The English curriculum focuses on English and American literary history, including literature by women and by writers from diverse cultures; on skills for reading various kinds of literature with comprehension and delight; on historical, social, intellectual, and aesthetic contexts for literature; on skills for writing powerfully, clearly, and correctly; and on knowledge of the world and of the self that comes through literature and writing. The department also strives to provide a solid foundation for those who wish to teach English at the secondary level and for those who wish to pursue a higher degree.

We also recognize new modes of writing that emerge with new technologies and offer a minor in professional writing to prepare effective writers and communicators for the twenty-first century. Diversity permeates everything that happens in the English program at Salem — diversity in our people, our backgrounds, our outlooks, and in the way we approach literary inquiry. This, coupled with a philosophy of “small classes and large offices,” presents students with an experience that is both intimate and expansive.

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Overview

Your Program

The English Program stresses the importance of diversity in all of its endeavors. A traditional class in the works of Milton will also address the writing of women in the seventeenth century. Each class stays abreast of current literary trends, while also emphasizing how culture and history inform literary productions. Additionally, the program emphasizes women writers and perpetuates an understanding of how race, class, and gender continue to affect today’s literature.

Your Experience

Students in the program are smart, socially conscious young women who bring a keen awareness of their obligation to leave the space in which they live better than how they found it. Our students go beyond the role of “learner” and become a “knower.” Several students each year typically graduate with departmental honors, and many participate in such activities as Incunabula—Salem’s literary magazine—as well as Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

Your Faculty

Professors in the program bring a passion and keen intelligence that is hard to describe. They all are active scholars, they have been published, and they present their work at conferences every year. Rarely are their office doors closed, and they embrace the fact that their job never ends with the end of a class period. They find new and creative ways to ignite the spark of curiosity in each of their students.

Your Results

Graduates of the program are in great demand because of their ability to write well, think critically and effectively interpret written communication. They are sought after by graduate schools and law schools, and often teach in public schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges. You will also find recent graduates working for non-profit organizations, as editors, published authors, and several have won national literary awards.

Major/Minor

English Major (BA)

The major in English requires eleven courses (minimum of thirty-three semester hours). To be used toward the major or minor, each course must be taken for three or four semester hours. Students select one course each from categories I and II; two courses from category III; either ENGL 352 or 399 (offered only in the fall); ENGL 380 (offered only in the spring); and five electives. Although some courses are listed in two categories, each course may be used to fulfill requirements in only one category. Appropriate special topics, major authors, or honors courses may be substituted for courses in each category with the permission of the department. Either two creative writing (CRWR) courses or two professional writing courses (ENGL 250, 291, 305, 335, 345) or one of each can be used as electives toward the English major. A maximum of one internship (ENGL 270) can be used as an elective towards the major; typically, a maximum of two independent or two honors independent studies can be used as electives. Any exceptions must be approved by the department.

Required courses:


Category I: Literature and language before 1700 (select one):

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Female Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)
     

Category II: Literature and language between 1700 and 1900 (select one):

  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. Romantic to Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 292. First Contact through Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1780 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 341. Vision, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)

Category III: Literature and language after 1900 (select two):

  • ENGL 223. Taboos, Experiments, and the Other: Modern Drama (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. Romantic to Post-Mod: Survey of English Lit, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: Survey of American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fictions after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Lit (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Depending on the topic, ENGL 221 (Special Topics in English) and ENGL 315 (Major British and American Writers) may fulfill one of the three categories.

Additional required courses:

  • ENGL 380. Senior Seminar (3 hrs)

Select one of the following:

  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton, and Seventeenth Century Culture (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Intro to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Electives: select five additional courses (minimum three hours) for a minimum total of fifteen semester hours.

Two elective courses may be from Creative Writing (CRWR). A maximum of one internship (ENGL 270) can be used as an elective towards the major. Typically, a maximum of two independent or two honors independent studies can be used as electives, as long as they are taken for a minimum of three semester hours. Any exceptions must be approved by the department.

Students must take one literature or literary theory course numbered 350 or above at Salem. At least six of the eleven required courses, including ENGL 380, must be completed at Salem.

