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This section contains an overview of the college's history, the academic program, the campus and student body; information on admission, fees and financial aid; graduate programs; and a key for deciphering course listings. Select a section from the dropdown menu to start.


This catalog contains policies and program descriptions and should be used solely as an informational guide. The General Information section is accurate as of July. All announcements herein are subject to revision. Students are responsible for informing themselves of current policies and meeting all relevant requirements.

This section details instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and course offerings for the year (the data is updated annually). The Search for Courses tab enables you to search for courses based on interests and criteria. This tab will enable you to identify if a course can count toward a major, minor, concentration or a certificate.

Select a department or program from the dropdown menu.

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Professors
Douglas Lane Patey, Ph.D. **1
Michael E. Gorra, Ph.D. **2
Richard H. Millington, Ph.D., Chair **2
Craig R. Davis, Ph.D. **1
Nancy Mason Bradbury, Ph.D.
Naomi J. Miller, Ph.D.
Cornelia D.J. Pearsall, Ph.D. †2
Michael T. Thurston, Ph.D. †1, †2
Gillian Murray Kendall, Ph.D.
Ambreen Hai, Ph.D.
Floyd D. Cheung, Ph.D. †2
Ruth Ozeki, A.B. *1

Elizabeth Drew Professor
Carole DeSanti

Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence
Ellen Dore Watson, M.F.A.

Joan Leiman Jacobson Visiting Non-Fiction Writer
Susan C. Faludi
Russell G. Rymer

Kennedy Professor in Renaissance Studies
Mary Baine Campbell, Ph.D.

Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence
Amy Ellis Nutt

Associate Professors
Andrea Stephanie Stone, Ph.D. **2
Lily Gurton-Wachter, Ph.D. *1

Assistant Professor
Jina Boyong Kim, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor
Jessica Beckman, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor
William Henry Hagen, Ph.D.

Lecturers
Julio Alves, Ph.D.
T. Susan Chang
Nancy Eve Cohen
Matt Donovan, M.F.A.
Sara A. Eddy, Ph.D.
Fadia Hasan
Maya Smith Janson, M.F.A.
Miranda McCarvel, Ph.D.
Naila F. Moreira, Ph.D.
Pamela Petro, M.F.A.
Peter Sapira, M.F.A.
Samuel Scheer, M.Phil.
Morgan Adair Sheehan Bubla, M.F.A.
Pamela K. Thompson, M.F.A.


The purpose of the English major is to develop a critical and historical understanding of the English language and of the literary traditions it has shaped in Britain, in the Americas and throughout the world. During their study of literature at Smith, English majors are also encouraged to take allied courses in classics, other literatures, history, philosophy, religion, art, film and theatre.

Most students begin their study of literature at Smith with a first-year seminar before proceeding to one of the courses—199 or 200—that serves as a gateway for the major. First-year students who have an English Literature and Composition AP score of 4 or 5, or a score of 710 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT, may enter one of the gateway courses in the fall semester. Those first-year students who have taken a gateway course in the fall may, after consultation with the instructor, elect a 200-level class beyond the gateway in the spring.

The Minor

The minor in English consists of six courses to be distributed as follows: two gateway courses (ENG 199, 200); three additional English courses (no more than two of which can be writing workshops) chosen in consultation with the minor adviser; one seminar. Only one elective course may be at the 100 level (ENG 120 or a FYS in literature). No course counting toward the minor may be taken for an S/U grade.

The Major

Advisers: Members of the department

Major Requirements

The English major requires at least ten semester courses. The following requirements aim to provide majors with a broad understanding of literatures in English, acquaint them with the key questions and intellectual strategies that shape the discipline of literary study, and offer them the opportunity to work independently at an advanced level.

I. Major in English with a Literary Emphasis

  1. Majors take two gateway courses: English 199 (Methods of Literary Study) provides foundational methodological training in interpretation; English 200 (The English Literary Tradition I) offers an historical survey of English literature from its origins through the 18th century.
  2. Because their writing has been so crucial to the history of literary study and so generative for later writers, we require at least one course wholly devoted to works by Chaucer, Shakespeare or Milton.
  3. Because the spread of the British Empire has made English a global language with a rich array of divergent postcolonial literary traditions, and because multiple racial formations in North America have generated different ethnic American and diasporic literatures, we require at least one course at the 200-level (or above) with a focus on the global/racial as a central category of analysis.
  4. To encourage our students to move toward independence and sophistication as they pursue their studies, we require, as capstone experiences, one 300-level seminar in literature and one of the following: a four-credit special studies course, a second seminar, an honors thesis, a long-term Kahn Institute project, or a relevant four-credit concentration capstone course.
  5. At least four additional courses, one of which may be in creative writing.
 II. Major in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis
  1. Two gateway courses: English 199 (Methods of Literary Study) and English 200 (The English Literary Tradition I).
  2. At least one course wholly devoted to works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Milton.
  3. At least one course at the 200-level or above with a focus on the global/racial as a central category of analysis.
  4. At least three writing workshops, two of which must be at the 200 or 300 level.
  5. At least one additional course in literature.
  6. As capstone experiences, one 300-level seminar in literature and one of the following:  a 4-credit special studies, a second seminar, a year-long Kahn Institute project, a relevant concentration capstone, or a thesis in creative writing, to be completed in the senior year, and
  7. Completion of ENG 395 (Creative Writing Capstone), submission of a portfolio of published work (2-3 pieces or about 25 pages of fiction or nonfiction prose or 10-12 poems), and participation in public reading by creative writing seniors. (Seniors writing a thesis in creative writing are exempt from this requirement.)
Students in the classes of 2019 and 2020 may complete the creative writing emphasis by taking three writing workshops, at least two at the advanced level, and by fulfilling the capstone requirement with a literature seminar plus a third advanced workshop (or any of the alternatives listed in the major requirements) and may choose not to take ENG 395. Beginning with the class of 2021, only the requirements above will be in effect.

We also ask students to develop a deliberative plan for their major in consultation with their advisers, to be revised and updated every semester. Students may if they wish design a special focus within the major by choosing three courses related by genre (such as poetry, fiction, drama), historical period, methodological approach or any other category of interest.
  
Courses that fulfill requirement number 2 above include but are not limited to ENG 250, 256, 257, 260, 353; courses that fulfill requirement number 3 include but are not limited to ENG 222, 229, 230, 236, 239, 241, 246, 248, 249, 267, 277, 278, 282, 309, 312, 319, 334, 387,391, AFR 209, 360, AMS 230, CLT 205, 266.
 
One course in film, a foreign or comparative literature, or dramatic literature offered through the theatre department may count toward the major; courses in any of these categories that are cross-listed in English do not count against this limit. While only one course in creative writing may count toward the ten required courses for the literature emphasis, we encourage majors with interests in creative writing to choose additional courses in this area. Only one elective first-level course (e.g., ENG 120, ENG 135) or one FYS taught by a member of the English Department may count toward the major. ENG 118 does not count. No course counting toward the major may be taken for an S/U grade. We strongly recommend that all students take at least one historical sequence: ENG 200, 201; ENG 202, 203; or ENG 231, 233, 235.
 
Students interested in graduate school in English literature would be well advised to take a course in literary theory and should be aware that most doctoral programs in English require a reading knowledge of two foreign languages.  Students interested in high school teaching would be well advised to take both the English (200, 201) and the American (231, 233) literature surveys and a course in literature in English outside Britain and America. Those considering an MFA program in creative writing would be well advised to take literature courses in their chosen form or forms and to consult with their advisers about building a portfolio of selected writings.


 

Honors

Director:
Naomi Miller (2019-2020)



ENG 430D Honors Project
Credits: 4


Applicants to honors must have an average of B+ or above in the courses they count toward the major, and an average of B or above in all other courses. During the senior year they will present a thesis, of which the first complete formal draft will be due on the first day of the second semester. After the readers of the thesis have provided students with their evaluations of this draft, the student will have time to revise her work in response to their suggestions. The final completed version of the thesis will be due after spring vacation, to be followed during April by the student’s oral presentation and discussion of her work. Students in honors will normally be given priority in seminars.

 

Graduate



ENG 580 Graduate Special Studies
Independent study for graduate students. Admission by permission of the chair. Credits: 4


ENG 580D Graduate Special Studies
This is a yearlong course. Credits: 8


To assist students in selecting appropriate courses, the department’s offerings are arranged in levels I–V, as indicated and explained below.

Level I

Courses numbered 100–170: Introductory Courses, open to all students. In English 118 and 120, incoming students have priority in the fall semester, and other students are welcome as space permits.

First-Level Courses in Writing

ENG 118 may be repeated, but only with a different instructor and with the permission of the director.



