.

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.

ENG402 - Advanced Writing Workshop

This is the capstone course for Creative Writing Majors and Minors. In consultation with the instructor, each student develops and completes a major writing project that focuses on the student’s writing interests. A major component of the course is students’ analysis of each other’s work. The course includes reading assignments that relate to the writing projects. Prerequisite: ENG 308 or ENG 310

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 topics 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 (KP)

This Knowledge Perspective course will provide students with the opportunity to interpret and analyze the complex interrelationships and inequities in human societies in a global historical context. Emphasizing the interrelatedness and mutuality of influence between East and West, we examine questions of exclusiveness, intolerance, and cooperation. Prerequisite: ENG101.

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 (KP)

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.