English Course Descriptions
Courses are listed in numerical order. Please note that some courses are available only to students following a particular concentration of the major.
ENGL 1250: HUMAN EXPERIENCE IN LITERATURE (4 credits)
Literature moves us by capturing the dilemmas, struggles and triumphs of human existence. This course explores poetry, fiction and drama with an aim toward understanding diversity in human experience, culture and historical context. You will integrate personal response and textual evidence to improve critical reading and writing skills. Class discussions encourage thoughtful speaking and active listening. Meets liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 1200: ORAL COMMUNICATION FOR COLLEGE (4 credits)
In this course you will develop the listening and speaking skills necessary for college and learn about U.S. academic culture and expectations. You will listen to lectures about education in the U.S., cross-cultural communication and other topics; practice various listening skills to enhance your comprehension; and work on your note-taking skills. In addition, you will make numerous oral presentations to develop your skill and confidence speaking in front of a class. Prerequisites: For non-native speakers of English; by placement or instructor's permission only.
ENGL 2305: WRITING FOR LIFE: DEVELOPING SKILL AND CONFIDENCE (4 credits)
Designed to develop writing skills that will prove useful for a lifetime, this class will help you to discover your voice, generate and organize your ideas, explore the role of audience and purpose, navigate your way through grammar and mechanics basics, and edit for clarity and correctness. From invention to revision, the writing process is the focus here. You will have the valuable opportunity to share your writing with peers in small groups and meet with your instructor in individual conferences. Skills learned in the class will enhance academic and professional careers.
ENGL 2310: INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING (4 credits)
This course allows you to explore realms of imaginative writing. You will produce poems and stories along with other genres, including possibly plays, memoirs, and experimental intermixings and cross-overs. As the first course of the creative writing sequence, you try out a number of styles, forms and approaches to language and gain exposure to a broad range of creative work. Offered every semester. Also offered in Weekend College. This course does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature, nor, while writing intensive, does this course fulfill a writing intensive requirement.
ENGL 2340: WRITING AS A CAREER (4 credits)
Positions with magazines, businesses, the media and websites are common career options for writers. Professional writing requires a unique set of skills that builds upon, but is not the same as, other types of writing expertise such as academic writing, poetry and fiction writing and memoir. In this course, you will learn how to develop topics into thoughtful, creative and marketable works. You will hone your skills in areas like in-depth interviewing, background research and editing. More importantly, you will practice, discuss and receive feedback on the specific type of writing you will do as a professional writer.
ENGL 2350: RHETORICAL GRAMMAR (4 credits)
This course focuses on the grammar of standard written English from the rhetorical perspective; that is, how the topic, purpose and audience affect the writer's grammatical and stylistic choices. In addition, the sociocultural significance of grammatical usage in U.S. society, and issues and concerns that surround the teaching of grammar are addressed. Appropriate for education majors and students who wish to strengthen their grammar skills. Also offered in Weekend College.
ENGL 2100: CREATIVE WRITING (2 credits)
This writing-based literature course introduces you to a variety of ways in which the written word can be used to express, analyze and critique an array of personal, cultural and political themes and experiences. You will study closely the writings of emerging, established and renowned authors working in a variety of genres (journals, short fiction, drama, poetry, memoir). You simultaneously engage in a series of creative writing exercises and projects that allow you to explore the implications of the written word in your daily life. In addition, you are required to attend several readings by published authors in the local community, as well as give a final reading of your own creative works at the end of the term. Prerequisites: ENGL 1105 or 1100.
ENGL 2120: THE IMMIGRANT PERSPECTIVE IN LITERATURE (4 credits)
This course explores the immigrant perspective in literature, in particular issues of cultural adaptation and change and educational aspirations of immigrant women in the U.S. You will read novels written by and about immigrants in the U.S. and readings that provide the historical and socio-cultural context for the novels. You will increase your fluency and comprehension in reading academic English and develop analytical and critical reading skills. You will explore ideas and themes and expand your vocabulary in a reading journal and work on developing and organizing your ideas through the process approach to writing papers. In addition, you will develop confidence and ease contributing to class/group discussions. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Prerequisites: For non-native speakers of English by placement or instructor's permission only.
