Skip to main content



Carthage’s dedicated English faculty lead students in a variety of exciting literature and writing courses. Students explore texts, develop critical thinking and writing skills, and graduate with an imaginative understanding of literature and an appreciation of language. Scroll down to read descriptions of the English courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

  • ENG 1060

    Interpreting Literature (HUM)

    A rotating selection of courses that are designed to introduce nonmajors to critical reading and literary analysis, focusing on the terminology, tools, and practices needed to study literature in an informed, imaginative way. The course may focus on a particular author, genre, or organizing theme (for example, wilderness or satire) and will provide students with knowledge of the conventions and varieties of literature while seeking to instill in them an awareness of the range and diversity in literary voices as well as a sense of how literature and culture interact. Course content rotates according to Instructor and semester.

  • ENG 1160

    Introduction to Literary Studies (HUM)

    This gateway course for English majors and prospective English majors introduces students to the essential techniques, approaches, and fundamental questions of literary discourse and the practice of literary criticism, as well as to the central issues raised by literary theory. Although a review of genres and literary elements along with an introduction to the most frequently anthologized authors is a component of the course, its main aim is to teach students how to read with a greater awareness of the process of interpreting literary texts. This course is required of all majors and must be taken within a year of declaration. ENG 1160 also may be used for distribution credit in the Humanities.

  • ENG 2010

    American Literary Traditions (HUM)

    This course is designed to give students an understanding of key characteristics, historical phases, and issues in American literature. In order to experience the range and diversity of American literature, students read both canonical authors such as Bradstreet, Hawthorne, Dickinson, Twain, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Ellison, and noncanonical writers from a variety of regional and ethnic backgrounds, such as Harriet Wilson and Emma Lazarus. The works will be arranged in chronological order and will be discussed as representative of the time period from which they come. The works taught will be chosen so that students will encounter a variety of genres such as poetry, novels, short stories, drama, and essays.
    This course is a prerequisite for subsequent courses that focus on American literature (e.g., Literature in Its Time II and Special Studies in a Major Author After 1800).

  • ENG 2020

    British Literary Traditions I (prior to 1800)(HUM)

    In this course, students study English literature written prior to 1800. Such works and writers as Beowulf, Chaucer, medieval lyrics, medieval drama, the major sonnet writers, Sidney, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, and Pope will be included. In addition to these canonical writers and works, attention will be given to important women writers of the premodern period, such as Marie de France, Margery Kempe, Mary Wroth, and Katherine Phillips.

  • ENG 2030

    British Literary Traditions II (after 1800)(HUM)

    In this course, students study English literature written after 1800, reading works by such writers as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Blake, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Austen, Dickens, Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Yeats, and Woolf. In addition to these canonical writers, attention will be given to noncanonical writers whose works can provide diversity in ethnicity, class, and gender.

  • ENG 2040

    The Classical Tradition in Literature (HUM)

    The content of this course consists of the great texts of the Western European tradition and also of non-Western traditions. The works included will represent the Heroic and Classical periods in Greece (Homer, Sappho, the Greek dramatists), the Golden Age of Latin Writings (Virgil, Ovid), and the medieval continuation of the tradition. Such non-Western works as Gilgamesh or Chinese poetry may be included. Emphasis will be on the place of the works within their cultural context, the values and aesthetic principles of epic poetry, the interplay between divine and human forces, the nature of heroism, and the ongoing importance of the Classical tradition in literature.

  • ENG 2050

    Creative Writing

    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.
    Prerequisites: COR 1100 and COR 1110

  • ENG 2060

    Expository Composition

    This course will focus on the development of a clear and persuasive expository style suited for academic or professional writing. Students will gain a heightened sense of "audience" by reading and responding to each other's writing.
    Prerequisites: COR 1100 and COR 1110

  • ENG 3010

    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.
    Prerequisite: ENG 2020

  • ENG 3020

    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.

  • ENG 3030

    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: Have reached at least sophomore standing

  • ENG 3040

    Advanced Writing

    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: COR 1100, COR 1110, and ENG 2050; or consent of the instructor
    NOTE: This course can be repeated for credit.

  • ENG 3070

    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.

  • ENG 3090

    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.

  • ENG 3100

    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.

  • ENG 3110

    Shakespeare (HUM)

    Students may choose this course as one of the required upper-division courses prior to 1800. In this course, representative tragedies, comedies, histories, and romances will be studied. Attention will be given to how Shakespeare's plays reflect the fundamental concerns of the Renaissance. The course also will include attention to genre, history of ideas, and literary criticism.

  • ENG 3140

    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.

  • ENG 3150

    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.
    Prerequisite: ENG 2020

  • ENG 3160

    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.
    Prerequisite: ENG 2030 or ENG 2010

  • ENG 3750

    History and Structure of the English Language

    A course that seeks to enlarge students' understanding and appreciation of the English language by examining the history of its development and the systematic ways that it expresses meaning.

  • ENG 4100

    Senior Seminar

    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.

  • ENG 4200

    Methods and Materials in Teaching English

    A study of English teaching methods and instructional materials. Special attention is given to the selection and organization of subject matter and learning activities. Fieldwork required.
    Prerequisite: Admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP)

  • ENG 4300

    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

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …