Back to Academics ENGLISH

The English Program hopes these descriptions help you decide which courses best meet your learning goals and appeal to your interests. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the English faculty. We have designed this as a supplement to the Catalog and the Schedule of Courses. As you register this spring, be sure to consult those publications to check general education requirements, major requirements, prerequisites, changes to the schedule, and other important information.

EN100-M1 Writing I

Judy Harvey
EN 100 introduces students to college-level writing. Assignments include summary, response, analysis and argument. Sentence-level skills are reviewed through exercises, examples and self and peer editing.

EN101-M1 Writing 1
Hank Stewart
Extends students’ understanding of the expectations of college-level expository writing. Emphasizes critical analysis, argument, and research. There is not a textbook in this class; students introduce the class to essays of their own selection as a way to discover and increase reading, writing, and thinking skills by assessing these ever-changing readings as a class and finding elements of them to model, discard, and otherwise question in their own writing.

EN101-M1 Writing II:
Tom Nelson
This course provides practice in writing essays by studying the structure of the essay (the introduction, body, and conclusion) and the argument presented in the essay. We will use as models for the essay the majority and dissenting opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court
in landmark cases arising from the interpretation and application of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. We will read at least one landmark opinion that addresses the following constitutional questions: freedom of speech, ownership of firearms, equal protection, privacy issues (such as abortion and government surveillance), detention, seizure of property, and cruel and unusual punishment. Our emphasis will be on logical and rhetorical analysis that asks these four questions: (1) What is fact? (2) What is assumption? (3) How does the writer use each of these to develop an argument for a particular point of view? (4) What rhetorical techniques does the writer use to make that argument persuasive?

Students will write several short essays in which they make their own arguments that address issues raised by these landmark cases. For example, does a woman have the right to terminate her pregnancy? Does an aggrieved citizen have the right to burn the American flag as a form of protest? Does a Boy Scout troop have the right to exclude gays from its membership? Does a public school with a history of drug problems have the right to strip-search thirteen-year-olds suspected of carrying drugs? Does the right to “keep and bear arms” include any type of gun that can be legally purchased? Students will also write a longer essay based on their research of an issue that they find especially interesting.

EN101-M2 Writing II: Eating our Words: Food in American Culture
Bonnie Erwin
It seems that arguments about food are everywhere these days. Flip on the TV, the radio, or visit any blog or newspaper online—you’re almost certain to encounter some sort of food-related debate that is local, national, or international in scope (sometimes all three at once). Some of these arguments center on issues related to food consumption, and relate to nutrition and public health. Other arguments concern food production and revolve around matters of ethics, economics, and the environment.

In this class, we’ll read, write, and think about the rhetoric surrounding various hot topics in food. We'll focus in particular on how  discourses about food intersect with discussions about other elements of our culture, like our ideas about class, gender, and race—as well as our ideas about what it means to be an American. Together we will investigate how writing about food allows authors to engage complex questions about who we are, who we should be, and how we should relate to one another.

English 101 is designed to cultivate the skills you’ll need for successful writing and research in all your college classes. Formal writing assignments will include two analytical essays and a researched proposal to solve a food-related problem. We’ll also do weekly informal writing assignments to develop the component skills necessary for these formal essays.

EN101-M3 Writing II:
Judy Harvey
EN101 applies the writing process to assignments including analysis and argument. Students choose their own topic for the study and practice of research. Library use and documenting skills are emphasized.

EN101-M4 Writing II: Famous trials
Laura Struve
This course focuses on famous trials in history and the literary works they have inspired in order to examine the connections between law and literature. The readings in this class examine the influence of race, religion, and gender on legal verdicts. In addition to reading about the legal system, we will focus on the conventions of good writing and the rhetorical skills associated with the law, such as crafting an argument and using evidence. This course emphasizes the ability to construct and support persuasive arguments and aims to help students improve their ability to write clear and correct English prose. Acquiring the skills necessary for writing effective papers will help students succeed in the academic community. Because good writing involves both critical reading and thinking skills, writing assignments will be based on challenging reading selections. Class time will be devoted to the discussion of assigned readings, preparation for writing, and the evaluation of student work. Daily homework may include one or more of the following: readings from the assigned texts, writing an informal response, reviewing and practicing the conventions of good writing, preparing or revising a draft of an essay, or evaluating an essay by another student. Some of the works we will discuss include The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman, and On the Waterfront.

