Loyola University Maryland

Department of English

Course Descriptions

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English majors and minors should consult course cycle before registering for any course.

English majors and minors are encouraged to complete the advising template (PDF) before meeting with their academic advisors. Those who choose to register online might consider filling out the document in Word, saving it to a file, and then e-mailing it to their advisors as part of the "permit to register" request.




EN 097 Internship in Public Schools

EN 098 Internship in Private Schools

EN 099 English Internships


Students interested in pursuing an internship must meet with Dr. Forni . Written or electronic permission of the instructor is required. Students may take one internship class for degree credit. It will count as an elective, not as a course fulfilling requirements for an English major or minor.

Understanding Literature: Le Mot Juste

EN101.03 (Messina Seminar: Stories We Tell)

MWF 10-10:50

Professor Sondra Guttman

Writers use the French phrase “le mot juste” to describe the perfect word at the right time. Just as great authors seek “le mot juste,” so do sensitive critical readers. In the phrase, the word “juste” means appropriate and pleasing, but it also suggests justice—that literature can advance human rights. In this course, we’ll discover both how literature transforms historical experience into art, and how great literary art has changed the course of history. At semester’s end we’ll read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, exploring its words and also Douglass’ experience as a slave in Baltimore when we visit the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Maritime Park in Fell’s Point.

Understanding Literature: First Encounters

EN 101.04 EN 101.07

MWF 12:00pm-12:50pm MWF 1:00pm-1:50pm

Professor Daniel Mangiavellano

In this class, students will learn analytic strategies central to understanding and writing about literature. Reading assignments, writing prompts, and class conversation will consistently emphasize links between critical reading and written argumentation. By sampling a wide variety of poetry, prose, and drama, students will develop a critical vocabulary for literary analysis while practicing writing and argumentative skills that will contribute to thoughtful, nuanced arguments about (1) how a piece of literature works and (2) why an argument about literature matters to a broad, non-specialized audience. This is a writing-intensive course, and our goal will be to develop clear, sophisticated arguments that are not only technically precise, but evocative in their scope and ambition. Through reading, discussion, and writing about poetry, prose, and drama, students will cultivate the creative and analytic habits necessary for producing clear, complex, and coherent arguments.


To this end, our course theme will focus on representations of “first encounters” in literature and culture. Reading assignments will emphasize “first encounters” between or among races, genders, and populations. This theme opens up larger conversations about cultural difference and multiculturalism, intersections between nationality and identity, and facets of social justice. In this class, we use reading and writing assignments to explore provocative connections between literature, the human condition, and tenets of cura personalis at Loyola University Maryland. As with every section of EN 101, students should expect to produce between 12 and 15 pages of considered writing throughout the semester. Our theme is particularly appropriate for a writing-intensive course like EN 101 because it will remind us throughout the semester of the dynamic between a writer and an audience—an especially important “first encounter” for all writers to keep in mind.

Understanding Literature: Good and Evil in Literature

EN 101. 10

TTH 8:00-9:15

Professor C. N. Abromaitis

Through close reading, analytical writing, and in-class presentations, students will confront characters whose relationships with each other and with God are marked by love and indifference, fidelity and betrayal, virtue and vice, forgiveness and revenge, life and death. In dramas they visit a stormy heath in which Lear howls his anguish, an idyllic island with a magician and his beautiful daughter, and a Cathedral where Beckett meets temptation and death. In poetry and short stories they experience emotions and attitudes ranging from the devout to the cynical, from the hopeful to the despairing. Hard Times by Dickens, Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis, and Animal Farm by George Orwell will continue the process of their recognizing the enterprise of art in depicting the human condition in all its diversity and complexity.

EN101.13 Understanding Literature: The Literature Laboratory

Tuesday, Thursday 12:15PM - 01:30PM

Professor Nicholas Miller


In this course we will conduct a series of literary experiments, working individually and collectively within a laboratory format, to discover how literary texts work. At the core of our investigations we will test a simple but potentially transformative hypothesis, namely that what matters most about literary texts is not the meanings they contain, but the ideas they generate; that novels, poems, plays and short stories are not coded messages to be deciphered, but mechanisms designed to produce ideas in their readers. Through our experiments in the “literature laboratory” we will gain essential insights about our responses to texts—why the struggle to find a work’s “deeper” meaning is fundamentally misguided, how to tell a strong reading from a weak one, and why developing the capacity to admire what we cannot at first understand is crucial to the work of interpretation. A rigorous introduction to the study, interpretation, and appreciation of literature, this course will also serve to develop analytical skills that are the basis of advanced work in many professional fields as well as in the academic disciplines of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Understanding Literature: Villains, Rogues, and Wastrels

