English Literature Major

An English and literature major allows students to practise specific interests within the wider range of literary study. Students in this major typically observe the relationship between literature and history, culture, and philosophy, offering diverse viewpoints and opportunities to learn fiction and verse, and practice scripting clear and concise expository prose. Scrupulous teaching in philosophy and writing is an asset for any vocation that a student may eventually pursue, making English a very appealing major for students learning to prepare for career goals in communications, medicine and law, marketing, or teaching English at some level.

Course Goals

Graduates must be able to:

  • distinguish, analyze and understand intimately and essentially the use of language across a range of texts . poetry, drama and prose
  • display understanding of key works, movements and types of English and American literature in their historical, cultural, and intellectual framework, and supposition of criticism
  • write plain and convincing opinions with written proof and academic integrity
  • conduct educated research and use and quote sources correctly
  • create and communicate awareness in interactive settings
  • recognize literary activity as a means of philosophy about and linking to the world and the complicated human experience

Course Details

As we are today surrounded by stories and words, from books, plays, films, websites, blogs, and tweets, the scholarly pursuit of literature is critically to seek the understanding of words and stories along with images they create. Students will learn to grasp how these texts of all kinds are created. Literature majors will read and analyze works that have circulated over more than 1,000 years of history and most of the global continents. The American and English lit major builds on centuries of history, from Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain, to recent published works by writers like Toni Morrison. The major is also designed to create essential skills at the core of the liberal arts education, which are informed thinking and reading, speaking and writing.

Course Syllabus

(click on the module heading to reveal a lesson by lesson breakdown)

THE MIDDLE AGES

  • Course Overview
  • Introduction
  • Old English Literature: Bede
  • Beowulf
  • Project: Metonymy
  • Quiz 1: Introduction and Old English Literature
  • Middle English Literature: Chaucer
  • The Pardoner's Tale
  • Piers Plowman
  • Project: Illuminated Manuscripts
  • Quiz 2: Middle English Literature
  • Morality Plays: Everyman
  • Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte d' Arthur
  • Le Morte d' Arthur II
  • Le Morte d' Arthur III
  • Essay: Comparing Literature to Scripture
  • Quiz 3: Morality Plays and Malory's Le Morte d' Arthur
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Middle Ages
  • Alternate Test: The Middle Ages
  • Reference

THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

  • The Renaissance and Reformation
  • The Early Renaissance: Sir Thomas More
  • Roger Ascham
  • John Foxe
  • Quiz 1:The Renaissance and Reformation
  • Renaissance Poets: Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder
  • Sir Philip Sidney
  • Edmund Spenser
  • Mary (Sidney) Herbert, Countess of Pembroke
  • Essay: Comparing Literature to Scripture
  • Quiz 2: Renaissance Poets
  • Renaissance Prose and Drama: Sir Walter Raleigh
  • William Shakespeare
  • The Taming of the Shrew 1
  • The Taming of the Shrew 2
  • The Taming of the Shrew 3
  • The Taming of the Shrew 4
  • The Taming of the Shrew 5
  • Project: Exploring Shakespeare
  • The English Bible
  • Quiz 3: Renaissance Prose and Drama
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Sixteenth Century
  • Alternate Test: The Sixteenth Century
  • Reference

THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES

  • The Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution 1603-1660
  • John Donne
  • Ben Jonson
  • George Herbert
  • Quiz 1: The Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution
  • More Seventeenth Century Writers: John Milton
  • John Owen
  • Essay: Comparing Literature to Scripture
  • Francis Bacon
  • Quiz 2: More Seventeenth Century Writers
  • The Restoration and Neoclassic Period 1660-1785
  • John Dryden
  • John Bunyan
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Alexander Pope
  • Isaac Watts
  • Project: Responding to Literature
  • Quiz 3: The Restoration and Neoclassic Period
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
  • Alternate Test: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
  • Reference

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY (1798-1900)

  • The Romantic Era: Introduction
  • William Blake
  • William Wordsworth
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Sir Walter Scott
  • Quiz 1: The Romantic Era
  • The Late Romantic Era: Jane Austen
  • Charles Lamb
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • John Keats
  • Quiz 2:The Late Romantic Era
  • The Victorian Era: Introduction
  • Thomas Carlyle
  • John Henry Cardinal Newman
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • Charles Dickens
  • Robert Browning
  • George Eliot
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Project: Responding to Literature
  • Quiz 3: The Victorian Era
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Nineteenth Century
  • Alternate Test: The Nineteenth Century
  • Reference

