2021-2022 Course Catalog

English (BA)

The English major engages students to analyze literary texts within the frames of literary history and theory. English majors learn to make successful and astute arguments about the interrelations between literary texts, literary history, and literary theory orally and in writing. Strong critical thinkers who are trained to articulate difficult concepts in clear language, English majors are prepared for careers requiring intellectual sophistication and clear expression; they are well prepared through seminar coursework and the Integrative Capstone for graduate study in professional or academic areas ranging from literature, law, or public relations to creative writing, teaching, or advertising. Certification in secondary education in English is available. Students may elect to complete a rigorous program of study which leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, culminating in a creative Integrative Capstone. Highly qualified students may also be admitted to the 5-year BFA/M in Creative Writing or to the BA/MAT program in Teaching.

Students must earn a C- or better in all major courses. Failure to earn this minimum grade will result in the need to repeat the course thereby possibly extending the student’s course of study beyond three years.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the English major will be able to:

  • distinguish between genres and development of genres
  • write a thesis-driven essay; use close textual analysis and appropriate literary terms; execute an argument with clarity and skill; write with no mechanical errors
  • evaluate theoretical position of sources including bias
  • give formal presentations of critical positions
  • apply terms of literary analysis to primary texts in the service of a coherent argument
  • explore career and post-graduate possibilities (including professional internships, JET, Americorps, Teach for America, the Peace Corps), as well as to prepare for graduate study in English, Law, Library Science, Professional Writing, or other fields

Chatham University English

Coolidge Hall • Woodland Road • Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Curriculum

+Major Requirements (BA)

12 courses, including:

ENG204 World Literature

A critical and imaginative approach to major themes and genres in literary works from different places and periods in human history. Emphasis on interconnectedness of culturally diverse efforts to make sense, via literary representation, of personal and community experience.

3
ENG207 British Writers I

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Anglo-Saxon, medieval, and Renaissance periods, including such representative authors as the Beowulf poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.

3
ENG208 British Writers II

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Augustan, Romantic, and Victorian periods, including such representative authors as Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Arnold, Tennyson, and Browning.

3
ENG216W American Writers I

A study of cultural and literary developments in America, beginning with the Puritans and culminating with the writers of the American Renaissance: Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Hawthorne, and Melville.

3
ENG321W Shakespeare Survey

A representative study of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies as literary, dramatic, and Elizabethan art.

3
ENG287 African-American Writers

This course provides an introduction to the African-American expressive tradition, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, song and folktales from the 18th century to the present. Examining writers such as Douglass, Chesnutt, Brooks, Baldwin, Ellison, and Walker, this course works to delineate the critical and historical contours of the African-American literary tradition.

3
ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Second-term junior status is required.

3
ENG Elective - Not 102 or 104
Upper-level Seminar Elective (3)
Upper-level Seminar Elective (3)
INTENG303 Internship - English

Internship - English

3
ENG490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional. The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience. Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theater production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.

3

+Interdisciplinary Major Requirements

8 courses, excluding the Integrative Capstone:

ENG204 World Literature

A critical and imaginative approach to major themes and genres in literary works from different places and periods in human history. Emphasis on interconnectedness of culturally diverse efforts to make sense, via literary representation, of personal and community experience.

3
ENG207 British Writers I

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Anglo-Saxon, medieval, and Renaissance periods, including such representative authors as the Beowulf poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.

3
ENG208 British Writers II

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Augustan, Romantic, and Victorian periods, including such representative authors as Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Arnold, Tennyson, and Browning.

3
ENG216W American Writers I

A study of cultural and literary developments in America, beginning with the Puritans and culminating with the writers of the American Renaissance: Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Hawthorne, and Melville.

3
ENG321W Shakespeare Survey

A representative study of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies as literary, dramatic, and Elizabethan art.

3
ENG287 African-American Writers

This course provides an introduction to the African-American expressive tradition, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, song and folktales from the 18th century to the present. Examining writers such as Douglass, Chesnutt, Brooks, Baldwin, Ellison, and Walker, this course works to delineate the critical and historical contours of the African-American literary tradition.

3
ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Second-term junior status is required.

3
1 300-level or above literary seminar

+Creative Writing Minor Requirements

The minor in Creative Writing draws upon the strengths of the undergraduate English program and the graduate faculty of the Master of Fine Arts program. Students who choose this minor may be interested in pursuing a graduate degree in creative writing or looking to enter careers as professional writers. Designed in conjunction with a faculty member in the English program, individual programs of study require the approval of the division chairperson.

