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.

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSE OFFERINGS – SPRING 2021

200-LEVEL COURSES

EN 201.01 - Major Writers: English Lit: Rising Tides: Life, Literature, and the Oceanic World
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM
Dr. Victoria Barnett-Woods


This course will explore our literary connection to the maritime world. Titled “Rising Tides: Life Literature and the Oceanic World,” the class will undertake a literary expedition on the seven seas across time, beginning with the rise of Atlantic piracy in the early eighteenth century to Yann Martel’s 2001 popular novel Life of Pi. We will think about how humans have interacted with the seas, considering both popular writers, scientists, and lesser-known accounts of sailors and port-city poets. While a dominant focus will be on British writers, speaking of the maritime work is to also speak of movement, instability, and cosmopolitanism. Literary works we’ll read include:
JM Coetzee, Charles Johnson, Fred D’aguiar, Joseph Conrad and Yan Martel. 

This course is listed as “Service Learning Optional.” For those who are interested, we will be thematically connected with Blue Water Baltimore on projects that help to promote watershed, bay, oceanic health in the region. For more information see: https://bluewaterbaltimore.org/


EN 201.02/.03 - Major Writers: English Lit
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM & MWF 1:00-1:50 PM
Dr. Brett Butler


The British knew how to make a soap opera. Whether it was Queen Elizabeth sneaking Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake into her bedroom through secret passages or Percy Shelley having an adulterous affair with his mentor’s teenage daughter, British writing circles were filled with drama, affairs, and scandals. In this course, we will review texts that emerged from England’s most prominent writing circles, from the Elizabethan Era to the Edwardian Era. Furthermore, we will examine the ideas and beliefs of these groups and understand how they subsequently shaped politics, social awareness, and even science fiction. 

In this course, students will be required to keep a reading journal, to take reading quizzes, to write a short mid-term paper and a final research paper, and to take a midterm exam and a final exam. 


EN 201.04 - Major Writers: English Lit: The Naked Eye: Victorian and Modern Ways of Seeing
T/TH 8:00-9:15 AM
Dr. Nicholas Miller


This course will explore the continuities and discontinuities of Victorian and Modern literature in relation to two watershed events in visual culture: the invention of the photograph in 1826 and the invention of cinema in 1895. With the advent of still- and moving-picture cameras, the human act of seeing was transformed into a mechanical process, no longer grounded entirely in the biological instrument of human perception, the “naked eye.” Taking this as our point of departure, we will investigate Victorian and Modern “ways of seeing,” the ideas about perception that drew on both science and art to give rise to optical toys and instruments, ultimately transforming the visible world by transforming vision itself. Our primary focus will be on sight-related tropes and themes—observation, perspective, illusion, insight, blindness, visibility and invisibility, the public and private dynamics of seeing and being seen—as they emerge in the short fiction and novels of these adjacent literary periods. Authors to be studied will likely include Lewis Carroll, H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson, and Art Spiegelman, among others. We will also look at some early photographs and pioneering cinematic works by the Lumiere brothers, Georges Melies, Dziga Vertov, Emile Cohl, and Winsor McCay. In addition to reading and viewing assignments, requirements will include brief weekly response posts, two short papers, one longer research paper, frequent quizzes, a midterm, and a final examination.


EN 201.W05 - Major Writers: English Literature—Growing Up Modern  
T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Dr. 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 these: what trials do children and adolescents endure on their way to adulthood? How do children, teens, and young adults respond to authority? How do unusual people (such as disabled youths) challenge definitions of normality? Is coming of age the same across different cultures? How has the conception of childhood, adolescence and maturation changed in the past two hundred years? 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, Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, 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, Ian McEwan’s The Children Act, and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. We will also view and analyze film versions of selected texts. Each student will write a research paper and deliver an oral presentation. Students will also write two brief papers in which they reflect on their own identities and disabilities. Finally, students will have the privilege of completing a midterm and a comprehensive final exam.


EN 201.06 - Major Writers: English Lit: Bad Men in British Literature
MW 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, 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.


EN 203D.01/.02 - Major Writers: American Lit
MW 3:00-4:15 PM & MW 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. 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.

