Nov 30, 2023  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 110 - Course list for Introduction to Literature

English 110 satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Check schedule to determine which course is being offered.

Fall 2019

ENG 110 A Poetry Without Fear


Chances are, if you dislike poetry or don’t know how to approach poetry, it seems a little intimidating. You might ask yourself, “Where would I start?” This course is that start.  Its main intent is to help you fall in love with poetry, even if you are a true beginner. By introducing you to many kinds of poetry from different time periods and cultures, it will demystify the genre and make it seem not alien, but familiar and pleasurable.

The main activity of the course will be reading poetry and discussing it in class, with support from the professor. Students will also memorize some lines and deliver or perform them for the class, practice paraphrasing poetry (and debate whether paraphrase can actually reflect a poem), write about poetry, and even write some of their own poetry. 

Satisfies Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.

ENG 110 B Literature and Social Change


“Literature and Social Change” explores the relationship between the literary arts (fiction, poetry, hybrid forms, and film) with current issues of our time. Our work will include interviews and Skype sessions with numerous authors whose work we read. 

ENG 110 C Literature & Medicine


Science and medicine have indelibly influenced how we understand and respond to the physical and mental state of being human.  We will consider how an appreciation of literary texts and the questions they broach give us a different insight into the human condition and affect our awareness of health, addiction, illness, disease, suffering, recovery, and death.  In doing so, we will also pay close attention to the cultural coding of these issues, as we examine how gender, class, race, sexual orientation, or other cultural biases color our perceptions of health, disease, suffering and death.

Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor

Spring 2019

ENG 110 A - Graphic Medicine:  Drawing Disability


Why is the graphic novel literary? And why has it become an immensely popular site for the representation of illness, disability, and medicine?  In this Introduction to Literature class, we’ll start with the premise that the unique intersection of word, color, image, text, and juxtaposition offered by the graphic novel offers authors singular opportunities for storytelling. We will further ask: what do comics, zines, and graphic novels have to teach us about our varied kinds of embodiment, particularly about disabled bodies? We will consider how these visual texts teach us about how bodies engage with the social and medical contexts surrounding them. Encompassing everything from bipolar disorder to cancer, depression to HIV/AIDS, epilepsy to deafness, and end-of-life issues to amputation, possible course works may include Epileptic, Cancer Vixen, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, and Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo, and Me.  Students will also make their own comic!

Satisfies a requirement in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary major and minor.
Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor.

ENG 110 I - World’s Greatest Short Stories


This course examines the history and development of the modern short story and its various subgenres through a close reading of texts from many authors and cultures.  The course also gives some attention to the ways short stories are currently evaluated and allows the option of submitting creative work.

Counts as an Innovation course for the English major.

OTHER TOPICS (not offered in current academic year):

ENG 110 A - Literary Monsters


This course examines monsters in widely varied texts.  Some are influential classics, such as Beowulf, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Some are recent works by prominent writers, such as Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, and short fiction by Margaret Atwood and Karen Russell.  Some are bestsellers, such as Stephen King’s The Outsider; films, such as Nosferatu and Night of the Living Dead; and television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Penny Dreadful.  One is a graphic novel with a topic and a title to suit this course, Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.  

Each text will be contextualized, so that students will discuss each monster as a response to distinct fears.  Students will also discuss the unstable place of monsters in cultural history, so essential to ancient and medieval texts at the core of the canon, yet later associated with popular entertainment.  Like all who survive encounters with monsters, the students of this section will come away with new questions and new ways of reading.

ENG 110 Shakespeare & Sports

Contemporary sports and Elizabethan theater have much in common. Both present spectacles, before a rowdy audience, in an arena. Both involve rehersal and scripted performance. Both require guides, whether a director or a coach. Both create rivalry, whether between teams or acting companies. Most important, both center on stories that thrive on the essential, exhilarating, and painful human experience. Like Shakespeare’s plays, sports history yields instances of extraordinary heroism and of heart-breaking mistakes. Real athletes find reflection in many of Shakespeare’s best known characters. Take, for instance, Dale Earrnhardt, Jr., whose larger-than-life father haunts him as King Hamlet’s ghost haunts his son. Andre Agassi’s second chance at tennis recalls The Tempest’s Prospero, who is exiled from and returns to dominate another court. This class explores how such moments and people in sports find reflection in Shakespeare’s works.

ENG110 - Introduction to Comedy


This course offers an overview of the comic tradition in English, from the Middle Ages to the present, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Arrested Development.  Although humor will be a recurring feature of some texts and of most class meetings, this course traces how comedies respond to inescapable challenges of human life:  social and political structures as apparent obstacles to the desires of individuals; the body and its failings, to the point of death; art, particularly comedy, as a reassuring (or maybe deceptive) refuge of happy endings that can seem elusive in life.  Different eras respond differently to those challenges, so the course offers a broad survey of literary and cultural history.  Over the semester, students and professor alike will look for comedy in surprising places, including in the form of the course itself, certain to end happily, before it has even begun.

ENG 110 - Media & Community
From Walt Whitman’s broad embrace of American readers in the 1860s to the digital social networks of today, this course examines how various media form communities of readers and writers. We will investigate how lyric poetry creates one kind of intimacy between author and reader, how blogs establish another, and how the NBC television comedy Community builds its own cult following. Davidson College meets Greendale Community College in a course that teaches you how to read, analyze, and respond critically and creatively to various forms of media. 

Media & Community topic satisfies a requirement of the Digital Studies interdisciplinary minor.

ENG 110 Growing Up in America

S. Campbell

In this course, we will consider young adult fiction both from various critical perspectives and within various readerly contexts.  Over the semester, we will:

  • Review a brief history of the genre from 1860 to 2000;
  • Explore shifting perceptions of gender, sexuality, and coming of age in the United States;
  • Discuss in what ways ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status impact expectations about maturation;
  • Consider how reviews of and responses to young adult texts reflect contemporaneous assumptions about the purposes of literature.

Satisfies an elective requirement in the English major.
Provides elective credit in the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.

ENG 110 A Introduction to Environmental Literature (=ENV 210)


(Cross-listed as Environmental Studies 210.)  An introduction to global environmental literature.  We’ll focus primarily on short fiction, novels, and non-fiction prose.  The course will introduce students to environmental justice issues as well as contemporary trends in global literature.  Literary and environmental topics include toxicity, waste, food, inequality, the idea of “wilderness,” and activism.  No prior experience studying literature is required.

Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor