Department Chair

  • Erich Hertz
    Associate Professor of English
    Kiernan Hall 214
    (518) 782-6896

Course Descriptions

(To view current course offerings, click here: Fall 2013.)

Spring 2014 Courses


ENGL 200: Survey of English Literature I

3 credits. An introduction to English literature from Beowulf to Swift, presented in cultural context, tracing the development of literary genres, such as the epic, the sonnet, and prose fiction. (ATTR: ARTS, ELIT, ENUL)

10 TR 2:35-4:00  Dr. Akstens  

ENGL 205: Survey of English Literature II

3 credits. This course introduces students to English language prose, poetry, and other diverse forms of cultural expression of the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary periods. Students will analyze these works in the context of social, historical, and political changes that affected English and Anglophone literary production after the close of the eighteenth century. (ATTR: ARTS, LTIB)

08 TR  1:00-2:25   Dr. Nevárez
10 TR  2:34-4:00   Dr. Hertz
ENGL 213: Survey of American Literature

3 credits. This survey course will examine the emergence and development of American literature from the pre-Colonial era through the Contemporary period, which includes a broad range of significant writers in poetry, prose and drama. Examined in their historical and cultural contexts, the major periods of literature will be studied in order to provide an overview of the scope, diversity, and evolution of the authors and themes of American literature. (ATTR: AMSC, ARTS, ASLT)

05 MWF  10:20-11:20  Dr. Wilhite
13 MW 3:50-5:15  Dr. Farnan

ENGL 220: Literature and the Environment

3 credits. This course introduces students to the tradition of nature writing in literature, with an emphasis on American authors. Thoreau's Walden is a central text. Particular attention is given to contemporary multicultural voices among environmental writers. The course emphasizes nonfiction prose but includes some poetry and fiction. (Same as ENVA-220) (ATTR: ARTS, LTTP)

07 MWF 11:30-12:30  Dr. Dollar


ENGL 222: Reading Film: Teen Film

3 credits.  It might be true that there were people who lived through their teen years in the past, but the idea of a “teenager” is a relatively recent idea that emerged out of post-World War II America.  Just as sociologists and economists were figuring out and diagnosing a whole new demographic, Hollywood began to make films to sell to teens and about teens.  As these new teenagers began to understand themselves as a distinct group, they were being shown who they were in the most popular art form of our time: films.  Because teen films have been cranked out to appeal to the most important ticket-purchasing demographic, 18-24 year old males, it is often assumed to be filled with very low production values and aspirations that appeal to the worst parts of our nature.  For this reason, they have not been taken very seriously by film scholars.  Two problems emerge: 1) there are many teen films that are rather wonderfully made; 2) the mass consumption of these films makes them some of the most culturally important films of the last 60 years.  There is nothing more important than understanding the culture in which we live, and teen films, perhaps more than any other genre, allow us insightful windows into understanding ours. (ATTR: AMSC, ARTS, LTTP)

9E  W  6:00-8:55   Dr. Hertz 

ENGL 236: Adolescent Literature

3 credits. This course is designed for students pursuing the English/Education certificate. The main goal of the course is to familiarize students with the genre of adolescent literature. Students are required to write critical response papers and to lead class discussion. A final project involving the creation of a literature unit appropriate for a middle school classroom, is required. (ATTR: ARTS, LTTP, NOEX)

13 MW 3:50-5:15  Dr. Shatraw


ENGL 240: Shakespeare  

3 credits. A study of several major Shakespearean plays. The works will be analyzed against the background of Shakespeare’s life and times. (ATTR: ARTS, LTIB, LTBA, MRST)

13  MW  3:50-5:15  Dr. Santilli

ENGL 250: The Drama

3 credits. A study of representative dramatic types designed to increase appreciation of the drama as literature. Attention is paid to the historical development of the genre. (ATTR: ARTS, CAL, NOEX, CFH)

12  TR  4:10-5:350   Dr. Akstens

ENGL 253: The Short Story

3 credits. This course examines the short story as a distinct, culturally diverse literary genre. By reading a variety of short fiction, students will learn the history, the artistry, and the versatility of the genre. Special emphasis will be given to critical reading and writing skills. (ATTR: ARTS, CAL, CFD)

03  MWF  9:10-10:10    Dr. Fitzgerald-Hoyt


ENGL 256: The Novel
3 credits. A study of selected novels designed to increase appreciation of the genre. Works from the nineteenth century to the present will be read with emphasis placed on techniques and purposes of the authors. (ATTR: ARTS, CAL, CFH)

10  TR  4:00-5:35   Dr. Trainor
28  TR  1:00-2:25   Dr. Trainor

ENGL 285: African Literature

3 credits.  Description Forthcoming.  (ATTR: ARTS, LTTP, NOEX)
03  MWF   9:10-10:10  Dr. Dollar


ENGL 285: Identity, Self, Gender in Lit

3 credits. Recent theorists have contended that the self is a social construct, that it is essentially performative, and that we perform the self as a way to construct, reaffirm and even transcend our identity. This course will be an exploration of the performative self in several texts, including Hamlet, As You Like It, Moll Flanders, “Much Madness is Divinest Sense,” The Danish Girl, The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” The Woman Warrior, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and M. Butterfly.  The photographs of Cindy Sherman, Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues,” Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, Woody Allen’s Zelig and Kimbery Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry will provide counterpoint to our study of the poems, narratives and playscripts.  Transgression, gender, age, ideology and style will be among the markers we will examine in course of our inquiry. The theoretical foundation for our study will be provided by selections from Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning from More to Shakespeare and Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. (ATTR: ARTS, LTTP, NOEX)

