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 Fall 2018


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. Lukacs. 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.


EN 101: Understanding Literature

EN 101 is an introduction to the serious, college-level study of literature. It seeks to give students an understanding of imaginative writing, means for reading this writing perceptively, and basic principles for making interpretive judgments. While there is no common text for EN 101, all instructors share the goal of bringing students to an enriched awareness of the power and beauty of our language and of its potential as an expressive and persuasive tool. The course is, therefore, writing intensive, and seeks to teach students to develop their writing skills with particular attention to the crafting of analytical argument.

A small number of EN 101 sections are theme-based, meaning that in addition to serving as an introduction to literary study as described above, they are organized around a particular theme.  These are described in detail below:

Understanding Literature:  The Literature Laboratory
EN 101.13
T/TH 8:00-9:15
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 text’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:  First Encounters and the Literary Imagination
EN 101.17 - T/TH 9:25-10:40
EN 101.18 - T/TH 12:15-1:30
Professor Daniel R. 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. 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. 

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. 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. Our theme 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
EN 101.20 - T/TH 12:15-1:30
EN 101.22 - T/TH 1:40-2:55
Professor Melissa Girard

“It is difficult
    to get the news from poems
          yet men die miserably every day
                 for lack
of what is found there.”
        —William Carlos Williams, Asphodel, That Greeny Flower

In this course, we will begin by asking some foundational questions: What is literature? Who reads it and why? How are literature and literacy changing in the 21st century? As the poet William Carlos Williams suggests, literature is not the same as the news. Poems, short stories, novels, and plays make unique demands on us as readers; they ask us to think, feel, and experience the world in new and sometimes difficult ways. Throughout the semester, we will immerse ourselves in a range of literary works from the nineteenth century to the present in order to examine “what is found” in literature. What is it that makes this art form unique? What can literature offer to our contemporary world? Is literature an essential part of the good life?

As you will soon learn, the study of literature is built around a specific practice known as “close reading.” This method requires immersive attention: it is a careful, patient, and focused form of reading that will help you see the subtlety and nuance of literary works. This semester you should be prepared to read and write intensively about literature. You can expect to complete 2 formal papers, along with regular informal writing assignments and activities. Studying literature is demanding, but the rewards are also many. Through our intensive investigations, you can expect to become better readers, writers, and critical thinkers. You may also find new ways to enjoy the art of literature.

Major Writers: English Literature: Bad Men in British Literature
EN 201.01
MWF 9:00-9:50
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, subsequently 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 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, 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, Victorian, and Modern eras, ending with the contemporary fiction of John Fowles. Required assignments include quizzes, short papers, a blog assignment, a longer paper, and two exams. 

Major Writers: English Literature - Growing Up Modern 
EN 201.02
T/TH 1:40-2:55
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 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? 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, 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, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. We will 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 and disabilities. Finally, students will have the privilege of completing a midterm and a comprehensive final exam.

Major Writers: English Literature
EN 201.03
T/TH 3:05-4:20
Professor Carol Abromaitis

The epic and romance occupy a central place in the canon of western literature.  In these works questions of good and evil, life and death, and honor and shame are posed and answered.  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, excerpts from Paradise Lost, The Hobbit, and The  Fellowship of the Ring from The Lord of the Rings.

REQUIREMENTS: Students will present to the class brief analyses of lines they select from the works.  The term paper is a critical and analytical research paper on one of the works in the course. Quizzes on each of the works will be administered. There is a mid-term and a final examination.

Major Writers: English Literature
EN 201.04
T/TH 4:30-5:45
Professor Carol Abromaitis

The Victorian (1837-1901), Edwardian (1901-1910), and Georgian eras (1910-1936) in England are notable for colonial expansion, industrial wealth, scientific discoveries (theoretical and practical), social reform, war, political agitation, aesthetic pluralism, revolution, and the continuing emancipation of women, some of Ireland, and the working class.  The literature of the 100 years of the Houses –Hanover, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Windsor – reflects in all its variety the central role of authors in a variety of social fronts as well as the growing alienation of artists from the centers of power. 

READINGS: Poems –Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Kipling, Dowson, Hardy, Housman, Owen, Yeats, Eliot.  Drama – Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest. Fiction – Dickens, Hard Times; C. Bronte, Jane Eyre; Doyle, “The Speckled Band”; Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant”; Chesterton, “The Actor and the Alibi.”

REQUIREMENTS: Students will present to the class brief analyses of lines they select from the works.  The term paper is a critical and analytical research paper on one of the authors read in the course.  Quizzes will be administered regularly throughout the semester.  There is a mid-term and a final examination.