ENG 110 Writers on Writing: An Introduction to the Craft and Business of Writing Narratives
In a series of seven lectures, writers—creative nonfiction authors, playwrights, novelists, screenwriters, documentarians and short story writers—provide an overview of the practice of creating narratives from specific disciplinary perspectives. Editors, publishers, agents and producers reflect on the publication and production process. Speakers discuss researching, revising, publishing and producing texts and read from their work to provide examples. They also explore questions of style, voice and genre. S/U only. Only meets during the first half of the semester (Jan. 30–Mar. 13). {A} Credits: 1
Julio Alves
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 118 Colloquia in Writing
In sections limited to 15 students each, this course primarily provides systematic instruction and practice in reading and writing academic prose, with emphasis on argumentation. The course also provides instruction and practice in conducting research and in public speaking. Particular sections of this course are designed to support nonnative speakers and bilinguals, who are strongly encouraged to consider those sections. Priority is given to incoming students in the fall-semester sections. Course may be repeated for credit with another instructor.

The Aims of Education
Because we have all been in school for many years, many of our experiences and roles in the classroom may appear natural or inevitable. This writing-intensive course invites students to examine the aims of education, to reflect on their experiences and roles as students, and to consider the potential limits (and failures) of educational systems. We closely explore what is at stake in how we design schools and educational opportunities, and take a closer look at how our exposure to educational institutions might play a role in how students develop a sense of identity. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Youth Activism, New Media and Social Change
Reading and writing analytical essays about the topic of global youth activism, new media technologies and social change. Topics include analysis of international youth activist movements in diverse social and political contexts and the ways in which the use of new media technologies has impacted a multitude of social change efforts. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Bad History
George Santayana famously wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” but can anyone remember all the past? Which past should I remember? Whose past? Maybe history isn't one memorizable narrative, but billions of individual stories and perspectives. Even if you told your own life story, which events would you include or leave out? Would you tell it as a tragedy? Comedy? Coming-of-age story? In this class, we consider the distance between history and myth, story and storyteller, the event and how it's remembered. We uncover histories, doubt histories, and write our own. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

The Peaceable Kingdom: Red in Tooth and Claw
In “Nature,” Emerson writes, “Go forth to find it, and it is gone: ’tis only a mirage as you look from the windows of diligence.” We look diligently out of windows to explore the contradictory nature of nature and write works evinced by our investigations into the literature of nature. With a special attention to the New England landscape, its chroniclers and the artists inspired by it, we explore a number of subjects, including our relationship with animals and our animal selves, the notions of natural and artificial, and preservation and exploitation. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

The Space in Our Identity: Writing About Home
Home is more than the physical structure where we reside. Home is where we live in every sense: the physical sense, yes, but also the spiritual, romantic, ideal and maybe even mythical. All of these aspects of home, hometown, home country, or adopted home serve to shape our identities. In this course, we explore the importance of these spaces, be they physical or metaphysical, to the construction of “home” and how these terms, whether we accept them wholly, shun them entirely or experience them via travel, dictate to us and others a sense of self and identity. Can be repeated for credit with a different topic. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Writing About Science
Reading and writing about current scientific topics. Readings will include examples of excellent science writing in the popular press and professional journals. Writings will include scholarly essays, Op/Ed pieces, and data analysis. Oral presentation and library research. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

What is Happiness?
This course explores the scientific and philosophical expressions of our deepest emotions. Our discussion will center on Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, and will include essays by scientists, neurologists, philosophers and psychologists—all of whom engage meaningfully and surprisingly with the interplay of our senses, emotions and acculturation. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the ways emotionality affects our lives and decisions. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

On the Road
When we leave the places we call home, we become travelers.  How much of ourselves do we take with us? How much do we leave behind? These questions confront the adventurer and the immigrant, the philosopher and the rogue. Readings focus on various forms of travel and their effects on the traveler as well as on the new lands she inhabits. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

No, Seriously... What’s so Funny? Writing About Humor
Nietzsche called maturity the rediscovered seriousness of a child at play. What is the meaning of comedy, in light of this “seriousness of the child at play?” Why do we laugh, at what and in what way? How do we distinguish silly comedy from serious comedy? This course examines such questions on comic platforms including film, music, videos, short stories and cartoons. We explore the “structure” of the comic moment as viewer or listener encounters surprise, transgression or enchantment, especially in 20th-century comedy, and the affectivity of the comic encounter from pure “clowning” to savage social commentary. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

Worth a Thousand Words
This course explores and analyzes the popular saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The saying is generally interpreted to suggest that a complex idea can be expressed in just one picture. But it also raises questions about the complex meanings of pictures and the complex process of interpreting them. We analyze images and discuss essays about the politics of interpretation. There may be opportunities to bring some of your own pictures into the course. Bilingual students and nonnative English speakers are especially invited to register for this section. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

To Hell and Back: Trauma and Transformation
How does trauma force us to grow? Why does it seem that in order to undergo a transformation, we must first “go through hell” of one kind of another. Readings focus on various explorations of trauma and how the experiences shaped the authors. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

All the World’s a Stage
We live in a world where everybody seems to be performing. We see this in the political arena and on reality TV shows. We see it on websites like YouTube and on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In this class, we look at how our lives have grown more performative in the advent of new concepts like “reality,” “sincerity,” “self” and “friend,” and what that means for us as individuals and as a society. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Water: Science and Politics
The management of global water resources presents a major challenge for the 21st century. Water defines the boundaries of the livable world. It’s crucial for drinking, energy, travel, irrigation and food. But water can also transmit disease, flood homes and spread contamination. Students in this course hone their science-writing skills while exploring contemporary problems related to water. They focus on presenting scientific data, reasoning and controversies in accurate but lively language, while learning and writing about the politics surrounding water use. Sources include scientific research papers, government reports, newspaper articles, and op-ed pieces. May be repeated once for credit with a different instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Consumer Culture
Reading and writing analytical essays about the pervasive effects of consumerism in American culture. Topics include analysis of advertisements, consideration of the impoverished in a consumer society, the use of advertising in schools, the marketing of fast food in American culture and the meaning of consumer goods in our daily lives. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

The Politics of Language
Reading, thinking and writing about the forces that govern and shape language. A series of analytical essays focus on issues such as political correctness, obscenity, gender bias in language and censorship. Bilingual students and nonnative speakers are especially encouraged to register for this section. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

How to Live
Through wide-ranging readings from ancient philosophy to contemporary memoirs, we engage this most essential question: How are we to live our lives? Philosophers and artists, farmers and writers, religious leaders and political activists have given us a rich variety of approaches to this question, envisioning utopias both large and farm-small, proposing maxims to live by, conducting private and public experiments, condensing hard-won knowledge into prose. The range of forms of these provocative writings leads to this class’s second question: How are we to write about matters? Can be repeated for credit with a different topic. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Language and Gender
How we speak – the words we choose, the way we structure our sentences, the pitch of our voices, even our gender while speaking – is constantly judged by those around us. Examining the interaction of gender and language leads to questions, such as how does gender shape the way we use language, how does our gender affect others’ perceptions of our speech (both written and verbal), what variation occurs across cultures with regards to gender and language? This course uses the topic of language and gender to expand upon and improve rhetorical and writing skills. Enrollment limit of 15. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Unpacking the Library: Mediation, Book History, and Writing in the Digital Age
This course explores the relationship between the technologies we use and our communication and culture. Students research how books and formats alter behavior and the reception and interpretation of content. They explore the myriad of ways in which material objects and digital mediums both influence our everyday lives and effect social, political, and scientific change. Because the consideration of mediation is inseparable from writing as a self-reflexive process, and because writing, too, is a form of technology, examining this subject promotes habits of critical reflection vital for effective communication in a rapidly changing world. Enrollment limit of 15. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Technology and Gender
Given that the majority of Americans depend on technology to work, to socialize, and in many ways to even exist, how do women and non-binary individuals create space for themselves in the digital world? In this course, students answer this question both individually and collectively as they read both traditional and multimodal texts and use contemporary approaches to write essays discussing the intersection between gender and technology. Students learn to write in forms that will prepare them for academic, professional, and personal writing for a digital audience and improve their arguments, responses, and research through constraint-based exercises and activities. Enrollment limit of 15. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

The Art of the Steal: Remixing, Originality, and Identity
This writing intensive class explores our contemporary “remix culture” to ask pressing questions about creativity, originality, and identity. We explore the remix as a necessary tool for cultural transformation and look at our own experience of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and ability as an opportunity to reimagine and transform old ideas. We will make a case for the remix as a place for critical updates to our culture, and discuss the possibilities of how remixing contributes to a richer production of cultural ideas. Our work will combine academic writing with multimedia “remix” projects and class discussion. Enrollment limit of 15. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

Map My Words: Writing About Borders and Belonging
This course is designed to get you thinking about maps to generate ideas for your writing. Our main focus will be learning to write logical, complex academic essays, and assignments will include four essays, blog posts, and a presentation, accompanied by lessons on rhetoric, revision, structure, grammar, and research basics. Questions addressed in discussions, readings, and essays will include: Is a map a rhetorical document? Is there bias in the language of maps? How do maps and essays hide the process of creation? What histories of exploration and exploitation are communicated (or silenced) by the act of mapping? (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Hope and Fear: The Power of Persuasion
We are immersed in a culture of persuasion: advertisers make claims, politicians' promises. Yet, despite what we believe about how we make decisions, successful persuasion is often based more on emotion than logical evidence. We examine the rhetoric of persuasion from the ancient Romans to the intentionally addictive nature of social media in order to separate the hype from the content and to develop our own, authentic persuasive styles. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 119 Writing Roundtable
Students hone their writing skills (defined broadly to include critical thinking, research and documentation, argument development and mastery of written English) as they enhance their understanding of an issue of current import and consequence. They read and write in a variety of genres (ranging from experience narratives to academic essays) and supplement their required reading with excursions to scholarly and cultural venues at Smith. Prerequisite: One WI course or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15.

