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 – T TH 12:15-1:30 PM
EN 201.02 – T TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Professor Barnett-Woods

As a second in a series of eco-criticism, this course will examine the literary relationship with the natural world, specifically with the forest space. Beginning with the Romantics, we’ll trudge deeper into the unruly terrains of science-fiction, fantasy, and the global. Along our journey we will meet two symbolic animals—the snake and the wolf—to guide us through deeper questions that literature helps us to ask (and answer) about who we are, what we fear and why we may fear it. The end of the course has us returning to the woods, with a discussion of the forest as cure and comfort. We will be reading four novels from the Anglo-American literary tradition and supplement our reading with theories and philosophies about humankind’s relationship with the forest.  

Major Writers: English Literature: Science & The Monstrous
EN 201.03 – T TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Professor Gayla McGlamery

The flowering of science and technology in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries markedly improved people's lives, but progress brought with it unintended consequences. The fears that scientific theorizing and experimentation unleashed reveal themselves in the "monster" literature of the period, most notably in the works of Mary Shelley, Robert Browning, Bram Stoker, and H.G. Wells.  This literature aims to evoke horror but also to raise philosophical and moral questions.  In "Science and the Monstrous, we'll examine the intersections of science, technology, and the monstrous in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries and examine shifting conceptions of the natural and the unnatural that still influence us today.

Major Writers: English Literature: Humor: No Laughing Matter
EN 201.05 – MWF 1:00-1:50 PM
Professor Katherine Shloznikova

When it comes to humor, we are all experts in the field. We just know when something is funny or not. But humor is not an easy matter. Why do humans laugh but not animals? Why is comedy sometimes more tragic than tragedy? What exactly makes a joke funny? In this course we will investigate what makes humor humor - what elements produce the effect of “funniness.” We will examine different theories of humor as well as the psychology behind it. For example, how does humor relate to pleasure and pain? to happiness and unhappiness? to creativity and gender? We will study mechanisms of joke-production and structures of wit, irony, sarcasm, absurd and dark humor. 
Our readings will be of two kinds: theoretical and fictional. The theory of humor will cover conceptual aspects of humor as well as cultural analyses of contemporary state of comedy. Fiction will include plays and short stories by various writers, from Mark Twain to David Sedaris. We will also watch comedies by Charlie Chaplin and Luis Bunuel, and contemporary comedy shows.  

Major Writers: American Literature
EN 203D.02 – MW 3:00-4:15 PM
EN 203D.03 – MW 6:00-7:15 PM
Professor 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, Walt Whitman’s poems 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 works 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.  This course meets the University's Diversity Course Requirement, focusing on domestic awareness.

Major Writers: American Literature: Revolutions in the Americas
EN 203.04 – T TH 1:40-2:55 PM
Professor Nathaniel Windon

Boston’s tea-partying and John Revere’s midnight-riding were part of a revolution, but not the only one in the Americas. Twenty years later, the enslaved people of Haiti succeeded in overthrowing their government, too. Despite the proximity of the two revolutions and their profound impact on each other, we often think of the American Revolution as a singular event and know little, if anything, about the Haitian Revolution. In this class, we’ll learn about the two American revolutions in relation to one another. Our reading will range from the anonymously-authored “Theresa, a Haytien Tale” (1828) to Derek Walcott’s The Haitian Trilogy plays (2002) and from The Federalist Papers (1788) to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (2015). We will think about the motivations for, and consequences of, revolutionary violence; about the conditional meaning of freedom; about why the legacy of the Haitian Revolution has been, according to Michel-Rolph Trouillot, “silenced”; and about how the stories we tell about our origins affect the way we live today. 

Major Writers: Gender, Culture & Madness
EN 206.01 / PY 270.01 – T TH 4:30-5:45 PM
Professors Melissa Girard and Amy Wolfson

This team-taught course will explore the foundational connections between literature and psychology. Featuring literature and films by influential American authors who underwent psychiatric treatment, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sylvia Plath, Augusten Burroughs, and Susanna Kaysen, the course will explore the relation between creativity and 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 social norms. Through case studies focused on interdisciplinary topics including neurasthenia, gaslighting, depression, trauma, addiction, and body image, we will examine how gender constructs and values continue to shape definitions of mental health and illness.   The course will fulfill either the second core English requirement or the second Social Science core requirement. For Psychology majors, it fulfills a Category VI requirement. It also counts toward the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor.

