English Major

The English major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, and is designed to be foundational and flexible. All students take three courses in common and then choose courses that suit their interests and future plans.

The three foundational courses serve several purposes. They lead students through stages of development in English studies:

  • As freshmen or sophomores, students take ENGL 200 (offered each spring), where they develop close reading abilities;
  • As sophomores or juniors, students take ENGL 301 (offered each fall), where they encounter theory; and
  • As seniors, they take ENGL 493 (offered each spring), where they do independent research.

Moreover, the courses provide the department with a strong sense of community, giving students at all levels a shared classroom experience.

Foundational Courses (9 hrs.)

ENGL 200: Literature Matters
3 credit hours

One of three foundational courses for majors and potential majors in English, Literature Matters introduces students to a central set of problems in contemporary literary studies (for example, Identity and Empire, Shakespeare to Ondaatje). The course includes important canonical works as well as neglected or emerging writers. There is a focus on how to read and understand literature; how reading and writing literature influence identity, meaning and value; and how to develop strategies for reading, discussing, and writing about literary works. Attention is also given to narrative structure. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course in the spring semester of their freshman or sophomore year. Offered spring semester.

ENGL 301: Theory and Practice
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to advanced research skills in literary studies. It focuses upon the central questions in literary studies and provides students with the critical and theoretical background to make sense of these questions.

ENGL 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ENGL 301 and senior status. 
This seminar-style course provides a capstone for both the English and Writing majors. Students will do independent research and synthesize their education at Drury, looking backward at how they have developed, and forward to where they will go next.

Survey Courses (6 hrs.)
Choose at least two of the following courses:

ENGL 201: British Literature I: Medieval through Eighteenth Century
3 credit hours

Students discuss canonical texts of early British writing, with particular attention to close-reading and appreciation. The course often pursues a single theme, genre or motif through the readings.

ENGL 202: British Literature II: Nineteenth Century through the Present
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to major writings from the past 200 years of British writing, with particular attention to close-reading and appreciation. The course often pursues a single theme, genre or motif through the readings.

ENGL 203: American Literature I: 1620-1865
3 credit hours

Students become familiar with major writings from pre?Civil War American culture, with “flashbacks” to colonial American literature. The course often pursues a single theme, genre or motif through the readings.

ENGL 204: American Literature II: 1865-1980
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to major texts of late nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature, with particular attention to modernist and postmodernist writing.

Advanced Literature Courses (6 hrs.)
Choose two 300- or 400-level literature courses from the following, one of which must be pre-1800:

ENGL 302: Women Writers
3 credit hours

A study of British and American literary works written by women. Particular consideration will be given to feminist modes of inquiry and critical thought as well as to the contributions of women in literary scholarship.

ENGL 307: Studies in Nineteenth- through Twentieth-Century Literature
3 credit hours

This course requires students to engage the literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular attention to interdisciplinary study of Victorian, post-Victorian, Modernist and Post-modern cultures in the Americas and Europe. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 311: Studies in Contemporary Literature
3 credit hours

This course investigates trends in recent literature, written in or translated into English. Texts will date from about 1980 and later. This course may be repeated when content varies. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 317: African-American Literature
3 credit hours

The backgrounds of African-American culture in African and Caribbean literatures, as well as the history of black American literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on the contemporary scene.

FREN 330: Dangerous Liaisons: French Literature in Translation
3 credit hours

A survey of French writers such as Chrétien de Troyes, Molière, Balzac, Flaubert, Camus, Sartre, Maryse Condé and an investigation of literary movements: courtly romance, classicism, the Enlightenment, realism, romanticism, symbolism, existentialism and postcolonial discourse. The course is conducted in English; no previous knowledge of French is necessary.

ENGL 344: Studies in World Literature
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite:  ENGL 301
Students study works outside the Anglo-American tradition. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 345: Literature and Ethics
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite:  ENGL 200
Students will read literary texts to better understand the nature of ethical issues, the limits of various ethical models, and how literature can help us develop capacities to make wise ethical decisions.

ENGL 375: Land and Literature
3 credit hours

This course traces the roots of contemporary thinking about the land in literature both ancient and modern. We will read a series of texts from the Bible, classical Greek culture, early modern England, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Students should develop a sophisticated, wide-ranging understanding of how contemporary American culture has imagined (and treated) the natural world.

ENGL 381: Southern Literature
3 credit hours

Literature of the southern American states in the context of the South’s characteristic cultural identity.

ENGL 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

Pre-1800 courses include:

ENGL 305: Studies in Ancient through Medieval Literature
3 credit hours

This course focuses on the literature of ancient and medieval cultures. Themes vary annually and may include “Representing Good and Evil in the Middle Ages” or “Forms of Love in the Middle Ages.” Counts for the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor when content focuses on the Middle Ages. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 306: Studies in Sixteenth- through Eighteenth-Century Literature
3 credit hours

This course asks students to investigate selected topics in literature and culture of the Renaissance through the eighteenth century, including European, British and other cultures. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 342: Shakespeare and Ethics
3 credit hours

Students read Shakespeare’s plays with a focus on the moral component of his drama. We ask how Shakespeare understood what it meant to live well, and how he understood good and evil and the problems of achieving moral clarity and moral maturity, in our personal and in our public lives. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

and in some instances:

ENGL 303: Single Author
3 credit hours

This course provides an in-depth study of a single author’s literary work. May be repeated when authors varyThis course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Writing and Linguistic Courses (3 hrs.)
Choose one writing or linguistic course from the following:

ENGL 207: Expository Writing: Art of the Essay
3 credit hours

Expository writing provides students with valuable opportunities to write in a wide variety of modes of nonfiction, including narrative essays, film and book reviews, cultural analyses and journalistic essays. Students read and discuss published nonfiction and participate in workshops where they respond to one another’s writing in small groups. The workshop format enables students to respond to issues of form, purpose, voice and audience.