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

  • Introduction
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Joseph Conrad
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Quiz 1: Introduction
  • Modern Poetry, Drama, and Prose: William Butler Yeats
  • T. S. Eliot
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Winston Churchill
  • Quiz 2: Modern Poetry, Drama, and Prose
  • Modern Fiction: Virginia Woolf
  • James Joyce
  • Aldous Leonard Huxley
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Project: Responding to Literature
  • Quiz 3: Modern Fiction
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Twentieth Century
  • Alternate Test: The Twentieth Century
  • Reference

EARLY AMERICAN LITERATURE 1600-1800

  • Course Overview
  • Introduction: The Puritans
  • John Smith
  • William Bradford
  • John Winthrop
  • Quiz 1: The Puritans
  • The Colonists: Mary Rowlandson
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • Essay: Comparing Authors' Views
  • Edward Taylor
  • Samuel Sewall
  • Quiz 2: The Colonists
  • Days of Change and Revolution 1700-1800
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Essay: Authors' Views of Mankind
  • Thomas Paine
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur
  • Essay: Biblical Imagery and References
  • Quiz 3: Days of Change and Revolution
  • Special Project
  • Test: Early American Literature
  • Alternate Test: Early American Literature
  • Reference

THE ROMANTIC PERIOD 1800-1855

  • A New Nation 1800-1840: Introduction
  • Washington Irving
  • James Fenimore Cooper
  • William Cullen Bryant
  • Quiz 1: A New Nation
  • American Naissance 1840-1855: Introduction
  • The Fireside Poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • The Fireside Poets: John Greenleaf Whittier
  • The Fireside Poets: Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • The Transcendentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The Transcendentalists: Henry David Thoreau
  • The Transcendentalists: Walt Whitman
  • Quiz 2: The Fireside Poets and Transcendentalists
  • The Voices of Despair: Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Voices of Despair: Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Voices of Despair: Herman Melville
  • The Voices of Despair: Emily Dickinson
  • Project: Responding to Literature
  • Quiz 3: The Voices of Despair
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Romantic Period
  • Alternate Test: The Romantic Period
  • Reference

WAR AND RECONCILIATION 1855-1915

  • Secession and Loyalty 1855-1865: Introduction
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Spirituals
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Quiz 1: Secession and Loyalty 1855.1865
  • Realism and Naturalism 1865-1915: Introduction
  • Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)
  • William Dean Howells
  • Henry James
  • Quiz 2: Realism and Naturalism 1865.1915
  • Naturalists, Regionalists and Realists: Stephen Crane
  • Kate Chopin
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Jack London
  • Essay: Analysis and Response
  • Quiz 3: Naturalists, Regionalists, and Realists
  • Special Project
  • Test: War and Reconciliation
  • Alternate Test: War and Reconciliation
  • Reference

THE MODERN AGE 1915-1946

  • The Modern Age
  • Modern Prose: Ernest Hemingway
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Quiz 1: Modern Prose
  • Modern Poetry: Ezra Pound
  • Carl Sandburg
  • E. E. Cummings
  • Wallace Stevens
  • Robert Frost
  • W. H. Auden
  • Project: Poetry Models
  • Quiz 2: Modern Poetry
  • Other Modern Age Literature: Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes
  • Drama: Thornton Wilder
  • Religious Works: J. Gresham Machen
  • Quiz 3: Other Literature
  • Special Project
  • Test: The Modern Age
  • Alternate Test: The Modern Age
  • Reference

FROM MODERN TO POSTMODERN 1946-PRESENT

  • The Birth of Postmodernism: Introduction
  • Flannery O.Connor (1)
  • Flannery O.Connor (2)
  • Flannery O.Connor (3)
  • Theodore Roethke
  • Quiz 1: The Birth of Postmodernism
  • More Contemporary Writers: Eudora Welty
  • John Updike
  • Robert Trail Spence Lowell, Jr.
  • Quiz 2: More Contemporary Writers
  • Social Issues: Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Essay: Dr. King's Literary Allusions
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Project: Responding to Postmodernism
  • Quiz 3: Social Issues
  • Special Project
  • Test: From Modern to Postmodern
  • Alternate Test: From Modern to Postmodern
  • Reference