Optional concentrations within the English major

Although choosing a concentration is not mandatory, students may choose one of the following concentrations. Students must take seven courses (for a minimum total of twenty-one semester hours) from a concentration in order to graduate with that concentration. Appropriate special topics, major authors, or honors courses may be substituted for courses in each concentration with the permission of the department.

American literature concentration

  • ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: American Literature after1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

British literature concentration

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Women Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. The Romantic to the Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 341. Visions, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Women’s literature concentration

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Women Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Literature (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Ethnic/multi-cultural literature concentration

  • ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Lit (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literature Theory (3 hrs)

English Minor

The minor in English requires the completion of five English courses (minimum of fifteen semester hours). Each course for the minor must be taken for three-four semester hours. At least four courses must be literature or theory courses. At least three of the five courses must be completed at Salem. No more than three courses can be counted toward both a student’s minor and major.

Professional Writing Minor

The minor in professional writing emphasizes the whole person within systems of power and prepares students in the genres, styles, and communication practices essential for the contemporary, digital workplace. With its focus on collaborative writing, problem-solving, real-world audiences, and document design, the minor in professional writing complements any major and helps students develop vital professional practices. The minor culminates with a professional portfolio website students can use in the job market and/or in applications to graduate school.

The minor in professional writing requires completion of five courses (fifteen semester hours) listed below:

Required courses:

  • ENGL 250: Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 291: Visual Rhetoric and Document Design for Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 305: Professional Writing in Community Contexts (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 335: Freelance Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 345: Digital Writing in Professional Contexts (3 hrs)

All courses must be taken at Salem. 

Courses

English Courses (ENGL)

Courses numbered 200-349 are intended for first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. The department strongly encourages students to take at least one 200-level course before taking 300-level courses, however. Courses numbered 350-399 are appropriate for juniors and seniors. 

ENGL 200. Independent Study in English (1-4 hours)

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 3.0 G.P.A. in the major and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, and will include a substantial written project. Independent study may be taken twice, but not more than once in any term. To count toward the major or minor, the course must be taken for three or four semester hours.

ENGL 208. Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos: Early-Modern Female Dramatists (3 hrs)

This course will examine the theatrical conventions used by female dramatists of England’s Restoration period and the eighteenth century. By manipulating and subverting the tenets of the traditionally male-dominated genre of drama, female playwrights contribute discursively to the emerging categories of social rank/class, gender/sexuality, and nation/race. How do the writings of early modern Englishwomen resist as they uphold patriarchal dictates that had identified women as subordinate and inferior beings? What role does race play in the construction of white female authority? How do these plays enable white women to ally with and elevate themselves above lower-ranking Anglo women and women of color? Dramatists may include Aphra Behn, Mary Pix, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Frances Burney. (WS, HM)

ENGL 211. Constructing “The Workshop”: Practices in Teaching Writing (3 hrs)

This course serves as both an advanced composition course and an introductory course to the teaching of writing through theory and practice. Readings in writing theory will pair with readings addressing practical strategies for engaging with different academic writers. Students will spend a few hours during the semester observing sessions in the Writing Center to view ways in which some strategies are used. Along with assigned readings, collaborative work, mock teaching activities, and independent writing, students will enhance their own writing skills and gain insight into the teaching of composition.

ENGL 221. Special Topics in English (1-4 hrs)

Intensive investigation of a topic or author not studied in depth in traditional courses. The topic will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. As the topic changes, the course may be repeated. To count toward the major or minor, the course must be taken for three or four semester hours. (HM)

ENGL 223. Taboos, Experiments, and the Other: Modern Drama (3 hrs)

A comparative study of influential playwrights between the 1870s and the 1990s in Europe and the United States; how their experiments with dramatic form, style, and taboo topics reveal social and cultural consciousness at the center of modern theater. The course will explore how gender, class, sexuality, and race, along with European existentialism, played out on the modern stage. Special attention will be given to the portrayal of women and their issues. The authors will include Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, Wilder, American women playwrights Glaspell, Hellman, and Hansberry, representatives of Theater of Absurd, and the African American theater of August Wilson. (HM)

ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)

While this course will address works by major writers in the English language over a period of nearly one thousand years, it will pay particular attention to the literary depictions of women and the emerging work by women. Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton will be represented in a course that begins with Anglo-Saxon poetry, continues through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and concludes with the Restoration. How do female writers such as Rachel Speght, Jane Anger, and Amelia Lanyer use their writing to access and express a social and political voice during these male-dominated periods? How do women influence literature by men? What might that literature reveal about social and political orders that construct women as inferior creatures? (HM)

