Western Kentucky University

English Major: Literature Course Descriptions

Literature Concentration

Course Descriptions

From the Undergraduate Catalog 2011-2012:

The literature concentration in English (reference number 662) requires a minimum of 40 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

A minor or second major is required. Requirements for the major are as follows: ENG 299, 304, 381, 382, 385, 391, 392, 401, 492 (senior seminar, which should be taken in the last semester of coursework), four additional three-credit, upper-level literature courses and one additional elective from departmental offerings. With the approval of the English department head, a course from another department may be taken as an elective to a maximum of 3 hours in the English: Literature major.

A grade of "C" or higher is required in all courses applying to the major. At least one of the restricted electives must be at the 400-level.

 

Required Courses

ENG 299 Introduction to English Studies (3 hours)
Effective Fall 2009, Prerequisites: ENG 200 or Permission of Instructor
Introduction to the discipline of English studies for literature and writing majors, including exploration of issues and conflict within the discipline, strategies for reading and researching literary texts, overview of requirements and opportunities within the major, and introduction to career and graduate study options.

ENG 304 English Language (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 100
A study of the sounds, word structures, and sentence patterns of modern English, with emphasis given to parts of speech, phrases, and clauses.

ENG 381 Survey of English (British) Literature I (3 Hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200.
A study of elected works by representative major authors reflecting the chronological development of English literature to 1798.

ENG 382 Survey of English (British) Literature II (3 Hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200.
A study of selected works by representative major authors reflecting the chronological development of English literature from 1798 to the present.

ENG 385 World Literature (3 Hours)
Pre-Requisite: ENG 200
Study of selected works in translation by major figures in world literature from ancient Greece to modern Europe, exclusive of British and American writers.

ENG 391 Survey of American Literature I (3 Hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A study of selected works by representative authors reflecting the chronological development of American Literature to 1865.

ENG 392 Survey of American Literature II (3 Hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A study of selected works by representative major authors reflecting the chronological development of American Literature from 1865 to the present.

ENG 401 Advanced Composition (3 Hours)
Prerequisites ENG 100 and ENG 300
Theory and practice in reading and writing various genres of non-fiction, including researched essays, cultural critique, deposition, narrative, and argument. Special attention to style, voice, arrangement, and advanced writing techniques.

ENG 492 Senior Seminar (1 hour)
Prerequisites: ENG 299 and Senior Standing. To be taken in the last semester of coursework.
In the Senior Seminar students will synthesize and assess what they have learned over the course of the English major by reviewing the discipline of English, exploring career and graduate studies opportunities, and collecting and revising selected major projects from previous classes.

 

Literature Electives

ENG 320 American Studies I (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
Designed to examine the diverse origins and the decisive elements in the development of American culture and to provide a wide cultural appreciation and a greater understanding of the mainstream of American thought.

ENG 321 American Studies II (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
Designed to examine further the diverse origins and the decisive elements in the development of American culture and to provide a wide cultural appreciation and a greater understanding of the mainstream of American thought.

ENG 333 Medieval Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A survey of representative literary works of the Middle Ages selected from various cultures, with an emphasis on the continuities of medieval literary traditions and cultural values. Non-English works will be read in translation.

ENG 340 Speculative Fiction (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A survey of the development of the genre, including science fiction, and it's relationship to main literary currents.

ENG 354 History of Drama to 1640 (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A comprehensive course which traces the major developments in drama from the ancient Greeks to 1640. Emphasis on representative dramatists and plays.

ENG 355 History of Drama since 1640 (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A continuation of ENG 354.

ENG 360 Gay and Lesbian Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200.
Introduction to gay and lesbian literature from antiquity to present, with emphasis on concepts of sex and gender, critical theory and cultural constructionism in global and historical contexts.

ENG 370 Multicultural Literature in America (3 hours) Gen Ed E
Prerequisite: ENG 200 or equivalent
Study of literature written in the U.S. by writers from a variety of racial and ethnic groups.

ENG 387 Studies in Autobiography (3 hours) Gen Ed E
Prerequisites: ENG 300.
An examination of the literary components and cultural context of autobiographical works, with particular emphasis on under-represented groups, gender, race, and class.

ENG 393 African-American Literature (3 Hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A critical study of the contributions of African-American writers to American literature.

ENG 394 Kentucky Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
A survey of literary people and places in Kentucky, detailed study of several works of Kentucky writers.

ENG 395 Contemporary Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200.
A study of representative literature since World War II, stressing significant writers, thematic concerns, experiments in technique, and selected criticism. The course content, variable by genre, focuses primarily on fiction, poetry, or drama in alternate semesters.

ENG 396 Mythology (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200 or equivalent.
Greek, Roman, and Norse myths and their influence on art and literature.

ENG 398 Hemmingway and Faulkner (3 Hours) Gen Ed B-1
Prerequisite: ENG 200
A critical study of the major literary works of Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. For honors-eligible students only.

ENG 430 19th Century American Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200 or equivalent.
Seminar in 19th Century American Literature; Course topics will vary.

ENG 455 American Drama (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
This course deals with the development of American drama from colonial productions to present-day plays.

ENG 457 British Literature Since 1900 (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
A study of British literature from 1900 to the present, including fiction, poetry, and drama, with attention to innovations in literary form and cultural context.

ENG 459 Modern Drama (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
A selected study of dramatic literature since Ibsen with emphasis on evolving developments and trends in world theatre.

ENG 460 Literary Criticism (3 Hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 100 or ENGL 100C and at least one upper-level literature course
A study of theories and methods of literary and cultural analysis selected from ancient times to the present. Focus includes the written practice of criticism in response to a wide variety of texts.

ENG 468 Early Modern English Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisite: ENG 200 or equivalent.
A study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature with attention to embrace of the vernacular, development of genres and poetic forms, and cultural and social contexts.

ENG 481 Chaucer (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent.
Representative works of Chaucer, with emphasis on the Canterbury Tales; some attention to the medieval background.

ENG 482 Shakespeare (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
Major plays from each stage of Shakespeare's career studied in the light of current Shakespearean criticism and writings from the time.

ENG 484 British Romanticism (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
Background and phases of romanticism, with a study of representative exponents of the Romantic Movement.

ENG 486 The Eighteenth Century (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
The concentrated study of eighteenth century literature, forms, and developments.

ENG 487 Dante's Divine Comedy and Its Influences (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
An intensive study of The Divine Comedy, in English translation, along with Dante's major sources and analogues.

ENG 488 Literature of the Victorian Age (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
A study of selected works by major poets, essayists, and novelists of Victorian England as a reflection of the culture of the age.

ENG 489 The English Novel (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
The technique and history of the novel. Several representative novels studied.

ENG 490 The American Novel (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
History and technique of the American novel from Cooper to the present. Several representative novels are studied.

ENG 493 American Poetry (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
The course examines, in addition to major writers, selected major movements and schools in American poetry, paying special attention to influences, techniques, and styles.

ENG 495 Southern Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 200 or equivalent
This course traces the development of uniquely Southern characteristics as exhibited in the works of major writers of the South.

ENG 497 Women's Literature (3 hours)
Prerequisites: ENG 300.
An examination of the themes, aesthetic importance, and historical context of canonical fiction by women, with emphasis on twentieth century American and British women writers.

 

 Last Modified 7/22/13