English Courses

Writing and Language

100 Writing Essentials (1)
An introduction to the basics of college writing, with special attention to word and sentence fundamentals. Emphasizes generating ideas for writing, imagining words that match ideas, and learning/practicing writing (and revising) grammatically and structurally sound papers, in a variety of styles and genres. Must be taken for a numerical grade. (Not counted toward the major.) Hendrix, Christensen, Staff.

101 English Composition (1)
An introduction to the idea and practice of college writing. Emphasizes writing as process, with close attention to generation of ideas, clarity of expression at the sentence level, organization and logic of argumentation, conventions of academic discourse, and strategies for revision. (Not counted toward the major.) Staff.

101H Honors Composition (1)
An honors level version of English 101 for students with superior writing skills. Admission by placement only. (Not counted toward the major.) Staff.

203 Advanced Expository Writing (1)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above and one of the following: completion of English 101 or 101H with a grade of 2.0 or better, recommendation of student’s instructor in English 100, placement during SOAR or advanced placement in English. Required of students obtaining elementary teacher certification.
Advanced study of and practice in expository writing beyond the 101-level, with emphasis on writing for specific audiences, techniques of argumentation, stylistic choices available to writers, and increased sophistication in thought and expression. Christensen, Collar, Jordan, Lockyer, MacInnes.

205 Introductory Creative Writing (1)
Prerequisite: Completion of English 101 or 101H with a grade of 2.0 or better, recommendation of student’s instructor in English 100, advanced placement in English or permission of instructor.
A study in the craft of both poetry and fiction, including imagery, lyricism, character development, form, plot, and style. Students write and revise their own poems and short stories. Reading in and discussion of contemporary literature as well as critiques of fellow writers’ work. Brown, Mesa.

206 Writing in Place (1)
Prerequisite: English 101 or permission of instructor.
An experiential study of environmental writing, with a focus on place, nature, and the relationship between humans and their environments. Students write in a variety of genres and modes, including exposition and creative non-fiction. Christensen.

207 Multimedia Journalism (1)
Prerequisite: Completion of English 101 or 101H with a grade of 2.0 or better, recommendation of student's instructor in English 100, advanced placement in English or permission of instructor.
An introduction to reporting, writing, filming, and editing for print and online media, including discussion of media law and ethics, AP style, and magazine writing. Preparation for internships. Prerequisite for all advanced journalism courses. Staff.

209 Responding to Student Writing: Consulting Theory and Practice (1/2)
Prerequisite: English 101, 101H or equivalent writing and learning experience.
Introduction to the theory and practice of writing consulting, for individual or small group consulting in writing centers and professional settings. Includes study and writing in multiple genres (e.g., autobiography, journal, ethnography, academic research). Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Hendrix.

223 Introduction to Writing Creative Nonfiction (1)
Prerequisite: English 101.
A study of creative nonfiction in its various forms. Discussion of the ways in which writing creative nonfiction (memoirs, personal essays, etc.) differs from journalistic writing and the ways in which it employs lyrical and fiction-writing techniques. Students will write and revise their own creative nonfiction (minimum 30 pages). Requires written critiques of fellow writers' work and extensive reading in and writing about contemporary creative nonfiction. Brown, Mesa.

275 Screenwriting Fundamentals (1)
Prerequisite: English 101.
An intensive study of feature-film screenplay format and structure, including a workshop of student step outlines, treatments, and screenplays. In the first part of the semester, students are assigned exercises addressing specific screenwriting issues, including character, setting, dialogue, and subtext, and read and analyze already-produced screenplays. In the second part, students write and revise a short (minimum 30-minute) script. Brown.

306 Magazine Writing (1)
Examines the history and significance of magazines in the United States, from the explosion of lifestyle magazines in the late nineteenth century to current issues in magazine publishing. Writing assignments focus on producing publishable magazine articles. Staff.

308 Advanced Multimedia Journalism (1)
Prerequisite: English 207 or permission of instructor.
An advanced media workshop with assignments including investigative reporting, specialized coverage, long-form articles, multimedia packages, and short video documentaries. Staff.

309, 310 Multimedia Editing I (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: English 207, 308 or permission of instructor.
An advanced workshop for student journalists. Includes reporting, writing, and shooting for the Albion College Pleiad, the award-winning, student-run campus news source. Staff.

311, 312 Multimedia Editing II (1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: English 309 or 310.
An even more advanced workshop for student journalists. Includes reporting, writing, and shooting for the Albion College Pleiad, the award-winning, student-run campus news source. Staff.

313 Magazine Editing (1)
An advanced workshop for magazine development, writing, and editing that ends with the publication of a new magazine. Staff.