ENGL 232. The Romantic to the Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)

Selected works of English literature, focusing on works representing literary, historical, and cultural trends and tensions in the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Post-Modern periods. Writers will include canonical male writers such as Blake, Tennyson, Yeats, and Beckett along with formerly famous but now neglected women writers like Charlotte Smith and Elizabeth Gaskell. A standard foundational course, English 232 is recommended for those who would like a framework upon which to build new literary knowledge. (HM)

ENGL 245. Hayao Miyazaki: Anime Master Storyteller and His Infuences (3 hrs)

Best known in the West for his Oscar-winning animated feature, Spirited Away (2002), Hayao Miyazaki has created a distinctive anime image and story aesthetic. Drawing on inspiration ranging from Greek myths and European fairy tales to Japanese folk tales, Homer, Jonathan Swift, and Lewis Carroll to Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones, Jean Giraud Moebius and Osamu Tezuka among others, Miyazaki spins stories that transcend time and culture as he explores the future. Modern history of Europe and Japan, Shinto religion, folklore, and the supernatural, along with passionate environmentalism are some of the subjects Miyazaki probes. Early Disney, Russian, and Canadian animators and Japanese manga have deeply influenced how he combines image with story. The course will analyze Miyazaki’s major animated feature films and explore his literary, filmic, and cultural influences to understand the stories he tells, and how and why he tells them. We will look at Miyazaki’s key themes, plots, and characters, and examine how he integrates these story elements with the visual, auditory, and social conventions of anime.

ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)

Through close reading and discussion of the selection from Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, histories, and comedies, the world of the Elizabethan period will be explored as reflected through his characters, plots, and language. Shakespeare’s portrayal of gender, race, and ethnicity will serve as lenses through which his relevance to contemporary readers and audiences will be examined. (HM)

ENGL 250. Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hrs)

This course familiarizes students with genres and practices of professional writing in traditional and digital contexts. Students will gain introductory experience writing in a variety of professional genres, including memos, proposals, executive summaries, emails, and letters of intent. Students will also interrogate notions of professionalism and investigate the role of the body in multimodal professional contexts. Prerequisite: any 100-level Signature class (or equivalent for transfer student, with permission of instructor). (HM) 

ENGL 270. Internship in English (1-4 hrs)

The opportunity to use the knowledge and skills that the English major/minor has learned through coursework in a real setting. The apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the students will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with at least a 3.0 average in the major. No more than one internship can count towards English electives and must be taken for three or four semester hours; admission only by application.

ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)

As Virginia Woolf predicted in A Room of One’s Own, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have witnessed the growth and flowering of women’s literature. The writers of this literature grapple with values that would hinder them as artists, examine traditional gender roles, experiment with breaking out of conventional literary forms, and attempt, in Woolf’s words, to “[tell] the truth about [their] experiences as …  bod[ies.]” Specific topics may include the tension between women’s role as art object and her role as artist, women writers’ use of myth, various types of feminism, and the difficulties presented by domestic life for the woman writer. Authors may include Woolf, Rich, Glaspell, Hurston, Dinesen, Sarton, and many others. (WS, HM)

ENGL 290. Honors Independent Study in English (3-4 hrs)

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. in English, subject to the approval of the chair of the department. Honors Independent Study may be taken for a maximum of two courses and must be taken for three or four semester hours.

ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)

Selected works of American literature, beginning with accounts of the devastating encounter between Columbus and native American peoples and ending with Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The course will usually cover writings from the Plymouth colony, poems and novels by early women authors, some of the earliest literary short stories, and works by the American Transcendentalists. Writers will include Bradstreet, Wheatley, Poe, Hawthorne, Douglass, Emerson, and Thoreau. A standard foundational course, English 292 is recommended for those who would like a framework upon which to build new literary knowledge. (HM)

ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)