EN 101.15, 101.18, 101.19

TTH 1:40-2:55 TTH 4:30-5:45 MW 4:30-5:45

Professor Benjamin Jude Wright

From Breaking Bad, to Dexter, to Scandal contemporary media is filled with protagonists of dubious moral character. This class will explore these issues of villainy and moral corruption from a number of angles. Why do characters like Walter White, or Macbeth, or even the devil appeal to us? What do we learn from examining the troubling psychologies of such figures? What do they say about the cultures they emerge from? We will tackle these questions and more in a variety of literary genres including fiction, poetry, and drama. Along the way we will focus on the nuts and bolts of literary analysis and seek to become more astute readers and critics of literature. In order to do this, students will learn the formal properties of literature and develop skills in close-reading and critical analysis. Students will learn to situate themselves within the critical conversation and become participants in the on-going dialogue about the texts we read. Our villainous (or at least morally dubious) texts will include selections from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, poems by Robert Browning, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (amongst other works).

Major Writers: English

EN 201.01

MWF 10:00am-10:50am

Professor Daniel Mangiavellano

The purpose of this course is to study major writers in English literature. To that end, this section focuses on authors, poets, and playwrights of the Romantic, Victorian, and modernist periods. We will cover a range of writers whose work showcase the development of cultural, political, aesthetic, and literary transformations from the late eighteenth century to just past World War I. The eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century saw exciting changes in industrialization and the commercial literary marketplace that ultimately contribute to twenty-first century tastes and habits. Students’ interpretive and written work will take into account models of Romantic, Victorian, and modernist literature while also paying due consideration to the marriage of form and content in individual works. Interrogating the decisions literary figures make in specific works (via genre and other formal features) will allow us keener insights into how writers stake out original artistic territory within and beyond the confines of literary periodization.

Our discussions will be at their most fruitful when we determine how individual writers and periods operate in relation to one another as opposed to in complete historical isolation. We will proceed through the semester with themes as diverse as “Poetic Perception and Critical Orientations,” “Industrial London and the Technology of Transport,” “Idealized and Tortuous Childhoods,” “Inspiration, Mourning, and Terror,” and “Britishness, Empire, and Monstrous Appetites.”

Major Writers: English. Growing Up Modern.

EN 201.02

TTH 10:50-12:05

Professor Mark Osteen


Childhood and adolescence are modern inventions. Building upon that fact, this course explores how the literature of the past two centuries has depicted childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Among the questions we ask in the course are the following: what trials do children and adolescents endure on their way to adulthood? How do adolescents respond to authority? How do unusual people (such as disabled youths) challenge or confirm our definitions of normality? Is coming of age the same across different cultures? In some cases we will pair texts to show the contrasts and similarities between the sensibilities, styles, and subjects of disparate eras. Readings will include William Wordsworth’s poems, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd or Dickens’s Great Expectations, short stories by James Joyce and Alice Munro, and a selection of recent novels, such as Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. We’ll also view and analyze film versions of selected texts.

Each student will write a research paper and give an oral presentation. Students will also write two brief papers in which they reflect on their own identities, disabilities and confrontations with authority. Finally, students will have the privilege of completing a midterm and a comprehensive final exam.


EN 201.03

TTH 1:40-2:55

Professor C. N. Abromaitis

This semester we will trace the whole notion of the hero in romances and epics:Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, selections from The Fairie Queene, sections of Paradise Lost, and the entire Lord of the Rings. Requirements: quizzes, a mid-term and a final examination (each will be one-half a take-home essay, one half an objective test on style and content), and a term paper.

Major Writers: English. Faith and Doubt: Religious Crises in Modernity
EN 201.04
TTH 3:05-4:20
Professor Benjamin Jude Wright

The Post-Enlightenment period was a time fraught with anxiety from many sources. A primary challenge for many people in this culturally shifting world was a religious challenge. How could one believe in God in a world rocked by the violence of the French Revolution, naturalized by the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, and made dizzyingly complex by the technology of the Industrial Revolution? For many people the world around them began to seem less like a well-ordered cosmos with a benevolent creator at its center and more like an incoherent mess ruled by chance. In this class we will examine the way major British writers from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries respond to these anxieties as they seek to grope through the darkness to find something to hold on to. We will encounter numerous responses to the tough questions that these cultural shifts prompt and study writers who find ways to express their doubt, examine their beliefs, and even reaffirm their faith. Major writers we will examine include William Blake, William Wordsworth, Emily Brontë, Bram Stoker, and Graham Greene (and many others).