ENG243 Creative Writing I

Students present a selection of their work each week for class comment and criticism. In addition, special problem topics are assigned weekly to develop writing skills. Readings concentrate on contemporary prose and verse.

3
ENG244 Creative Writing II

Students present a selection of their work each week for class comment and criticism. In addition, special problem topics are assigned weekly to develop writing skills. Readings concentrate on contemporary prose and verse.

3
ENG245 Advanced Writing Workshop

This course focuses on creative writing for experienced writers, geared toward preparing a finished manuscript for potential publication. Fiction writers work intensively on a single story, revising and integrating its various parts. Poets write either long poems or poetic sequences and experiment with contemporary variations on traditional forms.

3
2 300-level or above writing-intensive courses or graduate writing workshops with permission of the director of the MFA program.

+Professional Writing Minor Requirements

This minor is designed for students who wish to develop their writing skills to a professional level. Completion of this program prepares students for the changing requirements of the workplace in a variety of fields, including education, science, the web, advertising and public relations, grant writing, technical writing, political communication, and speech writing.

COM234 Persuasion

This course explores rhetorical and experimental studies of persuasion. It introduces the student to research in the field and critically examines some of the techniques developed in "selling" products, politics, and culture. It also examines the ethical considerations relevant to these techniques.

3
COM251 News Writing and Editing

This production based course introduces students to reporting, structuring and writing print news stories. Students are assigned to cover weekly events and topics in the Pittsburgh area, thus gaining a sense of how news judgment and media ethics are applied to actual reporting assignments.

3
COM260W Practical Public Relations

Students learn the theories, processes, and techniques involved in planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior through socially responsible performance and mutually satisfactory communication. The course emphasizes research, design, production, and writing public relations media, including news releases, features, pamphlets, brochures, financial statements, management reports, scripts, scenarios, and publicity. Students will analyze case histories presented by professional practitioners; appraise success and failure factors; and explore new concepts and developing trends.

3
ENG241 Writing for Professionals

Writing for Professionals helps students write clearly and effectively about a variety of subjects in genres related to the workplace. Through writing and reading assignments, students learn about targeting an audience, organizing writing, and developing a professional style. They create documents useful when seeking employment and in the workplace.

3

+Writing Minor Requirements

Building on the strengths of Chatham‘s English and Communication departments, the writing minor enhances students’ writing skills in a variety of genres. Featuring courses ranging from academic writing to business writing, this minor prepares students for careers in professional writing (e.g., advertising, public relations, law), supplements majors in business and other fields, and allows students to explore the possibility of becoming professional writers. Designed in conjunction with a faculty member in the English department, individual programs of study require the approval of the department chairperson.

2 content courses in English (e.g., ENG 207 British Writers I, ENG 216W American Writers I)
3 writing-as-subject courses above the 100 level (e.g., ENG 241 Business Writing, COM 251 Newswriting & Editing, COM 260W Practical Public Relations)
1 300-level or above writing-as-subject course (ENG 355 Advanced Writing, COM 360 Advanced Public Relations)

+English Minor Requirements

The English minor offers a firm foundation in literary appreciation and analysis. The emphasis on close study of significant texts and thoughtful, imaginative response to their ideas, styles, and cultural contexts helps widen and deepen a reader-writer’s worldview and prepare them for effective engagement with diverse communities and communication tasks.

ENG100 Introduction to Literary Studies

This course focuses on the principles and methods of close literary analysis to develop critical reading and thinking skills. By examining how culture relates to literature, students explore how ethnic heritage contributes to writing; how writers define community and culture; and how strong oral traditions translate into literary forms.

3
3 200-level literature courses from the list below:
ENG200 Frankenstein: Creation of Culture

This course introduces students to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. In addition to studying this primary text, we will examine the reasons for the extensive presence that Frankenstein and his creature occupy in our cultural imagination. To this end, many critical approaches will inform our analysis of the text and mythology of Frankenstein in both literature and film.

3
ENG200 - Frankenstein: Creation of Culture (3)
ENG204 World Literature

A critical and imaginative approach to major themes and genres in literary works from different places and periods in human history. Emphasis on interconnectedness of culturally diverse efforts to make sense, via literary representation, of personal and community experience.

3
ENG207 British Writers I

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Anglo-Saxon, medieval, and Renaissance periods, including such representative authors as the Beowulf poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.