EN101-M5 Writing II: Japanese Popular Culture

James McNelis
Anime, manga, pop music, and other Japanese cultural exports from karaoke to karate have a pervasive presence in and influence on American culture. In this course we will consider Japanese popular culture largely, though not exclusively, through digital media, audio-visual products (manga, anime, film), and secondary sources which introduce and develop scholarly approaches to these materials. Along the way we will try to make sense of how a traditionally conformist and rigid culture, drawing on its traditional art forms, generated far more imaginative and groundbreaking works than much of American media culture in the post-war years—much of it influenced by Japan’s unique status as a post-atomic-war society. We will also take note of the reciprocal relationship between both countries (for example, Disney inspired Japanese animators, and today Pixar reveres Miyazaki). We will study how the Japanese cultural products were modified for sale in the US market—later, designed for it—and also, counter-influenced in turn by American culture in what has become a two-way feedback loop (one which does not exclude additional cultural influences, either).

EN101-M6
Tom Nelson
This course provides practice in writing essays by studying the structure of the essay (the introduction, body, and conclusion) and the argument presented in the essay. We will use as models for the essay the majority and dissenting opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court
in landmark cases arising from the interpretation and application of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. We will read at least one landmark opinion that addresses the following constitutional questions: freedom of speech, ownership of firearms, equal protection,
privacy issues (such as abortion and government surveillance), detention, seizure of property, and cruel and unusual punishment. Our emphasis will be on logical and rhetorical analysis that asks these four questions: (1) What is fact? (2) What is assumption? (3) How does the writer use each of these to develop an argument for a particular point of view? (4) What rhetorical techniques does the writer use to make that argument persuasive?

Students will write several short essays in which they make their own arguments that address issues raised by these landmark cases. For example, does a woman have the right to terminate her pregnancy? Does an aggrieved citizen have the right to burn the American flag as a form of protest? Does a Boy Scout troop have the right to exclude gays from its membership? Does a public school with a history of drug problems have the right to strip-search thirteen-year-olds suspected of carrying drugs? Does the right to “keep and bear arms” include any type of gun that can be legally purchased? Students will also write a longer essay based on their research of an issue that they find especially interesting.

EN101-M7 Writing II: Eating our Words: Food in American Culture
Bonnie Erwin
It seems that arguments about food are everywhere these days. Flip on the TV, the radio, or visit any blog or newspaper online—you’re almost certain to encounter some sort of food-related debate that is local, national, or international in scope (sometimes all three at once). Some of these arguments center on issues related to food consumption, and relate to nutrition and public health. Other arguments concern food production and revolve around matters of ethics, economics, and the environment.

In this class, we’ll read, write, and think about the rhetoric surrounding various hot topics in food. We'll focus in particular on how discourses about food intersect with discussions about other elements of our culture, like our ideas about class, gender, and race—as well as our ideas about what it means to be an American. Together we will investigate how writing about food allows authors to engage complex questions about who we are, who we should be, and how we should relate to one another.

English 101 is designed to cultivate the skills you’ll need for successful writing and research in all your college classes. Formal writing assignments will include two analytical essays and a researched proposal to solve a food-related problem. We’ll also do weekly informal writing assignments to develop the component skills necessary for these formal essays.

EN101-M8 Writing II
Hank Stewart
Extends students’ understanding of the expectations of college-level expository writing. Emphasizes critical analysis, argument, and research. There is not a textbook in this class; students introduce the class to essays of their own selection as a way to discover and increase reading, writing, and thinking skills by assessing these ever-changing readings as a class and finding elements of them to model, discard, and otherwise question in their own writing.