Major Writers: Bad Men in English Literature

EN 201.05

MW 3-4:15

Professor Erin Wilson

Upon meeting Lord Byron in 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb famously declared him “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” This did not stop her from having an affair with him, subsequently stalking him, and eventually writing a book about him. In this course, we will ask ourselves why we find ourselves fascinated by wickedness, to the point of admiration, sympathy, and even love. From Byron’s exploits to Breaking Bad’s Walter White, we often find ourselves captivated by tales of bad men committing wicked and often unspeakable acts, sometimes hoping for their redemption and, other times, taking pleasure in the havoc that they wreak. We will see many examples of “bad men” across this semester, some with good intentions, some charming, and some monstrous. Beginning with Lord Byron, our original bad man of English Literature, we will move through England’s Romantic, Victorian, and Modern eras, ending with the contemporary speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood. Along the way, we’ll also read Frankenstein, Dracula, and works by Oscar Wilde, D.H. Lawrence, and Angela Carter. Required assignments include quizzes, short papers, a longer research-based paper, and a midterm exam.


Major Writers: Where the Heart Is: Building a Home in American Literature

EN 203.01

TTH 12:15-1:30

Professor Melissa Girard


What does “home” mean to Americans and American society? In recent years, the mainstream media has been obsessed with all things home. From HGTV to Etsy and Pinterest, we are bombarded by advice about home improvement, “domestic” arts like cooking, and all manner of “DIY” projects. What is the cultural significance of this “nesting” craze? Is it new or have Americans always found their homes to be “entertaining”? How do our feelings about the home influence public policy and politics?

In order to begin answering these questions about home and domesticity, this course will examine a variety of American literary works from the nineteenth century through to our present moment. Kitschy representations of housewives may be popular right now—both the “real” and the “desperate” varieties—but, as we will see, representations of husbands and housewives and the traditional middle class home have a deep and complicated legacy. In order to investigate this history, we will begin with short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as the novel Clotel by William Wells Brown. We will then move toward the contemporary moment, exploring Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, the novels The Man In the Gray Flannel Suit, Peyton Place, The Women of Brewster Place, and Fun Home, as well as a selection of poems by Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton, in order to unpack the race, gender, and class values currently associated with the American home. In addition to short papers and exams, each student will also complete an independent research project focused on the home in American literature.

Major Writers: American. Information: Literature and Science in America
EN 203.02, EN 203.05
MWF 3-4:15; MWF 4:30-5:45
Professor Madeleine Monson-Rosen mcmonsonrosen@loyola.edu

Despite seeming to be two disciplines quite distinct from each other, American literature and American science have, according to one scholar, “permeable boundaries.” This class will investigate the interconnections enabled by that permeability, examining the interrelationships and mutual influences in literature and science. From Poe’s purloined letter, to the evil computer Hal 9000, to Mumbo Jumbo’s jazz virus, we will explore together the ways in which literature and science reckon with each other, especially as both disciplines become increasingly dominated by discourses of information. Primary texts include works by Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, Jorge Luis Borges, and Ishmael Reed as well as the films 2001 and Moon. Secondary texts include historical accounts and works of literary criticism. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the ways in which literature intervenes in the discourse of the sciences, structuring and shaping it, yet always maintains a connection to the human.

Major Writers: American Lit

EN203D.01 EN 203D.02

MW 3-4:15 MW 4:30-5:45

Professor June Ellis


Focusing on the ways writers develop a language and a literary form that is distinctively American, this EN203D course examines the ways writers present diversity and solidarity as founding principles of the United States. We examine writers from many differing communities, creating an ongoing investigation into the way people define themselves and others. Many of the writers we read provide distinct but complementary perspectives on personal and national identity: for example, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage create innovative literary forms that depict the way slavery affects both black people and white people. Though the books are written nearly 100 years apart, and though one writer is black and the other white, the works share common ground in experimenting with ways to tell stories that promote freedom and justice. The course offers a strong foundation in both time-honored American fiction, drama, and poetry, and contemporary multi-ethnic classics.

Major Writers: Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human?