Major Writers:  Ancient Novel
EN 214.01 – MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Professor Aaron Palmore

Roman social and literary history come together in this romp through one of the most curious genres of the ancient world. Apuleius opens his novel Metamorphoses by telling us what we will read about in it: "the features and fortunes of people changed into other forms, then changed back again". With this, Apuleius sets us up for a set of stories about identity and perception. These stories also happen to be told by a narrator who has been transformed into a donkey. We'll focus on Apuleius and Petronius, too, in English translation, with an eye toward uncovering the vast diversity, complexity, and decadence of life on the fringes in the early centuries of the Roman Empire.  Instead of heroes and princes, be ready to meet working-class folks from the provinces, magicians, thieves, freedmen, and the enslaved. We'll also take a closer look at some modern responses, including Fellini's adaptation of Petronius' Satyricon.

Comic Books as Literature, TV & Cinema
EN 220.01 – T TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Professor Brett Butler

Comics Books as Literature, Television, and Cinema provides a comprehensive understanding of visual storytelling from the page to the screen. This course is designed for all students, from those who have never read a comic book to the most dedicated fans and collectors. Students are exposed to a variety of comic book genres, such as superhero to autobiographical, and learn how to discuss stories arcs, characters, and settings by applying different critical lenses. They also discuss criteria for making an effective comic book adaptation by analyzing various television shows and movies (both good and bad) based on comic books. Competing this course, students will develop a greater appreciation of visual storytelling and hone their abilities to discuss comic books as informed scholars.

Race, Law, and American Literature
EN 291.01 – MWF 2:00-2:50 PM
Professor 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, and Colson Whitehead, 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/IAF) Minor, and it is part of Loyola’s Pre-Law curriculum.

300/400-Level Courses

Shakespeare II:  Comedies and Romance
EN 311.01 – MW 3:00-4:15 PM
Professor 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:

In springtime, the only pretty ringtime,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding
Sweet lovers love the spring

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

*** Shakespeare I is NOT a pre-requisite. 

Embodying the Divine: Milton and Disability  
EN 320.W01 - MWF 12:00-12:50 PM (online course)
Professor Giuseppina Iacono Lobo 

In Book 7 of Paradise Lost, Raphael the Archangel relates the story of the creation of humankind to Adam: “in his own Image hee / Created thee, in the Image of God / Express” (7.526-28). In this context, the term express means an exact rendering. Yet Milton’s enjambed poetic line defers that exactitude for a moment, a breath, almost begging us to consider what it means to embody the divine expressly.  
In an epic narrated by a disabled speaker, written by a disabled poet, and featuring different manifestations of the “Image of God”—man, woman, angel, devil—how might we read this precise resemblance? Who is allowed to see themselves in the image of God, and how is Milton’s God imagined as a result? In this course, we will examine a selection of John Milton’s poetry, prose, and personal correspondence through this quandary of divine embodiment. More particularly, we will focus on the prevalence of disability in Milton’s works and how the poet-polemicist reconciles bodymind difference with “the Image of God / Express.”  
Pushing further, we will also consider Milton’s connections between gender, ability, and the image of God. How do Milton’s Eve, Dalila, or even Comus’s Lady house this image within their seemingly dangerous bodies?  
Along the way, we will explore early modern models of disability and how Milton both upholds and challenges ableism in the mid-seventeenth century. Students will write a close reading essay and research paper, in addition to keeping a commonplace book, completing Moodle posts, and a presentation.  

Dissent! American Literature to the First World War
EN 366.01 – T TH 12:15-1:30 PM
Professor Sondra Guttman

The United States is a nation famously founded on the power of dissent. What can American literature tell us about protest and power, about the path from narration to positive social transformation? This semester we’ll explore expressions and depictions of this American impulse, tracing its contradictions and complexities and reflecting on its implications for U.S. society today. Readings will include works by Judith Sargent Murray, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frances Harper, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Charles Chesnutt, and Rebecca Harding Davis, among others. Requirements include written responses, collaborative discussion leadership, one close reading essay, a midterm exam, and choice of final project.

Seminar in Renaissance Literature: Shakespeare and Race
EN 417.01 – T TH 9:25-10:40 AM
Professor 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 shall also look selectively at a range of critical materials—books, articles, interviews, and podcasts. We will see performances on film and, if possible, in the theater. Areas of exploration will be the early modern history of 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. Oral report, take-home final and a paper. Readings will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, Macbeth, The Tempest, and others.  

Seminar in African American Literature
EN 481.01 – T TH 3:05-4:20 PM
Professor Sarah Ingle

This course will explore the literature and culture of the Harlem Renaissance, a movement of the 1920s and 1930s when African American literature, music, and art flourished even though most African Americans still faced segregation, discrimination, and oppression in their everyday lives. As sharecropping, lynching, voter intimidation, and widespread economic oppression increasingly pushed African Americans out of the rural South and toward the cities of the North, African American literature, music, and culture took the nation by storm, bringing sweeping changes to American culture that reached far beyond the confines of Harlem. These cultural changes created what we now call “the Jazz Age” and the “New Negro Movement,” and they inspired a new sense of optimism and hope that many African Americans had not experienced since the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow laws in the late 19th century. Today, more than a century later, the writers of the Harlem Renaissance remain some of the biggest names in African American literature. The authors on our syllabus will include big names such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, W E. B. DuBois, and Claude McKay, but we will also become familiar with their less famous contemporaries, including Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, Dorothy West, Countee Cullen, Nella Larsen, George Schuyler, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and many others. We’ll read poetry, plays, essays, and fiction, including some of the earliest works of science fiction and detective fiction by African American authors! This course counts towards the African and African American Studies (AAAS/IAF) Minor.

Seminar in Modern Literature:  James Joyce and Ulysses
EN 483.01 – Wednesdays 6:30-9:00 PM
Professor Mark Osteen

James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) is viewed by many scholars as the greatest novel ever published in English, largely because of Joyce’s linguistic mastery. These scholars often forget to add: it is also wonderfully humane and riotously funny! This course celebrates the novel’s 100th anniversary. As its title implies, Ulysses is a modernization of Homer’s Odyssey that transposes the action to a single day, June 16th, 1904, in Dublin. Ulysses presents a set of fascinating character studies while also taking the pulse of an entire city in transition. Packed with allusions and showcasing a dazzling panoply of styles and subjects, it is nevertheless firmly anchored in the personal and social lives of its three major characters: Leopold Bloom, a 38-year-old Jewish advertising salesman in Catholic Ireland; his wife, Molly, a singing star preparing to have an adulterous affair with her manager; and Stephen Dedalus (based on Joyce himself), a twenty-two-year-old promising poet who was the hero of Joyce’s previous novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but is now drunk and adrift. The seminar will afford students a chance to see how Ulysses builds on Joyce’s earlier works, but most of the course will be devoted to studying Joyce’s masterpiece. To allow plenty of time for reading and discussion and to foster a relaxed atmosphere, this seminar meets only once per week, on Wednesday evenings. 

As we embark on our thrilling odyssey of reading, students will complete projects based on a single episode and contribute weekly to Moodle forums. Each group will also add its findings to a class wiki on Ulysses, so that by the end of the semester the class will have constructed its own research guide. Each student will also give an oral presentation and write a research paper. 

Seminar:  Banned Books
EN 499D.01 – MW 4:30-5:45 PM
Professor June Ellis

We study eight frequently banned books.  Several are near the top of the American Library Association’s recent lists of books most frequently challenged and banned.  The remaining works were banned under the Comstock laws or other prohibitions.  These and other works appear on the list when readers remove a book from a school or library, often after objecting to a writer’s presentation of different cultures or life experiences, especially regarding race or sexuality.  Readers have also objected to books when they consider that a writer uses offensive language, or depicts violence, religion or magic in an objectionable manner.  Because recent challenges to books concentrate particularly on race and sexuality, the books we read in the first half of the semester focus on race, and the books we read in the second half of the semester focus on gender and sexuality.  People honor or challenge the same books for quite different reasons but agree on one thing:  reading and writing may shape ideas and actions.  Books may be a powerful force.  

To hone our investigation of these works, we study and employ theories offered by two recent scholars.  Valerie Nash, focusing in 2019 on the origins of intersectionality in Black feminism, proposes that writers and readers be “freedom dreamers” in the face of overlapping oppressive structures.  Neetu Khanna, focusing in 2020 on decolonization in India, guides readers to investigate “visceral revolutionary feeling.”  She suggests that colonial trauma remains lodged in racialized and gendered sensibilities, and that the same energy caught up in pain may be freed to create potential liberation inner and outer.  In each of the readings this semester, we investigate the ways in which the writer offers a freedom dream.  We trace visceral revolutionary feelings that transform the very energy of trauma into the energy of healing and freedom.  Practical questions we ask for each reading include:  What is the freedom dream?  What are the overlapping structures of oppression?  What is the trauma?  What is the awareness and potential healing?  

These writers do not only portray oppression and trauma; they also celebrate joy, love, laughter, strength and faith of non-dominant cultures and minority groups.  We give equal attention to the liberating ways of knowing and being, the true freedom dreams, that are expressed and lived in these works and the communities they depict.  This course meets the University's Diversity Course Requirement, focusing on domestic awareness.

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.

Jean Lee Cole

Jean Lee Cole, Ph.D.

Originally from the Midwest, this English professor has been a pioneer of service-learning at Loyola University Maryland