Major American Writers: Three Decades of New York City:
EN 203.03
MW 3:00-4:15 PM
Professor Jean Lee Cole

New York City 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. In this course, we explore literary representations of one of America’s most prototypical yet most anomalous cities during three of its most formative decades: the 1850s, the 1890s, and the 1920s. While our course will focus on a single place, our study of the relationship between place and culture is one that is applicable to almost any piece of literature. And New York City in particular has played a significant role as image, metaphor, and symbol in the development of American culture as a whole. Course requirements: active class participation, group presentation/project, two tests, 6-8 page research paper.

Major Writers:  American Literature: American as an "Imagined Community"
EN 203D.04 – T/TH 12:15-1:30
EN 203D.05 – T/TH 1:40-2:55
Professor 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 realities of progress and diversity. 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? With a focus on the intersection of gender studies and African American literature, this course fulfills your Loyola College core diversity requirement.

Major Authors: American Literature
EN 203.06
T/TH 4:30-5:45
Professor Melissa Girard

What does “home” mean to Americans and American society? From HGTV to Etsy and Pinterest, we’re bombarded by advice about home improvement, “domestic” arts like cooking and sewing, and all manner of “DIY” home projects. What is the cultural significance of this current “nesting” craze? Have Americans always found their homes to be so entertaining? How do our feelings about the home influence public policy and politics?

In order to begin answering these and other questions about home and domesticity, this course will examine a variety of American literary works from the nineteenth century through to our contemporary moment. We’ll begin with nineteenth-century poetry by Emily Dickinson and short stories by Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Kate Chopin, which helped to establish the blueprint for the modern American home. We will then move into the modernist era, exploring early twentieth-century works by Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Emma Goldman, and Mina Loy, which revolted against the confines of traditional domestic life. Finally, we will move toward our contemporary moment by reading some of the most iconic mid-century representations of the nuclear family in Lorraine Hansberry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, the novels The Man In the Gray Flannel Suit and The Women of Brewster Place, and poetry by Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton. These works of literature, and a selection of critical essays, will help us understand how the American home has changed over the last two hundred years and think more deeply about the race, gender, and class values currently associated with “home.” In addition to Midterm and Final exams and weekly responses, each student will also complete an independent research project focused on the course’s primary topic.

Major Writers: Shakespeare
EN 205.01
MWF 4:30-5:45 PM
Professor Thomas Scheye

“He doth bestride the narrow world/ Like a colossus.”  The way Cassius describes Julius Caesar can apply as well to his creator:   because of Shakespeare’s achievement that towers over all other authors’ in our language; and the nature of that achievement.   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 patrimony, our common inheritance as English speakers.  This course focuses on Shakespeare’s finest tragedies and comedies, where that world finds it finest expression.

Reinventing and Romancing the Middle Ages
EN 306.01
MWF 12:00-12:50
Professor Kathleen Forni

Why do we still care about the Middle Ages? In this course we'll be studying medievalism, or how the Middle Ages is reconstructed in the modern imagination. The primary (although not exclusive) focus will be on romance, since many of our assumptions about courtship and love are derived from medieval literary conventions. Medieval texts will include Beowulf, Tristan and Iseult, Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, the Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Robyn Hode. Modern texts and films will include Gardner's Grendel, Percy's Lancelot, and several film adaptations of our medieval works.

Shakespeare II
EN 311.01
MWF 10:00-10:50
Professor Robert Miola

English 311, Shakespeare, examines the comedies and romances of William Shakespeare—plays of love, marriage, suffering, and redemption.  It is open to English majors and to all students who have completed English core requirements, especially those with an interest in theatre and literature. Together we will read these astonishing plays with an eye to theatrical performance.  We will see performances on stage if possible; we will also see performance on film, in which medium there are many interesting and controversial adaptations readily available.  Students will participate in a theatrical performance of Shakespearean scenes, taking responsibility for rehearsal, props, costumes, setting, pace, gestures, delivery, and interpretation. There will be quizzes, a paper, an hour exam and a final. Readings will probably include The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Much Ado about Nothing, Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest, and perhaps one tragedy for fun.

Seminar:  Good & Evil in the Long 18th Century
EN 337.01
T/TH 12:15-1:30
Professor Carol Abromaitis

The long 18th century extends from the Restoration of the Stuarts to reign over England (1660) to the late-century publication of Lyrical Ballads.  With the return of Charles II from the court of the Louis XIV, England abandoned many of the constrictions visited on it by Oliver Cromwell and his followers.  Drama was reestablished, and for the first time in English theaters actresses played females roles. Satire was a dominant feature of poetry, drama, and fiction while wit was valued more than piety, and in some circles virtue was not an authorial priority.

