Scroll down to read descriptions of the English courses offered at Carthage for the creative writing emphasis, or click on the following links for additional resources.
- Carthage Schoology for current students
- Course Schedules for all terms
- Current final exam schedule
- Emphasis requirements
Introduction to Literary Studies (HUM)
This gateway course, open to both majors and non-majors, introduces students to the essential techniques, approaches, and fundamental questions of literary studies. How can close attention to language enrich our understanding of any written text? How do we discern and make meaning from literature? Why does literature matter? In this course, students will develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills through the careful study of literature from an array of genres and periods. ENG 1160 is required of all English majors and minors and may be used for distribution credit in the Humanities.
Studies in American Literature (HUM)
This variable content course introduces students to some of the major critical questions of American literary and cultural studies. What is American identity, and how is it forged through literature and media? How do literary, media, and textual cultures produce and reflect the political concerns of particular historical moments? What do we read, and why do we read, and how do we read, when our aim is to understand ourselves as subjects, or as members of a national community, or U.S. history? How are identities (national, personal, racial, ethnic, gendered, sexual, dis/abled) forged in relation to a larger body politic or imagined community, and how does literature mediate that relation? The content of this course will shift, sometimes focusing on particular themes or ideas, sometimes focusing on historical period, but the courses aims will remain consistent: to better understand America through inquiry into the diverse literary productions that circulate in the U.S.; to better understand literature by considering its relation to the cultures, communities, imaginations, and politics of America.
Studies in British Literature (HUM)
This variable-content course provides an introduction to British literature through the study of one or more of the literary historical periods into which the discipline is traditionally divided, e.g., the early modern period, the nineteenth century, modernism, and/or contemporary literature. Through close study of particular authors, styles, and contexts, students will become familiar with the historical and artistic forces that shaped (and continue to shape) the literature of Britain understood in its most expansive sense.
A workshop in writing poetry and fiction. Through reading and responding to published literary pieces as well as their own projects, students will acquire increased appreciation for the craft and aesthetic of literature and their own writing skills.
Literature in Its Time I: Prior to 1800 (HUM)
A rotating selection of courses engaging important themes, voices, and works of the medieval and Renaissance periods and the 18th century. Because literary works are not written in a vacuum but partake of the beliefs and concerns of a particular milieu, these courses provide the student with an interdisciplinary approach to literature by showing how philosophy, music, art, science, and society are reflected in and help shape the literature of each period. This course can be repeated for credit with alternating topics.
Literature in Its Time II: After 1800 (HUM)
A rotating selection of courses engaging important themes, voices, and works of the British Romantic period, the Victorian period, the Modern period, and 19th to 21st century American literature. These courses follow the same interdisciplinary approach as Literature in Its Time I. This course can be repeated for credit with alternating topics.
Major Texts in Critical Theory (HUM)
What is literature? What is a text? How does language work? What is the point of reading? How is literature connected to the world? Do we need to understand the historical and political context of a text to decide what it means? How might a reader’s own context influence interpretation? This course wrestles with difficult questions like these by exploring a rotating selection of major texts in the fields of literary theory and cultural criticism. Texts may include (but are not limited to) works by Ferdinand de Saussure, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Judith Butler, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gloria Anzaldua, and/or Donna Haraway. We will study the critical texts for themselves, but we will also practice using their interpretive approaches. This course will be excellent preparation for thesis work in English but is not limited to English majors.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above
A rotating selection of courses focusing on the production of literary and expository writing, the art of the short story and the poem, as well as the essay and creative nonfiction. Through intensive workshops each course will immerse students in the writing process, stressing the craft and technique of writing. In addition to reviewing students’ own work, the course will include some study of exemplary works in the appropriate form of discourse.
Prerequisites: ENG 2050 or consent of the instructor
NOTE: This course can be repeated for credit.
Film and Literature (HUM)
This class will explore the relationship between film and literature. Students will be taught to “read” literature and film, analyzing narrative structure, genre conventions, and technical and artistic factors to better understand the relationship between text and image. In addition, students will examine how film and literature reflect the times and conditions in which they are made, and conversely, how they sometimes help shape attitudes and values in society. Our reading and viewing of texts will not only address aesthetic achievement and cultural values, but also distinguish the unique ways in which film and literature construct their representative meanings.
