English

Professors: Fong, Heinritz, Katanski (on leave), Mills (Chair), Mozina, Salinas, Seuss, Sinha, Smith, Yost

The primary mission of the English Department is to create communities of learning in which students can enter into the power of language. Through the study of literature in English across global and historical cultures, the study of film and critical theory, the discipline of writing in a variety of genres, and the constant practice of collaboration, we lead students toward a comprehension of the complexity of their world, of themselves, and of the way word and image shape reality. Throughout history, writers and readers have acted as witnesses to the human situation, never more so than in the twenty-first century. Ultimately, we aim for our students to become witnesses in and for the word.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit may not count toward the major but may be applied toward the total number of units needed to graduate.

Units from Study Abroad and Transfer Credit

Students may receive up to one unit of credit toward the major or the minor for a class taken on study abroad. The course must first receive approval from the chair of the department. Students may also receive no more than one unit of transfer credit. As with a course being considered from study abroad, the course must get pre-approval from the chair of the department. Exceptions to these policies may be granted in unique circumstances and only through prior approval by the department.

Requirements for the Major in English with an Emphasis in Literary and Cultural Studies

Number of Units
Nine units are required, which may include the SIP. All writing courses (creative writing, journalism, expository prose) may count toward the major. A SIP in English is encouraged but not required.

Advanced Literary Studies may satisfy another requirement for the major or minor, depending on its subject matter, but it may not be double-counted for two requirements. In such a case, students must pass a second, different Advanced Literary Studies course.

The major in English does not require a senior comprehensive exam.

Required Courses
One Reading the World course chosen from the following: ENGL 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156
One course in literature before the 19th century: ENGL 224, 265, 266, 269
One course in literature of the 19th century: ENGL 225, 267, 268, 270, 275
One course in literature or film of the 20th or 21st century: ENGL 108, 180, 181, 218, 219, 221, 226, 230, 244, 246, 260, 276
One literature course that draws significantly from a minoritarian, transnational, or diasporic tradition: ENGL 108, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 227, 230, 264
ENGL 390 Junior Seminar
One advanced literary studies or literary theory: ENGL 435, 436
One additional 400-level ENGL course

Elective
One elective chosen from any English literature or writing course.

Students who opt for an extended study abroad experience (and thus will not be on campus during their junior spring) will need to take an additional advanced (435 or 436) course to replace the Junior Seminar. Extended study abroad students must consult with the department chair and receive prior approval for this substitution.

Students planning on graduate work in English should take as many units of ENGL 435 as possible.

Requirements for the Major in English with an Emphasis in Writing

Number of Units
Ten units are required.

Required Courses
One Reading the World course chosen from the following: ENGL 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156
One course in literature before the 19th century: ENGL 224, 265, 266, 269
One course in literature of the 19th century: ENGL 225, 267, 268, 270, 275
One course in literature or film of the 20th or 21st century: ENGL 108, 180, 181, 218, 219, 221, 226, 230, 244, 246, 260, 276
One literature course that draws significantly from a minoritarian, transnational, or diasporic tradition: ENGL 108, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 227, 230, 264
ENGL 390 Junior Seminar
One of the following writing sequences:
Poetry: ENGL 107, 210, 437
Fiction: ENGL 107, 211, 438
Journalism: ENGL 105, 207, 439
Creative Non-Fiction: ENGL 107, 215, 439
One additional 400-level course

Students who opt for an extended study abroad experience (and thus will not be on campus during their junior spring) will need to take an ALS (ENGL 435) or the Literary Theory seminar (ENGL 436) to replace the Junior Seminar.

Students planning on graduate work in English should take as many units of ENGL 435 as possible.

Requirements for the Minor in English

Number of Units
Six units are required.

Advanced Literary Studies may satisfy another requirement for the major or minor, depending on its subject matter, but it may not be double-counted for two requirements. In such a case, students must pass a second, different Advanced Literary Studies course.