What's for Dinner? Writing About Food
Michael Pollan writes in Omnivore’s Dilemma that the U.S. suffers from a “national eating disorder”—that essentially, we don’t know what to eat. This course examines that confusion, considering which of the many diets available to us—vegan, slow food, locavore—is truly healthy; what roles ethnicity, gender and class play in our choices; and how pervasive hunger is in the United States. Students read from the spectrum of food writing and hone their own writing in a variety of genres ranging from academic essays to restaurant reviews. Prerequisite: One WI course or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Language & Power
The power of language is evident everywhere in our lives. This course examines language and power in three areas: politics, media, and art. In this course, students write a variety of essays on these topics, read both academic and popular pieces, and visit the Smith College Museum of Art. Students hone the writing skills developed in a previous WI course, focusing on refining and developing personal style and voice; exploring other genres, especially those involving public discourse; and expanding upon and improving rhetorical and organizational skills. This course is designed for multilingual writers, including non-native speakers of English and bilinguals. (E) WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each spring

This Overheating World
This writing-intensive course examines how both the scientific and literary world are responding to changing temperatures and weather now observed globally. Students hone their science writing skills in the context of examining climate change. Through scientific, engineering and literary perspectives, we examine how our future world is likely to be shaped and how people are responding or can respond to global warming and its related challenges. Our sources include literary essays and nature/science writing, scientific papers, newspaper articles and government/nonprofit publications. Prerequisite: One WI course or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. WI Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 135 Introduction to Writing Creative Nonfiction
Students learn to use literary techniques to write factual, engaging narratives that read like fiction. Based on research, interviews and personal experience, creative nonfiction encompasses a wide range of genres, including memoir, travel writing, nature writing, science writing, food writing and biography. Prerequisites: one WI course. Enrollment in each section limited to 16. Course may be repeated once on a different topic. (E)

Creative Nonfiction about Place and Travel
In creative nonfiction writing, authors of fact-based essays and memoirs use the same craft tools as novelists—from description and dialogue to reflection, scene, structure and exposition—to tell a story. We sharpen these tools with writing and reading assignments that draw from the linked themes of place and travel, and how the passage of time changes perspectives on both. You don't have to be a seasoned traveler to join the course: you can write about any place at all, including home. We also use the Smith College Archives to write about the place we all know and share at different times in its history. Students may respond to assignments and prompts in traditional written essays; graphic essays (comics); or digital essays. Either way, be prepared to write frequently in class and out, read well, participate in class discussion, and be ready to explore your world with new eyes. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Writing About The Arts
Students write true stories about art, music, theater, film and dance that read like a novel. Writing assignments include a profile of an artist or performer, a review of a performance or an exhibit, and a personal essay exploring how a work of art, theater or music influenced the author. The essays read like fiction, relying on character, pacing, scenes, structure and sensory details. Unlike fiction, these stories are based on facts gathered through research, observation and interviews. The course offers tools and an approach to writing to help students develop a writing process that works for them. Enrollment limited to 16. (E) Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Writing About Health and Healthcare in the U.S.
This course teaches students how to use the tools of narrative nonfiction to write compelling, engaging, informative pieces about issues and ideas surrounding health and healthcare. We read and discuss works that illuminate the experiences of health and illness, and that examine how American society and the medical establishment respond to these. Each student develops her voice, her sense of purpose and her authority as a writer, while strengthening her relationship with her reader. Students practice revising for style, structure and accuracy. Enrollment limited to 16. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Writing About Sports
Through reading, in-and-out-of-class writing, and editing one another's work, students learn different forms of creative non-fiction essays through a focus on the topic of sports. Among other subjects, students may explore their own sports backgrounds, the dynamics of individual sports, sports ethics, the lives and careers of sports figures, and subjects like momentum: where does it come from and where does it go? Students are encouraged to use sports-related material in the Smith Archives and explore our sports rich environment, including Smith athletics and local landmarks such as the Basketball Hall of Fame. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Writing About the Senses
Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste: Everything we know reaches us through our senses.  We share a world filtered through a million sensibilities - finding the words to convey what we hear, see, smell, taste, and feel is one of the most fundamental skills a writer can develop.  In this class, we will hone our descriptive powers to go beyond the obvious and uncover language that delights and surprises us even as we write.  We will learn to use one sense to write about another, combine them in powerful metaphors, and explore how our senses shape the narratives that drive us. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 136 Journalism: Principles and Practice
In this intellectually rigorous writing class, students will learn how to craft compelling “true stories,” using the journalist’s tools. They will research, report, write, revise, source, and share their work—and, through interviewing subjects firsthand, understand how other people see the world. We will consider multiple styles and mediums of journalism, including digital storytelling. Prerequisite: One WI course. Students should focus their attention and effort on academic exposition and argumentation before learning other forms of writing. Enrollment limit of 16. (E) Credits: 4
Nancy E. Cohen
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

First-Year Seminars

For course descriptions, see First-Year Seminars section.



FYS 122 Eden and Other Gardens
Nancy Mason Bradbury
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 128 Ghosts
Cornelia D.J. Pearsall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 160 The End of the World as We Know It: The Post-Apocalyptic Novel
Gillian Murray Kendall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 162 Ambition and Adultery: Individualism in the 19th-Century Novel
Michael E. Gorra
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 167 Viking Diaspora
Craig R. Davis
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 175 Love Stories
Ambreen Hai
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

FYS 181 Screening Shakespeare
Daniel Elihu Kramer
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

First-Level Courses in Literature



ENG 100 Nature's Nation?: American Literature of the Environment
Historian Perry Miller once argued that America was "nature's nation"—that is, a nation whose virtues were reflected in the bounty and beauty of its natural landscape. In what ways does this thesis still ring true, and in what ways can it be challenged? What is the relationship between environment and nation today? How have American writers charcterized this relationship over time? In this lecture-series course, members of the English department will use the work of American writers to think through these questions in light of climate change. {L}
Jina Boyong Kim, Andrea Stephanie Stone
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 112 Reading Contemporary Poetry
This course offers the opportunity to read contemporary poetry and meet the poets who write it. The course consists of class meetings alternating with public poetry readings by visiting poets. On five selected Tuesdays, the course also includes Tuesday Q&As with the poets, which meet from 4–5 p.m. Students with class, lab or required work conflicts are excused from Q&As. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Course may be repeated. {L} Credits: 2
Matthew R. Donovan
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 120 Colloquia in Literature
Each colloquium is conducted by means of directed discussion, with emphasis on close reading and writing. Priority is given to incoming students in the fall-semester sections of the colloquia. Other students should consult the course instructor about possible openings. Enrollment in each section limited to 20.

Shakespeare and Film
A study of the way filmmakers edit, distort, clarify, and otherwise interpret Shakespeare's plays; the process of metamorphosing theatre into film, imagery into image. Works to be studied may include Henry V, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest. WI {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 125 Introduction to Creative Writing
This course familiarizes students with key aspects of structure and form in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We focus in turn on such elements of creative writing as imagery, diction, figurative language, character, setting, and plot. Students draft, workshop, and revise three pieces of writing over the course of the semester, one each in the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Maya Smith Janson, Sara B. London
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 170 History of the English Language
An introductory exploration of the English language, its history, current areas of change and future. Related topics such as how dictionaries are made and the structure of the modern publishing industry. Students learn about editing, proofreading and page layout; the course also entails a comprehensive review of grammar and punctuation. WI {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 172 Grammar & Stylistics for Writers
How do writers exploit the structure of English? This course seeks to answer this question by examining the linguistic structure of English, various types of spoken and written texts (both formal and informal), and how grammar and style interact. We explore what rules are inherent to the language and what rules have been imposed upon the language. We also discuss the beliefs people have about and the values associated with the English language in a variety of settings and the impact this has on writing. Enrollment limited to 40. Credits: 4
Miranda K. McCarvel


ENG 184 Survey of African-American Literature 1746-1900
Same as AFR 170. An introduction to the themes, issues and questions that shaped the literature of African Americans during its period of origin. Texts include poetry, prose and works of fiction. Writers include Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Frederick Douglass, Phillis Wheatley. {L} Credits: 4
Flavia Santos De Araujo
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Level II

Courses numbered 199–249. Open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors, and to qualified first-year students.