ENGL 2130: WRITTEN COMMUNICATION FOR COLLEGE (4 credits)
This course focuses on research-based writing and includes extensive practice paraphrasing, summarizing, analyzing, synthesizing, integrating and documenting outside sources. Also addressed are the cultural assumptions of U.S. academic writing, with particular attention given to plagiarism and personal voice. You will complete a research paper on a topic of your own choosing, preferably related to your intended major. You will also work on editing your papers for errors. ENGL 2130 is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisites: For non-native speakers of English by placement or instructor's permission only.
ENGL 2200: LITERARY THEORY AND PRACTICE (4 credits)
Designed as the foundational majors' course for further study in English, English 2200 provides an in-depth initiation into the practice of critical theory in the analysis and interpretation of texts in various genres and sets theoretical frameworks and practical applications for literature courses to follow. You will be introduced to basic library research methods and applied skills. Offered every semester. Also offered in Weekend College. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Meant for English or written communication majors/minors and those interested in the study of literature.
ENGL 2220: INTRODUCTION TO SHORT FICTION (4 credits)
This introductory course explores short fiction, traditionally through the form of the short story. Varying by semester and instructor, some sections have investigated forms as various as the joke, the treaty, and the novella. Topics have included Reading Race and Fairy Tales for Adults. In each case, you closely investigate literary elements such as plot, character, theme and style along with the social significance of literature. Credit may be earned under this course number more than once for different emphases. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2230: INTRODUCTION TO THE NOVEL (4 credits)
An exploration of the novel, this course varies by instructor and semester. Topics may include Novels into Film, Social Activist Novels, Oprah Books, Courtship and Marriage, or Lesbian Literature. Credit may be earned under this course number more than once for different emphases. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Also offered in Weekend College.
ENGL 2240: DRAMA: ON THE PAGE AND ON THE STAGE (4 credits)
In order to truly appreciate the power of drama, you not only explore plays in their written form but also experience them as theatrical performances. As determined by instructor and semester, this course is organized around such themes as the Family Circle, Social Protest and Reform, Dreamers and Schemers, and the Self in Society. Credit may be earned under this course number more than once for different emphases. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2250: INTRODUCTION TO POETRY (4 credits)
This introductory course teaches the reading of poetry both aloud in company and in the silence of private thought. Readers closely examine the intimate relationships among poetic forms, deliberately rhythmical speech, figurative language, poetic traditions and the feelings those verbal forces express. You practice listening to poetry read by living poets and actors, your classmates and yourself. Though some assignments invite the oral and written imitation of poetic forms and metaphors, this is not a course in creative writing. Credit may be earned under this course number more than once for different emphases. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2260: LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION (4 credits)
This introductory course takes up the vast, rich, and profound stores of world literature - not written originally in English. Varying by semester and instructor, this course raises key questions of literature, geography and culture. Topics have included the Bible as Literature, Asian Literature, and Poetics & Politics of Translation. Students debate issues of universality and uniqueness in expression and culture. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2140: GRAMMAR IN WRITING (2 credits)
This course focuses on language-related issues in writing, in particular grammar, vocabulary and mechanics. Instruction focuses on advanced grammar topics and areas of difficulty for non-native speakers of English. In addition, you will practice editing papers you are currently writing (or have written) for grammatical errors, using a process developed specifically for non-native speakers of English. You will also work on increasing syntactic variety and complexity in your writing. Prerequisites: For non-native speakers of English by placement or instructor's permission only.
ENGL 2450: LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY (4 credits)
Language in Society focuses on the ways language mirrors and maintains social relationships in the context of both everyday social action and larger patterns of language use. Among the topics it covers are the following: the ways language variations relate to sociological characteristics such as gender, ethnic identity and social class; how language choices serve as an expression of social identity; the social factors that mold attitudes toward other languages and dialects (e.g. Ebonics, ASL); the relationship of local and regional dialects to languages of wider communication; how social context determines "appropriate" language use; applications of language studies to educational and political issues.
ENGL 2480: HISTORY AND STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH (4 credits)
History and Structure of English introduces you to the study of language. It begins with an examination of the structure of English: the sounds used in English (phonetics and phonology); the ways these sounds are combined to create words (morphology); and the ways those words are combined to create sentences (syntax). In the second part of the course you compare Old, Middle and Modern English, using literature and a variety of other texts and identify the socio-political influences on language change. The last unit in the course examines how English is currently changing with new technologies and emerging post-colonial versions of English.
