Loyola University Maryland

Department of English

Course Descriptions

English majors and minors should consult the 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.



Major Writers: English Lit: Bad Men in British Literature
EN 201.03 - M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
Professor Erin Wilson
Upon meeting Lord Byron in 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb famously declared him “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”  This sentiment did not stop her from having an affair with him, stalking him after he ended their relationship, 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 The Joker, we often find ourselves captivated by tales of bad men committing wicked and often unspeakable acts, sometimes hoping for their redemption and, other times, being drawn in further when they get worse.  We will see many examples of “bad men” across this semester, some with good intentions, some charming, some monstrous, and some who are very real. Beginning with Lord Byron, the original bad man of English Literature, we will move through England’s Romantic, Victorian, and Modern eras, ending with the contemporary fiction of John Fowles, Zadie Smith, and Angela Carter’s take on “The Big Bad Wolf.” Required assignments include quizzes, short papers, a blog assignment, a longer paper, and two exams.   

Major Writers English Lit: “Animal Stories: Fantastic Beasts in British Books”
EN 201.04 - T/TH 10:50-12:05 PM & EN 201.05 - T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Professor Victoria Barnett-Woods

In the second installment of an ecoliterary series at the EN 200 level, this course will read through British literature from the eighteenth century to the present as it relates to fantastic beasts of the literary and popular imaginations. Centered on beasts of wooded areas, we’ll explore the literary significance of the forest as a symbolic space of fear, otherness, solace, and serenity. Through fables, poetry, and the novel, we’ll consider our relationship to the animal world, and how kernels of historical truth led to the fantastic formations of werewolves, vampires, unicorns, talking snakes, Bigfoot and more. Texts will include Dracula, The Metamorphosis, familiar and new fairy tales from the British literary canon, and contemporary works that feast off the legends and folklore of our collective imagination. 

Major American Writers: African American Literature 
EN 203.01 - M/W/F 2:00-2:50 PM & EN 203.02 - 10:00-10:50 AM
Professor Sarah Ingle

What is freedom? That is the question that we will attempt to answer in this course through our examination of the history of African American literature. Is freedom a political goal or a philosophical ideal--a legal right or a state of mind? Is freedom ever fully attainable? Can it be reconciled with ideas such as fate, determinism, dependence, or community? What is the relationship between the bonds of slavery and the bonds of family, friendship, duty, or love? The irony at the core of American national identity is that we are a country that is based simultaneously on the ideal of freedom and the historical reality of slavery. This irony is especially evident in the tradition of African American literature, which traces its roots back to the autobiographical genre of the slave narrative. Throughout the semester, this course will explore how African American writers have represented the various meanings and forms of freedom--as well as its obstacles and limitations. Readings will include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and plays by writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, and Edwidge Danticat. 

Major Writers: American Lit
EN 203D.01 - M/W 6:00-7:15 PM & EN 203D.03 - M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
Professor Juniper Ellis

Focusing on the ways writers develop a language and a literary form that is distinctively American, this 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, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming and William Faulkner’s “The Bear” create innovative literary forms that depict the ways our ideas about race may affect both black people and white people.  Though the books are written about 80 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: American Lit (Imagining the Nation)
EN 203D.02 - T/TH 12:15-1:30PM & EN 203D.05 - T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Professor Sondra Guttman

This course explores the idea of the United States as an “imagined community,” one where ideals of unity and a distinctive national identity have often conflicted with the day-to-day realities of social life. The readings and discussions will enhance your perception of what it means to be an American, because you’ll consider the nation as an idea under constant revision in the literature written about it.  Questions we ask of each text include:  How does this text imagine the U.S. as a nation? How do these imaginings change over time? How is or isn’t each text critical of dominant ways of imagining the nation? The course focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century writings, including works from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Kate Chopin, W.E.B. Du Bois, T.S. Eliot, Edith Maude Eaton, Charlotte Perkins, Gilman, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Gish Jen, and Thomas King.  This course fulfills your Loyola University core diversity requirement, with a focus on diversity in the U.S.