Gateway Courses

These courses serve as entry points to the major, introductions to the critical, historical and methodological issues and questions that underlie the study of literatures in English. Beginning with the class of 2019, English majors must take ENG 199 and ENG 200. Fall gateway courses are open to first-year students with the English Literature and Composition AP score of 4 or 5, or a score of 710 on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT, or by permission of the instructor.



ENG 199 Methods of Literary Study
This course teaches the skills that enable us to read literature with understanding and pleasure. By studying examples from a variety of periods and places, students learn how poetry, prose fiction and drama work, how to interpret them and how to make use of interpretations by others. English 199 seeks to produce perceptive readers well equipped to take on complex texts. This gateway course for prospective English majors is not recommended for students simply seeking a writing intensive course. Readings in different sections vary, but all involve active discussion and frequent writing. Enrollment limited to 20 per section. WI {L} Credits: 4
Jessica Catherine Beckman, Ambreen Hai, Jina Boyong Kim, Andrea Stephanie Stone
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 200 The English Literary Tradition I
A study of the English literary tradition from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. Recommended for sophomores. Enrollment limited to 20 per section. WI {L} Credits: 4
Jessica Catherine Beckman, Nancy Mason Bradbury, Douglas Lane Patey
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

Level II Electives
 



ENG 201 The English Literary Tradition II
In this course we journey from the Romantics to the Victorians to the Modernists, reading a wide variety of poetry, plays, and novels from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first. We read some of the most important, strange, beautiful, and complex texts of the English literary tradition, while considering the formations and deformations of that tradition, with its inclusions and exclusions, its riches and its costs, its ceaseless attention to and radical deviations from what is past or passing, or to come. Authors may include Blake, Conrad, Dickens, Eliot, Equiano, Keats, Joyce, Rossetti, Tennyson, Walcott, Wilde, Woolf, and Wordsworth. WI {L} Credits: 4
Michael E. Gorra
Normally offered each spring

ENG 202 Western Classics in Translation, from Homer to Dante
Same as CLT 202. Texts include The Iliad; tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; Plato’s Symposium; Virgil’s Aeneid; Dante’s Divine Comedy. Lecture and discussion. Credits: 4
Robert Ellis Hosmer, Nancy J. Shumate
Normally offered each fall

ENG 203 Western Classics in Translation, From Chrétien de Troyes to Tolstoy
Same as CLT 203. Chrétien de Troyes’s Yvain; Antony and Cleopatra; Cervantes’ Don Quixote; Lafayette’s The Princesse of Clèves; Goethe’s Faust; Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Lecture and discussion. Credits: 4
Robert Ellis Hosmer
Normally offered each spring

ENG 204 Arthurian Legend
Same as CLT 215. Medieval legends of Arthurian Britain as they developed in Wales, France and England, and more recent retellings. Readings include early Welsh tales, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien de Troyes, Marie de France, the Gawain-poet Malory, Tennyson, and Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. Enrollment limited to 40. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 207 The Technology of Reading and Writing
Same as HSC 207. An introductory exploration of the physical forms that knowledge and communication have taken in the West, from ancient oral cultures to modern print-literate culture. Our main interest is in discovering how what is said and thought in a culture reflects its available kinds of literacy and media of communication. Topics to include poetry and memory in oral cultures; the invention of writing; the invention of prose; literature and science in a script culture; the coming of printing; changing concepts of publication, authorship and originality; movements toward standardization in language; the fundamentally transformative effects of electronic communication. Credits: 4
Douglas Lane Patey
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 210 Old English
A study of the language of Anglo-Saxon England (ca. 450–1066) and a reading of Old English poems, including The Wanderer and The Dream of the Rood. We also learn the 31-character Anglo-Frisian futhorc and read runic inscriptions on the Franks Casket and Ruthwell Cross. {F} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 211 Beowulf
A reading of Anglo-Saxon England’s most powerful and significant poem, invoking the world of barbarian Europe after the fall of Rome. {F} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 217 Studies in Medieval Literature
Topics course.