EN 203.05/.07 - Major Writers: American Literature - Reading Trees
T/TH 10:50 AM-12:05 PM & T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Jean Lee Cole

Trees have served human beings as landmarks, sustenance, and solace. They play a role in both natural and urban ecosystems that is only beginning to be understood. And they have also played an important role in the formation and development of American culture. Some literary works—such as Richard Powers’s epic novel The Overstory (2018)—take trees as a central subject. More frequently, they play a symbolic or metaphorical role that requires a knowledge of climate, terrain, region, and species that has gradually passed out of what might be called “common knowledge” with the urbanization and suburbanization of American society and human beings’ alienation from the natural world. In this course, we will learn about trees in the actual environment as well as in literary ones, and we will apply this knowledge to deepening our understanding of literary texts and American literary history. Ultimately, we will see the fundamental role trees have played in the landscape, and in turn, the fundamental role that the land itself has played in American literature from the nineteenth century to the present and across the diverse regions and communities that make up this nation. This course counts toward the Environmental Studies and American Studies minors; it also has a service-learning option.


EN 203.06/.08 - Major Writers: American Lit
T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM and T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Nathaniel Windon


Age is not just a number, but a set of expectations that govern experience. This, at least, is the central premise of our course. We will read works by a range of American authors including W. E. B. Du Bois, Stephen Crane, Harriet Jacobs, James Weldon Johnson, and Willa Cather. They all provide variations of the bildungsroman, or “coming of age” story. Through them, we will talk about narrative arcs, happy endings, determinism, the legacy of enslavement, capitalism, mortality, the American fixation on youth, and how to grow old. You will learn not only about a core narrative tradition in American literature and accrue a set of skills to better read and write about it, but you will also gain a perspective on your own age that will serve you in the years to come. This course can afford to make some big promises because the trajectory of the bildungsroman is so essential to the way we tell stories and because our age is so inextricable from how we understand our experiences.  


EN 203D.09 - Major Writers: American Lit
T/TH 3:05-4:20 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 University core diversity requirement, with a focus on diversity in the U.S.

EN 205.W01 - Major Writers: Shakespeare
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. Together we will approach the plays—intense explorations of human passion, power, love, suffering, evil, and death—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. All students will participate in dramatic readings of Shakespearean scenes. Study questions and online forums will enliven discussion as will selected video clips from a wide range of international productions. Take-home final and a paper. Readings will probably include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Measure for Measure, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, and The Tempest.

300-LEVEL COURSES

EN 311.W01 -Shakespeare II
MW 3:00-4:15 PM
Dr. Thomas 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:

When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding
Sweet lovers love the spring 

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

Shakespeare I is NOT a pre-requisite. 


EN 313.W01 - Renaissance Literature: Shakespeare and Race
T/TH 12:15-1:40 PM
Dr. Robert Miola


The current cultural and moral crisis in race relations demands that we confront our past and our present. In this course we will read a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances with an eye to early modern and modern ideas of race and ethnicity. Together we will approach the plays - intense explorations of human passion, power, love, suffering, evil, and death - to see what they assume and profess about skin color and culture. As always, we shall look to theatrical performance, to the many possibilities for interpretation and realization. We will see performances on film and, if possible, in the theater. Areas of exploration can be the early modern history or race relations (including the slave trade and colonialism), actors of color, African and Global productions, and contemporary adaptations. Students may participate in dramatic readings of Shakespearean scenes. Study questions and online forums will enliven discussion as will selected video clips from a wide range of international productions. Take-home final and a paper. Readings will probably include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, The Tempest, and others. 


EN 346D.01 - Literary Criticism and Theory: Humor Studies
MW 6:00-7:15 PM
Dr. Juniper Ellis


In this course we investigate the way American writers use humor to present ways of knowing that challenge existing maps of time and space, the body, dress, language, and comportment.  We learn from the ways non-dominant traditions use humor to make space for cultures, genealogies, and legacies that reveal the dynamic presence of alternative mappings of what it is to be human, what it is to live in time and space, to be in a human body, to speak, to think, to act in ways that are fully alive and fully human.