321 Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry) (1)
Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
A workshop for continued study and practice in writing poetry. Students examine form in free verse and traditional verse (the lyric, blank verse, sonnets, etc.); write new poems, including a series of formal exercises; and extensively revise their own poetry. Students also write critiques of fellow writers’ work and read contemporary poetry. Mesa.

322 Advanced Creative Writing (Fiction) (1)
Prerequisite: English 205 or permission of instructor.
A workshop for continued study and practice in writing fiction, with special emphasis on narrative design. In addition to producing 50 new pages of fiction, students substantially revise their work, and write and revise several short-short stories. This course also requires written critiques of fellow writers’ work and extensive reading in and writing about contemporary fiction. Brown.

348 English Language (1)
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of instructor.
History, structure and usage of the oral and written English language. Required of students obtaining elementary teacher certification. Hendrix, Reading.

356 Visual Poetry (1)
A study of writing poetry and its presentation in printed form. Intended for writers and visual artists alike, this course teaches the fundamentals of writing poetry and letterpress printing. Participants both write their own poems and, using movable type and hand-operated printing presses, set and print their own poems as broadsides and artists’ books. Same as Art 356. McCauley, Mesa.

378 Creative Writing Workshop (Fiction) (1)
Prerequisite: English 322 or permission of instructor.
A workshop for advanced fiction writers. Students write one long short story (minimum 30 pages) in addition to meeting individual goals set in consultation with the instructor, for a total of at least 60 pages over the course of the semester. In addition, students extensively revise their work, read several short-story collections and/or novels, and familiarize themselves with literary journals. This course may also require written critiques of fellow writers’ work and presentations of published stories. Brown.

379 Creative Writing Workshop (Poetry) (1)
Prerequisite: English 321.
A workshop for advanced poets. Writers further develop their own style and interests, workshop poems, produce a poetry sequence, and complete a polished portfolio. Discussion includes fellow writers’ poems, current trends in poetry, and a more nuanced conversation of poetic forms and devices. Poems will be submitted for publication. Mesa.

Literature Courses

151 Introduction to the Study of Literature (1)
An introduction to strategies for the close reading of texts and for the development of informed written analysis. Readings are drawn from a variety of genres. Staff.

211 Latina/o Literature (1)
A survey of contemporary poetry and prose by Chicana/o, Cuban-American, Dominican-American, and Puerto Rican-American authors. Discussion topics include the construction of a “Latina/o” identity and questions of immigration, the homeland, gender, and class, as well as the role of language and storytelling within acculturation. Authors typically include Alvarez, Diaz, Espada, and Garcia. Mesa.

220 The Making of Modern Masculinities: British Literature and Manliness, 1660-1914 (1)
Traces the development of modern beliefs about appropriate male behavior as constructed and reflected by British literature from the Restoration of the monarchy to the eve of the Great War. Readings include fiction, poetry, essays, children's books, life-writing, and some extra-literary texts like conduct books and visual texts. Also examines how these ideas about masculinity connect to other important social forces of the period, such as the rise of capitalism, the cult of domesticity, and the swell of the British empire. Jordan.

234 African American Literature (1)
A survey of African-American literature from the eighteenth century until the present day. Authors typically include Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. Lockyer, Roberts.

238 Terrorists and Treehuggers (1)
An interdisciplinary study of the past, present, and future of environmental radicalism. Typical authors include Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Paul Watson, and Wangari Maathai. Christensen.

243 Women and Literature (1)
A study of the fiction, poetry and nonfiction written by British and American women. Texts are selected to represent diverse, historically-positioned perspectives and artistic techniques. Lockyer.

246 Immigration in Literature (1)
The representation of immigration and immigrant life in North America, especially in texts written by people who are themselves immigrants or the children of immigrants. Topics considered include working class experience, the psychic upheaval caused by drastic relocation, the special tensions that arise between children and parents as life is made in a new world, and the formation of ethnic/racial identity through contact with those already resident in North America. Collar.

248 Children's Literature (1)
A study of children’s literature. Texts include picture books as well as chapter books from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Course focuses on literary analysis rather than pedagogy. Roberts.

253 British Literature I (1)
A survey of representative works of English literature from Beowulf to Paradise Lost. Authors typically include Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Sidney, Donne, Wroth, Philips, and Milton. MacInnes, Reading.

255 British Literature II (1)
A survey of representative works of English literature from the eighteenth to the late nineteenth century. Authors typically include Dryden, Swift, Montagu, Pope, Johnson, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, Tennyson, Hopkins, and Wilde. (English 253 is not a prerequisite.) Jordan.

257 American Literature I (1)
A survey of American literature from the early seventeenth century to the beginning of the Civil War. Authors typically include John Smith, John Winthrop, Mary Rowlandson, Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman. Lockyer, Roberts.