Old High German and Old Saxon
An introduction to the vernacular literatures of early medieval Europe with readings from the Old High German Lay of Hildebrand and Merseburg Charms, as well as the Old Saxon Hêliand 'Savior', a powerful retelling of the gospel in the style of ancient Germanic alliterative verse like the Old English Beowulf. The Hêliand offers a unique glimpse into how the new Christian religion with its Jewish spirituality and Mediterranean civic ethos was processed by the tribal peoples of Northern Europe. We also compare selections from the Old English Dream of the Rood and Middle High German Lay of the Nibelungs. Enrollment limited to 20. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 220 The Voyage Within: The Novel in England from George Eliot to Virginia Woolf
What it would be like to hear the squirrel’s heartbeat, to open one’s mind fully to the sensations and impressions of the world around us? The image belongs to George Eliot, who in Middlemarch suggested we couldn’t bear it; we would die of a sensory overload, the “roar on the other side of silence.” The novelists of the generations that followed tried to live in that roar: to explore the stream of consciousness, to capture the way we make sense of experience and order out of our memory’s chaos. Readings in George Eliot, Henry James, Virginia Woolf and others. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 222 Spirometers, Speculums and the Scales of Justice: Medicine and Law in 19th-Century African Diasporic Literature
During a time of rapid professionalization, medicine and law profoundly influenced New World ideas about what it means to be a human, a person, and a citizen, and how such definitions determined the rights of people of African descent. This course surveys 19th-century African diasporic authors’ and orators’ engagements with medical and legal theories on issues of slavery, emigration, crime and revolution. Supplementing our readings of slave literature, crime narratives, emigration writings, poetry and fiction, we study contemporary and current theories of race and racial science, the human, non-human, and post-human, environmentalism, colonization, pain, disability, gender, sexuality and legal personhood. Our literary travels take us from colonial West Indies, Jamaica, and the antebellum U.S. to colonial Canada, Cuba and the Bahamas. {L} {L} Credits: 4
Andrea Stephanie Stone
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 223 Contemporary American Gothic Literature
This course traces the emergence of a 21st-century gothic tradition in American writing through texts including novels, films and television shows. We analyze the shifting definitions and cultural work of the Gothic in contemporary American literature in the context of political and cultural events and movements and their relation to such concerns as race, gender, class, sexuality and disability. From the New Mexican desert to the rural south, from New York City, San Francisco and the suburbs of Atlanta to cyberspace, these literary encounters explore an expanse of physical, psychological, intellectual and imagined territory. {A} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 224 Frankenstein: The Making of a Monster
At the age of 19, Mary Shelley began writing the first science fiction novel. Frankenstein not only describes fears about monstrosity and accelerating technology; it also sets the stage for continuing discussions about gender, reproduction, race, ethics, and disability. To celebrate this groundbreaking novel’s 200th anniversary, this co-taught class will explore the making of the text, alongside its monstrous legacy in contemporary culture. We will look at the novel’s influences and afterlives – from the Frankenstein collection in Smith’s rare book room to a range of films, electronic novels, and comics that reveal the enduring role of gothic monstrosity today. Meets on alternating days at Smith and Amherst College. Enrollment limit of 36. (E) Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 228 Children's Literature
Shapes speak to us. Prose shapes us. From the picture book to the chapter book, we will explore the ways in which literature for children invents the child reading that literature. And we will attempt to break through our natural nostalgia for works we know to rediscover their innovative and experimental nature. In so doing, we will see these works work their magic on themes that will become familiar throughout the semester: identity, nostalgia, interiors and exteriors, authority, independence and dependence and, of course, the nature of wild things. Works may include Peter Rabbit, Where the Wild Things Are, Winnie-the-Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, The Giver. {L} Credits: 4
Gillian Murray Kendall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 229 Turning Novels into Films: Imperialism, Race, Gender and Cinematic Adaptation
"Not as good as the book,” is a frequent response to film adaptations of novels. Adaptation studies, an interdisciplinary field that combines literary and film studies, rejects this notion of “fidelity” (how faithful a film is to its source) and instead reads literature and film as equal but different artistic and cultural forms, where the film may translate, transmute, critique, or re-interpret the novel. This course will look closely and analytically at some paired fiction and film adaptations that focus on issues of imperialism, race, class, and gender. We’ll begin with some classics (Austen’s Mansfield Park, Forster’s Passage to India), move to international postcolonial fiction and film (Tagore’s Home and the World, Ondaatje’s The English Patient), and end with U.S. texts about non-white, hyphenated citizens (Lahiri’s Namesake, Stockett’s The Help). We will also read some critical and theoretical essays to frame our key concepts and conversations. Prerequisites: At least one college level course in literature or film. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 230 American Jewish Literature
Same as JUD 230. Explores the significant contributions and challenges of Jewish writers and critics to American literature, broadly defined. Topics include the American dream and its discontents; immigrant fiction; literary multilingualism; ethnic satire and humor; crises of the left involving 60s radicalism and Black-Jewish relations; after-effects of the Holocaust. Must Jewish writing remain on the margins, too ethnic for the mainstream yet insufficient for contemporary gatekeepers of diversity?
No prerequisites. {H} {L} Credits: 4
Samantha Pickette
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 231 Inventing America: Nation, Race, Freedom
This course will focus on the extraordinary burst of literary creativity that coincided with the emergence of a new American nation. From its conflicted founding episodes to the crisis of the Civil War, American writers interpreted and criticized American life with unmatched imaginative intensity and formal boldness, taking as their particular subject both the promise of freedom implicit in the nation's invention—and the betrayals of that promise: in the horrors of slavery, and in the subtler entrapments of orthodox thinking, constricted vision, a self-poisoning psyche, and a repressive or unjust social life. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 232 London Fog: Victorian Secrets, Sensations and Subversions
The deadly fog that hung over London throughout the 19th century was both a social reality and a pungent metaphor for a metropolis in which it seemed that almost anything could be hidden: secrets, crimes, identities. But sometimes the fog parts—and then comes scandal. We'll begin with Dickens' anatomy of the city in Bleak House; move on to sensation novels by Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, which contest and subvert the period's gender roles; look at murder with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Jekyll; urban bombings with Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent; and end with a neo-Victorian novel by Sarah Waters. {L} Credits: 4
Michael E. Gorra
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 233 Re-forming America: Region, Race, and Empire
Re-forming the nation after the Civil War was no easy feat. During the period between 1865 and 1914, how did regions recently at war with one another view America differently? How did people of different races, classes, genders, and other identities define their relationship to the nation? What role did empire-building, science, and industrialization play in the re-forming of America into the superpower that it would become in the twentieth century? This course engages American writers as they explore these and other questions of meaning, value, and power—with an emphasis on writers who shaped, critiqued, and stood apart from their rapidly changing society. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 236 African-American Literature 1900 to the Present
Same as AFR 175. A survey of the evolution of African-American literature during the 20th century. This class builds on the foundations established in AAS 170, Survey of Afro-American Literature 1746 to 1900. Writers include Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 237 Environmental Poetry and Ecological Thought
This course considers how literature represents environmental change and crisis, and shapes our understanding of the natural world. How can poetry provide new ways for thinking through extinction, conservation, and environmental justice? We explore these issues by reading a selection of environmental poetry in conversation with key texts from the environmental humanities. Central to the discussions: the sublime and the aesthetics of landscape and wilderness; garbage and the poetics of waste; the ethics of representing animal and plant life; the relation between landscape, labor, and power; and how ecopoetry intervenes in debates about climate change. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 238 What Jane Austen Read: The 18th-Century Novel
A study of novels written in England from Aphra Behn to Jane Austen and Walter Scott (1688–1814). Emphasis on the novelists’ narrative models and choices; we conclude by reading several novels by Austen—including one she wrote when 13 years old. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 239 American Journeys
A study of American narratives, from a variety of ethnic traditions and historical eras, that explore the forms of movement—immigration, migration, boundary crossing—so characteristic of American life. Emphasis on each author’s treatment of the complex encounter between new or marginalized Americans and an established culture, and on definitions or interrogations of what it might mean to be or become “American.” {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 241 The Empire Writes Back: Postcolonial Literature
Introduction to Anglophone fiction, poetry, drama and memoir from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia in the aftermath of the British empire. Concerns include the cultural and political work of literature in response to histories of colonial and racial dominance; writers' ambivalence towards English linguistic, literary and cultural legacies; ways literature can (re)construct national identities and histories, and address dominant notions of race,class, gender, and sexuality;women writers' distinctivenesss and modes of contesting patriarchal and colonial ideologies; global diasporas, migration, globalization and U.S. imperialism. Readings include Achebe, Adichie, Aidoo, Dangarembga, Walcott, Cliff, Rushdie, Ghosh, Lahiri, Hamid, among others. Credits: 4
Ambreen Hai
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 243 The Victorian Novel
An exploration of the worlds of the Victorian novel, from the city to the country, from the vast reaches of empire to the minute intricacies of the drawing room. Attention to a variety of critical perspectives, with emphasis on issues of narrative form, authorial voice, and the representation of race, class, gender and disability. Novelists will include Brontë, Collins, Dickens, Eliot and Kipling. {L} Credits: 4
Cornelia D.J. Pearsall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 247 Race, Suburbia, and the post-1945 U.S. Novel
This course aims to identify, analyze, and complicate the dominant narrative of U.S. suburbia vis-à-vis the postwar American novel. While the suburb may evoke a shared sense of tedium, U.S. fiction positions suburbia as "contested terrain," a battleground staging many of the key social, cultural, and political shifts of our contemporary age. Reading novels and short stories by writers like Toni Morrison, Hisaye Yamamoto, John Updike, Chang-Rae Lee and Celeste Ng, we assess the narrative construction of the suburb as a bastion of white domesticity, as well as the disruption of this narrative through struggles for racial integration. Enrollment limit of 20. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 249 Literatures of the Black Atlantic
Visiting the pulpits, meeting houses and gallows of British North America to the colonial West Indies and docks of Liverpool to the modern day Caribbean, U.S., Canada, U.K. and France, this course analyzes the literatures of the Black Atlantic and the development of black literary and intellectual history from the 18th to the 21st century. Some key theoretical frameworks, which help inform our study of literature emerging from the Black Atlantic, include diaspora, transnationalism, internationalism and cosmopolitanism. Readings range from early African diasporic sermons, dying words, poetry, captivity and slave narratives to newspapers, essays, novels, drama and film. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Level III

Courses numbered 250–299. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors; first-year students admitted only with the permission of the instructor. Recommended background: at least one English course above the 100 level, or as specified in the course description.



