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University Bulletin: Undergraduate Programs The George Washington University  



Professors C.W. Sten, D. McAleavey, O.A. Seavey, A. Romines, J.A. Miller, J. Shore, F. Moskowitz, M. Alcorn, J.J. Cohen, J.G. Harris, K. Moreland, S. Knapp, R.L. Combs, G. Wald, T.G. Wallace, M. Frawley, R. McRuer (Chair), T.V. Mallon, E. Schreiber

Associate Professors G. Carter, D. Moshenberg, M.S. Soltan, J.M. Green-Lewis, P. Cook, P. Chu, P. Griffith, J.C. James, K. Daiya, A. Huang, H. Dugan, A. López

Assistant Professors J. Hsy, H.G. Carrillo, D. DeWispelare

Adjunct Professors A.C. Stokes, S. Goswami

Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington B. Snider

Bachelor of Arts with a major in English—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Prerequisite courses—Either a course in the Engl 1300s or one of the following two-course sequences: Engl 1410-11, 1830 and 1840, 1510-11, 1610-11, or 1710-11.

3. Required courses in related areas—second-year proficiency in a single foreign language, as demonstrated by completion of four semesters of college-level language study or the equivalent. (In the case of Latin, Latn 2001 is sufficient.)

4. Required for the major—33 credit hours of upper-division English courses, including (a) two courses in literature before 1700; (b) two courses in literature between 1700 and 1900; (c) one course in literature after 1900; (d) one course in minority/postcolonial literature; and (e) Engl 2800 and an additional course in literary theory and/or cultural studies.

With departmental approval, courses with appropriate subject matter may be substituted for those specified above. A single course may fulfill only one requirement.

Beyond the eight courses in specified areas listed above, students take three additional upper-division English courses, which may be in creative writing. With approval of the English Department, two courses in the literature of a foreign language (either in the original language or in translation) may be substituted for English electives.

Special Honors—Majors in English who wish to be considered for Special Honors must apply in writing in the spring semester of the junior year; they must meet the requirements stated under University Regulations and have a GPA of 3.25 in courses in the English Department at the time of applying. Candidates take Engl 4040 in the fall semester of the senior year and Engl 4250 in the spring semester. To be eligible for graduation with Special Honors, candidates must earn an A or A− on the Honors Thesis and have achieved a 3.4 grade-point average in courses in the English Department.

Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and creative writing—Except for the requirement of a creative thesis, this major closely resembles the curriculum that is followed by an English major pursuing a creative writing minor. Admission to the major is restricted, and a separate application must be filed in writing prior to the senior year. No more than two students per thesis director are accepted per year.

The major in English and creative writing requires 39 credits of upper-division English courses, matching items 1 through 4(e) indicated under the Bachelor of Arts with a major in English, with the additional requirements of six creative writing courses, including Engl 4220; three upper-division courses must normally be in a single genre.

Bachelor of Arts with a major in dramatic literature—The Department of Theatre and Dance and the Department of English offer an interdisciplinary major in dramatic literature. See Dramatic Literature.

Combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in the field of English—Interested students should consult a departmental advisor early in their junior year.

Minor in English—The prerequisite course(s) stated in item 2 under the major in English and five upper-division literature courses, chosen in consultation with an advisor in the department.

Minor in creative writing—The prerequisite course(s) stated in item 2 under the major in English and six English Department courses, of which five must be in creative writing, including at least three in poetry (Engl 2470, 2570, and 3370 or 3380) or three in fiction (Engl 2460, 2560, and 3360 or 3380) or two in playwriting (Engl 2250, 3250).

With permission, a limited number of graduate courses in the department may be taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree. See the Graduate Programs Bulletin for course listings.

Note: The department strongly recommends a literature course, such as Engl 1310 through 1711 or 1830 or 1840, as a prerequisite to upper-division English courses. All creative writing courses are limited to 15 students. Two creative writing courses in the same genre may not be taken during the same semester.

