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 Literature
EN 201.01 and EN 201.02
MW 3:00-4:15 PM and 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. 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, subsequently stalking him, breaking into his home to declare her love, and eventually writing a tell-all book about their affair. In this course, we will ask ourselves why we find ourselves fascinated by wickedness, to the point of admiration, sympathy, respect, and even love. From Byron’s exploits to The Joker, we often find ourselves captivated by tales of bad men committing wicked and 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, and some monstrous. Beginning with Lord Byron, the original bad man of English literature, we will move through England’s Romantic era, the Victorian and Modern eras, ending with Angela Carter’s take on The Big Bad Wolf. Required assignments include quizzes, short papers, a blog assignment, two exams, and a paper on film adaptation.  

Major Writers: English Literature
EN 201.03
T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Carol Abromaitis

The epic and romance occupy a central place in the canon of western literature.  In this literature questions of good and evil, life and death, honor and shame are examined.  The transcendental qualities – beauty, truth, goodness, and unity – occupy the minds and hearts of the heroes even as they confront the inevitable fact of evil, individual and societal.  We will read these works closely for content, themes, structure, aesthetic qualities, historical context, and generic structures 
READINGS:  Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, excerpts from The Fairie Queene, Paradise Lost (Books I, II, IX, excerpts from Books XI and XII), The Hobbit, and excerpts from The Lord of the Rings.

PAPER: Students will write a critical and analytical paper on one of the assigned works that will involve research in the library.  In addition, they will write a one-page analysis on an assigned aspect of each work.

QUIZZES: There will be quizzes on each of the works.
TESTS: There will be a mid-term and a final examination.

Major Writers: English Literature: Creating the Modern
EN 201.04
T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Gayla McGlamery 

From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the contemporary fiction of Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith, our readings in this course will chart the sweeping changes of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that gave birth to modernity.  The rise of science and technology, the emergence of individual rights and the democratization of power, challenges to religious faith, and the development of new modes of public expression—all will be the focus of study and debate as we explore the reactions of novelists, poets, and essayists to their changing times—and issues we still grapple with today.

Students will take weekly short quizzes, give a short oral presentation in partnership with a classmate, take a midterm and a final, and write one or two documented, analytical essays.  The class will combine lecture and discussion, and we will watch at least one film adaptation of a novel.

Major Writers: American Literature: Law and Justice in American Literature
EN 203.01
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM
Dr. Sarah Ingle

This course will explore developments in American literature through representations of crime, law, and justice. We will be asking questions about how each of the texts on the syllabus represents crime—its causes, its consequences, its detection, and its meaning in American culture. What is justice? How does the process of criminal detection relate to the process of reading? What is the relationship between crime and sin or between justice and peace? What is the relationship between justice and the law, especially in the context of legalized slavery or society’s tacit acceptance of lynching? We will read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays by a diverse group of American authors, including Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Charles Chesnutt, Mark Twain, Zitkala-Sa, Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, Martin Luther King, Jr., Luis Valdez, David Henry Hwang, and Louise Erdrich. Assignments will include quizzes, a research paper, a short essay, an oral presentation, and a midterm and final exam.

Major Writers:  American Literature: Three Decades of New York City
EN 203.03 and EN 203.08
T/TH 3:05-4:20 PM and T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Jean Lee Cole

This course explores literary representations of one of America’s most prototypical yet most anomalous cities—New York—during three of its most formative decades: the 1850s, the 1890s, and the 1920s. New York has nurtured many of the country’s greatest writers. It also serves as a backdrop to many important works of American literature, works that reflect abiding concerns regarding the effects of industrialization and urbanization, immigration, and social reform.  Course requirements: timely completion of reading assignments, active participation in class, several short writing assignments, group mapping/analysis project, two tests.

Major Writers: American Literature
EN 203D.04
T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Dr. Sondra Guttman

This course explores the idea of America 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 America 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 American 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 College core diversity requirement, with a focus on diversity in the U.S.

Major Writers: American Literature
EN 203D.05 and EN 203D.06
MW 3:00-4:15 PM and MW 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. June 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, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming 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 more than 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
EN 205.01
T/TH 9:25-10:40 AM
Dr. Robert Miola

In this course we will read a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances. These are plays of love, romance, delight, suffering, politics, and death—all the many aspects of the human experience. Together we will approach the plays with an eye to theatrical performance, to the many possibilities for interpretation and realization. We will see performances on film and, if possible, in the theater. Drop your fears and prejudices, forget your previous negative experiences, and come to wonder. Students will experience first-hand and directly the power of drama in short acting performances. Readings will probably include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and others.