ENG 250 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
A contextualized close reading of Geoffrey Chaucer’s ambitious and enduring literary project, The Canterbury Tales, with attention to language change, narrative technique, the representation of varied and distinctive medieval voices, and the poem as vivid introduction to life and thought in the later Middle Ages. Not open to first year-students. {L} Credits: 4
Nancy Mason Bradbury
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 255 What Makes a Tale Worth Telling: Reading the 19th Century Story
Same as CLT 255. How did the modern short story emerge — why, where, when? What is its relation to other forms of short fiction such as the fairy tale or the German Novelle? Why are they often so elaborately framed, with their kernel presented as a kind of oral performance; a story told by one character to another? Why do they so often rely on fantastic and unlikely events— and how, by the end of the century, did the short story come to concentrate instead on the mundane and the ordinary? What, in short, makes a tale worth telling? Readings in Goethe, Hawthorne, Gogol, Turgenev, Maupassant,Chesnutt, Chekhov, Jewett and others. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 256 Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, I Henry IV, Measure for Measure, King Lear, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Shakespeare's sonnets. Enrollment in each section limited to 25. Not open to first-year students. {L} Credits: 4
Gillian Murray Kendall
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 257 Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale. Not open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. {L} Credits: 4
Gillian Murray Kendall
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 260 Milton
A study of the major poems and selected prose of John Milton, radical and conservative, heretic and defender of the faith, apologist for regicide and advocate of human dignity, committed revolutionary and Renaissance humanist, and a poet of enormous creative power and influence, whose epic, Paradise Lost, changed subsequent English Literature. Not open to first-year students. {L} Credits: 4
Jessica Catherine Beckman
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 264 Faulkner
The sustained explosion of Faulkner’s work in the dozen-odd years between The Sound and the Fury and Go Down, Moses has no parallel in American literature. He explored the microtones of consciousness and conducted the most radical of experiments in narrative form. At the same time he relied more heavily on the spoken vernacular than anyone since Mark Twain, and he made his “little postage stamp of native soil” in northern Mississippi stand for the world itself. We read the great novels of his Yoknapatawpha cycle along with a selection of short stories, examining the linked and always problematic issues of race, region and remembrance in terms of the forms that he invented to deal with them. {L} Credits: 4
Michael E. Gorra
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 267 Asian American Literature
Although we sometimes think only of modern-day authors like Amy Tan or Jhumpa Lahiri when we think of Asian American literature, in fact Asian Americans have been writing and publishing in English since at least 1887. In this course, we read selected Asian American poetry, novels, short stories, plays and films produced from the late 19th century until the present. We consider how works engage with issues that have always concerned Asian Americans, like identity development and racism. Also, we pay attention to how works speak to concerns specific to their period, such as the exclusion acts of the 1880s, the proletarian movement of the 1930s, the decolonization of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries since the 1940s, and the increasing size and diversity of the Asian American population in the late 20th century. At all times, we attend closely to matters of language and form. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 271 Imagining Evil
Same as GER 271. This course explores how artists and thinkers over the centuries have grappled with the presence of evil —how to account for its perpetual recurrence, its ominous power, its mysterious allure. Standing at the junction of literature, philosopy, and religion, the notion of evil reveals much about the development of the autonomous individual, the intersection of morality, freedom and identity, and the confrontation of fantasy and history. Readings include literary works from Milton, Goethe, Blake, Kleist, E.T.A., Hoffmann, Tolkien, Le Guin; theoretical texts from Augustine, Luther, Nietzsche, Freud, Arendt. In English. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 273 Bloomsbury and Sexuality
Members of the Bloomsbury movement led non-normative (what many now call queer) lives. The complexity and openness of their relationships characterized not only the lives but also the major works of fiction, art, design, and critical writings its members produced. “Sex permeated our conversation,” Woolf recalls, and in Bloomsbury and Sexuality we’ll explore the far-reaching consequences of this ostensible removal of discursive, social, and sexual inhibition in the spheres of literature, art, and social sciences. The course will draw from the art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, the writings of E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes and others, along with contemporary queer theory. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 274 The Pleasures of Not Thinking: Romanticism and the Irrational
Romantic writers were obsessed with uncertainty, ignorance, and the irrational, unthinking mind. Concerned with the unusual ideas that surface when we are sleeping or spaced out, absorbed or intoxicated, Romanticism embraced reason’s alternatives: forgetting, fragmentation, stupidity, and spontaneous, uncontrollable emotion. From Wordsworth’s suggestion that children are wiser than adults to Keats’s claim that great writers are capable of remaining uncertain without reaching for fact or reason, Romantic poets and novelists suggested that we have something to learn from not thinking. We will read texts by Austen, Blake, Burke, Coleridge, Cowper, De Quincey, Freud, Kant, Keats, Locke, and Rousseau. {L} Credits: 4
Lily Gurton-Wachter
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 277 Postcolonial Women Writers
A comparative study of 20th-century women writers in English from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia and Australia. We read novels, short stories, poetry, plays and autobiography in their historical, cultural and political contexts as well as theoretical essays to address questions such as: How have women writers addressed the dual challenge of contesting sexism and patriarchy from within their indigenous cultures as well as the legacies of western imperialism from without? How have they combined feminism with anti-colonialism? How have they deployed the act of writing as cultural work on multiple counts: addressing multiple audiences; challenging different stereotypes about gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity? What new stories have they told to counter older stories, what silences have they broken? How have they renegotiated the public and the private, or called attention to areas often ignored by their male contemporaries, such as relations among women, familial dynamics, motherhood, bodily desire, or the gendered effects of migration and diaspora? Writers include Anita Desai, Kamala Das, Thrity Umrigar, Deepa Mehta, Ama Ata Aidoo, Bessie Head, Nawal el Saadawi, Jamaica Kincaid, Michelle Cliff, Zadie Smith, Sally Morgan. Prerequisite: a WI course. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 278 Asian American Women Writers
The body of literature written by Asian American women over the past 100 years has been recognized as forming a coherent tradition. What conditions enabled its emergence? How have the qualities and concerns of this tradition been defined? What makes a text central or marginal to the tradition? Writers to be studied include Maxine Hong Kingston, Sui Sin Far, Mitsuye Yamada, M. Evelina Galang, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Marilyn Chin, Paisley Rekdal, Lynda Barry, Jhumpa Lahiri, Bharati Mukherjee and Ruth Ozeki. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 282 The Harlem Renaissance
Same as AFR 245. A study of one of the first cohesive cultural movement in African-American history. This class focuses on developments in politics and civil rights (NAACP, Urban League, UNIA), creative arts (poetry, prose, painting, sculpture) and urban sociology (modernity, the rise of cities). Writers and subjects include Zora Neale Hurston, David Levering Lewis, Gloria Hull, Langston Hughes, and Nella Larsen among others. Enrollment limited to 40. {L} Credits: 4
Daphne M. Lamothe


ENG 283 Victorian Medievalism
19th-century revivals and transformations of medieval literature, arts and social institutions; the remaking of the Middle Ages in the image of Victorian desires and aspirations. Arthurian legend in medieval and 19th-century England, the Gothic revival in British art and architecture, the cult of Chaucer, controversies over women’s education, and the idealization of medieval communities in Victorian social theory. {L} Credits: 4
Nancy Mason Bradbury, Cornelia D.J. Pearsall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 285 Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory
What do we do when we read literature? Does the meaning of a text depend on the author’s intention or on how readers read? What counts as a valid interpretation? Who decides? How do some texts get canonized and others forgotten? How does literature function in culture and society? How do changing understandings of language, the unconscious, class, gender, race, history, sexuality or disability affect how we read? “Theory” is “thinking about thinking,” questioning common sense, critically examining the categories we use to approach literature or any discursive text. This course introduces some of the most influential questions that have shaped contemporary literary studies. We start with New Criticism but focus on interdisciplinary approaches such as structuralism, poststructuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, New Historicism, postcolonialism, feminism, queer, cultural, race and disability studies with some attention to film and film theory. Strongly recommended for students considering graduate work. {L} Credits: 4
Andrea Stephanie Stone
Normally offered in alternate years

ENG 293 The Art and History of the Book
Same as ARH 247. Will books as material objects disappear in your lifetime? Or will the book, a remarkably long-lived piece of communication technology, continue to flourish and develop alongside its electronic counterparts? This course surveys the artistry and history of books from the ancient world through medieval manuscripts, hand press books, and machine press books to the digital media of today.  We discover how books were made, read, circulated and used in different eras, and explore the role they have played over time in social, political, scientific and cultural change. The course involves extensive hands-on work with books and manuscripts from across the centuries and sustained engagement with current debates about book, print and media culture. Admission limited to 12 by permission of the instructor. Group A, Group B. {A} {H} {L} Credits: 4
Jessica Catherine Beckman
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 299 Colloquium: Literary Research Methods
Literary research starts with choosing the lens to investigate a passion-telescope or microscope? Does one want to explore constellations (an array of texts) or atoms (words/themes in a single text)? This course offers advanced literature majors hands-on experience supporting the development of a research project of their choice, including question definition, choice of methodology and critical framework, and evidence evaluation. Potential projects might include developing a special studies or thesis proposal. This is the chance to identify and explore a chosen topic in depth, while mastering widely useful research skills. Prerequisites: ENG 199, ENG 200 and two 200-level literature courses. Enrollment limit of 15. {L} Credits: 4
Naomi J. Miller
Normally offered each fall

Intermediate/Advanced Creative Writing Courses

Courses in writing above the 100 level may be repeated for credit only with the permission of the instructor and the chair. For all writing courses above the 100 level, no student is admitted to a section until she has submitted appropriate examples of her work and received permission of the instructor. The deadline for submitting a writing sample is by the last day of registration in April for a fall course and the last day of registration in November for a spring course. Please contact the department assistant with any questions.

ENG 206 Intermediate Fiction Writing
A writer’s workshop that focuses on sharpening and expanding each student’s fiction writing skills, as well as broadening and deepening her understanding of the short and long-form work. Exercises will concentrate on generative writing using a range of techniques to feed one's fictional imagination. Students will analyze and discuss each other's stories, and examine the writings of established authors. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12.

Topic TBD
{A} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years


ENG 216 Intermediate Poetry Writing
In this course we read as writers and write as readers, analyzing the poetic devices and strategies employed in a diverse range of contemporary poetry; gaining practical use of these elements to create a portfolio of original work; and developing the skills of critique and revision. In addition, students read and write on craft issues, and attend Poetry Center readings/Q&A’s. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12. {A} {L} Credits: 4
Arda Collins
Normally offered each academic year

ENG 245 Worldbuilding: Topics in Reading and Writing Creative Fiction
Whether in fantasy or more mainstream narratives, storylines evolve in a carefully constructed world space. Imaginary settings—whether they be Narnia or New York — involve the creation of spatially coherent locations, a backstory and a world that is peopled. In this course, students examine fictional worlds and learn to build those worlds themselves. This class is not limited to but is recommended for students interested in fantasy, science fiction or speculative fiction. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12.

The Landscape and Cityscapes of Creative Fiction
In this course, we explore the constructed worlds made by some wonderful writers and build fictional worlds of our own. The course involves both in-class participation and a great deal of writing:short stories, worldbuilding exercises, writing about reading. Each week, we read the fiction published in that week's edition of The New Yorker. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 290 Crafting Creative Nonfiction
A writer’s workshop designed to explore the complexities and delights of creative nonfiction. Constant reading, writing and critiquing. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12.

The Art of Writing about Science
This is a creative nonfiction writing workshop that will take science, technology, and nature as its subject matter. Students will research and write a series of magazine-style articles about science or scientists, intended for a general readership. They will hone their interviewing and research skills and expressive capabilities, while contending with issues of factual accuracy and creative license, along with the tenets of longform nonfiction. Ultimatelystudents will explore the ways that hard science and subjective prose are interrelated forms. No prior experience with science is required. Enrollment limit of 12. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 291 Lakes Writing Workshop
An intermediate-level workshop in which writers develop their skills through intensive reading, writing, revising, and critique. Topic changes annually. Emphasis on narrative writing, broadly defined to include a variety of genres, depending on the interests of the current holder of the Lakes writing residency. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12.