1210 Introduction to Creative Writing (3) Mallon and Staff
  An exploration of genres of creative writing (fiction, poetry, and/or playwriting). Basic problems and techniques; examples of modern approaches; weekly writing assignments; workshop and/or conference discussion of student writing. (Fall and spring)
1310 Critical Readings (3) Wald, Cohen
  An introduction to the study of literature in English from a global perspective. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. (Fall and spring)
1320 Literature of the Americas (3) López and Staff
  American literature considered in a transhemispheric framework as writing that probes and spans the boundaries of the nation, connecting the United States to the rest of the Americas and to other parts of the globe.
1330 Myths of Britain (3) Cohen and Staff
  Why much great English literature turns out not to be so English after all. The early literature of the island within a transnational frame. Readings range from Beowulf to Arthurian myths to Shakespeare.
1340 Shakespeare’s Globe (3) Dugan, Huang, and Staff
  Links between Shakespeare’s geographical and theatrical “Globes.” How did Shakespeare and his company represent racial, cultural, and linguistic difference in the Globe? What place did they imagine for England and Europe in this newly globalized world?
1410-11 Introduction to English Literature (3-3) Staff
  Representative works by major British authors studied in their historical context; discussion of recurrent themes and introduction to various types and forms of imaginative literature. Engl 1410; Middle Ages through the 18th century. Engl 1411: 19th and 20th centuries. (Academic year)
1510-11 Introduction to American Literature (3-3) Seavey, Combs, Moreland, and Staff
  Historical survey. Engl 1510: From early American writing through Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson. Engl 1511: From Twain, James, and Crane to the present. (Academic year)
1610-11 Introduction to Black American Literature (3-3) James, Miller, Wald
  Survey of several genres of African American literature. Engl 1610: from the 18th through the late 19th centuries, in such cultural contexts as the developing concept of “race.” Engl 1611: from the early 20th century to the present day, in such cultural contexts as the “new Negro” Renaissance and the civil rights and Black Power movements. (Academic year)
1710-11 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature (3-3) Daiya and Staff
  Introduction to postcolonial literature from the perspectives of colonizer and colonized in Great Britain, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Anglophone Africa, and the Caribbean region; literature written on the wing, in diaspora. (Academic year)
1830 Tragedy (3) Carter
  Modes of tragedy as developed in drama, nondramatic verse, and prose fiction in literature from ancient to modern times—Book of Job to Beckett. (Fall and spring)
1840 Comedy (3) Staff
  Modes of comedy as developed in drama, nondramatic verse, and prose fiction—Chaucer to Borges. (Fall and spring)
2240 Play Analysis (3) Staff
  Same as TrDa 2240. Traditional and nontraditional (Aristotelian and non-Aristotelian) approaches to the analysis of dramatic literature; literary and theatrical techniques used by playwrights. (Spring, odd years)
2250 Dramatic Writing (3) Griffith
  Same as TrDa 2250. A workshop in playwriting and screenwriting, with emphasis on dramatic structure. Recommended preparation: Engl 1210 and two semesters of literature courses. (Fall)
2460 Fiction Writing (3) Mallon, Moskowitz, Griffith, Carrillo, and Staff
  The writing of fiction. Recommended preparation: Engl 1210 and two semesters of literature courses. (Fall and spring)
2470 Poetry Writing (3) McAleavey, Shore, and Staff
  The writing of poetry. Recommended preparation: Engl 1210 and two semesters of literature courses. (Fall and spring)
2560 Intermediate Fiction Writing (3) Mallon, Moskowitz, Carrillo
  The writing of fiction. Prerequisite: Engl 2460 or equivalent. (Fall and spring)
2570 Intermediate Poetry Writing (3) McAleavey, Shore, Pardlo
  The writing of poetry. Prerequisite: Engl 2470 or equivalent. (Fall and spring)
2800 Critical Methods (3) Staff
  The topics and techniques of literary analysis, applied to English and American poetry, prose fiction, and drama. Attention to stylistic and structural analysis, narratology, and critical theory applied to specific literary texts. (Fall and spring)
3240 Introduction to Dramaturgy (3) Staff
  Same as TrDa 3240.
3250 Intermediate Dramatic Writing (3) Griffith
  Same as TrDa 3250. A workshop developing scripts for both theatre and film. Prerequisite: Engl 2250 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit with departmental approval. (Spring)
3360 Advanced Fiction Writing (3) Mallon, Moskowitz, Carrillo
  Further workshop study of the writing of fiction. Prerequisite: Engl 2560 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit with departmental approval. (Spring)
3370 Advanced Poetry Writing (3) McAleavey, Shore
  Further workshop study of the writing of poetry. Prerequisite: Engl 2570 or equivalent. May be repeated for credit with departmental approval. (Fall)
3380 Creative Writing Workshop (3)
  Taught by the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington; for undergraduates and graduate students. Prerequisite: an upper-division creative writing course. May be repeated for credit if taught by a different instructor. (Fall and spring)
3390 Topics in Creative Writing (3) Mallon, McAleavey, Moskowitz, Shore, Griffith, Carrillo
  Topics announced prior to the registration period; may be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. Topics may include poetry and poetics; forms and methods in fiction; forms and methods in poetry; memoir and personal narratives; creative nonfiction; “Literature, Live!”; avant-garde and experimental writing.
3410 Chaucer (3) Cohen, Hsy
  Chaucer’s major works seen as exciting, lively texts from the modern perspective and as products of specific economic, social, and cultural trends of the late 14th century. Focus on The Canterbury Tales, read in the original Middle English.
3420 Medieval Literature (3) Cohen, Dugan, Hsy
  Readings from a wide range of medieval genres, including romances, saints’ legends, mystical narratives, lyrics, civic drama, and social satires. How these texts responded to and shaped changing patterns of medieval culture, as the clergy, the aristocracy, and the urban bourgeoisie attempted to define a culture of their own.
3430 The English Renaissance (3) Harris, Cook, Dugan
  Verse and prose written in the period 1515-1625, examined in relation to cultural practices and social institutions that shaped English life. More, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Jonson, Bacon, Herbert, many others.
3440-41 Shakespeare (3-3) Harris, Dugan, Cook, Huang
  Close study of six or seven plays each semester, with emphasis on the texts in history and ideology. Attention to current critical practices (feminist, materialist, psychoanalytic), modern performance practice, and Shakespeare as a cultural institution. (Academic year)
3450 Topics in Shakespeare Studies (3) Cook, Harris, Dugan, Huang
  Critical study of a particular aspect of Shakespeare’s work, or of a distinctive approach to the plays. Projected topics: Shakespeare on film, the history plays and Elizabethan England, 18th-century rewritings of Shakespeare, Shakespeare as poet, cultural materialist readings of Shakespeare.
3460 Milton (3) Cook
  Study of the major works in verse and prose, following the course of Milton’s career. (Spring)
3470-71 English Drama (3-3) Cook, Harris, Dugan
  Engl 3470: Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Engl 3471: Historical survey, 1660 to present.
3480-81 The 18th Century (3-3) Wallace, Seavey
  Readings in significant 18th-century English and Continental writers—Dryden, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and others—with emphasis on tracing the ways in which literary texts contain, perpetuate, and subvert social and political ideologies.
3490 Early American Literature and Culture (3) Seavey
  The shaping of America’s early literary and cultural traditions as shown by significant writers of the colonial and early national periods: Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, Edwards, Franklin, Crevecoeur, and others. (Fall)
3510 Children’s Literature (3) Staff
  Nineteenth- and twentieth-century children’s texts that illuminate the several worlds of childhood: the “small world” of childhood perception, the larger world of social and historical forces, and the “secondary world” of fantasy.
3520 American Romanticism (3) Sten, Seavey
  The shaping of America’s literary and cultural traditions as shown by significant writers of the Romantic era: Poe, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, and others. (Spring)
3530 The Romantic Movement (3) DeWispelare
  Major figures and topics in English and Continental romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Hazlitt, DeQuincey, and others.
3540-41 Victorian Literature (3-3) Carter, Frawley, Green-Lewis
  Engl 3540: 1830-1865—E. Brontë, Dickens; Tennyson, Browning, Arnold; Darwin, Carlyle, Ruskin. Engl 3541: 1865-1900—Eliot, Hardy, Conrad; Swinburne, the Rossettis, Morris; Pater, Wilde, the Nineties.
3550-51 The English Novel (3-3) Wallace, Frawley
  Engl 3550: The 18th century—Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, and others. Engl 3551: The 19th century—Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, George Eliot, Hardy, and others.
3560 American Realism (3) Romines
  The shaping of America’s literary and cultural traditions as shown by significant writers of the Realist school: Twain, James, Crane, Howells, Wharton, Chopin, Robinson, and others. (Fall)
3570 19th-Century Black Literature (3) James
  Studies in 19th-century black literature of the Americas and the transatlantic. Writing from the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Britain, and Africa may be included. Topics and emphasis may vary.