ENGL 2500: SHORT STORY (2 credits)
This writing-based literature course introduces you to the skill of reading and writing short stories. You will read and analyze written work by emerging, established and renowned authors. You will also experiment with your own short story writing to facilitate learning about the varying techniques for writing effective short stories. Both reading and writing activities focus on the intentional use of style and language in short stories. Prerequisites: ENGL 1100 is strongly recommended..
ENGL 2280: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY THEMES (4 credits)
This introductory course teaches the thematic interpretation of imaginative texts across multiple literary genres, including short and long fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. You compare readings to discover meanings in literary, cultural and historical contexts. Themes vary according to instructors' choices but may include the following: the Harlem Renaissance, Irish and Scottish Literature, Women on the Road, Portrayals of Native Americans in Poetry, Fiction, and Film, and Literature in Sickness and in Health. You may earn credit under this course number more than once for varied emphases. Also offered in Weekend College. Meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2160: ENGLISH FOR CROSS-CULTURAL NURSING (4 credits)
This course prepares multicultural and international pre-nursing students for the reading, writing and oral communication skills needed to succeed in the baccalaureate degree nursing program. You will read chapters from nursing textbooks and articles from nursing journals and write papers on nursing-related topics. You will also work on oral presentation skills and communication skills that are essential for the clinical setting, including therapeutic communication, interviewing, and assertiveness skills. You will listen to lectures by nursing faculty on culturally sensitive topics, such as sexuality and mental health and practice note taking. Attention is also given to study skills, such as multiple-choice test-taking strategies and time management. A central theme throughout the course is the influence of culture on nursing practice. ENGL 2160 is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisites: For non-native speakers of English, by placement or instructor's permission only.
ENGL 2270: SHAKESPEARE (4 credits)
This course introduces you to Shakespeare through close reading and discussion of his sonnets and plays including comedies and tragedies, as well as one history play, problem play or romance. With emphasis on performance criticism, the course includes attendance of one or more productions of Shakespeare's plays on stage or screen and the informed reading of both popular and academic dramatic criticism. Working in teams, students practice teaching Shakespeare. Offered annually. Also offered in Weekend College. This writing intensive course also meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2290: WOMEN AND LITERATURE (4 credits)
This course focuses on the ways in which women's identities, world views, roles, experiences and relationships are reflected in literary works written by both women and men. Themes vary according to instructors' choices but may include Women of Color, Mothers and Daughters, Women, Men and Marriage, or Scarlet Women. You may earn credit under this course number more than once for different emphases. Also offered as WOST. Also offered in Weekend College. This writing intensive course also meets the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 2982: TOPICS IN LITERATURE (2 credits)
The subject matter of this course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. All topics courses are writing-based literature courses. Content varies from year to year but does not duplicate existing courses. Possible topics include Culture and Film, World Literature, Contemporary Poetry and Folklore.
ENGL 2994: TOPICS (4 credits)
The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies but does not duplicate existing courses. Some sections meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 3300: INTERMEDIATE CREATIVE WRITING: POETRY (4 credits)
This poetry workshop course continues the investigation of sources for creativity and furthers the practice and understanding of both traditional and experimental patterns of poetry. Emphasis is on affirming a strong individual voice while expanding your ability to express yourself through prosodic forms. You immerse yourself in poetry through reading, discussing and attending live performances of poetry. Revision becomes an urgent and imaginative activity. Offered in alternate years. Fulfills neither the liberal arts core requirement in literature nor a writing intensive requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 2310 or permission of instructor.
ENGL 3310: INTERMEDIATE CREATIVE WRITING: FICTION (4 credits)
This workshop course continues the investigation of sources for creativity and furthers the practice and understanding of both traditional and experimental patterns of fiction. Whether you're working on short stories or a longer imaginative piece such as a novel, you'll be helped through all the phases of creating a successful work of fiction, from idea to final draft. The intention of the class is to motivate and inspire you in the art of self-expression, not just "show," and to welcome you into a community of writers. You'll find an emphasis on the affirmation of a strong individual voice and style and the rediscovery of your own innate creativity. We'll read current fiction, workshop one another's fiction, and attend live performances. Offered annually. Does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Prerequisites: ENGL 2010 or permission of instructor.