Through an examination of African American writings from the antebellum moment to the Reconstruction era, through the Harlem Renaissance, the Depression era, the Civil Rights/Black Arts moment, and concluding with the contemporary period, this course will examine the ways in which “white” and “black” cultures and literatures are dependent upon each other for definition and existence. Locating the tropes of the black oral tradition in the slave narrative, the course will trace them through contemporary literature. We will examine the African American struggle for political, personal, and literary self-representation. What does it mean, culturally and socially, when the label for a group of people changes? Does it matter who does the labeling? How do race, gender, and class define American individualism and influence an understanding of “great” or canonical literature? How do African American writers turn on its head the traditional understanding of American literature? (WS, HM)

ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: Survey of American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)

An exploration of American writers’ responses to changing realities of frontier and city and their impact on American “soul” from the late nineteenth century through the 1990s. Considered in historical and social contexts, a selection of representative fiction, poetry, and drama will be drawn from American realism, naturalism, local color, modernism, and ethnic writing. We will examine evolving notions of gender, race, ethnicity, and class in selected works by Anglo American, Native American, Asian American, African American, and Hispanic American writers. (HM)

ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)

From idyllic visions of the antebellum South to horrific scenes of racial violence, Southern literature presents readers with complex and paradoxical characters and plots, distinctive settings and language, all intertwined with, in  Flannery O’Connor’s words, the South’s “history of defeat and violation.” Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, authors may include Chopin, Faulkner, O’Connor, and Warren as well as new voices from the American South. Critical analysis of race and ethnicity will be a component of this course. (HM)

ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)

An examination of influential voices in American poetry from 1900 to the present. When attending to poetic form, figurative language and meaning, the questions of how a poem means, how different poets mean, and how we as readers mean a poem will be explored. The selected poets will include representatives of the Harlem Renaissance, modernism, imagism, symbolism, beat generation, confessional, feminist, and ethnic poetry. (HM)

ENGL 299. Shakespeare Meets Manga (3 hrs)

A famous adapter himself, Shakespeare has been adapted and interpreted more often than any other author. Manga adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays are the most recent example of how his use of English language inspires inter-art and inter-textual reconfigurations. The most popular of Shakespeare’s plays, their language, dense visual metaphors, ekphrasis, and character descriptions will be examined as they are transformed into manga images, In turn, manga’s visual, auditory and social conventions will be evaluated as contemporary expression of Elizabethan literary and cultural content. For example, Shakespeare’s use of cross-dressing will be related to Japanese kabuki and Noh traditions of theatrical gender-bending that are “reused” in manga. How manga adaptations differ from and change the original Shakespearean plays in ways that reveal differences between the two cultures will be some of the questions guiding our inquiry into this newest form of Shakespeare adaptations. Foundational knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays will be expected. Permission of instructor required.

ENGL 305. Professional Writing in Community Contexts (3 hrs)

This service learning course offers experience working with community partners in order to practice professional writing. Students will refine their skills in genres including grants proposals, grant letters, project pitches, memo writing, and social media for professional purposes. Students will be exposed to writing center theory and practice with an emphasis on social justice applications. Prerequisite: ENGL 250. 

ENGL 310. Toni Morrison: Reconstructing American Identity (3 hrs)

Quiet as it’s kept” are the first words spoken by Toni Morrison’s narrator of The Bluest Eye. And, indeed, Morrison’s novels force us to identify, examine, and displace what is “quiet” and why it is “kept” so. At the same time, her writings compel us to reexamine notions of race, gender, and class, as well as our place in a global community. The real work of the course will involve the “why” and the “how” of racial, gender, and class-based subordination that Morrison’s writings explore. We will read all of Morrison’s novels with the intention of putting aside any preconceived ideas or ideological assumptions about oppression versus privilege, linear versus non-linear time, eurocentrism versus afrocentrism, blackness versus whiteness, and freedom versus slavery. (WS, HM)

ENGL 315. Major British and American Writers (3 hrs)

An intensive study of the works of one or two important American or British writers. Emphasis on the themes, style, and artistic development of each writer. The topic will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. As the topic changes, the course may be repeated. (HM)

ENGL 316. History of the English Language (3 hrs)

Study of the historical development of English. Offered as needed.

ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)

Meet a diverse group of American men and women writers who gave voice to the impact of WWII on the American psyche, participated in the culture wars of the 1950s and 60s, and articulated contested ideas of identity, gender, race, and ethnicity in the second half of the twentieth century. Varied in their writing styles, from realistic to experimental to postmodern, their stories tell of pilgrimages, quests, and battles that shaped contemporary America. The writers studied will include Vonnegut, Pynchon, Wideman, Walker, Cisneros, Kingston, and Hogan among others. (WS)

ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Literature (4 hrs)

This course will analyze literature by women from the non-Western world through a critical lens of race and gender in order to interrogate indigenous constructions of identity. Drawing on contemporary women’s literature from different parts of the globe, the course will examine the complex connections between gender and culture. The course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of the historical, political, social, and cultural conditions that influenced the development and production of the literature under examination. The novels in the course will depict the impact of colonial history on literature, resistance, and postcolonialism. (WS, HM)

ENGL 335: Freelance Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing (3 hrs)

This course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of how to create, promote, and sustain freelance writing work. Focusing on multiple outlets of professional writing including copy editing, ghost writing, freelance writing, tutoring writing, and self publishing, this course will cover freelance experiences from conception through practice. Students will create a variety of professional materials including the basics of a personal website, professional social media accounts, business cards, and more. Prerequisite: ENGL 250. 

ENGL 341. Visions, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)

The Romantic Era in England was marked by a shift away from the values of the Age of Reason as writers embraced the imagination, emotion, nature, and radical political change. This change in values was accompanied by a change in writing styles, as writers eschewed the elaborate poetic diction of their predecessors. Course topics may include nature, artistic values, common people as poetic subjects, and the Gothic. Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, the writers will often include Austen, Blake, Smith, Radcliffe, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, and Byron.

ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)

Although the Victorian Era in England began with a conservative backlash against Romantic values and Regency profligacy, the Victorians also experienced unsettling changes in religion, in science, in the class system, and in women’s roles. These issues are explored by Victorian poets, essayists, and fiction writers, this last group developing the novel to new heights of artistry. Course topics may include women’s roles as people and artists, the Darwinian crisis, artistic values, poverty, and industrialization. Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, the writers will often include Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Tennyson, Dickens, Eliot, the Brontës, the Rossettis, and Hardy.

ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)

Modernist experimentation and social protest will be examined through comparative analysis of American novels written in the first four decades of the twentieth century. The emphasis will be on how diverse American novelists contested the existing notions of gender, race, and class to usher in a new aesthetic and cultural awareness. Some “odd” literary couples will include Anderson/Stein, Faulkner/Hurston, Hemingway/Barnes, Steinbeck/Olsen, Wilder/Cather, Wright/Larsen. (WS)

ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)

Reading women novelists who, until recently, have remained relatively ignored—despite being wildly popular and greatly respected during their day—this course will examine how British female novelists established literary techniques that later female and male novelists imitated, modified, and contested. How did Anglo women writers generate a new version of “True Womanhood” that was dependent upon racialized and socialized “others”? What techniques did they use to produce ideal and idealized depictions of femininity and masculinity, family and sexuality, and nation and race? How did an Aphra Behn manage to become the first Englishwoman to make her living as a writer during a historical moment when women writers were considered prostitutes? How did these writers participate in a historical moment whereby white women of the middling or upper social ranks became “true women” at the expense of white women from the lower social ranks and women of color? (WS)

ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)

What is literary multiculturalism? How do race and culture connect to define Native American, African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American literatures? How do different writers negotiate between individual and group identities, their race, ethnicity, gender, and class intersecting with dominant American culture? Looking closely at individual texts in their specific social, historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts, the themes of survival, “usable past,” “bloodlines,” “borderlands,” assimilation, and acculturation along with different “signifying” practices will be explored.

ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)

This course will examine the works of Milton within the context of the seventeenth century, a period of great crisis and tremendous change, of revolution and a redefinition of individual ability, of women as writers and agents of change, and of imperial power and the growth of the slave trade. Through analysis of Milton’s writings, the course will identify each of these moments of crisis and change and examine what his work reveals about gender, education, divorce, race, religion, and government. Readings will include Paradise Lost in the context of Milton’s earlier writings on church and government, on freedom of the press, on education, and on marriage and divorce, in an attempt to understand the great epic as his personal response to the eventual failure of the revolution that he had sought to bring about.