Required Courses
One Reading the World course (only one may count toward the minor): ENGL 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156
One course in literature before the 20th century: ENGL 224, 225, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 275
One literature course that draws significantly from a minoritarian, transnational, or diasporic tradition: ENGL 108, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 227, 230, 264
One advanced literary studies or advanced writing workshop: ENGL 435, 436, 437, 438, 439

Electives
Two electives chosen from any English literature, film, or writing course.

Writing workshops

ENGL105Introduction to Journalism: Newswriting Principles and TechniquesThis course introduces students to the basic reporting and writing skills essential to creating "hard news" stories for print and online publications. In this class, students will learn the craft and read each other's work in a helpful arena. Students will write and re-write regularly to master key types of news stories.
ENGL107Introduction to Creative WritingAn introduction to the process of writing both poetry and prose, pairing the study of published work with the workshopping and development of student writing.
ENGL207Arts JournalismThis course explores the nature of arts, entertainment, and cultural criticism. Its purpose is to help students develop critical skills and express their views creatively, convincingly, and in a way that will engage a popular print or online reader. Students will also learn how to review specific works of art or popular culture, how to critically profile a major artist or popular celebrity, as well as write a broader piece of criticism that looks at larger artistic or cultural issues.
ENGL/SEMN208Food and Travel WritingIn this writing-intensive class we will study the possibilities of journalism and creative nonfiction through the various forms of food writing and its relationship to place. Through reading and writing, we will explore food as sustenance, as a route through memory, as a reflection of culture and place, as both personal and public, and as history and politics. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: ENGL-105 or ENGL-107 and Sophomores only
ENGL210Intermediate Poetry WorkshopA workshop which deepens the students' familiarity with poetic craft and both traditional and untraditional form. Prerequisite: ENGL-107 and Sophomore Standing
ENGL211Intermediate Fiction WorkshopA workshop in which students study and practice the elements of short fiction by reading model texts and sharing their own work. Prerequisite: ENGL-107 and Sophomore Standing
ENGL215Creative Nonfiction WorkshopA workshop in memoir and personal essay. Students will share their work and study current practitioners of this genre.Prerequisite: ENGL-107 and Sophomore Standing
ENGL437Advanced Poetry WorkshopA workshop which enables students to develop and complete an independent writing project. Includes deeper discussion of poetic craft. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Prerequisite: ENGL-210 and Junior standing
ENGL438Advanced Fiction WorkshopA workshop which enables students to develop and complete an independent writing project in fiction. Includes a discussion of longer forms (the novella and novel) as well as short stories. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Prerequisite: ENGL-211 and Junior standing
ENGL439Narrative JournalismThis course builds upon the fundamental writing and reporting skills and techniques introduced in ENGL 105. It introduces students to longer forms of literary or narrative journalism for newspapers and magazines. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2013-2014 academic year. Prerequisite: ENGL-105 or ENGL-207 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-215, and Junior standing.

