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SPRING 2015 English Department Course Descriptions


EN 102:   WCH Western Literary Culture:  Modern Shakespeare

Instructor: Professor Louis Martin
This course will be a study of four plays by Shakespeare and modern films based on these plays.  We will explore the culture of Renaissance England and consider how the films negotiate with modern cultural expectations.  Possible plays include The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III or Coriolanus.  (Western Cultural Heritage Core)

EN 103:   NCH Literary Culture of the East:  Israeli and Arab
Instructor: Professor Louis Martin
    An exploration of non-Western culture via literary forms such as film, prose, and poetry, this course places cultural understandings in context and relates the past to the present.  This semester the course will focus on Israeli and Arabic films and poetry.  (Non-Western Cultural Heritage Core)

EN 104 HUM Introduction to Literature:  The Fantastic in Literature
Instructor:  Professor Carmine Sarracino
   This course will begin by considering the nature and status of the fantastic in literature:  Is the fantastic a separate genre, like the comic and the tragic?  If so, can it be defined?  What human needs are met by the element of the fantastic?  We will begin to explore these questions by analyzing and discussing some classic and very well known fairy tales.
We will then move on to an ancient epic from India, The Ramayana, and proceed through different kinds of fantastic literature: children’s stories (Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit), the macabre (Poe stories and poems, Dracula, The Turn of the Screw), and science fiction ( Frankenstein, as early science fiction, and Cat’s Cradle). (Humanities Core)

EN 104 HUM Introduction to Literature:  Tragedy and Choice
Instructor:  Professor Kimberly Adams
   In the first unit of the course, “Tragedy and Choice,” we will use three literary works to examine actions and decisions that can be seen as morally right but have tragic consequences.  Sophocles’ play Antigone centers on a conflict between two valid principles:  loyalty to the state and the law, as represented by King Creon, and loyalty to religion or the gods, as represented by his niece Antigone.  Aristotle’s discussion of the tragic hero and a few interpretations of the play by modern philosophers and classical scholars will also be assigned.  Chaim Potok’s novel My Name Is Asher Lev is the story of a Hasidic Jewish boy who becomes an artist.  The conflict between two goods here involves art versus religion, and the individual versus his parents and community.  The third novel, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, is set just before and after the British colonization of Nigeria.  The protagonist, Okonkwo, and the Igbo people see their lives and culture forever changed by European rule.  Sophocles, Aristotle, and Potok will help us think about individual vs. community, father vs. son, and tragedy in this novel.
   In the second unit of the course, “Star-cross’d Lovers,” we will focus on Romeo and Juliet.  We will read Shakespeare’s play and then watch the comic film Shakespeare in Love, written by Tom Stoppard (with Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth, and Judi Dench).  In the film, an offstage romance shapes the play that Shakespeare is struggling to write, which is—you guessed it.  The course assignments include a quiz, a midterm, a short paper, a course paper, and a final exam.  (Humanities Core).

EN 170 CE Ecology in Short Fiction
Instructor:  Professor Matt Skillen
   Ecology in Short Fiction is a course that joins the study of ecology with the art of creative writing. Students will participate in a number of discussions about the science and study of ecology as well as read a variety of short stories in which ecological principles are illustrated in the text.  Students will also engage in the creative writing process to write their own eco-fiction story.  (Creative Expression or NPS (non-lab) Core)

EN 200 Major British Writers
Instructor:  Professor Suzanne Webster
   A survey course designed to introduce majors to British poetry and prose of three or more literary periods. Students will develop the broad and close reading skills essential to the discipline by considering the structures, literary devices, and biographical and historical contexts of primary works. (English major) 

EN 220 WCH British Literature- Renaissance: Woman & Man
Instructor:  Professor Louis Martin
   This course explores the cultural heritage of the English Renaissance through the literature of the period.  We will discuss widely different aspects of the time such as cosmology, political issues, sex roles, and aesthetics.  We will also consider how Queen Elizabeth, William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, John Donne, Andrew Marvell and other important figures shaped the Renaissance, and how the Renaissance contributed to the shaping of modern attitudes. (English major; Western Cultural Heritage Core; GWR) 