Major Writers: Gender, Culture, and Madness
EN 206.01/PY 270.01
T/TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Dr. Melissa Girard and Dr. Amy Wolfson

The pioneering psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud once said, “Poets and philosophers discovered the unconscious before me. What I discovered was the scientific method that makes it possible to study the unconscious." In this team-taught section of EN206/PY270, we will study the foundational connections between literature and psychology, two disciplines dedicated to the mysteries of the human mind and behavior. Featuring literature and films by influential American authors who underwent psychiatric treatment, including Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, and Susanna Kaysen, the course will explore the relation between creativity and mental illness. Through case studies focused on topics such as the Salem Witch Trials, neurasthenia, and the trauma of war, we will also investigate the social construction of disease and the role gender plays in defining and treating mental illness. Throughout history and across cultures, the label of “madness” has often been applied to women and men whose gender identities, emotions, and behaviors fall outside the social norm. By pairing literary works and films with relevant psychological research, the course will examine how our gender constructs and values continue to shape our definitions of mental health and illness.

Prerequisites: EN 101 and PY 101
The course fulfills both the EN 200-level and the second Social Science core requirement.
For PY majors, it fulfills a Category VI requirement.

Major Writers: Classical Greek Drama
EN 213.01/CL 213.01
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Dr. Thomas D. McCreight

This course explores the origin of and development of theater in ancient Greece, especially Athens.  We will explore the conditions leading to and the characteristics of tragedy and comedy and trace how conventions of the genre grow, change and influence other dramatists. We will also look at how the politics and social life of the time affected the plays (and vice versa).  The stories are wild: incest, cannibalism, disappearing heroes, witches, strange lands (and that’s just tragedy).  Athenian comedy was raucously obscene (in parts not unlike contemporary stand-up).  Both genres included elaborate costume and dance.  Read the stories of Agamemnon, Oedipus, Antigone, Medea and others.  Assignments include quizzes, tests, papers and a group oral presentation.


English Literary History before 1800
EN 300.01
MW 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Thomas Scheye

This course traces out the main line in English literature, the tradition handed down from Chaucer to Spenser to Shakespeare and, finally, to Milton.  In addition to placing these authors in the context of their times and in relationship to one another, the course will examine how the tradition continues into the modern world.  Because this course is content-oriented, and because the reading assignments are substantial, there will be frequent tests but no formal paper.

EN 320.01
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Dr. Giuseppina Lobo

Commenting on the blindness that finally consumed him in the 1650s, Milton proclaims that his sight had been “overplied / In liberty’s defence, my noble task.”  Milton’s preoccupation with liberty—whether liberty of conscience, liberty from tyranny, domestic liberty, or even authorial liberty—permeates his corpus.  Throughout the semester, we will closely examine Milton’s poetry and prose in the context of this “noble task” and as the poet-polemicist’s response to the civil wars, regicide, and revolution that engulfed the middle of the 17th-century.  How does Milton’s conception and treatment of liberty change from his optimistic Areopagitica to his magnum opus, Paradise Lost?  How are we to read Satan’s calls for liberty in Milton’s great epic?  What constitutes just liberty, and when does liberty degenerate into license?  How can liberty and obedience coexist? 

Seminar: Renaissance Comedy
EN 317.01
T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Dr. Robert Miola

In this course we will examine the rich variety of Renaissance comedy, broadly defined, across several genres. We begin with Classical origins—the rollicking, obscene, lyrical Aristophanes; Plautus, inventor of the sit-com and many standard gags; and Lucian, the irreverent madman who delighted and scandalized the West for millennia. Then we shall experience Holy Laughter with Thomas More, author of Utopia and a merry martyr (if there can be such a thing); Satiric Laughter with Erasmus, scourge of hypocrites and established institutions like the Church and governments; Belly Laughter with Rabelais, the humanist high priest of excess, violator of taboos, body-shamer and celebrator; Shakespearean Laughter, by turns, sharp, gentle, satiric, romantic; Jonsonian Laughter, excited by rogues, gulls, knuckleheads, con men and women, sharpsters, and thieves. We shall regularly look at clips of modern and contemporary comedy—from Groucho Marx to Saturday Night Live, Chaplin’s Modern Times to Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. Guest appearances in clips also by Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Judi Dench, the Three Stooges, Jerry Seinfeld, Marisa Tomei, Spike Lee, and others. Lol.