3
ENG208 British Writers II

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Augustan, Romantic, and Victorian periods, including such representative authors as Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Arnold, Tennyson, and Browning.

3
ENG213 - Special Topics (3)
ENG216W American Writers I

A study of cultural and literary developments in America, beginning with the Puritans and culminating with the writers of the American Renaissance: Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Hawthorne, and Melville.

3
ENG220 Gender and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction

This course focuses on speculative fiction genres (which include but are not limited to science fiction, fantasy, and futurism). Course materials examine issues of gender and sexuality and how writers working in these genres envision alternative gendered realities through their constructions of language, the body, sensuality, identity, etc.

3
ENG262 Introduction to Women Writers

Examining writers from Mary Wollstonecraft to the present, this course delineates the features of a literary tradition specific to women writing in English. Students study novels, essays, and poetry.

3
ENG282 20th-Century African-American Literature

This course is a critical study of major African-American writers from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s to the present. Although the course concentrates on primary texts, specific attention is paid to contextualizing these works within historical and cultural frameworks. (See also Cultural Studies.)

3
ENG283 The Harlem Renaissance

The course explores the literature, politics, and arts of the Harlem Renaissance. This artistic, philosophical, and intellectual movement in New York City’s Harlem took place roughly from the early 1920s to the onset of the Depression. Topics to be considered include Modernism, The Jazz Age, and Urban Migration. Specific focus will be placed on the relationship between identity and geography as we consider the effects of migration and urbanization.

3
ENG283 - The Harlem Renaissance (3)
ENG287 African-American Writers

This course provides an introduction to the African-American expressive tradition, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, song and folktales from the 18th century to the present. Examining writers such as Douglass, Chesnutt, Brooks, Baldwin, Ellison, and Walker, this course works to delineate the critical and historical contours of the African-American literary tradition.

3
2 300-level or 400-level literature courses from the list below:
ENG302 Environmental Children's Fiction and Film

This course considers how children's and young adult literature and film can awaken environmental sensibilities in the reader/viewer. Students explore textual representations of flora, fauna, and the elements; the human desire to affiliate with the natural living world; and how fiction and film can promote ecological literacy and awareness.

3
ENG303 Food and American Identity

Examines literature in multiple genres (e.g. fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, graphic novel, film/television, and long-form journalism) through the theoretical lens of food studies to understand how writers use food as a cultural object to point to issues of identity including race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, and systems of belief.

3
ENG313 Special Topics

Special Topics

3
ENG321W Shakespeare Survey

A representative study of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies as literary, dramatic, and Elizabethan art.

3
ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

3
ENG413 Special Topics

Special Topics

3
ENG425 Bleak Houses: Shifting Landscapes of the English Novel

This course will cover the modern European novel through the thematic rubric of "love and lies." The latter theme affords the opportunity to consider fiction not only as a medium of the literary genre of the novel but also as a discourse of self-expression, self-creation, and in the cases of some our lying protagonists, self-destruction. Students will focus on characters' constructions of "truth" and "lies" as these concepts are informed by characters' emotional positions. At its most ambitious, this focus on the dynamic of intersubjectivity not only provides important insights into the literature we will read but also enhances students' understanding of the interpersonal connections that drive individuals' worldviews and narratives.

3
ENG427 Ethnicity and Place

This course focuses on the connection between place and cultural identity in the shaping of a writer's distinctive voice. Influences include ethnic, regional, and linguistic markers, as well as dislocation from the place of origination. Regional focus within the global community may vary by academic term.

3
ENG429 The Literary Cookbook

This course examines the contemporary cookbook as a genre of literary nonfiction, influenced by autobiography, memoir, and personal essay. Students will read and write recipe texts through the theoretical lenses of food studies and literary theory to understand how cookbooks function as literature in the popular market and the academy.

3
ENG434 Literature of Fact: Informing the World

Working from careful study of the construction of “fact” and “truth” in selected nonfiction genres, students will produce informative digital projects designed to engage a public audience. Readings may come from a variety of fields including humanities, culture, art, natural and social sciences, psychology, history, sustainability, and technology.

3
ENG446 Wilderness and Literature

Through close reading of poetry and prose, students will explore the relationship between wilderness and literature - both representations of the natural world and what Stanley Kunitz calls "your wilderness . . . the untamed self that you pretend doesn't exist, all that chaos locked behind the closet door, those memories yammering in the dark." Writers examined include: Anne Carson, Mark Doty, Kathleen Hill, and Virginia Woolf.

