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English

Courses

ENGL109Introduction to Literary Theory and Research MethodsThis course will introduce critical schools and theoretical frameworks for prospective and declared English majors. It will focus on one literary text (or a limited set of literary texts) as a focus of analysis in order to understand literary studies within a historicized field of development. Students will read and research critical analyses of this text and the theories that underpin them. Possible theoretical perspectives include: new Historicism, Deconstructionism, Reader-Response, Feminist, Sexuality, Psychoanalytic, Critical Race, Postcolonial, Marxist. This course is a requirement for all English majors (and a prerequisite for all 300-level courses). By the end of the term, students will complete a curricular design, a document that will articulate their path through the major.
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: Classical Hollywood in Global ContextAn 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, examining a particular theme from a cross-cultural perspective. Focus areas may include theater's portrayal of ethnic/race relations or gender and sexuality, among other topics. Students will also consider the relationship of text and performance by attending local theatre productions. 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.
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/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.
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.Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
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.
ENGL247Contemporary LiteratureA study of recent literature (fiction, poetry, and/or nonfiction), with emphasis on textual analysis, innovative technique and form, and sociocultural context. For the Historical and Cultural Breadth requirement, this course counts as a 20th- and 21st-Century course.Prerequisite: A Reading the World course or instructor permission
ENGL260Studies in FilmThis course enables an in-depth study of genre, national/regional cinema, or aesthetic movement. Topics vary by year.Prerequisite: ENGL-153 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. 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? 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.
ENGL310Constructing BlacknessIn this course, we will examine the social construction of race and how race and racial identities are consciously, and subconsciously or un-consciously, represented in literature, film, popular culture, and socio-cultural phenomena. As such, we will use Critical Race Theory as a lens to read and to analyze texts-historical, literary, filmic, and cultural-that specifically address the socio-historical construct of Black racial representation. This course fulfills the Applied Theory requirement for the Literary Criticism and Theory craft sequence. For the Historical and Cultural Breadth requirement, this course counts as a 20th- or 21st-Century course, or it fulfills the minoritarian, diasporic, or transnational requirement.Prerequisite: ENGL-109, CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260 or Instructor Permission
ENGL318/SEMN 218Post-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
ENGL323Chicana/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.Prerequisite: ENGL-109, CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260 or Instructor Permission
ENGL324Early Modern Women's Literature: Shakespeare's SistersA study of the women writers that Virginia Woolf termed "Shakespeare's Sisters" when she (we now know mistakenly) 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: ENGL-109 or WGS-101 or Instructor Permission
ENGL32519th 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: ENGL-109 or WGS-101 or Instructor Permission
ENGL326Women'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: ENGL-109 or WGS-101 or Instructor Permission
ENGL331East 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: ENGL-109, CES-200, CES-240, or CES-260, or Instructor Permission
ENGL434Adv Film Thry: Cinema & SpectThis upper-level course introduces students to significant movements in film theory, including feminism, structuralism/poststructuralism, transnationalism, cultural studies, formalism, and psychoanalysis, via a reflection on the experience of spectatorship. We will reflect upon film's relationship to material reality, the cultural impact of the medium, the history and diversity of audience response, and the roles of gender, race, and sexual interpretation on spectatorship. We will consider how the filmgoer is situated by the medium as a recipient of a film's message and how s/he has historically been an active and critical presence who challenges and transforms the text. We will take a theoretical as well as a historical approach to these questions, thinking not only of films and filmmakers but also of the experiences of movie-going publics. We will approach film theory with an eye to its history, to the ways in which film theories dialogue with each other, and how cinema instantiates film theory. This is the required capstone course for the Film Criticism and Theory craft sequence.Prerequisite: ENGL-153 and Junior Standing; ENGL-260 strongly recommended.
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 2015-2016 academic year. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
ENGL436Advanced Topics in Literary TheoryAn intensive study of selected perspectives in contemporary critical theory. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2015-2016 academic year. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
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, writing, 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. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2015-2016 academic year. 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.
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 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.
ENGL205Feature WritingThis course builds upon the fundamental writing and reporting skills and techniques introduced in ENGL 105. It introduces students to the process of creating feature stories, in the tradition of narrative or literary journalism, for print and online publications. This class will consist of regular writing workshops, intense self- and peer-editing, reading, and discussion.Prerequisite: Take ENGL-105
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 in which students practice and study poetic craft and both traditional and untraditional form by reading model texts and sharing their work. 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 that offers model texts and writing assignments that explore the possibilities of this hybrid form in which its practitioners look both inward and outward, drawing on the traditions and techniques of poetry, fiction, journalism, and critical writing to tell true stories. 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 and form. This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 academic year. Prerequisite: ENGL-211 and Junior standing
ENGL439Advanced Nonfiction WorkshopThis course is the capstone workshop for both the journalism and creative nonfiction tracks in the English Department and allows student to develop and complete an independent writing project in nonfiction writing. Includes discussion of book-length works of literary nonfiction that seeks to find intersections between creative nonfiction and narrative journalism This course is designated as a Senior Seminar for the 2015-2016 academic year.Prerequisite: ENGL-205 or ENGL-215, and Junior standing.