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Fall 2024 EN Course Descriptions

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 2024

200-Level Courses

rapid waterfalls flowing in nature

Major Writers: Nature Poetry

 EN 200.02 – T/TH 12:15‐1:30 PM

 Dr. Katherine Shloznikova 


The Romantics often found their inspiration and consolation in nature: in trees, rivers, clouds, birds, landscapes. Following Rousseau, they endowed nature with love, innocence, and benevolence, which allowed them to explore their inner being ‐‐ its longing, maladies, and melancholy. In this course, we will carefully read British Romantics, American transcendentalists, and indigenous poetry, to explore how nature can be poeticized and exploited at the same time. We will also study the eco‐feminist writing of Mary Shelley, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and the   genre of the “female Robinsonade.”

traditionally canonical writers who examine systemic forms of oppression


Major Writers: American Lit: Protest Literature

EN 203.02 – M/W 3:00‐4:15 PM

Dr. Hunter Plummer

Through a diverse collection of film, theater, prose, poetry, and song from the early Republic to the present day, this course approaches literature of the United States of American through a lens of protest: literature about protest, literature as protest, and protest as literature. Together, these works explore various social ills and the social movements initiated to change them. 

We will study traditionally canonical writers and those on the periphery of social, culture, and/or academic attention— possibly including Henry David Thoreau, Langston Hughes, Sophie Treadwell, John Rollin Ridge, and Lorraine Hansberry—and consider who and what is “major” literature and how such conceptions perpetuate the systemic forms of oppression found in this course’s literature. Among other areas, this course counts toward the Diversity Justice Core requirement.

Salvador Dali’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus 1937

Major Writers: Classical Myth

EN 211.01/CL 211.01 – M/W/F 11:00‐11:50 AM

Dr. Aaron Palmore

People turning into birds, flowers, and trees! Human hybrids like centaurs, harpies, and the one‐and‐only minotaur! We’ll see all this and more in our core text, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the unexpectedly epic poem written while Augustus was finalizing the transition of the Roman world from Republic to Empire. Ovid’s mythological compendium hangs together loosely as a narrative, but thematically it’s ultimately a poem about power: who gets it, how do they wield it, and what happens to those who suffer? We’ll spend one week on each of the 15 books of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which will give us plenty of time to complement our reading with consideration of literary, artistic, and musical responses to the poem from the past 2000 years.

10 comic book covers

Comic Books as Literature, TV, & Cinema

EN 220.01 – M/W 4:30‐5:45 PM

EN 220.02 – M/W/F 11:00‐11:50 AM

Dr. Brett Butler

The impact of comic books, graphic novels, and manga have had on popular cultural is massive. However, it is only in the last couple decades that these mediums have become the topic of proper scholarly debate and criticism. This course exposes students to a variety of comic book and graphic novels and teaches them how discuss them in academically. Whether they are dedicated comic book fans or mildly interested newcomers, students learn to develop a more profound appreciation for visual storytelling.

frightened audience gasping at a movie with 3D glasses on


Introduction to Film: The History of Narrative Cinema

EN 281.01 – T/TH 1:40‐2:55 PM

Dr. Nicholas Miller

An exploration of the origins and development of the cinema, focusing on its emergence as the dominant story‐telling medium of the twentieth century and its transformation by digital technology in the contemporary world. This course examines the moving image as an expressive form from nineteenth‐century optical toys to contemporary digital media.  Topics covered will include the emergence of narrative genres, the influence of the Classical Hollywood style, narrativity in silent vs. sound cinema, major formal movements (for example Russian Formalism, German Expressionism, the French New Wave), the role of audiences, the art and economics of film‐making as a craft and as an industry, experimentation with non‐narrative cinema, and so on.  A fairly heavy reading/viewing load will include critical analysis of at least two films per week, plus accompanying historical and theoretical articles.  Other requirements include frequent viewing/reading responses, one formal paper, quizzes, tests and a final.

300-Level Courses

shakespeare's painted portrait

Shakespeare: History and Tragedies

EN 310.01 ‐ M/W 3:00‐4:15 PM

Dr. Thomas Scheye

“He doth bestride the narrow world / Like a colossus.” The reference is to Julius Caesar, but it applies to Shakespeare as well: because his achievement towers over all other authors in our language; and because of 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 inheritance, our common inheritance as English speakers.  This course focuses on Shakespeare’s history plays where that world is first defined and his mature tragedies where it finds it finest expression.  

Emma Stone seen as her character Bella in the movie "Poor Things"

Victorian Lit Topics: 19th‐Century Novels into Film

EN 361.01 ‐ T/TH 4:30‐5:45 PM

Dr. Gayla McGlamery 

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: Frankenstein; Love & Friendship and/or Sense and Sensibility; Jane Eyre and/or Wuthering Heights; Far from the Madding Crowd and/or The Mayor of Casterbridge; A Christmas Carol;   and Dracula or The Invisible Man.    Students can expect lively discussions, weekly responses,   one group oral presentation, midterm and final exams,   and a documented final paper.

