Spring 2022 Course Descriptions: Waterbury Campus

Spring 2022

Each semester the faculty for the Department of English provide course descriptions that build upon the University's catalog descriptions. These individually crafted descriptions provide information about variable topics, authors, novels, texts, writing assignments, and whether instructor consent is required to enroll. The details, along with reviewing the advising report, will help students select course options that best meet one's interests and academic requirements.

The following list includes Undergraduate courses that are sequenced after the First-Year Writing requirement and will change each semester.

1000-Level Courses

1616W: Major Works of English and American Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

1616W | MW 1:25-2:40 | Falco, Daniela

2000-Level Courses

2214: African American Literature

Also offered as: AFRA 2214
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2214 | TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Sommers, Sam

ENGL 2214: Black Writers on Revolution, Faith, and Freedom is an introduction to African American Literature beginnings to now. The class will highlight the forms, genres, institutions, ideologies, and social concerns that have helped shape and been re-shaped by African American writers. We will read creative and critical works by Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, Suzan Lori-Parks, Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, W.E.B. DuBois, Claudia Rankine, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Frances Harper, Dorothy West, and others.

The readings and organization of this course represent an attempt to capture the range and variety of literary work produced by Black Americans from the 18th century to the 21st. While the systems of U.S. chattel slavery, the Atlantic slave trade, and the persisting legacy of each will be critiqued, resisted, and reviled in nearly all of our readings, our class discussions will not reduce the tradition of African American literature to a singular focus on resistance, survival, oppression, or any other monolithic idea. We will read with curiosity and attention. We will engage our writers through the terms they set for themselves. We will notice, as best we are able, the feeling, speculation, humor, and faith that our writers exhibit on the page.

In addition to extensive reading in African American literature, this course will help students develop their university-level writing and research skills. Alongside regular reading annotations, students will complete a long-term Team Research Skills Assignment (TRSA) over the course of the semester. The TRSA familiarizes students with various sites and methods for research in literary studies. This project will, additionally, facilitate digital archival research. The final project for the course will be an argument-driven, research paper (6-8 pages) that makes substantial use of outside sources. Students will complete a series of scaffolding assignments leading up to the final research paper.

2301: Anglophone Literatures

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301 | MW 11:15-12:30 | Falco, Daniela

2600: Introduction to Literary Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2600 | Th 11:00-1:30 | Carillo, Ellen

This required course for English majors will introduce students to the field of literary studies, as well as the primary questions and methodologies of the field. Readings will largely come from the modernist period (roughly 1914-1945) and include the poetry and novels by authors such as T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Ezra Pound. Students will explore and respond to readings during regular class discussions. Throughout the course, students will learn relevant critical and literary terms, as well as practice different theoretical approaches while reading the course’s primary texts.  Students will also learn how to compose literary critiques and engage with other literary scholars. The course’s ultimate goal is to prepare newly-declared English majors for more advanced courses in the major. 

3000-Level Courses

3265W: American Studies Methods

Also offered as: AMST 3265W
Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

3265W | TuTh 11:00-12:15 | Sommers, Sam

3420: Children’s Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

3420 | MW 11:15-12:30 | Dulack, Thomas

Children's Literature, "Kiddy Lit."  Fairy tales are the foundation of our literature and therefore constitute one of the pillars of our culture.

The great ones, the ones that have over the centuries exerted the greatest influence on our culture, all have their origins in the very dark and barbaric times that followed for almost a thousand years the collapse of the Roman Empire, or, in other words, the collapse of what we think of today as Western civilization.  Look at some of the subject matter of these brief tales.  Wolves eating people. People starving to death.  Children being abandoned by parents who cannot feed them.  Children being baked in ovens. Children being kidnapped, molested, and slaughtered. Ogres, giants, monsters half human and half wild animal roaming freely over the ruins of the great Greek and Roman civilizations. 

We will discover how each of these extremely abbreviated tales is simply crammed with information about what life was like and how ordinary people survived during these very dark centuries.  Key tales demonstrating how fairy tales in general worked are Sleeping Beauty (in our text also called Briar Rose), Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and a game-changer of a story called Bluebeard.

However, it is the 19th century in England that gives us “Children’s Literature” for the first time in a form we recognize to this day.  We will study closely two great and totally different works, Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows as examples of how and why attitudes towards educating children changed forever during this period.  Outside of England at this time we have Hans Christian Andersen’s work,and we will spend time on such important Andersen stories as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Red Shoes” to bring us up to the turn of the century.

3503: Shakespeare I

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. May not be taken out of sequence after passing ENGL 3505.

3503 | MW 1:25-2:40 | Dulack, Thomas

Required texts:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

As You Like It           



King Lear

Shakespeare did not consider the plays he wrote to be “literature.”  He could never have imagined anyone teaching or studying his plays even 20 years after he wrote them, let alone 400 years.  How do we know this?  Because he made no effort to insure that the scripts would survive him.  He did not save them, collect them, or publish them.  It is only by a series of strange coincidences and accidents that the scripts were recovered after his death and ultimately published.  As I have spent most of my adult life writing plays, producing and directing them, consorting with actors and designers, dealing with reviewers and so forth, it should not be surprising that I choose to emphasize in my classes Shakespeare the dramatist rather than Shakespeare the poet.

We study the two comedies and three tragedies looking at what people say always first and foremost as the utterances of real people addressing real and fascinating problems in stories designed to guarantee on stage the highest possible degree of tension, suspense and climax.    At first Shakespeare's language may seem to you as foreign as Russian or Chinese.  In a week or two this by and large ceases to be a problem and you can settle down and settle in to understanding the matchless dramatic writing of the greatest playwright in the English language.  And experience suggests you will have a surprisingly good time doing so.