EN101-M9 Writing II: Who is the Alien Other?
Gloria Flaherty
This course will extend your understanding of the expectations of college-level expository writing. It emphasizes critical analysis, argument and research. This course is designed to help you to be prepared to face the questions, styles and variety of materials that you will encounter throughout your educational experience here at Wilmington College. We will address a variety of readings around our central theme: Who Is The Alien Other? They will serve as prompts for the primary focus of this course: writing successful college papers. To accomplish this, we will integrate critical reading and writing skills. We will analyze short stories, essays, poems and a novel in class discussion, and in writing, from point of view of their subjects, of course, but we will also analyze them as pieces of effective writing revealing universal themes. Thus, you will read and write about others’ writings while becoming better writers yourselves. The particular meaning of “better writers” in this case is writers who can utilize a variety of forms to write clear, correct and especially persuasive expository texts. You will write informal dialogue journals, writing analyses and several analytic essays about our readings as well as a longer research paper about our theme. In the process of writing drafts, revising and editing papers, you will be required to participate in writing conferences. These might be peer conferences in lab classes or* individual conferences, by appointment, with me*. We will also be doing “MUGS” exercises from Hacker, your own papers, and other sources. Some are listed on the schedule; the rest will be filled in as we proceed.

EN103H-M1 Great Debates
Ursula McTaggart
In this course, you will learn to read, write, and analyze language skillfully while also becoming conversant in some of the debates about how we should behave ethically within human society. We will read classics like Oedipus Rex and the Odyssey to discuss ancient notions of fate and heroism. We will turn to political debates by examining the struggle between capitalism, socialism, and anarchism, reading Marx and contemporary anarchist philosophers. We will also examine the contemporary debate about the ethics of labor rights by examining arguments in favor of and against “sweatshop” labor. We will write numerous analytical papers and one research paper.

EN103H-M2 Great Debates
Steve Buchanan
To explore a debate that is increasingly pertinent to our world today and yet is probably as old as the human species itself, you will read and write about the literature of doubt and of faith. You will encounter great statements of spiritual affirmation in the face of adversity, from the 17th-century English poet John Donne to the 19th-century Russian author Leo Tolstoy to the 20th-century American writer Thomas Wolfe. But you will also be challenged by the provocative skepticism of Old Testament Job, “enlightened” humorist Voltaire, “new atheist” Sam Harris, and others.

EN103H-M3 Great Debates (Course held in reserve)
Staff

EN131-M1 Writing III: Advanced Writing and Practice
Judy Harvey
EN131 is designed for those pursuing professional writing and/or teaching careers. The course includes a study of grammar and usage in writing as well as varying dialects and audience. Written assignments include discovery, interview, description, and journalistic themes.

EN233-M1 Literature of Rural Life & Environment
Skills: T W
Ursula McTaggart
This course will examine American literature’s historical love for and fascination with the natural landscape. We will examine authors’ attempts to live in and with nature, their rejections of city life, and their understanding of the balance between human needs and environmental preservation. Texts will include Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, Jonathan Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Alan Moore’s comic book series The Swamp Thing, and Werner Herzog’s movie Grizzly Man.

EN235-M1 Literature for Children & Young Adults
Skills: W
Gloria Flaherty
Everyone “knows” what children’s/young adult literature is until he is asked to define it. We will read books along the entire spectrum of literature for children and young adults, from wordless picture books to those written for high school students, and then, based on our responses, interpretations and analyses, we will attempt to define the genre. Beyond that we will “borrow” the theme; “Children’s Literature, Why It Matters” from the current exhibit at The 42nd Street Library in New York City, and again, based on our readings, will discern the reasons why it does, indeed, matter. Our study of literature for children and young adults surveys the field from traditional origins to modern times. Fiction, nonfiction, and poems written for, by or about boys, girls and young adults are read and/or viewed and critically analyzed. Students develop an understanding of problems posed by stereotyping genders as well as cultures and those that arise because of censorship. The readings include one self-selected novel and elicit student responses to the literature, and in-class discussions and written assignments develop analytic and critical thinking skills.This is a writing-intensive class; the requirements include the writing of a critical analysis of a young adult novel.