EN 230 WCH British Literature- Victorian:  Gender, Ambition, and Transgression
Instructor:  Professor Kimberly Adams
   Self-made men and fallen women.  Treacherous aristocrats and a madwoman in the attic.  A teenaged governess in love with her employer, and a female Methodist preacher who works in a factory.  The Virgin Mary, the Lady of Shalott, Lancelot.  These are some of the figures we will encounter in British literature and art from the Victorian age (1830-1901).  We will read two novels, George Eliot’s Adam Bede and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre; poems by Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Gerard Manley Hopkins; and some literary criticism.  We will also look at paintings by Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. (English major; Western Cultural Heritage Core; GWR)  

EN 230 WCH British Literature- Romantic:  Nature and Revolution
Instructor:  Professor Suzanne Webster
  This course examines seminal works of poetry and prose from the British Romantic period (c.1770/1789–1835). Works explored include representative examples of this era's most popular genres and forms (e.g., lyric poems, magazines, ballad stanzas, and blank verse). The works cover a wide range of subjects and themes, from social justice and revolution to self-consciousness and the Sublime.  (English major; Western Cultural Heritage Core; GWR)  

EN 240 WCH American Literature- Realism:  Gender, Race, and Money
Instructor:  Professor John Rohrkemper
   This course will examine the literature of the United States from about 1865 till 1914, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the First World War. We will consider this writing in the context of the social, cultural, and political history of one of the most tumultuous and formative periods of American history. We will read the work of such writers as Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Stephen Crane, W.E.B. DuBois, and Kate Chopin. (English major; Western Cultural Heritage Core; GWR)

EN 251 HUM Multicultural Literature
Instructor:  Professor Becky Olson
   This course will examine cross-cultural experience as reflected in contemporary American and world literature. Sample authors:  Erdrich, Morrison, Selasi, Ha Jin.
(English major; Humanities Core; GWR)

EN 420 British Authors Pre-1800:  Cowper, Coleridge
Instructor:  Professor Suzanne Webster
   This course examines the lives and works of two men who were crucial innovators in many arenas, including those of social justice, theology, philosophy, and poetic form and genre. The biographical contexts of each man will mean that the course necessarily involves explorations of how people can forge new thought and ideas in spite (or because?) of debilitating psychological and physiological illnesses. (English major)

EN 440 American Authors:  A. Wilson, Toni Morrison
Instructor:  Professor John Rohrkemper
   The novelist Toni Morrison and the playwright August Wilson have created a remarkable record of American life, particularly American life in the twentieth century. Wilson’s ten-play Century Cycle—one play for each decade of the century, set in the predominantly black Hill District of Pittsburgh—is the most ambitious project in the history of the American theater. Similarly, Morrison has often sought crucial moments in African American history to set her powerful novels. This seminar will examine a number of Wilson’s plays and several of Morrison’s novels in the context of the American twentieth century, race in America, and gender issues. But, for all their interest in ideas, both artists are most concerned with probing deeply the human heart. (English major)


EN 185 Introduction to Professional Writing
Instructor:  Professor David Downing
   This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of research, writing, and editing tasks most common to professional writers. We will discuss guidelines, contexts, and good and bad models of writing in the worlds of journalism, business and advertising, technical writing, book or magazine publishing, and webpage design.  (English major)

EN 280 Creative Writing- Poetry
Instructor:  Professor Carmine Sarracino
   This course begins with about five weeks of writing-prompt based creative writing exercises, and then move on to five weeks of writing poems derived from journal entries.  In the last five weeks the focus is on revising poems for the final portfolio. (English major) Register by Instructor