EN 205.02

T Th 1:40

Dr. Bryan Crockett


The course's title is lifted directly from the always wild and often wise scholar Harold Bloom. Turned one way, the title's question can be negated with the simple fact that human beings as we know them have been around for some 200,000 years. Turned another way, the answer is that Bloom has it right: it is Shakespeare who gives us characters who behave as we do. Hamlet, Isabella, Falstaff, and a host of others are multi-faceted, conflicted sorts. We will come to know such characters well in this course. We'll sample each of the four major genres of Shakespearean drama: history, tragedy, comedy, and romance. Readings will likely include Henry IV, Part 1, Richard III, Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest. The main goal of our reading, thinking, writing, speaking, and a little acting is to help you understand and appreciate Shakespeare much more at the end of the course than at the beginning.

Upper-Division Courses

English Literary History Before 1800

EN 300.01

MWF 10

Professor Robert Miola

The purpose of this course is to provide exposure to the main English literary accomplishments of the thousand-year period that begins with Beowulf and ends with Boswell. We will concentrate on major figures—Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift and Johnson—but read selectively in other writers as well, particularly the rich but systematically ignored Catholic contributors to English literature. Students will not only confront exciting literature but they will also develop an appreciation for the sweep of English literary history. We shall see a Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, participate in the Humanities Symposium events on the absurdist drama Rhinoceros by Ionesco, and enjoy together a few additional outings and lectures, including a trip to the new theater in town to see one of the funniest plays ever written, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. There will be regular presentations, writing, examinations, and extra events (films, plays, lectures, etc.).


EN 301.01

T/Th 10:50-12:05

Professor Kathy Forni

You’ll learn about the four humours, why a husband can never sexually satisfy his wife, what a gap in your teeth or a big pimple suggests about your character, and why you never, ever tell a friend that their spouse is cheating on them. You’ll also explore the culture of England in the fourteenth century, an age that saw the Black Plague, the Great Schism, the Hundred Years’ War, the Peasants’ Revolt, and, of course, those titillating Sumptuary Laws. And, of course, you’ll learn Middle English and read some of the greatest hits of the Canterbury Tales in Chaucer’s original language.

Expect frequent transcription tests,a midterm, final (written and oral), and two papers.

Shakespeare II

EN 311.01

MW 3-4:15

Professor Scheye

What else is there to say about Shakespeare? Perhaps his contemporary and rival, Ben Jonson, said it best: “He was not of an age, but for all time!” And after 400 years, Shakespeare remains our contemporary, both timeless and timely. This course will trace the development of his genius from the early sonnets through the mature comedies:

In springtime, the only pretty ringtime,

When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding

Sweet lovers love the spring

The subject is love, every kind you can think of!

Seminar in Literature and Catholicism (Pre-1800): Dryden & Pope & Persecution
EN 328.01
TTH 12:15- 1:30
Professor C. N. Abromaitis



Two of the major poets of the long eighteenth-century, John Dryden (1631-1700) and Alexander Pope (1688-1744), were Roman Catholics. Dryden who moved from Dissenter to Anglican to Roman Catholic and Pope who was a cradle Catholic lived in a time of anti-Catholicism. It manifested itself in the variety of laws called the Test Acts resulting in personal suffering that ranged from the loss of property and position to martyrdom. Popular street riots against papists were another feature of these decades. Reading Dryden and Pope in the light of the religious tensions and animosity of their lives gives more insight into their poetry. Conducted as a seminar the course will include an examination of the Test Acts, the historical background, and the biography of each poet. However, the major topic of the seminar is the poetry.

Students will write micro-essays for each class on a chosen excerpt from the assigned work; they will give oral reports on the poets and their works that will include formulating questions for class discussion; they will write a major paper on a poem or poems of each poet. There will be a mid-term and a final exam, each of which will be made up of two parts: a word-limited essay on a topic and an in-class section on contents and techniques of the poems.




Seminar: The Idea of “The Great American Novel”

EN 346.01

T/TH 4:30

Professor Paul Lukacs

The idea of “the Great American Novel” has obsessed both readers and writers for nearly two centuries. This course will investigate the idea—what lies behind it, and what expectations fuel it. We shall read commentary and theory concerning the novel as a form as well as the United States as a nation, and we shall read a number of novels that critics have put forward as candidates for the designation. Though the reading list is not yet finalized, novelists likely to be on the syllabus include James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, and John Updike.

As a seminar, the course will ask students not simply to report on the novels we read but actually to lead the class discussions. There also will be a final exam (with an oral component), and a fairly long seminar paper.

