The Curriculum

Note: Effective Fall 2023, all main campus courses have been renumbered using a new 4-digit numbering system.

ENGL 090: Critical Methods

This course aims to give students a coherent understanding of various theoretical and critical tools used to interpret texts by introducing them to strategies of close reading and to larger discussions regarding textual analysis. Although the course will not necessarily encompass the entire history of literary and cultural criticism, it will examine a range of schools and methods. These schools and methods will be grounded historically and will be situated and contextualized within larger critical conversations that have developed over time. (This course will NOT fulfill the HALC requirement.)

ENGL 091: History of Lit, Media, Culture I and ENGL 092: History of Lit, Media, Culture II

A two-semester survey of Anglophone literary and cultural history. History of Lit, Culture, and Media I focuses on texts from the medieval period through the eighteenth century; History of Lit, Culture, and Media II focuses on texts from the nineteenth century to the present. These courses will highlight a number of critical and/or representative texts, debates, developments, and crises illustrative of the time periods studied. (These courses will NOT fulfill the HALC requirement).

Lower-Level Electives (ENGL 100–299)

Lower-level electives serve as the primary means of immersion into various fields of study in English. No prior knowledge of the field is expected. The majority of these courses count toward the HALC (Humanities: Arts, Literature, Cultures) requirement. These courses aim to provide:

  • Instruction in close reading and textual analysis
  • Emphasis on writing
  • Models of close reading of primary texts
  • Introduction to a field and its terminology
  • Engagement with secondary sources
  • Awareness of larger critical conversations within the field
  • Possible exams
  • Several short papers (5–7 pages)

Upper-Level Electives (ENGL 304–459)

Upper-level electives provide a more intense understanding of a particular field of study. They assume students are proficient at close reading and are able to engage with secondary sources. These electives aim to provide:

  • Intensive focus in a particular field; concentration in scope, debate, dialogue
  • More individualized assignments and work
  • Longer papers / Research papers (10–15 pages)

Senior Seminar (ENGL 460–499)

These small seminars (capped at 18) are open to senior English majors only. They offer substantial engagement in a particular topic and assume students’ ability to apply critical methodology. These seminars include:

  • Opportunities for independent work
  • More freedom in terms of projects and discussions
  • Longer projects (20–25 pages)