EN 281 CE Writing and Analyzing the Short Story
Instructor:  Professor Becky Olson
   This course provides an introduction to the analysis and creation of short stories. Students will use concepts of literary criticism to discuss and write about short fiction. They will also use their understanding of the elements of fiction to generate a variety of topic papers, a research paper and one original short story. (English major; Creative Expression Core)

EN 285 Business and Public Relations Writing
Instructor:  Professor David Downing
   Students will learn the most common writing tasks in business and public relations, including instruction and practice in writing and laying-out news releases, brochures, newsletters, in-house proposals, feasibility studies, and business plans.  (English major) Register by Instructor

EN 311 Film:  70’s Classics
Instructor:  Professor Jesse Waters
   A Little Bent: Hollywood Films of the 1970s is a film-as-literature exploration of 15-16 films that represent both new ideas in American film, and how Hollywood -- and the American movie-viewing public of that certain decade -- had appetites for these changes. We'll develop a working vocabulary for writing about film, and write a variety of topical and thematic analytical essays about the films based on our own critical observations, and those of film critics. We'll also read Todd Berliner's amazing book HOLLYWOOD INCOHERANT: NARRATION IN 70s CINEMA as a working platform for our discussions. (English major)

EN 311 Travel Writing
Instructor:  Professor Matt Willen
   The Literature of Travel and Exploration. Through the study of representative texts and films, this course will explore the various periods in the history of travel and exploration, and the literatures and textual conventions produced out of these periods. In particular, we will at the figure of the traveller as that character gets produced at different times, having different motives and objectives for travel. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary travel accounts. Possible texts may include Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Narrow Road to the Deep North by Basho, This Cold Heaven by Gretel Erlich, and Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. (English major)

EN 370 Special Topics in English:  Advanced Fiction Writing and Analysis
Instructor:  Professor Jesse Waters
   Advanced Fiction Writing and Analysis will be a workshop-based class in which we discuss our own stories, and analyze 8-10 contemporary fictions. We'll each have an opportunity to build have two fiction selections (1-2 full short stories or a portion of a novel-in-progress) for a final portfolio. This class will focus on building sophisticated techniques for both writing one's own fiction, and discussing fiction from a "lab-based" perspective. (English major)

CW 386 Word, Web, and Design
Instructor:  Professor Matt Willen
   This course counts as the capstone course for the Creative Writing minor, and as a publishing course in the English: Professional Writing major track. In the spring semester, we will begin by developing websites, integrating principles of design and multimedia elements. Students will also learn the principles of writing for the web, and will do some creative projects for the web. Following the introduction to websites and internet design, we will take a foray into alternative forms of print publishing and dynamic media. NOTE: This course is for Junior and Senior majors and minors. Students enrolled in this course are expected to have a portfolio of creative and/or professional writing and projects with which to work in this course. Students without a portfolio should wait to take this course until they have developed one. (English major; Creative writing minor) Register by Instructor

LAT 112
Instructor:  Professor Jennifer Besse
   This course is designed for students to continue their study of the Latin language and the history, philosophy, religion, literature, and sentiments expressed by it.  Students will build on the knowledge learned in Latin 1 by exploring more advanced concepts in the structure and grammar of the language. Additionally, this course will provide students with an understanding of Roman history and culture in order to further their ability to make informed translations of Latin into English.  Class sessions will include discussion of new grammatical concepts, reading practice, review of homework assignments, and discussion of cultural nuances.  Because the course is designed to develop the ability to read Latin, quizzes and exams will emphasize translation from Latin into English.  Some homework exercises, however, will ask students to translate English into Latin. After completing this course, students will have a good foundation for the reading and study of authentic texts by Latin authors. (Power of Language Core)


ED 305
Instructor:  Professor Matt Skillen
   This is a methods and clinical seminar for English Secondary Education majors.  The course examines the work of John Dewey, George Hillocks, Jim Fay and Donna Alvermann as we discuss the best approaches to teach young adults how to read, write, think, and create.  This course includes a full-day clinical field placement in a middle school or high school English/language arts classroom.  (English major, English education concentration)

Elizabethtown College