300/400-Level Courses

English Literary Revolutions Before 1800
EN 300.01 - T/TH  1:40-2:55 PM
Professor Robert Miola

The purpose of this course is to sample the English literary revolutions of the thousand-year period that begins with Beowulf and ends with Boswell.  We shall read Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Swift and Johnson, and other writers, some unjustly ignored, especially women like Katherine Philips and Catholics like the martyred Jesuit Robert Southwell. Students will constantly think about the forces that shape the canon, about the purposes such forces serve, about who gets in and who gets left out, and why. Students will not only confront exciting literature in a variety of genres (epic, lyric, dramatic, prose fiction, satire) but they will also experience the various reactions, rebellions, and revolutions that constitute English literary history. We shall enjoy frequent videos of plays and perhaps a few additional outings, lectures, and films. There will be regular presentations, writing assignments and forums, a final examination, and no formal paper. 
EN 301.01 - TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Professor Kathleen Forni 

This course introduces students to Chaucer's major poetic text The Canterbury Tales.   Although the Middle English seems difficult at first, most students will be proficient enough within a few weeks to enjoy Chaucer's ribald humour, to understand his meditations on social justice, human suffering, and earthly happiness, and, perhaps most importantly, to appreciate his sage observations on that perennial question--"What thyng it is that wommen most desiren?"--that baffled even Freud until the end:

Wommen desiren to have sovereynetee
As well over his housbond as hir love, 
And for to been in maistrie hym above.
Throughout the semester we will discuss why Chaucer is considered a canonical author—and the social and political interests that such a designation serves. And we will explore why Chaucer is still read by examining a few adaptations of Canterbury tales produced by African diaspora writers.
Requirements: good cheer, frequent reading quizzes and translations, several response papers, medium-length research paper. 

Shakespeare I
EN 310.01 - M/W 3:00-4:15 PM
Professor Thomas Scheye

“He doth bestride the narrow world/ Like a colossus.”  The way Cassius describes Julius Caesar applies to his creator as well  because Shakespeare’s achievement towers over all other authors’ in our language.   Shakespeare does more than write plays; he creates a world—one where the characters come alive for us and the language becomes part of our common inheritance as English speakers.  This course focuses on Shakespeare’s history plays where that world is first defined and his mature tragedies where it finds it finest expression.  

Seminar: “Jane Austen’s Economics: Sex, Death, and Power in Georgian England” 
EN 337.01 - T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Professor Victoria Barnett-Woods

Jane Austen’s novels are internationally beloved and have been so since their publication in the early nineteenth century. In this class, we will dig a bit deeper into the historical contours of her literary legacy. Thinking through issues relating to wills, probates, gender inequity and, of course, marriage, we’ll “take a turn” with the Austen canon, supplementing her works with Jane West’s A Gossip’s Story and the anonymously published The Woman of Colour. Historical context will be provided as our course will include a visit to the world-renowned Burke-Austen Collection at Goucher College, one of the largest Austen collections in the world. This class will additionally count toward the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor. 

Topics in Victorian Literature:  19th-Century Crime, Mystery, and Detection
EN 361.01 - T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Professor Gayla McGlamery

In 1829, the Metropolitan Police Act established the first police force in London with official powers to prevent and detect crime.  However, the police detective did not make an appearance in English fiction until 1848.  Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin, first introduced to the reading public in 1841, was a private detective before the profession or even the term “detective” was invented.  By the end of the nineteenth century, policemen and detectives of many kinds populated English literature, addressing, or attempting to address, both mundane offenses and the sensational crimes to which readers had thrilled long before detectives came along to solve them. 

Examining crime novels and stories as individual imaginative works and as contributions to the developing mystery/crime genre, we will also consider social contexts—the simultaneous rise of the police force, increase in urban population, and changes in theory and practice involving incarceration and other forms of punishment as they affect nineteenth-century English crime and society at large.

Readings may include W. H. Ainsworth’s Jack Sheppard, Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wilkie Collins's The Law and the Lady and The Woman in White, and/or Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend.   We will also read American and British short fiction from the collection Detection by Gaslight, including stories by Kipling, Orzy, Conan Doyle, and others, and view at least one film adaptation.  

Modern Poetry
EN 372.01 - T/TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Professor Melissa Girard

The “Lost Generation,” Malcolm Cowley said, “belonged to a period of transition from values already fixed to values that had to be created.” This new generation of writers, artists, and activists, who came of age during World War I, published in little magazines like transition, Broom (to make a clean sweep of it), This Quarter (existing purely in the present), and Secession. “They were seceding from the old,” Cowley said, “and they groped their way toward another scheme of life, as yet undefined.”

For modernist writers and artists, the “new poetry” became synonymous with a new world. Their aesthetic innovations—poetic experiments such as Vorticism, Futurism, Imagism, Impersonality, Blues, and Jazz—helped them to discover new ways of thinking and feeling in the modern world. But this is not the only story modernism has to tell. In the early twentieth century, vers libre or “free verse” also became the preferred vehicle for pursuing new political freedoms. Alongside modernism’s new aesthetics, poetry also helped to launch new liberatory political campaigns—for racial, gender, class, and sexual equality—which changed the course of the twentieth century.

This course in Modern Poetry will provide you with an opportunity to explore the aesthetic and political experiments of modernism. Readings will include selections of poetry and prose by Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, H.D., William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mina Loy, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, and many others. Although our readings will focus primarily on poetry, modernism impacted all of the arts. Much of the work we will examine experiments with language, as well as painting, photography, dance, and music. 