ENGL 3330: CREATIVE NONFICTION (4 credits)
Often deemed the fourth genre, literary nonfiction is a still-evolving field entailing vast possibilities. Combining autobiography and self-reflection with analysis and reportage produces memoirs, personal essays, nature and travel writing, cultural criticism, and literary journalism ripe with imagination and unique perspectives. In this course, using conventional or nontraditional narrative, you will write and revise your own literary nonfiction. The approach may range from the analytical, reflective and self-interrogative to the exploratory, expository, informative, meditative and whimsical. Prerequisites: ENGL 2305 or equivalent.
ENGL 3040: JOURNALISTIC WRITING (4 credits)
This course focuses on the forms, principles and ethics of journalistic writing. In the process of reading and writing news stories, feature articles, profiles, opinion/editorial pieces and reviews, you will learn the differences between journalistic and academic writing, the range of forms published in the print media, and the ethical considerations involved in researching, interviewing and writing for newspapers and magazines. Offered annually. Does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Prerequisites: ENGL 2305 or equivalent.
ENGL 3450: INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS (4 credits)
Introduction to Linguistics builds on the linguistic concepts and analysis that you gain in ENGL 2480 to expand your understanding of the many different ways that human languages are structured in their phonological, morphological and syntactic systems. It presents a global perspective, allowing you to compare the structure of English to that of other languages from around the world.
ENGL 3360: INTERMEDIATE WRITING: STRENGTHENING CRITICAL AND PERSUASIVE VOICE (4 credits)
Following ENGL 2305 in the expository writing sequence, this course offers you the opportunity to continue honing writing skills that will serve you throughout college and in the professional world. Continued development of basic writing skills and the revision process remain the hallmarks of this class, and the sharpening of analytical and critical-thinking abilities, research skills, and persuasive writing techniques become the focus as the semester progresses. You will learn to wage a powerful argument as you acquire fundamental skills in persuasion. Peer review, small group activities and individual conferences add interest and variety to the learning process in this class. Prerequisites: ENGL 2305 or equivalent.
ENGL 3400: LANGUAGE AS POWER (4 credits)
This class will take you into the complex and often hidden intersections of language and power, focusing on the many ways in which language serves as a tool of power. It will examine how we negotiate power on several levels, both individually and socially; how words imply more than they say (and thus can be used to manipulate); how language policies in education and other societal institutions privilege some groups while oppressing others; and how oppressed groups use language to resist their oppression. Because language is so intimately tied to the communities that use it, we will examine language use through the lenses of race/ethnicity and gender among others. Also offered in Weekend College. Also offered as WOST and CRST. Does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature.
ENGL 3260: LITERARY MOVEMENTS AND ERAS (4 credits)
Aimed at confident readers, this course captures the spirit of a selected literary era or movement by comparing texts within their social contexts. Readings usually cross literary genres to include short and long fiction, private and public essays, drama, poetry, letters and popular song. Selected topics may include Chaucer and His Contemporaries, the English Renaissance from Henry VIII through Elizabeth I, American Romanticism, British Romanticism, the Irish Renaissance, the American Civil Rights Movement or Current Literature of Dissent. You may earn credit under this course number more than once for varied emphases. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 3254: BRITISH WRITERS I (4 credits)
Aimed at English majors and minors, this course surveys British literature from the Middle Ages through the 18th Century. The class introduces heroic epics and folk songs, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's contemporary poets and dramatists of the Renaissance under Queen Elizabeth I and King James II, visions of a perfect world stemming from the literature of the English Civil War, and the witty satire of the Neoclassical era. You will trace the development of literary criticism, the rise of women writers, and the beginnings of the British Colonial Empire with its ambitions for America and its moral struggle over slavery. You will discover the most widely influential literary works in English. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 3255: BRITISH WRITERS II (4 credits)
This course focuses on selected literary works of authors who were profoundly affected by and helped shape the Romantic, Victorian and Modern periods, turbulent times of dramatic change. While appreciating the unique contributions and artistry of individual writers within their cultural context, you identify characteristic themes, styles and genres of literary movements whose influence is still evident today. You apply critical approaches to texts featured in this course, building on skills and knowledge gained in ENGL 2200. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 3265: Global Writers (4 credits)
Aimed at English majors and minors, this course surveys literature written in English from around the world. This class offers exposure to the poetry, drama and fiction of authors from such locales as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ireland, Canada, Australia and India. Much care is taken to make connections between this work and counterparts in Great Britain and the United States. Key topics include Empire and Post-Colonialism, Literary Nationalism and Women Writers. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 3274: AMERICAN WRITERS I (4 credits)
This course explores origins and ideas of early American literature - discovery through the period commonly known as the American Renaissance. After a brief look at the literature of the 15th through the 18th centuries, the course concentrates on major rebels, romantics and realists of the 19th century and their preoccupations with such issues as the individual and American identity, freedom and slavery, the role of women, immigration and cultural diversity, nature, and industrialization. Does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 3275: AMERICAN WRITERS II (4 credits)
This course charts the loss of romanticism, the emergence of the Lost Generation, and the creation of modernism and postmodernism in 20th and 21st century American literature. This literature reflects the impact of technology, world wars, social change movements and prosperity on individuals and communities, on cultural values and on the American dream. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: ENGL 2200 or equivalent.