Literature and Media courses

ENGL108Global Media and Visual CultureThis course introduces students to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of media. Defining media broadly, we will think about the ways in which media both reflects upon and prompts social transformation and its ever-shifting roles in relation to politics, society, culture, race, class, and gender. A key component of the course will be an examination of the global production and dissemination of culture. Rather than seeing American culture as commanding global markets, we will study how there has always existed a transnational circulation of cultural products.
ENGL150Reading the World: Beyond RealismAn introductory study of works that go beyond realism including attention to their cultural and social contexts. Focus areas may include fantasy, magical realism, or speculative fiction. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL151Reading the World: EnvironmentsAn introductory study of literary and cultural texts that articulate how human beings are connected to the natural world. The course will explore how locations and ecosystems shape and are shaped by human systems of meaning. Topics may include gardens, sustainable worlds, urban environments, and deep ecology, among others. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL152Reading the World: GenreThis course explores representations of the world through the lens of genre. Just as human understanding emerges from historical and cultural positions, so too does the choice of literary genres (fictional and nonfictional narratives, drama, and poetry) shape meaning. This class will focus on a genre (or a pairing of genres) as a way to examine how aesthetic and historically-rooted dimensions of literary forms give rise to representations of the world. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL153Reading the World: Global CinemaAn introduction to the language of cinema, foregrounding historical and theoretical contexts of classical Hollywood cinema (1930-1945) and various aesthetic alternatives from around the world. Requires a weekly film screening outside of class. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL154Reading the World: Global StagesAn introduction to drama, focusing either on the theater of a particular region and culture or examining a particular theme from a cross-cultural perspective. Focus areas may include local theater, European theater, world theater's portrayal of ethnic/race relations, among other topics. Students will also consider the relationship of text and performance. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL155Reading the World: IdentitiesThis course explores literary and cultural texts addressing the nature of human identity and its development, particularly through issues of difference. Focus may be on one or more of the following: race, class, gender, nationality, sexuality, the body. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL156Reading the World: Social JusticeThis course examines social justice from a literary perspective, focusing on a particular issue, event, movement, or historical moment. It will emphasize areas of power difference, such as race and ethnicity, disability/ability, class, gender, and sexuality. All Reading the World courses stress the development of critical writing ability, critical thinking, and active discussion.
ENGL180Contemporary PoetryA study of recent poetry in relationship to post-World War II poetic movements. Textual analysis and socio-political context will be emphasized.
ENGL181Contemporary FictionA study of recent fiction, with emphasis on textual analysis and innovative techniques.
ENGL/SEMN217World Indigenous Literatures: The People and the LandA selective study of the literary traditions and contemporary texts of indigenous peoples around the world, focusing on indigenous communities in regions where Kalamazoo College students study and with a particular emphasis on texts that explore the complex relationships between indigenous communities and the land they claim as their own. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores only.
ENGL/SEMN218Post-Colonial LiteratureThis course will investigate some of the central issues in the field of post-colonial literature and theory, such as how literature written in the colonial era represented the colonized and impacted those who were depicted and how writers and readers deployed literature as a method of exploring new possibilities of identity. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomore only
ENGL/SEMN219Magical RealismMagical realism is a genre that combines elements of the fantastic with realism often in order to imagine utopias or resist restrictive aspects of society. This course will examine the genre, interrogate its relationship to other genres of fantasy, and consider the relationship between the aesthetic patterns of the genre and its potential for social advocacy. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores only
ENGL220African American LiteratureA study of central writers, works, and eras in African American literature with an emphasis on conversations between authors, periods, and movements. In addition to such genres as the slave narrative, autobiography, poetry, and fiction, the class will examine vernacular traditions and their influence on content and aesthetics, including the blues, jazz, and hip hop.
ENGL221African LiteratureThis course will reflect on modern literatures in English from Africa. We will take a multi-genre approach, reading short stories, magic realist novels, and political tracts and reflect on the problems of diaspora in modern postcolonial states, the economic impact of colonial and neo-colonial practices, the policies responsible for dispossession, the use of English as an African language, and the rhetorical and political strategies used to combat forms of oppression.
ENGL222American Indian LiteraturesA selective study of the literary traditions and contemporary texts of American Indian people with a focus on building an interdisciplinary understanding of cultural production.
