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English Major

The English major at Olivet College offers courses in critical approaches to literature, surveys of American and British literature and international literature composition. Your studies will include the opportunity for creative writing in various genres, as well. Most courses include reading in multicultural literature. The department also offers a minor degree program in English. The following is an overview of courses associated with our English major.

For your convenience, below are the course descriptions for the required classes for all Arts and Humanities majors and minors. For more information please visit the academic catalog.

Required Core Classes:
ENG 105 Text and Culture

Introduction to fundamental techniques of literary analysis through the study of texts from a variety of world cultures. This course also introduces some of the issues surrounding the idea of culture, in particular how literature plays a role in how cultures are defined and understood. Text and Culture stresses the importance of writing in the learning process, and the course includes instruction in the writing process.

Fall and Spring Semesters.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Global Diversity requirement.

ENG 202 Cultural Theories of Representation: American Literature I

This course explores the various literary creations of the “myths” behind American literature. It questions, explores, and eventually may demystify the historical and political reasons behind such creations.

Fall Semester.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Global Diversity requirement.

ENG 203 Theories of Form: Early British Literature

The course introduces students to the relationship between the literary and the form through which it has been recorded and through which it represents its themes and concerns. It is a highly historically oriented course insofar as it perceives the form as continually changing.

Fall Semester.
3 semester hours.

ENG 204 Defining Literary Thinking: British Literature II

This course aims to introduce students to the chief terms in the practice of literary studies. The course addresses the question of how and why we read literature, not by providing an answer to the course title, but by considering the historical and cultural implications of reading. The course introduces students to the purpose and function of literary criticism as well as to an understanding of how we are everywhere interpreting, with special emphasis on Romantic, Victorian and Modernist texts.

Spring Semester.
3 semester hours.

ENG 205 Reading and Interpretation: American Literature II

This course covers basic reading in literary theory, the relationship between critical theory and literature, and the principles of evaluation, appreciation and understanding. American texts from the mid 19th-century to the present will serve as a point of departure for critical analysis.

Spring Semester.
3 semester hours.

ENG 240 Advanced Composition

A writing workshop designed to help students improve their ability to write clear, unified and interesting prose and to refine their appreciation and understanding of the English language. The course stresses the writing process and how to apply writing strategies effectively to a range of writing tasks, including argumentation, analysis, and researchsupported essays. Also addresses issues of style, grammar, mechanics and usage.

Fall Semester.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisites: C or higher in IDS 112.

ENG 301 Transgressions and Transformations in 19th Century Thought

When most people think of a particular century, they think of its most sweeping movements. But often those arose out of authors’ discontents with the particular conventions of those same movements. Much of 19th century thought arises because authors perceived current ideas as too limiting, too frustrating, too conservative. This course examines the conventions governing such thought. But it also looks at some of the criticism of the period, which may have helped (or not) create the conventions the authors sometimes opposed.

Fall Semester, odd years.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisites: [ENG 105, ENG 240 and ONE of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205] OR [ENG 240 and TWO of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205].

ENG 302 Transgressions and Transformations in 20th Century and Contemporary Thought

When most people think of a particular century, they think of its most sweeping movements. But often those arose out of authors’ discontents with the particular conventions of those same movements. Much of 20th century thought arises because authors perceived current ideas as too limiting, too frustrating, too conservative. This course examines the conventions governing such thought. But it also looks at some of the criticism of the period, which may have helped (or not) create the conventions the authors sometimes opposed.

Fall Semester, even years.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisites: [ENG 105, ENG 240 and ONE of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205] OR [ENG 240 and TWO of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205].

ENG 303 International Literatures

Appreciation of the rich tradition of international literature and understanding the culture in which a literature has emerged. Awareness of the impact and contribution of international literature to world society.

Spring Semester.
3 semester hours.
Prerequisites: [ENG 105, ENG 240 and ONE of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205] OR [ENG 240 and TWO of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205].
Satisfies Global Diversity requirement.

ENG 402 Philosophical Literature

This course explores key interpretations between philosophy and literature. How is the literary a primary form of knowing about the self and about subjectivity? Or is this a statement that belongs only to philosophy? What are literary critics to do with primarily philosophical texts, like those of Derrida and Foucault, but also with authors such as Whitman or Blake? Or is it, as postmodernism would like it, that there are in fact no boundaries among disciplines, just texts? The course explores these and other philosophicalliterary issues.

Fall Semester, odd years.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Senior Experience requirement.
Prerequisites: [ENG 105, ENG 240 and ONE of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205] OR [ENG 240 and TWO of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205].

ENG 404 Studies in Literary Topics

The exploration of a literary topic ordinarily outside the scope of more traditional courses in literature. Topics might include such subgenres of literature as the detective novel or science fiction, or literary trends of current interest. Topics will change every semester.

Fall Semester, even years.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Senior Experience requirement.
Prerequisites: [ENG 105, ENG 240 and ONE of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205] OR [ENG 240 and TWO of the following: ENG 202, 203, 204 or 205].

Complete one of the following:
ENG 145 Introduction to Creative Writing

Guided assignments for beginning writers in drama, fiction and poetry. Features stressed are plot, point of view and imagery. Creative Experience courses offer hands-on experience—students are actively engaged in the creative process.

Fall Semester.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Creative Experience requirement.

ENG 245 Fiction Writing I

Writing short stories, from the basics to the finer points. In-class exercises, guided assignments and free projects. Creative Experience courses offer hands on experience— students are actively engaged in the creative process.

Spring Semester.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Creative Experience requirement.

ENG 247 Poetry Writing I

Writing poetry of many types. Workshop setting with sharing students’ works; attention to the poetic process. Creative Experience courses offer hands-on experience— students are actively engaged in the creative process.

Fall Semester.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Creative Experience requirement.

ENG 249 Creative Non-Fiction Writing

An introductory course in creative writing which applies the literary qualities of fiction and poetry to non-fiction essays. Through journals, drafting, and revision, students will construct reflective essays on the lived experiences which have the most meaning for them.

Spring Semester.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Creative Experience requirement.

ENG 251 Travel Writing

A travel-based, experiential course, studying various forms of travel writing with an emphasis on the writing process. In-class exercises, workshops, guided assignments, projects and presentations. Note: Travel may be required for the course involving expenses in addition to course tuition.

Intensive Learning Term, even years.
3 semester hours.
Satisfies Creative Experience and Global Diversity requirements.

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