258 American Literature II (1)
A survey of American literature from the Civil War to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Authors typically include Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Charlotte Gilmore Perkins, Henry James, Wallace Stevens, William Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, and Toni Morrison. (English 257 is not a prerequisite.) Collar, Lockyer, Roberts.

261 Greek and Roman Literature (1)
A survey of classical writers in translation, including Homer, the tragic dramatists, Virgil, and others. Discussion topics include the cultural contexts of ancient literature (Greek religion, the Athenian polis, Roman imperialism, etc.) and the role of “the classics” in constructions of a western European “tradition.” MacInnes.

285 Gay and Lesbian Literature (1)
Examines lesbian and gay literature written in Great Britain and America from the Renaissance through the twentieth century, including works by Shakespeare, Byron, Whitman, Melville, Dickinson, Wilde, Cather, Woolf, Baldwin, and Lorde. Considers such questions as: What makes a text "gay''? How does the cultural oppression of homosexuals shape the literary texts they produce? Do these works form any sort of literary tradition and, if so, how do they build on and influence each other? What is their place in the larger literary canon? Jordan.

330 The Novel and the New (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Traces the development of the novel in England from the beginnings in the late seventeenth century up through the Romantic period. Considers the novel's origins in genres like travel narratives, spiritual autobiography, romance tales, criminal biographies, and personal letters. Also considers the effect of historical and cultural factors like criminal law, the slave trade, gender roles, the rise of capitalism, and the literary marketplace on the novel. Authors read include Behn, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Radcliffe, Austen, and Bronte. Jordan.

331 British Fiction After 1850 (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A study of the British novel from the time of Dickens to the present. Staff.

337 Victorian Sexualities (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An exploration of how Victorians wrote and thought about sexuality and gender. Authors typically include Tennyson, Rossetti, Carroll, Collins, Stevenson, Wilde, and Gissing. Discussions address such topics as Victorian marriage, “fallen women,” imperial desire, sexual violence, and homosexuality. Staff.

338 Eighteenth-Century Culture Shocks (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An examination of the categories of race, class and gender in eighteenth-century Britain and its colonies, emphasizing writing by people of color, working-class writers, and women. Included are literary works by well-known writers (Behn, Defoe, Swift, Austen, etc.) and by less canonical ones. Extra-literary works are also considered (travel narratives, economic tracts, conduct books, etc.). Jordan.

339 The British Romantics (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Studies in the Romantic Period (from 1789 to roughly 1830) in Britain. Involves considerable study of the works of the major six poets of the period (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats) as well as many other writers increasingly gaining scholarly attention (including Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, Thomas de Quincey, Mary Shelley, John Clare, and Felicia Hemans). Examines the Romantic questioning of traditional notions about God, sex, the imagination, the family, the rights of women and of the working classes, the natural world, science, slavery, and aesthetics. Jordan.

340 The Twentieth Century in English Literature (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An examination of ideas surrounding nation, national literature, citizen and political standing, family, anti-colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although some important non-literary documents are considered, the selected texts are principally literary and include works by such writers as Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Chinua Achebe, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith, Pat Barker, Anita Desai, and Michael Ondaatje. Collar.

341 Contemporary Literature (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing higher or permission of instructor.
A study of British and American writers whose major work has been done since 1945. Collar.

342 Modern Poetry (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing higher or permission of instructor.
A study of the major modern poets: Eliot, Yeats, Frost, Stevens, and others. Collar.

344 The Age of Elizabeth (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An exploration of Elizabethan literature in its literary and cultural context. Examines the ways in which writers deployed poetry, prose, and drama in the service of political ambition, literary aspiration, and religious sentiment, as well as erotic desire. The broad goal is to use these literary expressions to discuss the ways that subjectivity in the Renaissance rested uneasily on distinctions between self-assertion and narcissism, soul and body, health and disease. Particular attention is given to ways in which poetic expression contributes to the gendering of subjectivity. MacInnes.

345 Redeeming Eve: Renaissance Women's Writing (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An introduction to Renaissance women's studies and to literature written by English women in the early modern period (1500-1700). The readings combine literature and non-fiction of the period with modern critical works on women in the Renaissance. Examines the ways in which authorship was defined in the period and the ways such definitions either excluded or restricted female authors. Particular attention is given to larger issues of Renaissance studies such as the status and role of women, the gendering of subjectivity, and the relationship between gender and sexuality. MacInnes.

346 Voices of Liberty: Milton and the Seventeenth Century (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
England in the seventeenth century was a country torn apart by deep divisions, political, social, and religious. From this turmoil, from civil war and political revolution, arose a host of new ideas and new ways of seeing the world. This course explores the poetry and prose of this period, with special emphasis on John Milton and Paradise Lost. Discussions range from cavalier love poetry to grand topics such as good and evil, free will, and divine Providence. MacInnes.