ENGL 253: Grammar and Style
3 credit hours

Students intensively investigate modern English grammar and usage. The course acquaints students with models of understanding and teaching grammar and with opportunities for experimenting with a variety of styles.

ENGL 266: Creative Writing I - Fiction
3 credit hours

Students learn techniques for and practice in writing fiction. The course focuses on student workshops.

ENGL 267: Creative Writing I - Poetry
3 credit hours

Students learn techniques for and practice in writing poetry.

ENGL 268: Creative Writing I - Nonfiction
3 credit hours

Students learn techniques for and practice writing nonfiction.

ENGL 353: Nature of the English Language
3 credit hours

In this diachronic study of the English language, special attention is given to the development of the English language from its Anglo-Saxon origins to the present and to the varieties of English spoken in contemporary American society.

ENGL 366: Creative Writing II - Fiction
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ENGL 266 or ENGL 267 or ENGL 268.
By participating in writing workshops, students learn advanced techniques for and practice in writing fiction.

ENGL 367: Creative Writing II - Poetry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ENGL 266 or ENGL 267 or ENGL 268.
This course trains students in advanced techniques for and practice in writing poetry.

ENGL 368: Creative Writing II - Nonfiction
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  ENGL 266 or ENGL 267 or ENGL 268.
This course provides advanced study of different kinds of nonfiction writing, with a practical emphasis aimed at preparing apprentice writers to publish their work as they become familiar with a wide range of publications.

ENGL 455: Advanced Writing Workshop
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Any 300-level imaginative writing course such as THTR 354ENGL 366ENGL 367, or ENGL 368. 
This intensive workshop provides writing majors a final opportunity to refine their poetry and prose. Students will be required to submit their work for publication and to create a professional portfolio.

THTR 354: Writing for Stage and Screen
3 credit hours

Students study play and film structure, character creation and the art of writing dialogue. Course responsibilities include the writing of two short plays and/or films.

Electives (6 hrs.)
Choose two English courses from the following list of electives:

ENGL 212: Comparative Mythology
3 credit hours

A study of mythic literature in ancient, medieval and contemporary cultures, with close attention to the archetypal codes revealed in all mythologies, and universal narrative structures.

ENGL 219: The Lawyer in Literature & Film
3 credit hours

This course explores the role of attorneys in film and literature. Using a wide range of texts, the course examines how lawyers can be represented as either heroes, who use law to fight social injustice or villains, whose mastery of the law enables them to overpower others, especially the voiceless. Students will consider why attorneys are viewed through these competing lenses and how these stories and images help us understand our own struggles to gain agency and freedom in an increasingly complex and diverse world.

ENGL 235: The History of Film
3 credit hours

A survey of major international and American film accomplishments beginning with Griffith and Chaplin and continuing through contemporary directors such as Bergman, Fellini and Allen. Some attention will be given to film technique, theory and analysis.

ENGL 302: Women Writers
3 credit hours

A study of British and American literary works written by women. Particular consideration will be given to feminist modes of inquiry and critical thought as well as to the contributions of women in literary scholarship.

ENGL 303: Single Author
3 credit hours

This course provides an in-depth study of a single author’s literary work. May be repeated when authors varyThis course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 305: Studies in Ancient through Medieval Literature
3 credit hours

This course focuses on the literature of ancient and medieval cultures. Themes vary annually and may include “Representing Good and Evil in the Middle Ages” or “Forms of Love in the Middle Ages.” Counts for the Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor when content focuses on the Middle Ages. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 306: Studies in Sixteenth- through Eighteenth-Century Literature
3 credit hours

This course asks students to investigate selected topics in literature and culture of the Renaissance through the eighteenth century, including European, British and other cultures. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 307: Studies in Nineteenth- through Twentieth-Century Literature
3 credit hours

This course requires students to engage the literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular attention to interdisciplinary study of Victorian, post-Victorian, Modernist and Post-modern cultures in the Americas and Europe. This course may be repeated when content varies.

ENGL 311: Studies in Contemporary Literature
3 credit hours

This course investigates trends in recent literature, written in or translated into English. Texts will date from about 1980 and later. This course may be repeated when content varies. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 317: African-American Literature
3 credit hours

The backgrounds of African-American culture in African and Caribbean literatures, as well as the history of black American literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on the contemporary scene.

ENGL 320: Grant Writing and Research
3 credit hours

This course gives students practical experience researching and writing grant applications for not-for-profit agencies. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

ENGL 342: Shakespeare and Ethics
3 credit hours

Students read Shakespeare’s plays with a focus on the moral component of his drama. We ask how Shakespeare understood what it meant to live well, and how he understood good and evil and the problems of achieving moral clarity and moral maturity, in our personal and in our public lives. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 344: Studies in World Literature
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite:  ENGL 301
Students study works outside the Anglo-American tradition. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 345: Literature and Ethics
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite:  ENGL 200
Students will read literary texts to better understand the nature of ethical issues, the limits of various ethical models, and how literature can help us develop capacities to make wise ethical decisions.

ENGL 375: Land and Literature
3 credit hours

This course traces the roots of contemporary thinking about the land in literature both ancient and modern. We will read a series of texts from the Bible, classical Greek culture, early modern England, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Students should develop a sophisticated, wide-ranging understanding of how contemporary American culture has imagined (and treated) the natural world.

ENGL 381: Southern Literature
3 credit hours

Literature of the southern American states in the context of the South’s characteristic cultural identity.