Tommy Orange (a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation) uses irony to reveal the entire United States as Indian country.  Samantha Irby presents her own body, the body of a large Black woman with IBS, as an uncontainable vehicle that expands mainstream conceptions of beauty, value, and love.  Jerry Craft offers a graphic novel that makes space for Blackness at a majority white middle school.  Duchess Goldblatt creates a fictional online persona that creates true friendship in the face of mental illness and family trauma.  David Sedaris offers personal essays that claim his identity as a gay man despite his father’s initial rejection of him.  Tiffany Midge (an enrolled Standing Rock Sioux citizen) fuses Indian and pop culture discourses to make room for her own large Brown woman’s body and life.  Tyler Perry creates the persona of a Mad Black Woman who speaks truth to power.  Maira Kalman uses text and drawings to move through grief and trauma, creating hopefulness for herself and readers.  Bill Bryson explores whether humor will help him feel at home in the United States after spending his adult life in the United Kingdom.  All of these portrayals expand existing humor theories (superiority, incongruity, release/relief), and help readers explore new ways of perceiving, understanding, and potentially living in a more just and humane manner.  Blogs, oral presentations, two exams, good-humored discussion; service-learning option available.


EN 350.01 - The Romantic Movement: Riots, Revolutions, and the Romantics
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Dr. Victoria Barnett-Woods


The Age of Romanticism, which spans from the late eighteenth century into the middle of the nineteenth century was an era defined by movements toward racial and political justice, social reform and, of course, revolutions. So, too, could the beautiful and the sublime could be found in the grandeur of the natural world but equally in the grit of roughened, laboring hands. The Romantic Age is one filled with rages and riots against tyrannical forces, globalized visions of a rising empire, and the social pushback against restrictive measures aimed to oppress women, the laboring poor, and the colonized. Not everything about the era was positive, as seen in the Gordon Riots, where anti-Catholic sentiment bubbled into a full-forced riot that nearly led into a revolution at home. In this course, we will connect the age with historical events and social philosophies, zooming out to see the Romantic movement from both a domestic and transatlantic perspective. 

We will begin with Thomas Paine, William Godwin, and the American Revolution, ending with the Luddite documents as the era ended with Victoria’s rise and the “Age of the Machine.” Given the theme of the course, we will be focusing on the British Romantic literature of the: American Revolution, French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Gordon Riots (and the anti-Catholic movement), the Greek War of Independence, and the Luddite Movement. We will be reading from: Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, William Godwin, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Hannah More, William Wordsworth, Edmund Burke, John Keats, Harriet Martineau, and more! 


EN 354.01 - Topics in Romanticism: The Gothic Tradition
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM
Dr. Erin Wilson


From its literary genesis in the mid-eighteenth-century, “The Gothic,” in all its manifestations and forms, has thrilled audiences with its transgressive plots, dark nostalgia for the past, and its shocking scares. In spite of, or perhaps because of, their reputation as debauched smut, Gothic novels proved to be reliable bestsellers in their time, and Gothic tropes persist in contemporary literature and entertainment, even beyond the world of horror. In this course, we will trace the generic conventions, formulas, and aesthetics of the Gothic in eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century British literature. From Horace Walpole Castle of Otranto to Elizabeth Gaskell’s vision of the Salem Witch Trials, we will make our way through countless spooky castles, dark dungeons, secret passages, and moonlit walks as we encounter dastardly villains, ghosts, vampires, evil monks, witches, and The Devil himself. We will ask each other to what extent does the Gothic work with and against principles of Romanticism. Is the Gothic “morally bankrupt,” as its critics would have us believe, or do we find traces of ethics and social consciousness? How and why is the Gothic a suitable vehicle for exploring issues of gender, race, sexuality, and social-injustice during the age of Revolution? Finally, why is the Gothic so resilient? Beyond Gothic aesthetics, we’ll ask why readers found, and continue to find, so much pleasure in being disturbed, disgusted, and even terrified. In addition to Walpole and Gaskell, readings are likely to include works by Anne Radcliffe, Matthew “Monk” Lewis, Charlotte Dacre, and Jane Austen.


EN 363.W01 - Seminar:  Victorian Lit: 19th-Century Novels into Film
T/TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Gayla McGlamery


“The only reason for the existence of a novel is that is does attempt to represent life.”
--Henry James, “The Art of Fiction” (1888)

“Photography is truth.  The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”
--Jean-Luc Goddard, Lettres Francaises, 31 January 1963

The 19th-century English novel and narrative film formed an early attraction at the turn of the century and quickly give birth to another form of truth-telling that is refracted through both word and lens—films adapted from 19th-century novels.  In this course, we will read and discuss some wonderful 19th-century novels and view films they have inspired.  We will do so from a variety of critical perspectives—our own and others’—including current film adaptation theory.  Text and film adaptations may include Love & Friendship and/or Sense and Sensibility and/or Pride and Prejudice; Jane Eyre and/or Wuthering Heights; Far from the Madding Crowd and/or The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Claim; Great Expectations, and/or Oliver Twist; Dracula, and one or two short story adaptations.  