Tell me a Story: The Power and Purpose of Narrative Writing
What are the principles of great narrative writing? Who are the great narrative non-fiction writers and why does their work matter? In this course, students read and write narrative non-fiction and hear from some of the country's best narrative writers. Among the journalists, essayists, novelists and poets we will read: Susan Orleans (The New Yorker), Stephanie McCrummen (The Washington Post), Dan Barry (New York Times), Rebecca Solnit, Marilynne Robinson, Mary Oliver, and Louise Gluck. Four reported stories will be required, the last a long-form narrative developed throughout the semester. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each spring

ENG 295 Advanced Poetry Writing
Taught by the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet in Residence, this advanced poetry workshop is for students who have developed a passionate relationship with poetry and who have substantial experience in writing poems. Texts are based on the poets who are reading at Smith during the semester, and students gain expertise in reading, writing and critiquing poems. Writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12. {A} {L} Credits: 4
Ellen Dore Watson
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 296 Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop
The goal of this workshop is to help more advanced fiction-writing students become stronger writers in a supportive context that encourages experimentation, contemplation, and attention to craft. The workshop will include all the traditional elements of a fiction writing workshop, focusing on writing skills and technique, close reading, and the production of new work. In addition, the workshop will include instruction in mindfulness meditation to help students cultivate their powers of concentration, observation, imagination, and creative expression on the page. Students will be asked to submit manuscripts for discussion in class, to revise and edit their work, and to keep a process journal about their writing practice. They will be asked to read fiction by established authors in a range of genres and to lead a class forum discussion on a published short story of their choosing. Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose, will be a required text for the class. The workshop will also include occasional writing exercises focusing on aspects of craft. A writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12. {A} {L} Credits: 4
Carole J. De Santi, Ruth Ozeki
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 384 Writing About American Society
Topics course. Same as AMS 351. A writing sample and permission of the instructor are required. Enrollment limited to 12.

Writing about Women and Gender
Women have historically exerted their voice and power through writing, even as the professional writing trades of journalism and publishing have historically been unwelcoming of their presence. This class examines reporting and writing by and about women, and engages students in the practice of writing about gender, feminism, and women's lives. This is a workshop class where students produce their own researched and reported magazine-style writing, while simultaneously inspecting how the media represents women's issues and learning the history of women writers in American journalism. As we examine these works, we grapple with questions of interviewing, structure, ethics, fair representation and more. This critical approach also informs the course's workshop component, in which students compose and revise their own stories, receiving feedback from peers as well as the instructor. Permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment limited to 12. {A} {L} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

Level IV

300-level courses, but not seminars. These courses are intended primarily for juniors and seniors who have taken at least two literature courses above the 100-level. Other interested students need the permission of the instructor.



ENG 399 Teaching Literature
Discussion of poetry, short stories, short novels, essays and drama with particular emphasis on the ways in which one might teach them. Consideration of the uses of writing and the leading of discussion classes. For upper-level undergraduates and graduate students who have an interest in teaching. Enrollment limited to 15. {L} Credits: 4
Samuel Scheer
Normally offered each fall

Level V

Seminars. Seminars are open only to juniors and seniors, and admission is by permission of the instructor.

Seminars in the English department stand as the capstone experience in the major. They bring students into the public aspects of intellectual life, and the papers they require are not only longer but also different in kind from those in 200-level classes. These papers require a research component in which students engage the published arguments of others, or at least demonstrate an awareness of the ongoing critical conversation their work is entering. But such work proves most useful when most available, and so we also require that students present their thinking in some way to the semi-public sphere of the seminar itself.
 
All students who wish to take a seminar must contact the instructor by the last day of the preregistration period. The instructor selects the students admitted from these applicants. Enrollment limited to 12.



ENG 308 Seminar: One Big Book
This capstone course offers an intensive research-based study of a single important work of literature in English, seen in its social, historical, and intellectual context on the one hand, and in terms of its reception history on the other. Course may be repeated once for credit with different topic and instructor. Permission of the instructor required. Enrollment limited to 12.

George Eliot's Middlemarch
Prerequisites: two 200-level courses in either the reading of fiction or in 19th-century British literature, or a combination thereof. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 310 Studies in Early Modern Literature and Culture
Topics course by the visiting Kennedy Professor

Vision, Creation, Delusion: The Literary History of Dream
This seminar studies the pre-modern history of dream as a narrative, metaphorical, and prophetic genre, created in sleep and recreated in speech and writing. We focus on the 14th to 17th centuries, which saw the dream's loss of prestige and credibility in the gradual turn from spirit to brain, inspiration to induction. Readings include several genres of dream record, including poetic and prose dream vision and drama ("Tundale's Vision", Dante's Inferno, Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Anna Trapnel's Cry of a Stone) and influential theories of dream-readers, philosophers, physicians, and shamans —pagan, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Huron and Iroquois —including Aristotle, Macrobius, Descartes and Freud. {A} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 312 Seminar: Seminar: Converts, Criminals and Fugitives: Print Culture of the African Diaspora, 1760–1860
This seminar explores the varied publications produced by people of the African diaspora in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and England — early sermons and conversion narratives, criminal confessions, fugitive slave narratives and the black press. We consider these works in terms of publishing history, editorship (especially women editors), authorship, readership, circulation, advertising, influence, literacy, community building, politics and geography. We examine their engagements with such topics as religion, law economics, emigration, gender, race and temperance. Smith’s manuscript and periodical holdings offer us a treasure trove of source materials. Permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Andrea Stephanie Stone
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 323 Seminar: Toni Morrison
Same as AFR 360. This seminar focuses on Toni Morrison’s literary production. In reading her novels, essays, lectures and interviews, we pay particular attention to three things: her interest in the epic anxieties of American identities; her interest in form, language and theory; and her study of love. {L} Credits: 4
Flavia Santos De Araujo
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 327 Robin Hood: Legendary Outlaw
In this seminar, we trace the evolution of the legend of the greenwood outlaw with his merry men and (later) his intrepid ladylove, through medieval popular tale, ballad, drama, lyric, novel, and film—from first mention in the late Middle Ages to recent works and current events. Everyone knows the social bandit who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, hated by the authorities and loved by the people, but few have read the early formative texts that first inspired this unceasingly popular legend. We also explore and add to the rich legacy of Robin Hood criticism. Permission of the instructor required. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 333 Seminar: A Major British or American Writer


J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien was an Oxford don and professor of Old and Middle English literature who used fantasy fiction as a technique of moral philosophy and historical analysis, a way of pondering the meaning of human life on earth and the trajectory of human experience through time. We will explore Tolkien’s Middle-earth in The Hobbit (1936), The Lord of the Rings (1965) and The Silmarillion (2001) with special attention to the medieval and early modern sources of Tolkien’s literary imagination as intimated in his essays, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” (1936) and “On Fairy-Stories” (1947). Permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

Reading William Blake
This seminar focuses on the visual and verbal work of poet and printmaker William Blake (1757–1827) who, though unrecognized in his own time, is today hailed as a prophet, genius and revolutionary. We investigate the tensions in Blake’s writings between word and image, myth and history, and knowledge and hypocrisy. Students research the scientific, political, aesthetic and social histories of Britain at the turn of the 19th century to understand both his trenchant critique of the world in which he lived and his utopian, often apocalyptic and revolutionary dreams of a different future. By permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department


ENG 334 Servants in Literature and Film
Crucial but often invisible, servants in English literature have served as comic relief, go-betweens, storytellers, or sexual targets, yet rarely as central protagonists. What roles do they play in contemporary literature and film that challenges this tradition? What can we learn from (imagined) servants about modernity, class, power relations, gender, sexuality, intimacy across difference, marriage or family? This seminar explores how narratives from various cultures and times call upon the figure of the domestic servant, and how a view from (or of) the margins can change how and what we see. Writers/filmmakers  include Shakespeare,  Richardson, Collins, Ishiguro, Umrigar, Adiga, Cuaron. By permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. Credits: 4
Ambreen Hai
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 339 Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing
You hear it all the time: The humanities are in crisis! Literature is in crisis! English is in crisis! If the peculiar pleasures and potentials of literary study are to become known so that English might be valued rather than derided, our defenses are going to have to go public, to reach broader non-specialist and non-academic audiences. This seminar will help you to develop skills for communicating to the public about the specific values of literature, literary analysis and scholarship, English, and the humanities. {L} Credits: 4
Richard H. Millington
Normally offered each spring

ENG 353 Seminar: Advanced Studies in Shakespeare
Topics course.