The Nineteenth-Century English Novel
EN 360.01
T-Th 3:05-4:20
Professor Gayla McGlamery

"Lady Peabury was in the morning room reading a novel; early training gave a guilty spice to this recreation, for she had been brought up to believe that to read a novel before luncheon was one of the gravest sins it was possible for a gentlewoman to commit. --Evelyn Waugh, Work Suspended (1942)

And to read from and talk about novels in the afternoon? Surely a lesser sin for gentlewomen and gentlemen, one would think, but why not consider it, too, a guilty pleasure?

"The Nineteenth-Century English Novel" is a course for students who like to abandon the day-to-day, enter other worlds through books, and live in them for awhile. During the semester, we will study the evolution of the novel in one of the most vibrant periods in English history. The Victorian period is era that witnessed rapid transformations in the ways English men and women produced goods and made money, in their perceptions of gender and class roles, and in their views regarding faith and their place in the universe. It also witnessed the rise of industrialization, great strides in scientific discovery, and the flowering of the English novel. Readings will include works by Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, and Thomas Hardy.

Students will view at least one film adaptation, submit weekly responses, take a midterm and a final exam, and write an analytical essay of 10-12 pages that will be submitted, critiqued, revised, and resubmitted.

EN370.01 Modern British and American Fiction

Tuesday, Thursday

1:40PM - 02:55PM

Professor Nicholas Miller

An investigation of British and American fiction from roughly 1890 to 1940, emphasizing the power of the literary imagination to reflect and reshape a world reeling from the dissolution of traditional social, moral, and intellectual values. We will explore literature’s confrontation with the failure of aesthetic realism, and its consequent turn to linguistic innovation and narrative experimentation in an attempt to capture more fully the complexity and contradiction inherent in human experience. We will also pay particular attention to key transformations in visual culture in this period, especially surrounding the invention of the cinema in 1895 and its influence on literary expression. Authors to be studied will include Stevenson, Wilde, Joyce, Hemingway, Woolf, Toomer, Faulkner, West, and Beckett.

Modern Drama: The Agony, the Ecstasy, and the Flat-out Absurd
EN 374.01
T Th 9:25
Dr. Bryan Crockett


While plays are written mainly for the stage, the best ones work well also on the page. In this course we will examine primarily the literary and secondarily the theatrical dimensions of some of the best plays of the last hundred years. We'll likely read works by some of the "greats": George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. We'll dip into absurdist drama with Luigi Pirandello, Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Edward Albee. And we'll read works by the best contemporary dramatists, chief among them the most evocative playwright alive: Tom Stoppard. Mostly we'll read the plays, talk about them, and write about them. But we'll also do a bit of acting. Not only seasoned readers and actors but also the inexperienced and the shy are welcome to join the class, where all will find a warm, appreciative audience.

Seminar in Postcolonial Literature: Travel Literature


T 6:30-9 PM

Professor June Ellis


This class celebrates the joy and adventure of traveling, asking what we learn along the way about the places and cultures we visit, and about ourselves and our own homes. We consider different forms of travel--chosen, imposed, fantastical, funny--and learn that very often a geographical journey corresponds with an inner transformation. Writers may include Agha Shahid Ali, Edwidge Danticat, Sia Figiel, Jack Kerouac, C.S. Lewis, and Albert Wendt. Emphasis upon class discussions and presentations, as well as two exams and a research paper. Service-learning option available.

Seminar in Literature and Film: Shades of Black: Film Noir and Postwar America
EN 386.31
M 6:30-9 PM
Professor Mark Osteen


If you enroll in this course, you’ll cross over to the dark side by visiting the blackest genre in classic American cinema—film noir, with its unsettling, fatalistic tales of crime, corruption and alienation. We will trace the literary origins of noir back to novels by Hammett, Chandler and Cain, and examine its cinematic sources in German Expressionism. Then, through a large selection of films, we’ll explore how these films reflected and shaped cultural anxieties about post-war American problems such as the changing roles of women, the condition of traumatized veterans, the Cold War and atomic secrets, capitalism and the new workplace, the media, and racial relations. We will read source novels and selected critical writings while immersing ourselves in films such as Double Indemnity, Scarlet Street, Out of the Past, The Killers, Kiss Me Deadly, The Big Combo, Touch of Evil, Nightmare Alley and more. We’ll also view a few “neo-noir” films such as Chinatown and a few by African-American directors (e.g., Devil in a Blue Dress) to assess how these revivals remodeled the genre’s characters and themes and revised the meaning of noir’s blackness.

Requirements will include weekly Moodle posts, a seminar-length research paper, two exams and about four hours of film viewing every week.