Literature of Diversity (HUM)
Each offering in this rotating selection of courses explores a single diverse ethnic literature, such as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Native American. While content will vary according to the discretion of the instructor, this group of courses is united by a common desire to read a diverse literature according to its own heritage double-voice as it is further complicated by issues of gender and class. To this end, a course in Native American literature, for example, might begin with a study of the creation myths in the oral tradition, then move to historical, anthropological, autobiographical, and fictional accounts of the Native American experience as the two (often conflicting) voices of Native American and American describe it.
Literature and Gender (HUM)
In this course the literature chosen for study will reflect issues relevant to considerations of gender. In some instances, works will be chosen in order to explore the idea of how literature portrays what it means to be gendered. In other instances, literature will be chosen in order to explore how writers of one gender portray characters of the opposite gender. In some instances the choice of literature will be based on extending awareness of writers who, because of their gender, have not historically been included within the canon. The historical and social contexts of these works will be an integral part of the conversation within the course.
This course will offer a deep engagement with Shakespeare through close study of several of his plays. Students will be assigned roles and learn to speak their parts with intention and meaning, developing an understanding of and learning to take pleasure in ShakespeareÃ¢??s language and forms. Close reading and discussion will consider the plays on the page and in performance, while literary history and criticism will provide insight into their forms and contexts.
Literary Genres (HUM)
This umbrella covers a series of courses on a single literary genre, such as the short story, poetry, drama, the epic, or the novel, that will vary in emphasis at the discretion of the instructor. The novel, for example, might be a course focusing on the novel as genre and as literature. The genre section of the course will acquaint the student with the relevant criticism. The literary section will approach the novel as literature according to formalist analysis of language and form; canonical issues; sociohistorical contexts; the influence of gender, race, and class; and the role of the reader.
Special Studies in a Major Author Prior to 1800 (HUM)
This seminar-style class studies the writing of a major English author prior to 1800. The variable content may draw from one or several genres and gives attention to literary criticism about the writer and the writer’s own literary theories. Social, historical, and biographical contexts also constitute elements of the study. Featured authors may include Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, Donne, Milton, Swift, or Pope; occasionally the instructor may choose to study two authors rather than one, if the two complement each other.
Special Studies in a Major Author After 1800 (HUM)
This seminar-style class studies the writing of a major English author after 1800. The variable content may draw from one or several genres and will give attention to literary criticism about the writer and the writer’s own literary theories. Social, historical, and biographical contexts will also constitute elements of the study. Featured authors may include Austen, George Eliot, Twain, Yeats, Hardy, Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and Faulkner. Occasionally the instructor may choose to study two authors rather than one, if the two complement each other.
Junior Seminar: Critical Theory and Methods in Literary Studies (HUM)
This course, designed for English majors, will prepare students for advanced scholarship in literary studies (that is: the senior thesis in English). The course familiarizes students with genealogies of literary theory and current trends in research. Students will consider the historical, ethical, and philosophical concerns that impact our understanding of literature - its production, circulation, reception, and meaning. They will do this by reading and employing multiple traditions of literary theory, ranging from (but by no means limited to) aesthetic philosophy to cultural studies. Students will also study the modes of inquiry that inform literary studies by learning methods of research, and the modes and genres of scholarly writing in the field of English. This course should be taken by English majors in the semester preceeding their senior thesis.
Prerequisites: Declared major in English and junior standing
This course, for senior English majors and seniors from other fields who may petition to be admitted, is a seminar for students to work independently on a substantial paper of literary criticism, while reporting progress and making a final seminar presentation before a group working in the same field of study. Instruction and discussion, especially in the early weeks of the course, will focus on the development of the English language, the history of literary criticism, and bibliographical tools necessary for further research in English. This course is required of all English majors and serves as an opportunity for them to demonstrate their ability to think critically and to express their ideas effectively in writing. They will, furthermore, be required to deal with questions and issues that derive from literary theory.
Seminar in Creative Writing
In this course students will explore, in various ways, how writing enters the world outside the classroom. The primary focus is on the students’ Senior Chapbooks. They will develop the content of their Senior Chapbooks in a studio setting, learning how individual pieces can be combined to form a longer work and/or learning how a single longer piece can be readied for sharing in a more final form and to a wider audience. Students will undertake the material production of chapbooks, studying various methods of chapbook production and producing a chapbook of their writing. Finally, they will learn to present that writing in a public reading. Additional related course activities will include participating in public writing activities that extend beyond the campus, including some of the following: teaching writing in the schools or other public institutions; attending and participating in readings off-campus; and sharing work in various ways with the wider community (zines, posters, graffiti, street corner readings, open mikes, etc.).
Prerequisite: ENG 3040 or consent of the instructor