READINGS: Poems – Dryden, Wilmot, Swift, Pope, Johnson, Gray, Goldsmith.  Drama – Congreve, “The Way of the World”;  Gay, “The Beggar’s Opera”; Goldsmith, “She Stoops to Conquer”; Sheridan, “The School for Scandal.”  Fiction – Swift, “A Modest Proposal”; Fielding, Joseph Andrews”; Austen, Persuasion.

REQUIREMENTS: In the seminar each student will present two reports that will end with questions for the class.  Participation in the class is essential for it to be a success.  The term paper is a critical and analytical term paper on one of the authors read in the course.  There is a mid-term and a final examination. 

The Romantic Movement
EN 350.01
T/TH 3:05-4:20
Professor Daniel Mangiavellano

In this course, we will survey the poets, novelists, and essayists of the British Romantic period. We will trace the emergence of British Romanticism from Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads in 1798 to the passage of the Reform Bill in 1834 and the ascension of Queen Victoria in 1837.  Reading and writing assignments will consistently challenge students to make thoughtful connections between the literature of the period and the changing cultural, industrial, and political landscape of the early nineteenth century. A particularly exciting element of this class will be in tracing the many ways in which Romantic-era theories of creativity, originality, and genius contribute to twenty-first century tastes and habits. 

Topics in Victorian Literature:  19th-Century Crime, Mystery, and Detection
EN 361.01
T/TH 10:50-12:05
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 fiction, 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 Shepphard, 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 British and American Fiction
EN 370.01
T/TH 1:40-2:55
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.

African American Literature
EN 373.01
T/TH 4:30-5:45
Professor Brian Norman

Black literature has long been at the center of national conversations about identity, equality, and community–let's find out how it has shaped the nation and what it has to say in our more self-consciously multicultural era. This course introduces you to key writers, eras, and experiences in African American literature by tracing the evolution of five enduring areas of concern: slavery, segregation, civil rights, tradition, and the prospect of a “postracial” America. African American literature chronicles and shapes black experience for the nation, and for black people themselves. You will connect in-class conversations to the world through one of four experiential paths: Community Servant, Public Intellectual, Cultural Citizen, or Engaged Scholar.  Two essays, experiential path, and creative final.

Seminar in Literature and Film: The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock
EN 386.01
T/TH 9:25-10:40
Professor Mark Osteen

The legendary shower scene, complete with slashing knife and screeching violins; a literal cliffhanger beneath the faces on Mt. Rushmore; a glowing glass of poisoned milk; a detective with acrophobia who becomes obsessed with a dead woman; a photographer spying on his neighbors: Alfred Hitchcock’s films have given us some of cinema’s most memorable images and scenes. Though renowned as a consummate technician and branded the “Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock is far more than a purveyor of thrills. His films investigate the complexities of guilt and responsibility and implicate audiences in the crimes they depict; they plumb the mysteries of love; they examine the human propensity for violence. And they do all this while entertaining us gloriously. This course will introduce students to about half of Hitchcock’s more than 50 feature films, starting with The Lodger (1927) and ending with Frenzy (1972), compare them with some of his source texts, and explore the themes discussed above.

Students will write two scene editing analyses, take a midterm and final exam, and write a research paper. They will also acquaint themselves with some of the most enduringly delightful films in cinema history. Counts toward Film Studies Minor.

Senior Honors Seminar - The Myth of the Great American Novel
EN 409.01
MW 4:30-5:45
Professor Lukacs

The novel is the defining modern literary form just as the United States is the defining modern democratic nation.  Thus the ongoing quest for that mythic creature—the great American novel.  This course, which is open to seniors only by invitation, explores the myth.  In addition to reading candidates for great American novel status, we shall investigate the origins of both the novel as a form as well as of liberal democracy as a political system.  Ralph Ellison, himself the author of one such candidate (Invisible Man) once observed that “the novel always has been bound up with the idea of nationhood.”  We shall ask whether that is true and keep it in mind all semester.

In addition to all the normal requirements of a seminar (presentations, papers, and the like), students in EN 409 are tasked with organizing the English department’s annual Christmas Feast, where a good time is always had by all.

Joseph Walsh

Joseph Walsh, Ph.D.

Joseph Walsh, Ph.D., teaches classics and history at Loyola and is a co-director of the Honors Program

Classics, History