ENGL 380. Senior Seminar (3 hrs)

This seminar will involve a sustained exploration of a literary topic, which could include a literary period, genre, or the oeuvre of a specific author. Students will undertake extensive primary and secondary reading on the specified topic. The outcome of this reading will be an independent research project that the student will develop into a major paper (or thesis). In conjunction with the department members, the professor teaching the course will determine the course topic. This course is required of English majors. Enrollment limited to seniors.

ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

How is literature related to the world around us? What do literary critics do? How do literary texts mean? Is there a difference between feminine and masculine imagination? How do gender, race, ethnicity, and class play out in textual interpretation? An exploration of seminal texts by critics representing different literary theories ranging from structuralism, deconstruction, semiotics, cultural materialism to feminism, gender and postcolonial criticism. Major concepts shaping the study of literature since the early twentieth century, examined when applied to interpretation of texts by Poe, Hawthorne, Hemingway, Faulkner, Dickinson, O’Connor, Morrison, and Kingston. Conducted in a seminar discussion format, the class will engage in-depth critical reading, thinking, and writing.

Internships

Advertising Intern, West Wayne, Inc.

Intern, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx’s office

Radio Marketing/Management, Radio Disney KMIC AM 1590 Houston

Intern, Cosmogirl! Magazine

Social Worker Shadowing, Families Count

Archives Assistant, United Nations Photo Library

Research Assistant, Furman University Secession Era Editorials Project

Lincoln Theatre Guild

Editorial Intern, Sojourners Magazine

Alternative Journalism, Village Voice

Government Scenes, Office of Senator Stephen Martin

Editorial Assistant, Atlanta Metropolitan Publishing

Editing/Research Project, Charles H. Stone Memorial Library

University Press Internship, Vanderbilt Publishing

Fiction Intern, White Wolf Publishing

Success Stories
The English professors are fantastic, and they were all willing to work directly with me to ensure I was able to pursue material I was interested in, even if those interests didn’t necessarily line up with what the department was currently offering. For example, for my Honors thesis I wrote a paper on gender, race, and mobility in fairy tales, and although no one in the department was covering anything along those lines my advisor, Dr. Zehr, never questioned my decision to pursue that area of research. Further, she devoted much of her own time to ensure that my final thesis was the best it could be. The sense of camaraderie at Salem, for me, made a world of difference. I’ve always been shy about speaking up in class, afraid that my opinion wasn’t 'smart' enough or was too obvious to matter. In English classes at Salem, this fear was put to rest. Students, rather than competing with each other, were all focused on encouraging their peers.
Shelby Wilson

Class Year: 2013

Major: English

Graduate Studies: Masters in literature, University of California, Santa Cruz

Your Program

The English Program stresses the importance of diversity in all of its endeavors. A traditional class in the works of Milton will also address the writing of women in the seventeenth century. Each class stays abreast of current literary trends, while also emphasizing how culture and history inform literary productions. Additionally, the program emphasizes women writers and perpetuates an understanding of how race, class, and gender continue to affect today’s literature.

Your Experience

Students in the program are smart, socially conscious young women who bring a keen awareness of their obligation to leave the space in which they live better than how they found it. Our students go beyond the role of “learner” and become a “knower.” Several students each year typically graduate with departmental honors, and many participate in such activities as Incunabula—Salem’s literary magazine—as well as Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

Your Faculty

Professors in the program bring a passion and keen intelligence that is hard to describe. They all are active scholars, they have been published, and they present their work at conferences every year. Rarely are their office doors closed, and they embrace the fact that their job never ends with the end of a class period. They find new and creative ways to ignite the spark of curiosity in each of their students.

Your Results

Graduates of the program are in great demand because of their ability to write well, think critically and effectively interpret written communication. They are sought after by graduate schools and law schools, and often teach in public schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges. You will also find recent graduates working for non-profit organizations, as editors, published authors, and several have won national literary awards.

English Major (BA)

The major in English requires eleven courses (minimum of thirty-three semester hours). To be used toward the major or minor, each course must be taken for three or four semester hours. Students select one course each from categories I and II; two courses from category III; either ENGL 352 or 399 (offered only in the fall); ENGL 380 (offered only in the spring); and five electives. Although some courses are listed in two categories, each course may be used to fulfill requirements in only one category. Appropriate special topics, major authors, or honors courses may be substituted for courses in each category with the permission of the department. Either two creative writing (CRWR) courses or two professional writing courses (ENGL 250, 291, 305, 335, 345) or one of each can be used as electives toward the English major. A maximum of one internship (ENGL 270) can be used as an elective towards the major; typically, a maximum of two independent or two honors independent studies can be used as electives. Any exceptions must be approved by the department.