EN 239-M1: Introduction to Literary Analysis
Skills: T W
Laura Struve
Do you love reading and studying literature? This course is dedicated to providing students with a strong foundation in close reading, literary analysis, and an introduction to literary theory. This course will also provide the student with a familiarity of the specific terminology used in the study of literature and a general introduction to the various movements that frame the history of literature. Each unit will focus on a specific literary genre as we explore poetry, mythology, drama, and the novel.


EN 245G-HU-M1 British Literature II
Skills: T
Laura Struve
Romanticism, Victorianism, Modernism and Post-modernism—In this class, we will examine and analyze British poetry and prose fiction from 1798 to the present. How does a literary tradition develop out of these “-isms”? What are all these “-isms” anyway? We will explore literature in light of the conflicts produced by industrialization, secularization, modern warfare and technology, as well as changing attitudes about what is literary. We will also examine how male and female authors participate in the British literary tradition. Readings will include works by authors such as Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Browning, and Woolf. Expect to read plenty of poetry and at least four novels, to complete weekly writing assignments, and to participate in lively discussion.

EN250G-HU-4-M1 Topics in Global Literature: Growing up goes Global
Bonnie Erwin
Skills: W
What does it mean to “grow up” in our culture? What does it mean to “grow up” in other cultures? In this course, we’ll use literature to explore the pathway from childhood to adulthood in cultures around the world. As we’ll discover, growing up is about more than just “finding yourself”: it’s about finding a role within your community. Sometimes, “becoming a man” or “becoming a woman” means conforming to the community’s ideals— playing along with society. Other times, growing up is about challenging societal norms and demanding change. Our readings will give us different takes on what it means to become a courageous adult.

As we’ll discover, “growing up” often means confronting difficult questions about justice and fairness: among other issues, the texts we’ll read grapple with violence and discrimination. It’s not all bad news, though: many of our readings will offer a positive message about how young adults can change the world.

We’ll read a variety of texts in this course, including fairy tales and graphic novels, as well as traditional novels, short stories, and poems. As a W course, this class requires two short papers and one longer paper, as well as weekly informal writing; we’ll also have a midterm and final exam.

EN250G-HU-5-M1 Topics in Global Literature: Happy Endings
Skills: W
Marta Wilkinson
“Happy Endings” is a survey course designed to highlight—and question—the happy ending. What is a happy ending anyway? Our adventures range from siren dodging, magic carpets and vampire slaying to a world of sophisticated computer hacking. We will explore genre, plot twists and narrative styles in our own quest for the perfect happy ending. Readings will include: The Odyssey by Homer, The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Arabian Nights, Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

EN250G-HU-6-M1 Topics in Global Literature: Literature and Human Nature
Skills: W
Steve Buchanan
Why do people behave as they do? Why have they always done so? Why, despite all the diversity that appears on the surface, have human beings exhibited the same basic patterns of thought and behavior in all times and cultures? Scholars from both the sciences and the humanities have recently begun to look at such questions from a perspective called “evolutionary psychology.” Of course, the world’s literature has been effectively dealing with these same questions for thousands of years.

In this course we will examine our shared, evolved human nature as expressed in a number of famous pieces of literature. To cover the ground thoroughly, we’ll study different genres (fables, myth, folklore, epic, short novel, and short story) and different authors (all the way from Homer to Hemingway, from the American feminist Kate Chopin to the great African novelist Chinua Achebe).