ENGL223Chicana/o LiteratureA selective study of Chicana/o literary and cultural texts. Possible emphases could include colonialism and conquest, indigenismo, geopolitical conflict or "the Borderlands," identity formations and identifications, and/or sociocultural resistances.
ENGL224Early Modern Women's Literature: Shakespeare's SistersA study of the women writers that Virginia Woolf termed "Shakespeare's Sisters" when she lamented the lack of early women writers. We'll study these, primarily British, women writers of the period, emphasizing the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions of women's authorship before the nineteenth century.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL22519th Century Women's Literature: The Epic AgeA study of British and U.S. women writers of the period, emphasizing social, political, economic, and cultural conditions for women's authorship as well as recurring concerns and themes of women authors and the emergence of African American women's writing.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL226Women's Literature 1900-present: Modern VoicesA study of women's writing in English in the 20th and 21st centuries, emphasizing cultural diversity, thematic commonalities, and questions of voice and gender.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/SEMN227Opium & the Making of the Modern WorldThis course traces the social and literary history of opium across the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. In addition to exploring the drug as a trope of the "exotic East," this course also understands opium as an important catalyst of imperial development and global domination. Analyzing autobiography, poetry, and fiction, the course focuses on depictions of travel and circulation to understand how opium has activated anxieties about gender, sexuality, and race over the last two centuries and to recognize how the illicit drug trade continues to shape current patterns of diasporic movement and global exchange.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ENGL230US Ethnic LiteratureA study of American literary texts primarily of the 20th and 21st centuries, from the perspective of their ethnic origins.
ENGL231East Asian Diasporic LiteraturesThis course will analyze literature written in English by people in the East Asian Diaspora. This includes writers from China, Korea and Japan and their descendants living in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The course takes a transnational approach in considering questions around racial and ethnic identity, global capitalism, nationality and citizenship, as well as issues of gender and sexuality. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing or a Reading the World course
ENGL244Studies in 20th Century LiteratureAn examination of radical departures from conventional technique in the most innovative modern poetry, fiction, and drama. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL245Electronic, Hypertext, and Multimedia LiteratureA study of digital and print literatures that emerge from computing and internet technologies, with a particular emphasis on the medium through which they are produced and rendered. Forms include CD-ROM, cybertext, hyperlink, mobile apps, and GPS/satellite synchronized. Through these forms, this course will explore how digital culture impacts textuality and challenges reading practices. Prerequisite: Sophomore Seminar or a Reading the World course
ENGL246Modernism to Millennium: British Literature 1900-PRESENTA study of the literary culture of Britain and Ireland during this period through its literature. The course will highlight the aesthetic innovations that took place over the course of the twentieth century and examine their intersection with their historical context, including imperialism and decolonization, the World Wars, immigration and shifts in ethnic identity, class politics, and challenges to gender and sexual norms.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL260Studies in FilmThis course enables an in-depth study of genre, national/regional cinema, or aesthetic movement. Topics vary by year.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course or Instructor permission.
ENGL/SEMN264Global ShakespearesShakespeare is the most translated, adapted, performed, and published Western Author. Just what this means to Western and non-Western cultures is at the heart of this course. What does it mean to think of Shakespeare as a colonizing force? What additional ways are there to see the influence of his works? Many cultures have written back to Shakespeare, addressing race, sexuality, gender, and religion from their own cultural perspectives. What do exchanges between differently empowered cultures produce and reproduce? We'll tackle such questions as we read works by Shakespeare and literary/film adaptations from around the globe. And, closer to home, how do different communities in the United States receive and write back to Shakespeare? How do issues of race and class, especially, affect access to Shakespeare? A service learning project with the Intensive Learning Center of the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home will allow your students there, and our class, to consider those questions. As we work with these students to write their own adaptations of Othello, we'll all consider how writing back to Shakespeare might be a good way to empower students to question the assumptions his plays make. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
