Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)
The English major consists of ten courses, as follows:
a) ENG 220: Literary Analysis, the gateway course to the major, by the end of the sophomore year
b) One course in each of the following three categories: Diversity, Historical Approaches, and Innovation
c) Five elective courses (two of which may be taken outside the department, either in residence or abroad, pending approval of the syllabi and completed work by a department subcommittee)
d) A capstone experience in the senior year
Categories (b) and (c) will include two courses at the 200 level and two courses at the 300 level. Students must also have two courses at the 400 level, one of which fulfills category (d). No more than one English course at the 100-level will count for credit toward the major.
Progression and Sequencing
The successful English major follows an effective sequencing of courses. To that end, all majors should take:
- Two 200-level courses by the end of sophomore year, one of which is ENG 220
- At least one 300-level course by the end of the junior year
- Two 400-level courses in the junior and/or senior year
Juniors declaring the major late or as a second major should speak with the Chair to get permission to pre-register for ENG 220.
All English majors will develop a Davidson Domains site to which they will upload one (or more) of their essays from the gateway course (ENG 220), along with other writing samples from 300- and 400-level courses. Senior English majors will return to these sites within the context of their seminars to upload new work and curate the current selections, so that they might draw the attention of future employers, graduate school directors/committees, etc., to their portfolios of written work.
The gateway course, English 220: Literary Analysis, relies on a variety of teaching methods aimed at helping students develop an aesthetic sensitivity to the way form makes meaning. The course teaches close reading in more than one genre and pays attention to texts and films from more than one era. It introduces students to research and to theoretical approaches the professor finds relevant and compelling. It relies on discussion and is writing intensive, requiring drafting, feedback, and revision to delineate complex relationships among ideas needed to engage in scholarly conversations.
Courses satisfying the requirement in diversity focus on, through content or method or both, representations of disability, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.
Historical Approaches Requirement
Historical Approaches courses engage literary history and attend to historical context, including literary movements. Such courses take a variety of approaches to history, including a chronological survey of literature across a significant span of time; a historicist investigation of a particular moment or era; a course focused on an author or period prior to the twentieth century.
New challenges in any discipline require new responses, and courses satisfying the requirement in Innovation are designed to provide such responses. Courses fulfilling the requirement foreground innovation through a combination of course content, pedagogic approach and methodology, and student output.
ENG 110- Contemporary American Fiction
All English majors are required to complete two courses at the 400 level. Senior English majors have several options for completing the capstone requirement: regular seminars, which are limited to juniors and seniors, and other options limited to senior English majors: tutorial-style seminars, group investigations, and 400-level independent studies.
Tutorial-style seminars have a ceiling of 10-12 students, with content similar to traditional English department seminars. Unlike traditional seminars that meet once or twice weekly as a whole group, tutorial-style seminars have more frequent meetings on the part of the professor with smaller groups of students (2-3).
Group Investigations have a ceiling of 6 and perhaps one or more prerequisites and/or the permission of the instructor. Students work with a professor on a focused topic of collaborative research or an applied project. Group Investigations are not simply smaller seminars, but rather courses whose content and methodology are substantially different and necessitate the smaller class size.
400-level Independent Studies allow students an intensive and focused experience on a project of personal intellectual interest, analogous to an honors project but completed over the course of a single semester.
Cultural Diversity Requirement
English 262, 272, 282, 284, 286, 290, 297, 360 (Desire), 382, 415, 482 and 494B fulfill the cultural diversity requirement.