Chair, Professor PETER MURPHY
Professors: I. BELL***, R. BELL, BUNDTZEN***, CASE, FIX, KLEINER, KNOPP, LIMON, MURPHY, PYE**, RAAB, ROSENHEIM, J. SHEPARD, D. L. SMITH*, SOKOLSKY, SWANN, TIFFT. Associate Professors: T. DAVIS, KENT***. Assistant Professors: MCWEENY*, RHIE*, THORNE**, SCHLEITWILER. Senior Lecturer: CLEGHORN§. Lecturers: BARRETT*, DE GOOYER§, K. SHEPARD§. Visiting Associate Professor: PETHICA***. Visiting Assistant Professor: UM. Visiting Lecturer: P. PARK. Bernhard Emeritus Faculty Fellow: GRAVER. Margaret Bundy Scott Visiting Professor: RUSSELL.
COURSES AND COURSE-NUMBERING
The course offerings in English enable students, whether majors or non-majors, to explore literature in a variety of ways, and to satisfy their interests in particular authors, literary periods, and genres. They emphasize interpretive skills, systematic and critical thinking, and careful attention to the generic, cultural, and historical contexts of literature written in English.
At the introductory level, the department offers a range of writing-intensive 100-level courses which focus on interpretive skills as well as skills in writing and argumentation. The department also offers English 150, Expository Writing, a course focusing on analytic writing skills. All 100-level courses are designed primarily for first-year students, although they are open to interested sophomores, juniors, and seniors. A 100-level course other than 150 is required for admission to most upper-level English courses, except in the case of students who have placed out of the introductory courses by receiving a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature or of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate.
Most 200-level courses are designed primarily for qualified first-year students, sophomores, and junior and senior non-majors, but they are open to junior and senior majors and count as major courses. Several 200-level courses have no prerequisites; see individual descriptions for details. 200-level Gateway courses are designed for first- and second-year students who are considering becoming English Majors, or who are interested in pursuing upper-level course work in the department. All Gateway courses are writing-intensive. First-year students who have placed out of the 100-level courses are encouraged to take a Gateway course as their introduction to the department. Completion of a Gateway course is a requirement for the major.
The majority of English Department courses are at the 300 level. 300-level courses are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. First-year students who wish to enroll in a 300-level course are advised to consult the instructor.
400-level courses are intensive, discussion-oriented classes that place a premium on independent, student-initiated work. Such classes can be structured in a variety of ways. A class might culminate in a long final paper on a topic of the student's devising and involve conferences focused on the progress of that project. A course might alternate tutorial sessions with seminar meetings, or it might take the form of a colloquium, with discussions organized around individual or group presentations on different aspects of a topic. Limited to 15 students, 400-level courses are open to students who have completed at least one 300-level English course; they should be attractive to any student interested in a course that emphasizes intensive discussion and independent work. Majors considering Honors work are urged to take a 400-level course before senior year as a way of preparing for Honors work.
All junior and senior English majors are assigned a departmental faculty member as an advisor. Students' preferences for advisors are solicited during the preregistration period in April, and assignments are announced at the start of the school year.
Non-majors who wish to discuss English Department offerings are invited to see any faculty member or the department chair.
Majors are urged to select a balance of intermediate and advanced courses, and to choose classes from the American, British and Anglophone traditions. Each student can fashion his or her own sequence of study within a basic pattern that insures coherence and variety. This pattern comprises at least nine courses.
They are also urged to elect collateral courses in subjects such as art, music, history, comparative literature, philosophy, religion, theatre, and foreign languages with a view to supporting and broadening their studies in literature. In particular, the study of classical and modern languages, as well as of foreign literatures, is strongly recommended.
The nine courses required for the major must include the following:
1) Any 100-level English class except English 150. Students exempted by the department from 100-level courses will substitute an elective course.
2) At least two courses dealing primarily with literature written before 1700 (identified in parentheses at the end of the course description).
3) At least two courses dealing primarily with literature written between 1700 and 1900 (identified in parentheses at the end of the course description).
4) At least one course dealing primarily with literature written after 1900 (identified in parentheses at the end of the course description).
5) At least one "criticism" course (identified in parentheses at the end of course description). A course fulfilling the criticism requirement entails a sustained and explicit reflection on problems of critical method, whether by engaging a range of critical approaches and their implications or by exploring a particular method, theorist, or critic in depth. Please note that when a criticism course also deals with literature satisfying a historical distribution requirement (pre-1700, 1700-1900, etc.), the course may be used to satisfy either the criticism or the chronological requirement, but not both.
6) At least one 200-level Gateway course (listed at the end of the 200-level course descriptions). Gateway courses are designed for first- and second-year students contemplating the major or intending to pursue more advanced work in the department; these courses focus on analytical writing skills while introducing students to critical methods and historical approaches that will prove fruitful as they pursue the major. (Note: a Gateway course can fulfill a Period or Criticism requirement as well as a Gateway requirement.)
The department will now give one elective course credit toward the major for a course taken in literature of a foreign language, whether the course is taught in the original language or in translation. Such a course may not be used to satisfy the department's historical distribution, criticism, or gateway requirements.
THE DEGREE WITH HONORS IN ENGLISH
The English Department offers three routes toward honors: a creative writing thesis, a critical thesis, and a critical specialization. Candidates for the program should have at least a 3.5 average in courses taken in English, but admission will not depend solely on course grades. Formal application to pursue honors must be made to the director of honors (Theo Davis) by April of the junior year.