Topics:  18th Century Literature: Utopias and Empires
EN 335.01
T/TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Dr. Victoria Barnett-Woods

“Utopias and Empires: The Enlightenment and British Literature, 1600-1800” explores how British imperial politics and prose were interwoven with the philosophical underpinnings of the British Enlightenment. Two images were constructed out of the British imperial perspective: the “utopia” and the colonized space. In each of these imagined constructions, British cultural dominance over a given environment is synthesized with the Enlightenment values of commerce and empiricism. We’ll explore how the knowledge of the outside world shaped the way English and British thinkers thought of themselves and of others. This is especially apparent in what Mary Louise Pratt calls the “contact zone,” where English Enlightenment ideology collided with other cultures and values systems. Covering the breadth of the 17th and 18th centuries, this course will begin with Thomas More’s Utopia as a precursor and end in the Revolutionary Era with the “empire writing back” to these British Enlightenment formations of empire.
In line with university goals, this course will introduce you to key terms, critical methods, and literary modes of close reading and analysis. It will provide you the opportunity to explore different styles of writing, including translational, rhetorical, and research-driven argumentation. This course will ask that you consider the living, breathing, beauty and power of the written word and its representation of peoples and concepts over time.

Seminar:  18th Century Literature:  Jane Austen and Her World
EN 337.01
T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Carol Abromaitis

READINGS: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a … [student] in possession of … [an open slot], must be in want of … [an Austen seminar].”   By concentrating on her six novels, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion, we are fortunate to experience the greatness of Jane Austen’s vision and artistry.  In these novels we will visit varied landscapes as well as all kinds of homes, towns, and cities. We will meet characters who are vain, broken-hearted, stupid, insightful, gracious, mean-spirited, grasping, generous, witty, and eminently lovable. In addition, students will research biographical articles, books, memoirs, and letters that may make her life story more accessible than it has been.

APPROACH: Students will research the art, architecture, entertainment, fashions, gardens, housing, parks, and politics of this latter part of the long eighteenth century and their relevance to Jane Austen. Classes will feature micro-essays to start conversations, each of which will relate a passage to the novel as a whole and pose a formal question to the seminar.

REQUIREMENTS: Each student will normally present analytical micro- essays as indicated above, write a research paper on her fiction, take a mid–term examination and a final examination.

PRE-REQUISITE: Successfully completing the English core.

American Literature to the First World War
EN 366.01
T/TH 10:50 AM-12:05 PM
Dr. Paul Lukacs

Even before the founding of the country, Americans often defined their home and themselves as "different" or "exceptional."  Not surprisingly, that definition became a central concern for writers in the new nation.  Unlike their political counterparts, American creative writers became less concerned with how or whether America actually was different than with what it meant to believe so.  So too with this class.  Its focus will be on the rhetoric of difference, and it will explore conflicting versions of this most fundamental of American ideas. 

While the class will survey briefly the nearly 300-year period from the establishment of the Plymouth Colony to the emergence of the United States as a global power, it will focus primarily on canonical texts by writers such as Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman.  In the process, we shall embark on two voyages--one in search of whales, the embodiment of a "Truth [that] hath no confines," the second aboard a raft, in search of a home that feels "free and easy and comfortable."  Both are filled with hope and fraught with danger.

Requirements for the class include two papers, two tests, Moodle posts and weekly quizzes.

Seminar:  Law and Justice in African American Literature
EN 381.01
MW 3:00-4:15 PM
Dr. Sarah Ingle

In American culture, legal institutions are often symbolized by the image of a blindfolded Lady Justice holding a scale—an image that represents the ideals of fairness and balance, which are supposed to characterize the nation’s judicial system. However, this ideal is not—and never has been—a reality in the United States. From slavery to Jim Crow segregation, and from lynching to mass incarceration, African Americans have often experienced injustice that is enshrined in and protected by American laws and institutions. This course will explore the importance of crime, law, and justice in the history of African American literature from the slave rebellions of the 19th century to the 21st century’s Black Lives Matter movement. Whether we are reading detective fiction from the post-Reconstruction era, poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, essays from the Civil Rights era, or historical ghost stories from the 1980s, all of the texts that we read will raise important questions about the nature of law and justice in a society that is founded on historical inequalities. We will read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays by authors such as Victor Sejour, Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Pauline Hopkins, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Chester Himes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, and Anna Deavere Smith. Assignments will include weekly reading responses, a research paper, two shorter essays, and an oral presentation.