3610 Modernism (3) Soltan, Green-Lewis
  The emergence of modernist experimentation (and the sense of epistemological and moral crisis it expressed) in the poetry and prose of Pound, T.S. Eliot, Woolf, Kafka, and others.
3620-21 American Poetry (3-3) Combs, McAleavey
  Close examination of major American poems. Engl 3620: From the beginnings to the early 20th century: works by Poe, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, and others. Engl 3621: Since the early 20th century: Frost, Eliot, Stevens, Bishop, Hughes, Ashbery, and others.
3630-31 American Drama (3-3) Combs
  Engl 3630: 19th-century melodrama and the emergence of realism; works by O’Neill and other dramatists of the early 20th century. Engl 3631: Developments in modern American drama since World War II, including works by Williams, Miller, Albee, Shepard, Rabe, Guare, Mamet, Henley, Wasserstein, Shange, Hwang, Wilson, and others.
3640-41 The American Novel (3-3) Moreland, Romines, Sten
  Historical and critical study of major works in the American novelistic tradition. Engl 3640: From the beginnings through the 19th century: Hawthorne, Melville, James, Twain, Dreiser, and others. Engl 3641: The 20th century: Wharton, Cather, Anderson, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Wright, R.P. Warren, Nabokov, and others.
3650 The Short Story (3) Combs, Soltan
  An extensive survey of short fiction by a wide variety of writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, about half of them American; readings on the art of the short story by writers and literary critics.
3660-61 20th-Century Irish Literature (3-3) Soltan and Staff
  Irish writers from the time of the literary revival in the late 19th century to the present. Engl 3660: Yeats and other Irish poets and playwrights of his time and after—Synge, O’Casey, Kavanagh, Heaney, and others. Engl 3661: Joyce through Ulysses and other fiction writers of later generations—O’Brien, Beckett, and others.
3710 Contemporary Drama (3) Griffith
  Examines drama written since 1960 in the light of postmodernism as both a literary and a theatrical theory. Explores the ways contemporary playwrights and directors challenge the perceptions and assumptions of today’s audience.
3720-21 Contemporary American Literature (3-3) Chu, Moreland, Soltan
  Historical, critical, and theoretical study of American literature since the 1960s. Various authors and genres.
3730 Topics in Postcolonial Literature (3) Daiya
  Historical, critical, and theoretical study of post-colonial literatures—African, Asian, Commonwealth—written in English. Topics vary with instructor; may be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
3810 Selected Topics in Literature (3) Staff
  Topics announced in the Schedule of Classes; may be repeated for credit provided the topic differs. Topics may include the Bloomsbury group; southern literature; the picaresque; literature of the Holocaust; literature and politics; Freud, Dostoevsky, and Shakespeare.
3820 Major Authors (3) Staff
  In-depth studies of a single figure or two or three authors (of British, American, or other nationality) who have written in English. Topics announced in the Schedule of Classes; may be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
3830 Topics in Literary Theory/Cultural Studies (3) Staff
  Selected topics in the diverse theoretical methodologies and interdisciplinary studies that characterize contemporary English and American literary studies. May be repeated for credit provided that topic differs.
3840 Gender and Literature (3) Romines, Wald, McRuer, Chu
  Symbolic representations of culturally defined roles and assumptions in literature. Male and female gender roles as fundamental to culture; the representation of culture, in literature especially and in the arts and humanities generally. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
3850 Ethnicity and Place in American Literature (3) Chu, Miller, James, López
  The relationships among ethnic identity, authorship, regional setting, and national consciousness. Differences in the literary culture of ethnically, racially, and regionally diverse American populations; how considerations of ethnicity and place have been reshaping the American literary canon. Texts and emphases vary with instructor.
3860 Topics in the History of the English Language (3) Hsy, Carillo, López
  The cultural and literary functions of English across time and space. Scope and methodology vary by instructor. Topics may include language and identity, theoretical and linguistic approaches to language, multilingualism, diasporic writing, or history and periodization.
3910 Disability Studies (3) McRuer and Staff
  Consideration of cultural texts that illustrate or illuminate issues of ability and disability—terms that extend the prism through which human experience may be understood. May be repeated once for credit provided the topic differs.
3920 U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture (3) López, Carillo, and Staff