ENGL 4300: ADVANCED WRITING: CULTIVATING YOUR STYLE (4 credits)
This course, the capstone of the expository writing sequence, emphasizes the development of an individual sense of style and effective use of language that will distinguish you as an experienced and accomplished writer. You will be encouraged to experiment with subject, voice and approach in a series of essays that demand a unique and personal approach. There is a strong connection between skills perfected in this class and their practical application in the professional world, and you may have an opportunity to try your hand at writing for publication or create and implement a newsletter of your own design and content. Peer review and a team approach remain essentials of this useful and empowering class. Prerequisites: ENGL 2305 or permission of instructor.
ENGL 4310: ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN CREATIVE WRITING (4 credits)
The culminating step in the creative writing sequence, this workshop course is focused on the production of a polished body of work: fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction - memoir. In addition to participating in writing workshops and meeting writers from the Twin Cities community, you will be exposed to an array of publication venues — quarterlies, journals — where you might consider submitting your work for publication. Offered in alternate years, the course does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature, nor can intensive writing credit be earned. Prerequisites: Two courses in creative writing or permission of instructor.
ENGL 4320: THE EDITORIAL PROCESS (4 credits)
In this course, you work on bringing your editorial skills and your confidence in those skills up to a level that permits you to take advantage of the many jobs available for people with an excellent command of written - and spoken - English. After an intensive evaluation of your own writing quality up to this point, you undertake a thorough review of grammar, punctuation and writing technique. You experience hands-on editing practice. Offered annually. Also offered in Weekend College. The course does not meet the liberal arts core requirement in literature. Prerequisites: ENGL 2305 or equivalent or permission of instructor.
ENGL 3490: TOPICS: LANGUAGE STUDIES (4 credits)
The subject matter of this course varies. Topics may include: World Englishes; English as an International Language; Teaching English as a Second Language; Language, Race & Ethnicity; and Critical Discourse Analysis. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisites: One other language studies course or permission of instructor.
ENGL 4602 or 4604: INTERNSHIP ( 2 or 4 credits)
This course is a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. An internship involves you in a venue to explore career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, you meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.
ENGL 4684: DIRECTED STUDY (4 credits)
Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses. Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.
ENGL 4860: SEMINAR (4 credits)
Together as a community of learners/scholars, you engage in concentrated, in-depth study of literary texts, usually by one major author, or by a pair of related authors. Building on skills and knowledge cultivated in English 2200 and other courses in the major, your study will mature in a seminar format, involving you in collaborative reading and research, in leading discussions, and ultimately in producing a substantial critical essay related to the seminar focus. Preference is given to senior English majors but juniors may register if the class limit of 12 permits. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: Instructor permission.
ENGL 4952 or 4954: INDEPENDENT STUDY (2 or 4 credits)
For students wishing intensive or advanced work in literature under the direction of faculty specialists. Prerequisites: Faculty and department chair permission.
ENGL 4994: TOPICS (4 credits)
The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies but does not duplicate existing courses.