3
ENG449 Exiles

This course will examine the 20th-century condition of exile in relation to its different configurations, from European émigrés to postcolonial subjects to experiences of exile in the United States, to the relation of exile to Diaspora (African, Indian, and Jewish). Students will see how different patterns of movement define subjects variously as exiles, migrants, nomads, and tourists. They also will approach the concept of exile from psychological, geographical, and cultural angles to understand the different uses of the term, its scope, and its limitations.

3
ENG452 Ecofeminist Literature

This course brings together theoretical, nonfictional, and fictional approaches to the study of women and the environment. Students will examine how diverse ecofeminist writers problematize, resituate, and reclaim the woman/nature paradigm--a construct historically based in patriarchal culture. This course focuses particularly on how representations of women and environment (ranging from the traditional to the radical) can help students rethink and reimagine their relationship to the ecological world.

3
ENG480 August Wilson Seminar

This course explores the dramatic work of August Wilson, paying particular attention to Wilson's ten-play cycle, which chronicles twentieth century African American life. Wilson's "Pittsburgh cycle" serves as a lens for reading the history of the city decade by decade.

3

+Environmental Writing Minor Requirements

6 courses, including:

ENV116 Global Environmental Challenges

This course explores the global implications of environmental issues. It is designed for all students interested in our global environment, one of the most critical issues of our time. The basic premise is that global ecological systems are in decline. This course will not only introduce students to the major issues causing or relating to this ecological decline, but also provide a template for thinking about and acting on solutions. Therefore, the focus is on active, participation-based learning, and students should leave the course ready to create environmental change.

3
ENV129 Our Fragile Earth: A Scientific Perspective

This course introduces students to a wide range of environmental issues from a scientific perspective. Specific topics vary from year to year, but this course utilizes lectures, discussions, laboratories, guest speakers and field trips to increase knowledge about environmental problems as well as increase scientific knowledge and literacy.

3
ENV129L Our Fragile Earth Lab

This lab offers hands-on opportunity to perform basic environmental lab skills, including water testing, bioassay, and greenhouse experiment protocol. The course may be taken independently as a freestanding environmental lab course. Two hours of laboratory per week. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

1
ENV327 Writing about Environmental Science

This course is designed for students with some basic scientific skills, who might become scientists professionally, but all of whom will be communicating about science, often to non-scientists. In this course, we will read, discuss, and practice a variety of methods of communicating about environmental science, from popular culture to news to government reports. Students will competently translate scientific results into written journalistic English and will be able to evaluate scientific results from the news in terms of its scientific accuracy and clarity. Cross-listed as ENG327.

3
ENV242 Women and the Global Environment

This course will examine contemporary global environmental issues from a gendered perspective. It will address the following question: How does environmental change impact women’s lives, women’s health, women’s community roles, and how are women offering leadership to address these problems and offer alternative solutions at the global, national, and local levels? The course will examine these issues from a North/South perspective, examining how northern countries' consumption and policies are impacting women in poor and transitional countries. It will also focus on key environmental concerns, from climate change, resource extraction, population, consumption, and toxic contamination.

3
One course from the following:
ENG419 Frontier Women

An impressive number of narratives, novels, diaries, and poems recording the responses of women to the American frontier have become available in recent years. By reading about these frontier experiences, and examining differences in perception and conception based apparently on gender, students will better understand how the frontier functioned within American culture and what "cultural work" these texts accomplished.

3
ENG452 Ecofeminist Literature

This course brings together theoretical, nonfictional, and fictional approaches to the study of women and the environment. Students will examine how diverse ecofeminist writers problematize, resituate, and reclaim the woman/nature paradigm--a construct historically based in patriarchal culture. This course focuses particularly on how representations of women and environment (ranging from the traditional to the radical) can help students rethink and reimagine their relationship to the ecological world.

3
ENG584 The Environmental Imagination

This is a multi-genre course that focuses on the art and craft of nature and environmental writing. Students will read and study contemporary nature and environmental writing, and will be expected to generate creative work that illustrates a deep understanding of the literary tools available to writers in this genre.

3
ENG585 Travel Writing

This course focuses on the art and craft of travel writing. Students will read and study contemporary travel writing, and will be expected to generate creative work that illustrates a deep understanding of the literary tools available to writers in this genre.

3

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