ENGL265ShakespeareA study of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and tragedies. Historical context, various critical perspectives, close textual explication, and analysis of film versions will be subjects for discussion. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL266Discoveries: British Literature 1550 -1750A study of British literature emerging during the Renaissance/early modern period. This course will pair literary analysis with investigations of the artistic, political, religious, and social developments of the period, setting the literature amidst the various discoveries of the period. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL267Romantic Revolutions: Early 19th Century British LiteratureA study of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from this tumultuous period of political and social upheaval and artistic innovation, emphasizing connections between cultural background and aesthetic production.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL268The Victorians: British Literature 1832-1900A study of British culture of the period through its literature, with emphasis on novels, poetry, and nonfiction. The course focuses on several defining themes of this tumultuous age: imperialism and racism, industrialism and its discontents, the Women Question, Darwin and the crisis of faith.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST269New World Narratives: American Literature 1500-1790A study of the divergent and complementary tales emerging from those settled in or settling "America." Texts include American Indian and European creation myths, exploration narratives, Puritan poetry, captivity narratives, and late 18th century fiction and non-fiction. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST270Reform and Renaissance: U.S. Literature 1790-1865A study of literature emerging during a period of significant social upheavals: the continuing shift from a colonial to an "American" identity, the unsettling of indigenous populations, the movement of European populations westward, and the Slavery and Woman questions. Through an exploration of diverse texts, students will examine a literature shaped by an impulse to transform or reform pre-existing perspectives and genres.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST275American Realisms: U.S. Literature 1865-1914This course examines a variety of approaches to knowing a literary period. We will explore theoretical, socio-historical, formal, and thematic paradigms that can organize our understanding of the wide variety of written and cinematic texts produced in the period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War I. Through a study of the frequently conflicting stories about gender, race, sexuality, art, and Americanness that come to voice during this period, students will challenge and complicate their definitions of literary realism.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL/AMST276Modernism and Postmodernism: U.S. Literature 1914 - PresentA study of the rise of a modern aesthetic in the wake of World War I and the postmodern response in the second half of the 20th century with an eye toward the diversity of voices and formal choices that mark this period.Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or a Reading the World course.
ENGL295Travelers on the Silk RoadThis course will examine the complex relations between the expansion of trade in Asia and the production of imaginative literature. The course will feature accounts by traders and merchants, first on the Silk Road, then on the water route to India and China. These routes, originally used to exchange commodies, quickly became paths to knowledge, enabling information to pass back and forth between Europe and the Far East. These new tales of distant shores fired the imagination and made their way into the literatures of the period. Writers to be studied include: Marco Polo, Chaucer, Sima Qian, Luis de Camoes, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, and the Chinese monk, Xuanzang
ENGL390Junior SeminarAn examination of the forces that have shaped or that are currently reshaping literary studies. In focusing upon transnational and cross-cultural connections, the course aims to establish a knowledge of the current status of the discipline and thus encourage students to define their own critical interests. Course will also prepare students for the SIP.Prerequisite: Junior majors.
ENGL435Advanced Literary StudiesSeminars focusing on major figures and movements in English and American literature. May be repeated for credit when content changes. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
ENGL436Literary TheoryAn intensive study of selected perspectives in contemporary critical theory. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2013-2014 academic year. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
ENGL490Senior Seminar: Your Work in the WorldThis course will help students take their next step as writers in the genre of their choice, orienting themselves more fully to what it might mean to work as a professional poet, scholar, critic, non-fiction writer, journalist, essayist, screenwriter, playwright, or fiction writer. The course will ask students to explore models for the type of work they hope to practice; to reflect on their practice as writers from a personal as well as an historical perspective; to write and revise their work; to explore the theories, practices and questions of other genres outside of their primary focus; and to investigate venues beyond K to which they will submit their work. This course is designated as a Senior Capstone.Prerequisite: Majors and other seniors with permission.
ENGL/SEMN495Building the Archive: Baldwin & His LegacyIn February of 1960, James Baldwin delivered an address, "In Search of a Majority," at Stetson Chapel which he later included in his collection of essays, Nobody Knows my Name. This seminar will approach this visit (and Baldwin) as a site of analysis. As an actual event, the occasion left artifacts (correspondence, publicity, newspaper accounts, published essay). The event also can be read within the legacy of other Civil Rights era visitors to the college, including Charles V. Hamilton (co-author of Black Power: The Politics of Liberation) and others. Moreover, as a writer who addressed national and international identity, racial politics (personal and cultural), and sexuality, Baldwin's various writings remain relevant even as they locate themselves within particular historical moments. Through close attention to Baldwin and his milieu, this course will invite students to engage their own experiences and disciplinary knowledge in their reading, wrting, and archival research. Students will also document (in film and transcript) oral histories of participants in the Civil Rights period as part of their course work. Prerequisite: Seniors Only
ENGL593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.