6E   T  6:00-8:55    Dr. Akstens 


ENGL 315: Literature of the Enlightenment

3 credits.  This survey of the poets and prose writers of the neo-classical movement may include the works of Dryden, Swift, Pope, Johnson, and Boswell, and one or two novelists of the period. (ATTR: ARTS, LTIB, LTBA, MRST, NOEX, REB)

04   TR  9:35-11:00   Dr. Amrozowicz

ENGL 320: Romantic Literature

3 credits. This course examines English language literature and culture from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries, and allows students to explore themes related to this time of revolutionary change and political and social upheaval. Bracketed by the end of the Enlightenment, as well as the French Revolution, and the start of the Victorian Era, the Romantic period witnessed the emergence of new literary approaches that emphasized nature, the individual, and the imagination. Works by authors such as Austen, Baillie, Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Keats, the Shelleys, and Wordsworth may be included. (ATTR: ARTS, LTIB, NOEX, LTBA)

10   TR  2:34-4:00  Dr. Nevárez


ENGL 325: Victorian Literature

3 credits. This class will focus on the “other” Victorians—those who were on the margins of society because of age, gender, class, disability, or sexual orientation.  Readings will include fiction, drama, biography, and children’s books, both by 19th century writers and more recent authors responding to the Victorian Age and its values. Proposed texts include: Dickens, A Christmas Carol; Bronte, Jane Eyre; Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Martin, Mary Reilly; Pomeance, The Elephant Man; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Rossetti, Goblin Market; and Strachey, Eminent Victorians. (ATTR: ARTS, LTIB)

05   MWF  10:20-11:20 Dr. Fitzgerald-Hoyt


ENGL 350: American Renaissance Literature

3 credits.  American Renaissance Literature examines the emergence of the American narrative, the American character, and the development of the Transcendentalist and Romantic literary movements. Close attention will also be paid to abolitionist writing, slave narrative, and the establishment of the American woman writer against the background of the expanding nation. Students may study such authors as Irving Cooper, Jacobs, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Poe, Fuller, Fern, Stowe, Douglas, Melville, Sedgwick, Whitman, or Kirk land. (ATTR: ARTS, AMSC,LTAM, NOEX, ASLT)

7E   M  6:00-8:55  Dr. Farnan


ENGL 360: American Literature of the Jazz Age

3 credits.  This course will examine literary works written primarily during the 1920s, a period of intense cultural freedom as well as restraint within the United States. On the one hand, this was the heyday of flappers and speakeasies; on the other hand, the Jazz Age was darkened by the historical trauma of the First World War as well as the economic hardships of The Crash of 1929 and the impending Great Depression. We will discuss the contributions of the "Lost Generation" of American expatriate authors in Paris and witness the cultural flowering of the Harlem Renaissance. Readings may include fiction by Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner; poetry by Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and e.e. cummings; and drama by Eugene O'Neill. To give a fuller sense of both the era and its literature, we may also explore other cultural media of the "Roaring Twenties," such as experimental painting, silent film, blues music, and of course jazz. (ATTR: ARTS, AMSC, LTAM, NOEX, ASLT)

9E   W  6:00-8:55  Dr. Wilhite


ENGL 370: African American Literature

3 credits.  This course is an historical survey of African American literature which introduces students to a broad range of significant writers in the genre of poetry, prose, autobiography, fiction, fiction and drama. (ATTR: AMSC, ARTS, CAL, LTAM, MULT, NOEX, CFJ)

04 TR  9:35-11:00   Dr. Stein


ENGL 374: Asian American Literature

3 credits. This course surveys the development of Asian American literature within the context of different Asian and Asian American cultural and historical traditions, and dominant American literary, racial, and political discourses. Students will read a wide array of literary, theoretical, and critical works by Asian American writers. (Same as MULT 345) (ATTR: AMSC, ARTS, CAL, ELIT, ENUL, LTAM, MULT, NOEX, CFD)

06 TR  11:10-12:35  Dr. Mayer 


ENGL 400: Literary Criticism

3 credits.  This course offers students an opportunity to examine literary theory in detail and to apply it to selected texts. Students may study a range of critical approaches, such as New Historicism, Postcolonial theory, and Cultural Studies. (ATTR: ARTS, NOEX)

06  TR  11:10-12:35  Dr. Nevárez


ENGL 480: Internship in English  

1-3 credits. This course enables students to earn academic credit while gaining work experience in broadcast and print media, public relations, and other communications fields. Interns must complete 120 hours of on-site work as well as fulfilling the academic components of the course, including regular written assignments. Evaluation will be conducted by the Department Internship Director in consultation with the worksite supervisor. The internship is open to Junior and Senior English majors and minors or Writing minors who have completed at least 12 hours in English and/or Writing and have an index of at least 3.0 in those courses. Permission of the Internship Director is required for admission to the course. (Same as WRIT 480.) (ATTR: ARTS, ENUL, INT, NOEX)


ENGL 490 – HNRS: Children in Literature

3 creditsThis English Honors seminar will consider texts written for and about children to explore the diverse ways that childhood has been interpreted and constructed.  Readings will include traditional fairytales and their modern retellings, “classic” children’s works and texts that attempt to overturn assumptions and stereotypes.  (ATTR: ARTS, CAL, ELIT, ENUL, HNRS, NOEX)

M   M  1:30-3:35   Dr. Fitzgerald-Hoyt – PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED

ENGL 490 – HNRS: Literature of Regret and Redemption

3 credits.  Description Forthcoming.  (ATTR: ARTS, CAL, ELIT, ENUL, HNRS, NOEX)