General Literature Courses


ENGL 312: Major British Writers to 1800

Instructor: Misty Schieberle
49862 | TuTh 1:00 - 2:15 PM | WES 4051 - LAWRENCE

This course surveys British literature from the earliest writings in English through the 18th century. Our goal is to emphasize comprehensive and careful reading to begin to understand the English literary tradition. Readings will be wide and varied – Old English warrior tales, later medieval chivalric narratives, animal fables and a medieval werewolf, and Early Modern demon-conjuring drama, plus plays, sonnets, and satire. Selections will include Beowulf; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; portions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, and Milton’s Paradise Lost; Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi; Marlowe’s Tragical History of Doctor Faustus; and Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” among others. As we progress throughout the course, we will examine how later writers choose to represent and reinvent earlier literary, intellectual, and social attitudes, with room for considering how they have affected later literary texts and adaptations. Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th Edition (3 volume set). Requirements: regular class attendance and participation, quizzes, two essays (one will require research), and two exams. This course fulfills the English 312 or equivalent requirement for the English major.

Collage of illustrations from pre-1800 literature

ENGL 322: American Literature II

Instructor: Joseph Harrington
45145 | TuTh 11:00 - 12:15 PM | WES 4023 - LAWRENCE

The United States sped up after the Civil War: population, urbanization, industrialization, (im)migration, technology, and racial violence all increased exponentially – and haven’t stopped. Writers have responded to this new world with a wide variety of new literary tendencies. We will approach these writings as their authors’ personal responses to broader historical events and struggles between different classes, identities, cultures, and philosophies. The course is designed to leave you with a knowledge of the broad outlines of modern USAmerican literature and culture since the Civil War; but it also will help you hone your reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Rustic American flag in green, black, and orange

ENGL 569: The Modern Tradition

Instructor: Katie Conrad
55765 | By Appointment | ONLINE - LAWRENCE
57056 | By Appointment | ONLINE - EDWARDS

Often defined as a movement in art and literature in the US and Europe that flourished between the two world wars and embraced radical formal experimentation, modernism can encompass a broader timeline and geography as well as a more complex collection of ideas and forms of expression. In this course, we will explore some of the standard definitions, texts, and aesthetics associated with modernism as well as some of the writers and artists in dialogue with, and sometimes resistant to, modernist approaches. While the course itself argues for a more global definition of modernism, the primary focus will be transatlantic due to the constraints of the semester.

This is an online asynchronous capstone course and will require short papers, an annotated bibliography and research paper in addition to regular reading and online participation. There will be opportunities for one or two campus-based activities with alternatives provided for those for whom campus activity is not possible or preferred. Office hours will be available both virtually and in person.

Klingen (Sound) by Johannes Molzahn