Black arts movement graphic

Topics in African American Lit: Black Arts Movement

EN 375.01 ‐ T/TH 12:15‐1:30 PM

Dr. Gary Slack, Jr.

Described by Larry Neal asthe “aesthetic and spiritualsister of the Black Power Movement,” the Black Arts Movement sowed the seeds of revolution in the sense of the word—written, spoken, and drawn. Black Arts sought to capture the emancipatory potential of Black life, especially as the Civil Rights Movement waned. The movement focused on the intersections between arts and politics and reimagined the artist as a culture hero.  

In this course we will study a wide range of materials, from the poetry of Amiri Baraka to the music of Aretha Franklin. You will be expected to engage with art formstypical of the era, including manifestoes, jazz poetry, and visual collages. You will also be expected to produce criticism in the form of free writings, close readings, and research papers.

400-Level Courses

Medieval battle scene depicted in a video game

Seminar in Medieval Lit: Reinventing the Middle Ages

EN 407.01 ‐ T/TH 10:50 AM‐12:05 PM

Dr. Kathleen Forni

This course is broadly concerned with medievalism, that is, the ways in which the Middle Ages is imagined in modern culture. “Medieval” has a number of contradictory associations. On the plus side one might mention chivalry and courtly love, but on the minus side, brutality, oppression, and superstition. The age has been put to a variety of aesthetic, political, and philosophical uses, perhaps most often invoked in the name of a nostalgic loss associated with social conservatism, and, most recently, with white nationalism. After considering the apparent concerns within the medieval texts themselves, we'll examine how these texts have been reinvented, appropriated, and adapted in post‐medieval periods‐‐with an eye for the regressive and progressive politics associated with medievalism.   

Depending upon who is enrolled in the class (and what students have previously read), I will choose among these texts: Beowulf, Gardner’s Grendel, Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, Beowulf and Grendel (film, 2005); Chretien de Troyes, Percevel, or the Quest for the Grail, The Fisher King (film, 1991); Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Finding Heaven (film, date); Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur, White, The Once and Future King, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (film, 1975); Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Buried Giant, The Green Knight (film, 2021); Geste of Robin Hood, Robin Hood (film, TBD), A Thousand and One Nights, Arabian Nights (film, 2000).

Genesis text manuscript

Honors Seminar Pre‐1800: Unsettling Early American Literature

EN 430.01 – M/W/F 11:00‐11:50 AM

Dr. Stephen Park

The State of Maryland’s official website recounts the story of the first “settlers” arriving in Maryland in 1634. But what does it mean to settle a place? What do the narratives of settlement tell us about the people who were already there and then found themselves being “settled”? What do these narratives tell us about the people who arrived in America and the way they saw themselves? The literature of Early America often featured narratives of settlement as a way to assert the idea that European colonization was inevitable and a mark of progress. This course sets out to un‐settle these narratives by centering other literary voices and other possibilities for the Americas. We will read a wide array of texts from the 16th century to the early 19th century, including works by women, Black authors, and Native American authors. We will also look at more canonical texts and explore ways of locating a Native presence in them, as well. Our reading will include early American writers such as Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Mary Rowlandson, Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, William Apess, and James Fenimore Cooper. This course will also unsettle established narratives about Early America by turning to recent works of historical fiction to see how modern writers have recovered or reimagined marginalized voices. These modern texts will include Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s The Age of Phillis, and Toni Morrison’s A Mercy. Note for English Majors: this course counts toward the Pre‐1800 requirement.

Woman singing into microphone while being photographed

Seminar in Contemporary Lit:  Poetry in Public

EN 487.01 – T/TH 3:05‐4:20 PM

Dr. Melissa Girard

On October 7, 1955, the legendary “Six Poets at Six Gallery” poetry reading inaugurated a new era of poetry in public. “Beat” poets, such as Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, and Jack Kerouac, challenged a poetry establishment that had become increasingly “sterile” and isolated from American audiences. This class reclaims their vision: of a poetry directly engaged with public politics and deeply embedded in its local community. Throughout the semester, we will survey a variety of poets and poetry movements that inspired the Beats and that have arisen from their experiments. We will focus primarily on performance‐based poetries from nineteenth‐century minstrelsy through the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, Nuyorican poetry, Dub Poetry, and Slam. You will be introduced to these diverse traditions in the U.S., U.K., Caribbean, and throughout the African diaspora, and also develop methods for analyzing poetry in performance. Our “readings” will include an array of multimedia: recordings of poetry readings and performances, spoken word anthologies, popular radio broadcasts, and videos, as well as printed poems and critical essays, most of which will be made   available through the course website. These movements and many other poems   and poets in between will help us to understand how local communities have   given rise to new forms of poetry and new models of what it means to be a poet.

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. Forni ( , the departmental internship supervisor, before registration.