ENGL - English course descriptions


Mary Stark (chair), Valerie Billing, Lance Dyzak, Kate Nesbit

Statement of philosophy

The English Program academic enriches academic quality at Central College through traditional literary studies and innovative teaching and research across disciplines. We foster close reading, vigorous critical thinking, strong writing, and intellectual and artistic creativity in all of our courses. By studying language with respect and rigor, English majors cultivate two of the most essential habits of successful people: self-reflection and empathy for others.

While our faculty demonstrates expertise in literary theory and specific historical periods, we mentor students and collaborate with colleagues across campus in four major ways.


First, we believe in civic engagement in global and local contexts. Our classes develop strong commitments to sustainability, social justice, and service-learning. Second, we believe the study of literature and creative writing produces agile professionals. Central College graduates in English have thrived in fields as diverse as journalism, architecture, business management, education, law, medicine, public administration, and library science. Third, we are committed to deepening intercultural and international competence in our students through study abroad, courses in travel writing and global/postcolonial literature, and teaching English as a second language. Finally, we see literature as the nexus of interdisciplinary learning. We explore connections between literature, science, aesthetics, history, gender studies, and cultural studies. By buttressing the core curriculum at Central College through writing- intensive courses and liberal arts seminars, we bring the gift of literacy to the entire liberal arts community.


Major Communication Skills

The English program guarantees personal and thoughtful mentorship of student writing both in the classroom and in a distinctive portfolio review process. When students declare their intent to major in English, the department requests a portfolio of at least three papers that demonstrate critical reading and mastery of style. Majors must submit a second portfolio of at least five papers in their senior year for the final portfolio review. English faculty meet as a department to discuss portfolios and return detailed feedback to each student on strengths and areas for improvement in his or her writing. The combination of individual attention from professors and the collective opinion of the English faculty on student writing helps our majors understand their writing process and grow increasingly more reflective about the ways they might continue to improve. Passing the final portfolio review is necessary to meet the major communication skills requirement.


English Major Requirements (40 credit minimum) 

  1. Take all of the following required courses:

               ENGL    160   The Literary Imagination (4)
                                        or an additional survey course or course from genre and issue studies (3-4)           

               ENGL     180 The Reader's Toolbox (3)

               ENGL    346 Discovering Shakespeare (3)

               ENGL    425 Seminar in Literary Studies (4) 

  1. Take two of the following surveys in British and American Literature:

                ENGL    236  The American Experiment, Origins- 1890 (3)

                ENGL    237  The American Experiment, 1890- Present (3)

                ENGL    251  Monsters and Monstrosity in England, 800- 1785 (3)

                ENGL    252  The Haunted House of British Literature, 1785- Present (3)               

  1. Take two courses from the following group in genre and issue studies:

                ENGL    212 Caribbean Literature (3)

                ENGL    213 Literature, Environment, and Ecology (3)

                ENGL    214 Literature by Women (4)

                ENGL    215 African-American Literature (4)

                ENGL   216  LGBTQ+ Literature and Culture (3)

                ENGL   217  Literature and Film of the Middle East (4)               

                ENGL    249 Reading Poetry (3)

                ENGL    270 Illness and Health in Literature (4) 

  1. Take two courses from the following group of advanced studies in a period, issue, or genre:

                ENGL    318  Literature of Peace and Social Justice (4)

                ENGL    361  World Literature I (4)

                ENGL    362  World Literature II (4)

                ENGL    378  Literary Topics (4)                 

  1. Take one course in advanced writing:

                ENGL    240  The Personal Essay (4)

                ENGL    241   Short Story Writing (4)

               ENGL     243   Writing Oral Histories (4)

               ENGL     245   Travel Writing (4)

                ENGL    344   Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4) 

  1. Take one course of English elective at the 200 level or above. May include EDUC 231 as well as any course which counts toward English major. May not include: ENGL 208, ENGL 222, ENGL 244, or ENGL 320.


English Major with Additional Emphasis in Writing (53 credit minimum)

Note: Students must meet with the writing minor/writing emphasis coordinator to declare their intention to major in English with Writing Emphasis no later than the end of their third year. 

  1. Complete all requirements for the English major listed above (40 credits)          
  2. Complete three of the following (in addition to those taken for the English major):

                ENGL    240  The Personal Essay (4)

                ENGL    241  Short Story Writing (4)

                ENGL    242  Poetry Writing (3)

                ENGL    243  Writing Oral Histories (4)

                ENGL    244  Professional Writing (3)

                ENGL    342  Advanced Poetry Writing (3)

                ENGL    245  Travel Writing (4)

                ENGL    344  Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4)                 

  1. Complete ENGL 497  Internship in Writing (3)       


English Minor Requirements (20 credit minimum) 

  1.  Take one of the following:
    ENGL   236  The American Experiment, Origins- 1890 (3)
     ENGL   237  The American Experiment, 1890- Present (3)
     ENGL   251   Monsters and Monstrosity in England, 800-1785 (3)
     ENGL   252   The Haunted House of British Literature, 1785- Present (3)

  2. Take two of the following:
    ENGL   160    The Literary Imagination (4)
     ENGL   180    The Reader’s Toolbox (3)
     ENGL   212    Caribbean Literature (3)
     ENGL   213     Literature, Environment, and Ecology (3)
     ENGL   214     Literature by Women (4)
     ENGL   215     African-American Literature (4)
     ENGL   216     LGBTQ+ Literature and Culture (3)
     ENGL   217     Literature and Film of the Middle East (4)
     ENGL   249     Reading Poetry (3)
     ENGL   270     Illness and Health in Literature (4)

    3.  Take one of the following:
    ENGL    318      Literature of Peace and Social Justice (4)
    ENGL    361      World Literature I (4)
    ENGL    362      World Literature II (4)
    ENGL    378       Literary Topics (4) 

    4.  Take one of the following:
    ENGL     240      The Personal Essay (4)
    ENGL     241       Short Story Writing (4)
    ENGL     243       Writing Oral Histories (4)
    ENGL     245       Travel Writing (4)
    ENGL     344       Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4)

    5.  Take one of the following:
    ENGL     346         Discovering Shakespeare (3)
    ENGL     425         Seminar in Literary Studies (4)

Note: Students seeking teaching licensure should consult with the Education Department regarding additional required courses.


Writing Minor Requirements (17 credit minimum) 

  1. Complete five  of the following:

                ENGL    240  The Personal Essay (4)

                ENGL    241   Short Story Writing (4)

                ENGL    242   Poetry Writing (3)

                ENGL    243   Writing Oral Histories (4)    

                ENGL    244   Professional Writing (3)       

                ENGL    245   Travel Writing (4)

                ENGL    344   Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4)

                ENGL    497   Internship in Writing (Arr)


English courses for licensure in secondary education

Take all of the following: 

                ENGL    222  Literature for Young Adults (1)

                ENGL    320  Teaching Writing (2)

                ENGL   231  Teaching English Language Learners (3)

               EDUC     451  Secondary Special Methods (1)

               COMM   160  Communication in Everyday Life (3)

               Plus 12 credits of Secondary Student Teaching


The English department will not recommend for teacher licensure students whose grade average within their English courses is below 3.00. The department has advised the teacher education committee that such students should be denied admission to or be dropped from the certification process until grades in English have been brought up to 3.00. 

Please check with the education department for any other specific requirements.