All routes require students to take a minimum of ten regular-semester courses (rather than the nine otherwise required for the major), and to devote their senior year winter study course to their honors projects. All students writing a critical thesis or pursuing a critical specialization will be required to take the Honors Colloquium in the fall semester. Students doing a creative writing thesis must, by graduation, take at least nine regular semester courses, and, in addition, take English 497 (Honors Independent Study) and English W31 (Honors Thesis, winter study) during senior year. Students writing a critical thesis must, by graduation, take at least eight regular-semester courses, and, in addition, take English 493 and English 494 (fall Honors colloquium and spring Honors Independent Study) and English W31 (Senior Thesis, winter study) during senior year. Students pursuing a critical specialization must, by graduation, take at least eight regular-semester courses, and in addition, take English 493 and English 494 (fall Honors colloquium and spring Honors Independent Study) and English W30 (Honors Thesis: Specialization Route, winter study) during senior year.
Creative Writing Thesis
The creative writing thesis is a significant body of fiction or poetry completed during the fall semester and winter study of the senior year, and usually including revised writing done in earlier semesters. (With permission of the honors committee, the thesis may be undertaken during the winter study period and the spring semester of the senior year.) Requirements for admission include outstanding work in an introductory and an advanced workshop, a recommendation from one of the creative writing teachers (who will then act as thesis advisor), and the approval of the departmental honors committee. A creative thesis begun in the fall is due on the last day of winter study; one begun in winter study is due the third Monday after spring break. The methods of evaluation are identical to those for critical projects (but their page limits do not apply).
The critical thesis is a substantial critical essay written during both semesters as well as the winter study period of the senior year. It must consider critical and/or theoretical as well as literary texts. The thesis should be 15,000 words (45 pages); in no case should it be longer than 25,000 words. The proposal, a 3-page description of the thesis project, should indicate the subject to be investigated and the arguments to be considered, along with a bibliography. A draft of the entire thesis should be completed by the end of winter study; the finished thesis is due on the third Monday following spring break. After the critical thesis has been completed, the student publicly presents his or her work.
The critical specialization route is a series of forays into a broad area of interest related to work undertaken in at least two courses. At least one of these courses must be in the English Department, and both need to have been taken by the end of fall term in senior year. The specialization route entails: (1) a set of three 10 page essays which together advance a flexibly-related set of arguments; (2) an annotated bibliography (5 pages) of secondary sources, explaining their importance to the area of specialization; (3) a meeting with the three faculty evaluators (one of whom is the advisor) during the last two weeks in February to discuss the trio of essays and the annotated bibliography; (4) a fourth essay of 12 pages, considering matters that arose during the faculty-student meeting and reflecting on the outcome of the specialization. The 3-page proposal for the specialization should specify the area and range of the study, the issues likely to be explored, and the methods to be used for their investigation. It should also describe the relation between previous course work and the specialization, and include a brief bibliography of secondary works. The first two papers are due by the end of fall semester; the second paper is due at the end of winter study; the bibliography is due mid-February; and the final paper is due the third Monday after spring break.
Applying to the Honors Program
All students who wish to apply to the honors program are required to consult with a prospective faculty advisor, as well as with the director of honors before April of the junior year. Prior to preregistration in April, candidates for critical theses and specializations submit a 3-page proposal that includes an account of the proposed project and a bibliography. Students applying to creative writing honors submit a brief proposal describing the project they wish to pursue. Decisions regarding admission to the honors program will be made by the end of May. Admission to the honors program depends on the department's assessment of the qualifications of the student and the feasibility of the project.
When pre-registering for Fall 2008, students who are applying to critical honors should register for the Honors Colloquium as one of their four courses.
Progress and Evaluation of Honors
While grades for the fall and winter study terms are deferred until both the honors project and review process are completed, students must do the equivalent of at least B+ work to continue in the program. Should the student's work in the fall semester not meet this standard, the course will convert to a standard independent study (English 397), and the student will register for a regular winter study project. A student engaged in a year- long project must likewise perform satisfactorily in winter study (English W30 or W31) to enroll in English 494 in the spring semester. When such is not the case, the winter study course will be converted to an independent study "99."
Students are required to submit three final copies of their written work to the department on the dates applicable to the type of project pursued (see the above descriptions of each type of project for the due dates). All honors projects are evaluated by not only the advisor, but by two other faculty members. The advisor determines the student's semester grades in honors, while the two external readers recommend to the department that the project receive Highest Honors, Honors, or no Honors. Honors of any kind are contingent upon satisfactory completion of courses in the major during the spring semester of the senior year. Highest Honors are normally awarded only to students whose performance in both the honors program and regular courses in the major has been exceptional.
100-LEVEL COURSES (except English 150)
Through small class discussions (limited in size to 19 students per section) and frequent writing assignments, 100-level English courses ask students to develop their skills as readers and as analytical writers. These courses are prerequisites for taking most other English courses. Students who receive a 5 on the AP English Literature exam may take upper-level courses without first taking a 100-level. All 100-level English courses are writing intensive, requiring at least 20 pages of writing in a series of four or more formal essays.
200-level "Gateway" courses are designed for first- and second-year students contemplating the major or intending to pursue more advanced work in the department; these courses focus on analytical writing skills while introducing students to critical and historical approaches that will prove fruitful in later courses. (Note: a Gateway course can fulfill a Period or Criticism requirement as well as a Gateway requirement. Students contemplating the English major are strongly urged to take a Gateway course by the end of Sophomore year.)
CREATIVE WRITING COURSES
Students interested in taking a creative writing course should preregister and be sure to attend the first class meeting. Class size is limited; final selections will be made by the instructor shortly after the first class meeting. Preregistration does not guarantee a place in the class. Students with questions should consult the appropriate instructor.
HONORS AND INDEPENDENT STUDY
Prerequisites: unusually qualified and committed students who are working on a major writing or research project may confer with the English Department about possible arrangements for independent study.