Seminar in Modern Literature: James Joyce and Ulysses
EN 383.01
T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Nicholas Miller

“We are still learning to be Joyce’s contemporaries,” wrote Richard Ellmann at the beginning of his biography of James Joyce. This course will explore the often-surprising ways in which this statement continues to be true nearly 80 years after the great Irish writer’s death. Though Joyce lived and wrote in a historical, cultural, political, and literary landscape profoundly different from our own, his works continue to set a high bar for qualities that remain current, not to mention urgently relevant, in our own lives—among them a capacity for joyous and generous humor, an appetite for experimental daring, and a deep, capacious humanity.

In the course of the semester, we will read nearly everything Joyce wrote, including excerpts of his “book of the dark,” Finnegans Wake.  Well over half of the course will be devoted to reading and discussing a single work, Joyce’s greatest and most challenging novel, Ulysses. As our explorations will demonstrate, the best way to understand Joyce is to enjoy him; the course will therefore strongly encourage students to prioritize their own curiosity and personal engagement over “academic” mastery. Seminar participants can expect challenging (but highly pleasurable) readings, lively discussions, one major oral presentation, digital annotation/journaling assignments, and a seminar paper.

Seminar in Literature and Film: Adaptations: Film, Fiction and Authorship
EN 386.01
T/TH 9:25-10:40 AM
Dr. Mark Osteen

“Adaptation” is a key term in biology, but it’s also essential when discussing the relations between books and films. What can movies and television do that written texts cannot, and vice versa? Is fidelity the best measure of an adaptation’s value? We know that fiction influences film, but do films also influence fiction? This course adopts a three-pronged approach to answer these questions. First, we examine film adaptations of classic novels, including Henry James’s Washington Square (The Heiress), Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (Apocalypse Now), Nabokov’s Lolita (both versions), and the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief, which was turned into the darkly hilarious movie Adaptation. Next, we explore fiction that incorporates cinema, first through Nathanael West’s searing Hollywood satire The Day of the Locust, and then by way of the cinematic novels of Don DeLillo (Running Dog, about a lost Hitler film; Point Omega, a riff on Hitchcock’s Psycho). Finally, we study three artists whose work crosses the boundaries between fiction and screened media: John Sayles, the dean of American independent film-makers and a fiction writer; Paul Auster, whose enigmatic works have been based on movies and have also become them; and Margaret Atwood, whose 1986 novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted into a serial television sensation.

Students will read several rarely taught books, watch twenty or so terrific movies, give an oral presentation, and write a scintillating research paper. And as time passes, students may even experience their own evolutionary adaptations.

Literature of the US/Mexico Border
EN 390D.01
MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
Dr. Stephen Park

This course will explore the literature and culture of the borderland, from the violent creation of the US-Mexico border in 1848 to the present day. Throughout the semester, we will read a historical range of texts, almost exclusively written by Chicanx authors. We will consider how this body of literature has been shaped by the lived reality of the US/Mexico border, by the tension between English and Spanish, and by the lasting effects of internal colonialism. In 1987, Gloria Anzaldúa claimed that the US-Mexico border was an open wound, a description that seems just as fitting over 30 years later. When the larger US population is made aware of the border it is usually through stories of migration, violence, economic hardship, and intercultural conflict—all of which can seem far removed from the rest of the country. However, by examining more closely the wound that Anzaldúa describes, by considering its history and its literature, it becomes clear that this seemingly peripheral region is central to the United States and to the longer story of US Literature. We will read works by María Ruíz de Burton, Américo Paredes, Tomás Rivera, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, and Cormac McCarthy, among others. We will also consider how the border has been represented in film, television, and music.

This course counts toward the Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies. Past and current participants in Loyola’s immersion program with the Kino Border Initiative are especially encouraged to enroll (for more information, visit www.loyola.edu/immersions).

Robert Miola

Robert Miola, Ph.D.

For this long-time English and Classics professor, the Loyola difference is in the way in which professors teach and by which students learn

English, Classics