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Faculty: J. Castro (chair), A. Brewer, D. Butler, T. Campbell, P. D. Herring, T. Herzog, M. Hudson, T. Lake, W. Rosenberg.
The English Department faculty offers a wide range of courses in literature, creative and expository writing, and language/media studies. The course offerings are divided into introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses that meet the general and specialized needs of English majors and minors, as well as students throughout the college. The courses aim to develop careful readers and accomplished writers who possess skills of comprehension, analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and evaluation. The study of literature fosters a widening of the mind's horizons and a deepening of the heart. It enables us to make connections between our present historical moment and the past, thereby giving our vision depth and perspective. It gives us a sense of our common human journey as well as of our extraordinary possibilities. The poem, the play, the story: they are the best means we have for self-understanding, as individuals and as a species.
All students are invited to consider English 201-221 to fulfill distribution requirements in Language Studies and Literature and Fine Arts. These courses are introductory in nature. Courses numbered above English 221 usually have a prerequisite of any one English literature course at Wabash. Intermediate courses (titled “Studies in...” and numbered from 300) will be structured according to various approaches to literary studies, the second digit indicating one of several approaches: Historical contexts (300); literary genres (310); literary modes (320); themes and topics (330); authors (340); media (350); multicultural and national literatures (360); special topics (370); language studies (390). Not all will be offered each year. Occasionally the content of the course will be altered (partly in response to student requests), but the critical approach will remain the same.
Requirements for the Major: Majors are required to take the following English courses: (1) three of the six core survey courses (English 215-220), one of which must be in American literature (These three courses should be completed by the end of the junior year); (2) English 397 (preferably in the sophomore or junior year); (3) four additional full courses (or their equivalent), including at least two full course credits labeled “Studies in...,” and one “Seminar” course. English 101 does NOT count toward the major and no more than two Language Studies courses in English may be included in the required nine. The core survey courses should give the major a broad understanding of English and American literary periods; the additional six courses should help him determine those critical approaches most appropriate to his literary interests.
For Senior Comprehensives, majors must pass three department examinations: (1) an analysis of an unfamiliar text; (2) an essay on a comprehensive question, and (3) a thirty-minute oral examination.
Majors with specific graduate school plans should discuss these with department members. Those who wish to continue work in English should be aware of foreign language requirements for graduate degrees, as well as the significant advantage of knowing the literature of another language. Courses in Classics, Religion, and the Arts would also be good preparation for Advanced Study in Literature, Language, or Creative Writing.
Requirements for the Minor: Five full-credit courses, not including English 101. Ordinarily students will choose to concentrate along one of the following lines, but a student may, by presenting a written proposal that receives Departmental approval, construct an alternate minor that better suits his needs. These proposals need to be submitted by the end of the first semester of the student's junior year.
The minor in literature consists of two core survey courses (one of them in American literature) and three additional courses in literature.
The minor in language consists of English 121, 122, 221 and 150, plus two and one-half additional courses selected from English 201, 215-220, 390, 410, or 411.
The minor in creative writing consists of English 201, 212, 213, and 412 or 413, plus one and one half courses in writing or literature. Theater 210 (Playwriting) may also be taken for the minor.
Language Studies courses in English include both writing (English 101, 201, 212, 213, 410, 411, 412, 413) and language (English 121, 122, 150, 221). Students with an interest in Creative Writing might wish to speak with Professors Hudson or Castro about appropriate course selections.
These courses, numbered 105-160, introduce students to English, American, and World literature in translation. Two half-semester courses, English 105 and 106, introduce students to the ways of reading poetry and short stories. English 107 and 108 emphasize history as a subject matter in literature. English 109 and 160, as well as English 107 and 108, focus on world and multicultural literature.
English 215-220, offered yearly, are designated “Core” courses because they are central to our conception of an English major. They introduce the student to basic literary and cultural history, to significant writers, works, and themes, and to useful critical modes. Students will be expected to participate in classroom discussion and write several short papers. These courses also serve as the foundation for more advanced literary study.
COURSES NUMBERED 300-370 HAVE THE PREREQUISITE OF ANY ONE ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSE AT WABASH. They are designed to complement and develop historical and cultural awareness, and the knowledge of authors, themes, topics, genres, modes, and critical approaches encountered in Introductory and Core courses. Students in Intermediate courses take initiative in class discussion, write several analytical papers, and become familiar with the use of secondary critical sources. Topics for Intermediate courses are generally repeated every two or three years.
Advanced (Seminar) Courses
Two sections of English 497 are the two Advanced Courses offered every fall. These are seminars designed primarily for English majors (although occasionally English minors enroll in them). The topics vary depending upon the research and teaching interests of the faculty. They demand a high level of student involvement in research and discussion. Several short papers and a long critical essay are required. Please Note: the two seminars are only offered in the fall semester.