Students can expect lively discussions, weekly responses, one major oral presentation, and a documented final paper.


EN 381.01 – Seminar in African-American Literature: Law & Justice  
MW 4:30-5:45 PM
Dr. Sarah Ingle


In American culture, our 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 19th-century slave narratives, poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, essays from the Civil Rights era, or contemporary literature about mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline, 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 Frederick Douglass, 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, Toni Morrison, Anna Deavere Smith, and Colson Whitehead. Assignments will include weekly reading responses, a research paper, a shorter essay, and an oral presentation.


EN 391.01: Topic: Race, Law, and American Lit 
(Service-Learning)
MWF 2:00-2:50
Dr. Stephen Park


This course will explore complicated questions of race and justice in America through a careful study of law and literature. While laws seem to be based on statutes and courtroom arguments, there are also deeply-embedded narratives which animate American law and which we, as students of literature, are well positioned to untangle. For instance, the type of “stand your ground” law that allowed George Zimmerman to kill Trayvon Martin and go unpunished is based on very old American narratives of white supremacy. The law begins with unspoken assumptions about who is threatening, who has the right to feel threatened, whose safety matters, and whose doesn’t. All of these narratives and the ways in which they circulate in our culture make it possible for Zimmerman’s act of aggression to be defended as “reasonable.”

We will begin the semester by learning to read the law as literature, applying skills from narrative theory and Critical Race Theory in order to uncover and analyze the stories concealed within American law. We will then read an array of 20th- and 21st-century literature which engages with the racialized injustices embedded in the legal system. African American literature will be central to the course, and we will read literary works by Ralph Ellison, Claudia Rankine, Colson Whitehead, and John Edgar Wideman, among others. We will also read works by Native American authors, such as Louise Erdrich, which consider the historical inequities of American law. We will conclude my considering how more recent legal narratives have racialized Muslim Americans, as we read fiction by Laila Lalami and others.

This is a service-learning course, and students will have the opportunity to work with the non-profit law firm, Maryland Legal Aid. Your service will involve speaking with their clients (virtually or in person), listening to their stories, and summarizing their cases in order to help them obtain pro bono representation. More information about Maryland Legal Aid can be found at: www.mdlab.org

This class counts toward the African and African American Studies (AAAS) Minor.


EN 397.W01 - Seminar: Blue Notes: The Literature of Jazz
T/TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Dr. Mark Osteen

That great sage Dizzy Gillespie once asked, “To be or not to bop?” Answer: to be bop. By the end of this course, you will. 

  As Ken Burns showed us fifteen years ago, jazz music has a distinguished history. What he didn’t reveal is that there is also a history of writers representing and imitating the music’s dynamic emotions and virtuoso techniques. This course will explore the many ways that jazz has inspired literature. We will follow the music’s migration northward from New Orleans, with brief stops at some stations—swing, bop, cool, and free—that it passed along the way. We’ll visit with the alleged inventor of jazz, Buddy Bolden, in Michael Ondaatje’s fascinating collage novel, Coming Through Slaughter; we’ll stride through poetry by Black writers such as Langston Hughes (Montage of a Dream Deferred, Ask Your Mama), Amiri Baraka and others; we’ll swing through short stories by authors such as Eudora Welty and James Baldwin; we’ll call and respond to August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, nod our heads to the autobiography of iconic singer Billie Holiday, sight-read cool novels by James Weldon Johnson (Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man), Dorothy Baker (Young Man with a Horn), the Beats, and the Afro-Scottish woman writer Jackie Kay. We will spend some time discussing how jazz artists have led the way in protesting against racial injustice. And, of course, we will listen to loads of music by artists ranging from Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker to Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and trace how jazz has influenced modern styles such as hip hop. 

Students will post weekly on Moodle, give oral and musical presentations about their favorite artists or genres, write a research paper, and in the spirit of jazz, experiment with different types of writing that reflect the music’s rich palette of hues and cries. Basic musical knowledge is highly recommended.

Ready to deedle a dee rop a wee boop bop? Ah-one, ah-two, ah-one, two, three, four. . . .

 

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.

Carol Abromaitis
Faculty

Carol Abromaitis, Ph.D.

Dr. Abromaitis, professor emerita of English and Catholic Studies, taught at Loyola for five decades in addition to advising students bound for law school

English, Catholic Studies