Shakespeare’s Women, Women’s Shakespeares
This seminar explores the significance of women’s voices in Othello, King Lear and The Tempest, viewed in conjunction with reimaginings of these plays by women playwrights, producers, and directors, as well as women poets and novelists. The course explores how women artists have engaged with and transformed Shakespeare’s women at different cultural moments, exploring questions of adaptive appropriation across global and temporal boundaries as well as race and gender. The course will consider the voices of women of the early modern period, as well as modern women authors including Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Suniti Namjoshi, Elizabeth Nunez and Jane Smiley. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 361 Poetry of War
This course studies a range of poetic representations of war. After reviewing some of the writings of Homer, Virgil and Shakespeare that were most influential for British poets of the 19th and 20th centuries, the course moves from Tennyson, Hardy and Kipling to the poets of the first and second world wars (Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and others). We situate the poetry with relevant historical and theoretical materials, as well as prose responses to war by authors such as Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf. We end by reading poets who did not see combat (W.B. Yeats, W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath) but whose work is nevertheless profoundly concerned with the complex relation of the martial to the lyrical, the destructive to the creative. By permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 363 Race and Environment
What is the role of literature and culture in the face of global environmental crisis? How do writers, artists, and filmmakers represent the toxic ecologies of a globalized world? And in what ways do the categories of race, gender, class and ability determine one's vulnerability to environmental degradation? Through literacy and cultural analysis, this course explores these questions as they intersect with issues of environmental racism, racialized disablement, neo/colonialism, ecofeminism, food justice, globalization, and urban ecologies. We examine literary and cultural engagement with diverse environmental topics: nuclear waste sites, slum ecologies, petro-capitalism, industrialized food production, and indigenous rights. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Jina Boyong Kim
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 387 Seminar: Asian American Autobiography


Anti-Memoir
Like many ethnic American groups, Asian Americans first entered the U.S. publishing marketplace by offering works in the genre of autoethnography, or self-culture-writing.While many writers have valued this genre as a gateway, others have viewed it as a prison. While some see it as an opportunity to express themselves, others feel constrained by mainstream expectations. Hence, a few Asian American writers have played with the genre, sometimes in radical ways, in order to do new kinds of aesthetic and cultural work. Memoirs and anti-memoirs for consideration include those by Maxine Hong Kingston, Agha Shahid Ali, Paisley Rekdal, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Thi Bui, Bao Phi, and Lynda Barry. Permission of the instructor required. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 391 Modern South Asian Writers in English
We study key texts in the diverse tradition of 20th- and 21st-century South Asian literature in English, from the early poet Sarojini Naidu to internationally acclaimed contemporary global and diasporic writers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal. Topics include: the postcolonial fashioning of identities; Independence and Partition; women’s interventions in nationalist discourses; the crafting of new English idioms; choices of genre and form; the challenges of historiography, trauma, memory; diaspora and the (re)making of “home;” life post-9/11 Islamophobia. Writers include: Anand, Narayan, Manto, Rushdie, Attia Hosain, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Naqvi, Adiga, Upadhyay. Supplementary readings on postcolonial theory and criticism. By permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

ENG 395 Capstone in Creative Writing
This one-credit course focuses on the preparation and presentation of creative work for broad and public audiences. Craft talks by creative writing faculty supplement readings on organizing and polishing manuscripts, submitting work for publication, and reading work for audiences. Students will meet individually with writers in their chosen genre and will rehearse, with feedback, for the required public presentation of their work to complete the capstone requirement for the Creative Writing Emphasis in the English major. Prerequisites: Students should have completed most other requirements for the English major with creative writing emphasis.  {A} Credits: 1
Members of the department
Normally offered each academic year

Special Studies



ENG 400 Special Studies
Credits: 1-4
Members of the department
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

ENG 408D Special Studies
This is a full-year course. Credits: 4
Members of the department
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

Cross-Listed and Interdepartmental Courses



AFR 202 Topics in Africana Studies
Topics course.

Black Literature and the Urban Experience
This course begins with the presumption that studying "blackness" entails the pursuit of questions of space, place and belonging. Students will engage primarily literary, and also visual and musical, texts that explore the complexities of city life and urban relations. The intersectional analysis of race, gender, class, ans sexuality will inform discussions of black representational texts; which will also be placed in conversation with their historical and social contexts. Through the study of literary figurations of the city, we will explore blackness as an idiom of place, and the city as a site of belonging, abjection and freedom dreams. (E) {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

AMS 230 Colloquium: The Asian/Pacific/American Experience
Topics course. This course is open to anyone particularly interested in learning about Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) history. The objective of the course is two-fold. The first is to provide the students with a fundamental understanding of A/P/A history that is inextricably linked to the goal of the United States to establish military, economic and cultural hegemony in the world as seen through its colonial and neo-colonial policies both in the U.S. and the Asian/Pacific region. The second is to introduce them to the various themes as well as methodological and theoretical frameworks used by scholars in the field of A/P/A Studies in order to encourage them to either work toward a Five College A/P/A Studies Certificate or pursue further studies in the field.

Narratives of Internment.
During World War II, over 120,000 Japanese and Japanese American residents and citizens of the United States and Canada were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated in government-run facilities that were euphemistically called internment camps and relocation centers. Since the 1940s, historians, novelists, poets, filmmakers, visual artists, psychologists and many others have narrated the experience of incarcerees. These narratives seek not only to tell stories, but also to investigate the ironies, contradictions, and paradoxes that led to incarceration, oversaw its execution, and continue to linger. This course will engage meditatively and critically with selected narratives of internment - truly, incarceration - such as novels by Julie Otsuka, poetry by Mitsuye Yamada and Lee Ann Roripaugh, art by Munio Makuuchi and Miné Okubo, photographs by Ansel Adams, films by the U.S. Office of War Informatin and Cynthia Fujikawa, psychological studies by Donna Nagata, and histories by Michi Weglyn and Roger Daniels. Enrollment limited to 25. {H} {L} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

AFR 249 Black Women Writers
How does gender matter in a black context? That is the question we will ask and attempt to answer through an examination of works by such authors as Harriet Jacobs, Frances Harper, Nella Larsen, Zora Hurston, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange and Alice Walker. {L} Credits: 4
Daphne M. Lamothe
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

THE 261 Writing for the Theatre
The means and methods of the playwright and the writer for television and the cinema. Analysis of the structure and dialogue of a few selected plays. Weekly and biweekly exercises in writing for various media. Goal for beginning playwrights: to draft a one-act play by the end of the semester. Plays by students are considered for staging. L and P with writing sample required, best submitted weeks prior to registration. {A} Credits: 4
Leonard Berkman, Andrea D. Hairston
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

THE 262 Writing for the Theatre
Intermediate and advanced script projects. Prerequisite: 261. L and P. {A} Credits: 4
Leonard Berkman, Andrea D. Hairston
Normally offered both fall and spring semesters

WLT 271 Writing in Translation: Bilingualism in the Postcolonial Novel
A study of bilingualism as a legacy of colonialism, as an expression of exile, and as a means of political and artistic transformation in recent texts from Africa and the Americas. We consider how such writers as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenya), Assia Djebar (Algeria), Patrick Chamoiseau (Martinique) and Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/U.S.) assess the personal and political consequences of writing in the language of a former colonial power, and how they attempt to capture the esthetic and cultural tensions of bilingualism in their work. {L} Credits: 4
Dawn Fulton
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

WLT 300 Literary Theory and Literary Practice: Conflicts and Consensus
This course presents a variety of practices and positions within the field of literary theory. Approaches include structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, gender and queer studies, cultural studies and postcolonial studies. Emphasis on the theory as well as the practice of these methods: their assumptions about writing and reading and about literature as a cultural formation. Readings include Freud, Lacan, Levi-Strauss, Barthes, Derrida, Foucault, Bakhtin, Gramsci, Bhabba, Butler, Said, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Žižek. The class is of interest to all students who wish to explore a range of approaches and methodologies within the humanities as well to students who plan to go to graduate school in literature programs. Enrollment limited to 25. {L} Credits: 4
George P. Katsaros
Normally offered each fall

SWG 360 Memoir Writing
How does one write a life, especially if it’s one’s own? This writing workshop addresses the profound complexities, challenges, and pleasures of the genre of the memoir, through intensive reading, discussion, and both analytical and creative writing. Our readings will be drawn from a range of mostly contemporary memoirists with intersectional identity locations—and dislocations—drawing from a range of voices, experiences, and representations, pursuing what the class comes to identify as our own most urgent aesthetic and ethical questions. Our attention will be to craft, both in the memoirs we read and those we write. Writing sample and permission of the instructor required. Enrollment limited to 12.  {H} {L} Credits: 4
Cornelia D.J. Pearsall
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

AFR 366 Seminar: Contemporary Topics in Africana Studies
Topics course.

Seminar: The Politics of Grief
What role has grief played in the black freedom struggle? How have conceptions of race and gender been articulated, expanded, and politicized through public performances of collective mourning? This seminar explores the ways in which post-emancipation black politics developed through efforts, often led by women, to not only challenge but to also embody and inhabit trauma. We will consider a range of theoretical texts alongside historical documents from the late nineteenth century to today. {H} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

Seminar in Social Sciences
{H} {S} Credits: 4
Members of the department
Expected to be offered in the next 3 years

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