347 The Age of Satire (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Studies the satirical literature of the eighteenth century, including works by Dryden, Rochester, Finch, Pope, Swift, Montagu, Fielding, Gay, Hogarth, Johnson, and Austen. Examines the goals and qualities of satire. In considering why this period is so prone to satire, the course examines social and historical factors such as the rise of capitalism, changing gender roles, contests over class status, the spectacle of capital punishment, the new literary marketplace, and the ideal of companionate marriage. Jordan.

350 The American Novel (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An examination of the novel as both a traditional and experimental genre in American letters. Texts include Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and between five and seven additional novels selected to provide students with varied opportunities to do advanced work in American literary studies. Lockyer, Roberts.

351 Four American Poets (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A study of four twentieth- or twenty-first-century American poets and advanced work in critical approaches to writing about poetry. Recent poets include Robert Frost, Muriel Rukeyser, Natasha Tretheway, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. Focus is on whole collections. Lockyer.

352 Literature of the American Civil War (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An examination of the literature of the American Civil War, broadly conceived. Texts include fiction and poetry, political documents and slave narratives. Discussions address the relationship between history and literature, print culture, and the human experience of war, among other things. Roberts.

353 Medieval Drama (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Introduces students to a lively and important body of English medieval drama beginning with tenth-century dramatic representations of biblical narrative in the liturgy and carrying through to sixteenth-century humanist drama from the English schools. Emphasizes reading the works as texts intended to be dramatized or performed and includes the production and performance of a short work. Study of the means of production and dissemination of the texts helps students understand manuscript culture and the position of medieval drama in its wider European aesthetic and dramatic context. Reading.

354 Idea of Nature, Nature of Ideas (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between the imagination and the natural world in the works of key American writers. Draws on the creative and critical tools of multiple disciplines—including literary studies, creative writing, and natural history. Typical authors include H.D. Thoreau, Annie Dillard, James Galvin, Bernd Heinrich, and Mary Oliver. Christensen.

355 Chaucer (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A comprehensive study of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer with emphasis on the minor poems, the dream visions, and the Canterbury Tales. Examines the dissemination of works of medieval literature, manuscript production, the early printing of Chaucer's works, and the changing nature of Chaucer criticism through successive centuries. Reading.

358 Literature of the Great Lakes (1)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A bioregional exploration of representative poems, novels, and essays written by Great Lakes authors. Typical authors include Richard Powers, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Lorine Niedecker, James Wright, Joseph Boyden, and Holling Clancy Holling. Christensen.

360 The Problem of Race in American Literature (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
An examination of a number of continuing problems expressed in American poetry, fiction, drama, and essays by white and black writers from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Writers include Larsen, Baldwin, Ellison, Beatty, Senna, O’Connor, and McCullers. Lockyer.

363 Literary Theory (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A study of key theoretical concepts (like "intention'' and "discourse'') and theoretical orientations (for example, new criticism, deconstruction, feminist criticism, and the new historicism). Assignments range from applying a theoretical approach to developing a response to a theoretical question. Collar.

370 Medieval Romance: The Non-Arthurian Tradition (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Examines selected non-Arthurian romances and challenges the validity of stereotypical views of the genre. Also considers how chivalric tropes influence gender relations today. Readings include chivalric conduct books, poetry, and historical works from late medieval France and England. Reading.

374 Theater and Society in Early Modern England (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Examines the drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in its theatrical, social, and political contexts. Reading.

375 Shakespeare I (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A study of Shakespeare’s plays before 1600, including at least two tragedies, five comedies, and four history plays. The plays are examined individually as particular theatrical events in their own context and in subsequent ages, and conditions of production in Shakespeare’s theater are considered. Major attention is given to the representation of gender in the plays, and other topics include the history of critical response, the variety of theoretical approaches currently available, and the many political and social agendas which the plays may have been made to serve. Same as Theatre 375. Reading.

376 Shakespeare II (1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
A study of Shakespeare’s plays after 1600, with special attention to the major tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. The plays are examined individually, but attention is also given to social and political contexts. Major attention is given to the representation of gender in the plays, and other topics include the history of critical response, the variety of theoretical approaches currently available, and the many uses to which the plays have been put. (English 375 is not a prerequisite.) Same as Theatre 376. Reading.

Special Studies

187, 188, 189 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

287, 288, 289 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

387, 388, 389 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not inlcuded in other courses. Staff.

391, 392, 394 Internship (1/2, 1, 2)
Opportunities in journalism, editing, publishing, and other fields. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.

401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher or permission of instructor.
Advanced study of selected writers, and/or literary genres. Examples of recent seminars include Three Irish Poets, Fiction of Cormack McCarthy, and The American Renaissance. Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1)
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and permission of instructor. (Permission of department required to be counted toward the major.)
Usually taken in preparation for the honors thesis. Staff.