Adopting the “Darwinian” framework developed by a growing number of literary scholars, we’ll examine some essential human universals in both an evolutionary and a literary context—universals that adapt us for success in such fundamental human concerns as survival (fear, hunger, and the “love of life”) reproduction (how male and female mating strategies differ; romantic love; sexual jealousy; rape and adultery) social living (in-group bonds of kinship and friendship; parent-child and sibling conflict; altruism and cheating; morality and religion)—and perhaps of most pressing interest in our modern world: aggression and war (male violence in the pursuit of status, resources, and women; out-group bias and dehumanization)

In the course of reading, discussing, and writing about the stories that appeal to us so deeply and so powerfully, we will also be looking at storytelling itself as an important element of human nature—keeping always in mind that, as the Roman poet Horace reminds us, “The story is about YOU.”

EN331-M1: Shakespeare
Skills: T W
James McNelis
From the Catalog: “An in-depth study of the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare with emphasis on the great tragedies. Works by Spencer, Marlowe and others of Shakespeare’s contemporaries may be included. Plays are read closely and analyzed in conjunction with the reading of criticism and theory. Live performances, readings, video, the World Wide Web, and other resources will be used as appropriate, and field trips to performances may be required. Students will be expected to write papers which demonstrate an informed close reading of the primary texts, as well as competence in library research and in the evaluation of theoretical approaches.”

In practice, this means we will begin by assessing pre-Shakespearean drama, then moving on to the main event itself, working both with plays most often taught in high school as well as a selection of others. Along with literary criticism, approaches to high-school teaching will also be addressed, as in the Folger Library “Shakespeare Set Free” series. We will avail ourselves of Wynn Alexander’s expertise to give you a sense of what Shakespeare-as-theater (as opposed to Shakespeare-as-textbook) is really like. Reinforcing our study of Shakespeare-as-theater, we will be using the extra class meeting added to our schedule for special activities such as the work with Wynn and a visit from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, and also for watching Shakespeare on film and video.

EN334-1-M1: Literary Studies: Sacred/Profane
Skills: W
Marta Wilkinson
Where do we draw the line between things that we hold sacred and those we deem profane? Is the sacred always something intangible and idealistic? Is the profane characterized by material coarseness? Through a survey of literatures from a variety of nations, times and cultures we will try to establish both ideas and practices that humanity as a whole holds dear. We will examine literary works that transgressed social limits by pushing the boundaries of social, political, religious and sexual ideologies. We will try to define the sacred, and by contrast the profane. We will also ask what damage—and what gains—has humanity reaped by pushing such limits? Readings will include: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Red and the Black by Stendhal, Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1984 by George Orwell and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

EN338-M1: Contemporary American Literature
Skills: I W
Ursula McTaggart
In this course, you will learn the key trends in American literature from the 1950s to the present, with a special focus on multicultural American literature. Beginning with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and a discussion of the Beat movement, we will progress through an era that saw the increasing popularity of multicultural American writers at the same time that people of color in the United States were demanding their rights. In this unit, we will read texts by Ralph Ellison, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Louise Erdrich. Next, we will examine the rise of postmodern literature as exemplified by Don DeLillo, and the course will conclude with the recent examination of intersex identity by Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex.

EN435-M1: Intro. to Linguistics: History & Structure of the English Language Skills:
James McNelis
Anyone who likes languages and literature will find EN 435 of interest (students of English, Spanish, and Education will find it particularly useful). Topics include: animal communication; American dialects, including African-American Vernacular English and others that teachers will encounter among their students; World Englishes, including Asian, British and other non-US forms; the differences between first- and second-language acquisition; the various definitions of and approaches to the study of grammar; and what is currently known about the human brain’s language functions. While linguistics is essential in order to understand modern literary criticism, the course also emphasizes the philological approach to the study of language and literature exemplified by Tolkien. “Lang and Lit” are two sides of the same coin, and it is no accident that the most widely read British novel of the 20th century—Lord of the Rings—is “primarily linguistic in inspiration.”

The course is required for LILA majors who are under the pre-2013 catalogs, and highly beneficial for all LILA and English majors. It meets not only Ohio’s, but other state’s standards for LILA/AYA in linguistics and the history of English; in recent years our graduates have had reciprocity approved when hired to teaching positions in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, and Kentucky.