Spring 2023 Course Descriptions: Avery Point Campus

Spring 2023

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.

2000-Level Courses

2301W: Anglophone Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2301W | TuTh 12:30 - 1:45 | Rogers, Lynne D.

Anglophone Literature, ENG 2301W, will include selected contemporary literary texts from the Anglophone world including Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and India. The selected readings will introduce some of the literary responses to the violent legacy of colonialism and the resulting socio-economic oppression as well as the liberating joy of self-assertion.  The class will view several films, thematically related to the literary texts, to help students visualize the landscape of the literary works. Students will write short papers in response to the texts using secondary sources to help them improve their academic writing skills.


2401: Poetry

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

2401 | MW 11:15-12:30 | Sarkar, Debapriya

This course will provide an introduction to poetry in English by attending to questions of origins, craft, and aims of poetic production. It will offer a historical survey of English-language poetry, and we will focus on poetic language, form, and techniques. We will read across genres—from sonnets to elegy to epic—and range across different poetic traditions. We will also develop different strategies and skills for writing about poetry. Our aim in this class will be two-fold (a) to become better readers and interpreters of poetry (b) to explore how our understanding of poetic forms and techniques can enhance our enjoyment of reading poetry.

2600: Introduction to Literary Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to English majors, others with instructor consent.

2600-01| TuTh 9:30-10:45 | Bedore, Pamela

Are you an English major or minor? Interested in exploring English a little bit more?


Introduction to Literary Studies is a required course for English majors, but it provides a good foundation for anyone who thinks that literature—fiction, poetry, film, etc.—has an impact on how we think about and see the world. The big questions here are: What does literature do? What are the different approaches to analyzing literary texts? What are the insights gained—individually and culturally—through literary study?


There will be quite a lot of reading (it’s an English course!) across genres:

Sara Upstone’s Literary Theory: A Complete Introduction (theory)

Octavia Butler’s Kindred (novel)

William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (play)

Gil Junger’s Ten Things I Hate About You (film)

Dover’s Great Short Stories by American Women (short stories)

Dover’s 100 Best-Loved Poems (poetry)


Assignments will include: reading quizzes, response papers, presentations, short papers, and a final exam.

2627: Topics in Literary Studies

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011

2627-01 | TuTh 3:30-4:45 | Bercaw-Edwards, Mary K

Sailor's Talk 

We will look at the various forms of sailor language: technical terminology, occupational lore, coterie speech, sea music, argument, yarning, the negative and positive views of sailors, and sailors in present-day popular culture.  We will consider how such forms of sailor talk occur within narratives, short stories, novels, non-fiction pieces, film, & material culture. We will also consider such non-standard forms as advertisements, cartoons, & comic strips. 


3000-Level Courses

3113: Renaissance English Literature

Prerequisites: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011

3113-01 | MW 9:05-10:20 | Sarkar, Debapriya

Making Selves, Making Worlds: Literatures and Cultures of Early Modernity

This course examines the vibrant literary culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. We will explore works that celebrate the capacity of the individual to shape the self and the world, as well as texts that reveal the mind’s continual struggles to actualize such expansive imaginings. Reading lyric and epic poetry, utopian fiction, essays, and comedies and tragedies, we will grapple with questions of literary form and style, and we will delve into questions of politics, race, gender, class, and sexuality. We will follow writers from the court to the country—and to the country house—and from their pasts to their imagined futures, in order to ask how these creative forays enabled them to traverse linguistic and national boundaries. And we will chart a history of the changing technologies of literary production to uncover different aesthetic, social, and ethical pressures that formed the period we frequently refer to as the “Renaissance” or the “early modern.”