  Introduction to the basic texts in the Chicana/o, Cuban-American, Dominican-American, and Puerto Rican literary and cultural traditions. Works by U.S. writers of Central American origin are discussed as well.
3930 Topics in U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture (3) López, Carillo, and Staff
  In-depth exploration of a critical issue in the field of Latina/o literary and cultural studies. Topics may include ideologies of literary recovery, transnationalism and diaspora, blackness and latinidad.
3940 Topics in African American Literary Studies (3) James, Miller, Wald
  Intensive study of a single aspect of African American literature: major authors, genre, theme, movement. Substantial attention to the critical tradition.
3945 African American Poetry (3) James and Staff
  Topics in African American poetry from the Black Atlantic through contemporary spoken word and web-based experiments in hypertext composition. Topics vary. Possible topics may be Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, poetry manifestoes, poetry and social justice, or eco-poetics of the black experience.
3950 Cultural Theory and Black Studies (3) James, Miller, Wald
  Selected topics in critical and cultural theories—often interdisciplinary—as used in understanding African American literature and culture. Topics may include genre, medium, period, social change, and leading contemporary African American thinkers/writers.
3960 Asian American Literature (3) Chu
  How Asian American writers construct their identities in dialogue with shifting ideas of “America.” Asian American history, gendering subjects, orientalism and postcolonial subjectivity, interracial relations, canonization. Representative writers: Kingston, Hwang, Jen, Chang-rae Lee, Ondaatje, Lahiri, Bulosan, Hagedorn.
3965 Topics in Asian American Cultural Studies (3) Chu
  Consideration of Asian American literature as a tradition that questions mainstream constructions of Asian American race and ethnicities, provides alternative accounts of Asian American experiences, and examines how Asian American literature is becoming a global literature with global concerns.
3970 Jewish American Literature (3) Moskowitz
  One hundred years of Jewish American writing in fiction, autobiography, poetry, drama, and non-fictional prose. The immigrant experience, American philosemitism and antisemitism, the Holocaust and after, the New York intellectuals, Jewish feminism, and the patriarchal tradition.
3980 Queer Studies (3) McRuer and Staff
  Examination of literature and culture in the context of the history and experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people, with consideration of sexual identity as a core component of human experience. May be repeated once for credit provided the topic differs.
3990 Literary Studies Workshop (1) Staff
  Introduction to advanced research and writing in literature. Open only to second-semester juniors, except that students who plan study abroad in their junior year may take the course as sophomores.
4020 Studies in Contemporary Literature (1 to 3) Staff
4040 Honors Seminar (3) Harris
  Genre and genre theory; literature as cultural artifact and as instrument of cultural criticism; various critical approaches—ideological, historical, and ahistorical. Open only to first-semester senior honors candidates in English. (Fall)
4135 Folger Seminar (3) Staff
  The history of books and early modern culture. Use of the archive at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Students must obtain departmental approval in the preceding semester. Same as Hist 4135/Fren 4135.
4220 Creative Writing Senior Thesis (3) Mallon and Staff
  Under the guidance of an instructor, the student composes an original manuscript of poetry or short fiction accompanied by an essay situating the student’s work in the contemporary context. Open only to seniors admitted to the English and creative writing major. (Fall and spring)
4250 Honors Thesis (3) Staff
  Under the guidance of an instructor, the student writes a thesis on an approved topic. Open only to senior honors candidates in English. (Fall and spring)
4360 Independent Study (3) Cohen and Staff
  For exceptional students, typically majors, whose academic objectives are not accommodated in regular courses. Students must obtain departmental approval and arrange for supervision by an appropriate member of the faculty. (Fall and spring)
4470 Internship (1 to 4) Staff
  Position of responsibility with a publication, educational project, firm, or cultural organization offering practical experience in research, writing, editing, etc. Restricted to junior and senior English majors; approval of supervising faculty required for registration. May be repeated for credit; a maximum of 3 credits may be counted toward the English major. P/NP grading only.

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© 2013 University Bulletin
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Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.