Students with an interest in the history and politics of modern art are strongly encouraged to join us. This course does not require any previous background or expertise in modern poetry—only a desire and willingness to explore these difficult and important works together.

Post-Colonial Literature: Homelands
EN 385D.01 - M/W 4:30-5:45 PM
Professor Juniper Ellis

The first step towards changing reality is to re-describe it (Salman Rushdie, following Richard Wright).  Working from this urgent premise, the writers in this course work to discover what it means to be at home in the world, in language, in culture, in spirituality, in creativity, in ourselves.  Who gets to describe reality?  The answer affects what we make of ourselves and our future.  Readings in this course present world-expanding definitions of honor, of compassion, and of justice.  Likely writers include Adichie, Chandra, Rushdie, Lani Wendt Young, Hau'ofa, Orange.  Blogs, oral presentations, two exams, good-humored discussion; service-learning option available.

U.S. and Caribbean Literature
EN 392.01 - M/W/F 1:00-1:50 PM
Professor Stephen Park

This course will explore how writers work across languages and national boundaries in order to form meaningful artistic communities of their own choosing. We will focus on 20th-century U.S. and Caribbean writers, and we will consider what a work of literature means both at “home” and when it travels abroad. For instance, Langston Hughes is an important U.S. poet whose work is central to our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance and African American Literature. But, when we also consider that Hughes’s poems were translated into Spanish and widely read throughout the Americas, this expands our understanding of Hughes as an “American” poet. When we further consider his close relationship with Afro-Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén and his efforts to translate Guillén into English, we’re able to ask new questions about literature and the African Diaspora so that Harlem suddenly becomes a more international, multilingual place than it might first appear. Throughout this course we will consider the intersections of language, culture, and empire that made the writers of these regions profoundly intertwined. Looking at writers from Haiti, Martinique, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and the United States, we’ll think about how artistic exchanges happen across borders and how they come to reshape the cultural life of the Americas. Readings will include Hughes, Guillén, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Eric Walrond, Aimé Césaire, and Maryse Condé, among others.

All texts will be read in English, but students who are able to read Spanish and/or French will be encouraged to read those texts in their original languages. This course counts toward the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Minor, the African and African American Studies (AAAS) Minor, and the Comparative Culture and Literary Studies (CCLS) Major.

England Swings: The Literature, Film, and Culture of England in the 1960s
EN 409.01 - T/TH 10:50 AM-12:05 PM
Professor Mark Osteen
By invitation only 

“You say you want a revolution; well, you know, we all want to change the world.” So sang John Lennon in 1968. Actually, the revolution started in the 1950s with John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger. It launched the Angry Young Man movement in British theater, and in so doing cracked open the door to the swingin’ 1960s and sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Soon the British film New Wave swept through cinemas and the British Invasion in music made England (and America) rock. 

This course will begin with Osborne’s play and with the working-class writers, filmmakers and playwrights who followed, including Alan Sillitoe (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning), Lindsay Anderson (if. . . . O Lucky Man), Tony Richardson (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) and John Schlesinger (Billy Liar, A Kind of Loving). We’ll investigate the consequences of the sexual revolution in works by women (A Taste of Honey, The L-Shaped Room), and explore parallels between the 1960s and the 1860s through John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman (and its film adaptation). We’ll hoot at the antic comedies of Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night, The Knack), tremble at the provocative plays and films of Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter and raise our eyebrows at the extraordinary experimental fictions of B. S. Johnson. Finally, we’ll examine the backlash against youth culture in works such as A Clockwork Orange and the poems of Philip Larkin. Along the way, we’ll mix in the earthshaking music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, and other rock groups. The results? Multiple revolutions. You know it’s gonna be—all right

Students will write a research paper, deliver an oral presentation, and share some of the most vibrant literature, film, and music of the last century. And, pandemic permitting, students in this class will also plan, prepare, cook, and perform for the 2021 English Department feast. 

EN 099 English Internships

Students may take one internship course for degree credit. The course counts as an elective, not as a course fulfilling requirements for an English major or minor. Students taking an internship course are responsible for locating the internship and must work at least ten hours per week. For-credit internships include biweekly meetings with Dr. Cole and other fellow interns, and students undertake a series of reflective and goal-setting activities that can be highly beneficial aspects of the career discernment process. Internships may be done locally in the Baltimore-Washington region or remotely, but written or electronic permission of the instructor is required and all arrangements for a spring semester internship must be made prior to the end of the drop/add period. Interested students should contact Dr. Cole (jlcole@loyola.edu), the departmental internship supervisor, before registration.


Jill Carter

1988 graduate works for change in Baltimore City through political career