Featured Courses

Tree growing out of a book

ENGL 1230-880: Environmental Literature

What is environmental literature? In what ways do literature and the environment intersect and what are their possible futures? We'll explore topics related to the environmental lit, such as the questions of resources, sustainability, and bioregionalism; issues of eco-cosmopolitanism, environmental justice and global impact; the concepts of “posthuman,” and “postnature.” Read more

ENGL 2058-001: 20th and 21st Century Literature

Surveys the major literary trends from 1900 to the present in the Anglo-American tradition of modern, postmodern, and contemporary literature. This course introduces students to literature written in English between 1900-present. It would provide a basic grounding in two important moments in literary history: modernism and post-modernism. Quite a bit of the focus of the course will be on poetry—we will be looking at modernist poets like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats and Hilda Dolittle (H.D.) to post-modernist poets (poets coming after modernist poets) like Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop to contemporary poets like Thom Gunn and Seamus Heaney. Read more
Things Fall Apart

ENGL 2767-001: Survey of Post-Colonial Literature

This course introduces students to the work of authors from formerly colonized nations in the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia. Focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on prose fiction, we will examine how postcolonial writers engage with issues of national identity and decolonization; negotiate the competing imperatives of English and vernacular literary traditions; and formulate both personal and collective strategies of self-representation. Possible writers include Chinua Achebe, V.S. Naipaul, Joseph Conrad, J.M. Coetzee, Jean Rhys, Tayeb Salih, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott. Read more
Sketch of monsters from a Shakespeare text

ENGL 3000-200: Shakespeare for Nonmajors: An Environmental History

"What does it mean to be human?" Explore the work of Shakespeare through an interdisciplinary approach that will consider how this question becomes rather complex in the face of changing knowledge about astronomy, geography, anatomy, taxonomy, and philosophy. Read more
End of the World

ENGL 3060-017: Modern and Contemporary Literature for Nonmajors Future Fictions: Info-, Bio-, Afro-

“It’s after the end of the world—don’t you know that yet?” This course investigates the way contemporary popular culture imagines a future for humanity. We will examine the futures depicted in three recent sub-genres of science fiction: cyberpunk, biofantasy, and Afrofuturism. What does the future look like when viewed from the perspectives of information, genome, and blackness? Read more

ENGL 3553-001: Geoffrey Chaucer

Although Chaucer is known by the stodgy title, “father of English poetry,” his poetry is rarely serious: it is funny, dirty, and sometimes just plain weird. When Chaucer was writing in late fourteenth-century England, there was no such category as “English literature” or “English poetry” and so he could and did write lots of different kinds of stories, some of which we will read in this course: his dream visions, the Canterbury Tales, and his shorter poetry. These works have been read for over 600 years through many massive historical changes. As a result, there are many different “Chaucers.” Read more

ENGL 4018-001: Literature and Globalization

In this course, we explore globalization from the perspective of the literatures and cultures produced in its wake. We close read a range of novels, feature films, documentaries, and digital media sources, and analyse and discuss representations of social / political / economic globalization in literature and culture; the production and circulation of literary and cultural forms around the world; the globalization of the literary and cultural industries; and practices as well as representations of resistance to globalization. In sum, this course instills a thorough understanding of globalization as both reflected in and negotiated through literature and culture. Read more

ENGL 4039-001: Critical Thinking in English Studies: Sex and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Literature

This seminar will examine representations of erotic desire, sexual pleasure, and romantic love in the novels written by women in eighteenth-century England, a period in which our modern ideas of individual selfhood, gender roles, and domestic propriety emerged. We will focus on Jane Austen and other contemporaneous women writers, including film adaptions of major novels. Read more
Women's lit

ENGL/WMST 4277-001: Victorian Women Writers

“A woman’s highest duty,” wrote Sarah Stickney Ellis in 1845, “is so often to suffer and be still.” Though Victorian society trained women in passivity, humility, chastity, and the domestic arts, and frequently punished the woman who sought education, employment, or sexual freedom, Victorian women nonetheless were not always content to “suffer and be still.” In this course we will read novels and poems by such writers as Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Michael Field, nineteenth-century women who freely expressed their misgivings about what constituted proper femininity in the Victorian era. Our focus on gender and sexuality is not intended as an exclusive one; inevitably, our readings will force us to frame our consideration of sexual difference/sexual identity within other contexts, such as Victorian ideologies of class, race, and labor. Read more

ENGL 4524-001: Advanced Topics: Romantic Media

Vast and icy oceans, fields of daffodils, dark satanic mills. The British Romantic period was fraught with contradictions: country and city, nature and art, beauty and sublimity, revolution and reaction. Authors and artists used their media to make sense of these and other seemingly irresolvable splits in their world: Coleridge's Kubla Kahn constructs an ordered pleasure garden atop a sublime ice cave; Blake suggested the marriage of Heaven and Hell; Parliament decided to claim the treasures of Ancient Greece as the symbol of modern Britannia. We will read Romantic authors and examine a host of paintings, sculptures, prints, galleries, earthenware, and anatomical images. Read more
Rihanna in the studio working on lyrics

ENGL 1800-100: Poetics of Song Lyrics

Kanye West. Taylor Swift. Radiohead. Beyonce. All of these artists are in the business of setting words to music. This course explore the language of pop songs from the early 1900s to the present. Can song lyrics be ‘good’ poetry? What effect do music and performance have on the written word? How can literary studies contribute to analyzing, understanding, and appreciating popular music? Read more
Caxton Showing the First Specimen of His Printing to King Edward IV at the Almonry Westminster

ENGL 2036-002: Intro to Media Studies in the Humanities

Are you a good collaborator? Are you interested in media history? In this class you will complete three group projects that focus on hands-on approach, including setting print with moveable type, creating an exhibit with pre-digital media forms, and producing and online exhibit highlighting early form of communication. These projects will ask you to think about media in a new way. Read more
Walter White standing in the desert

ENGL 3246-100: Reading Breaking Bad

In this course we will focus on close-reading the award-winning television series,Breaking Bad. Because the show itself highlights certain pieces of canonical literature and film, we will pay careful attention to literary and filmic precedents – particularly the poets Walt Whitman and Percy Shelley, and filmmakers such as John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sergio Leone. Read more
Portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer

ENGL 3553-001: Geoffrey Chaucer

Although Chaucer is known by the stodgy title, “father of English poetry,” his poetry is rarely serious: it is funny, dirty, and sometimes just plain weird. If 16th century Chaucer was a liar (a teller of tall tales), and 19th century Chaucer was a reporter of his social world, and 20th century Chaucer was a critic of the Catholic church, who is twenty-first Chaucer? We can begin to answer that question together. Read more
Environmentalists protesting

ENGL 1230-001/002: Environmental Literature

Introduces students to the tradition of American environmental literature dating from Transcendentalism through realist and experimental contemporary literary texts. Read more