Required courses:


Category I: Literature and language before 1700 (select one):

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Female Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)
     

Category II: Literature and language between 1700 and 1900 (select one):

  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. Romantic to Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 292. First Contact through Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1780 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 341. Vision, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)

Category III: Literature and language after 1900 (select two):

  • ENGL 223. Taboos, Experiments, and the Other: Modern Drama (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. Romantic to Post-Mod: Survey of English Lit, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: Survey of American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fictions after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Lit (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Depending on the topic, ENGL 221 (Special Topics in English) and ENGL 315 (Major British and American Writers) may fulfill one of the three categories.

Additional required courses:

  • ENGL 380. Senior Seminar (3 hrs)

Select one of the following:

  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton, and Seventeenth Century Culture (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Intro to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Electives: select five additional courses (minimum three hours) for a minimum total of fifteen semester hours.

Two elective courses may be from Creative Writing (CRWR). A maximum of one internship (ENGL 270) can be used as an elective towards the major. Typically, a maximum of two independent or two honors independent studies can be used as electives, as long as they are taken for a minimum of three semester hours. Any exceptions must be approved by the department.

Students must take one literature or literary theory course numbered 350 or above at Salem. At least six of the eleven required courses, including ENGL 380, must be completed at Salem.

Optional concentrations within the English major

Although choosing a concentration is not mandatory, students may choose one of the following concentrations. Students must take seven courses (for a minimum total of twenty-one semester hours) from a concentration in order to graduate with that concentration. Appropriate special topics, major authors, or honors courses may be substituted for courses in each concentration with the permission of the department.

American literature concentration

  • ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: American Literature after1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

British literature concentration

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Women Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 232. The Romantic to the Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 341. Visions, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Women’s literature concentration

  • ENGL 208. Early Modern Women Dramatists: Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Literature (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

Ethnic/multi-cultural literature concentration

  • ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Lit (4 hrs)
  • ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literature Theory (3 hrs)

English Minor

The minor in English requires the completion of five English courses (minimum of fifteen semester hours). Each course for the minor must be taken for three-four semester hours. At least four courses must be literature or theory courses. At least three of the five courses must be completed at Salem. No more than three courses can be counted toward both a student’s minor and major.

Professional Writing Minor

The minor in professional writing emphasizes the whole person within systems of power and prepares students in the genres, styles, and communication practices essential for the contemporary, digital workplace. With its focus on collaborative writing, problem-solving, real-world audiences, and document design, the minor in professional writing complements any major and helps students develop vital professional practices. The minor culminates with a professional portfolio website students can use in the job market and/or in applications to graduate school.

The minor in professional writing requires completion of five courses (fifteen semester hours) listed below:

Required courses:

  • ENGL 250: Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 291: Visual Rhetoric and Document Design for Professional Writing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 305: Professional Writing in Community Contexts (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 335: Freelance Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing (3 hrs)
  • ENGL 345: Digital Writing in Professional Contexts (3 hrs)

All courses must be taken at Salem. 

English Courses (ENGL)

Courses numbered 200-349 are intended for first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. The department strongly encourages students to take at least one 200-level course before taking 300-level courses, however. Courses numbered 350-399 are appropriate for juniors and seniors. 

ENGL 200. Independent Study in English (1-4 hours)

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 3.0 G.P.A. in the major and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, and will include a substantial written project. Independent study may be taken twice, but not more than once in any term. To count toward the major or minor, the course must be taken for three or four semester hours.

ENGL 208. Sinners, Saints, and Sapphos: Early-Modern Female Dramatists (3 hrs)

This course will examine the theatrical conventions used by female dramatists of England’s Restoration period and the eighteenth century. By manipulating and subverting the tenets of the traditionally male-dominated genre of drama, female playwrights contribute discursively to the emerging categories of social rank/class, gender/sexuality, and nation/race. How do the writings of early modern Englishwomen resist as they uphold patriarchal dictates that had identified women as subordinate and inferior beings? What role does race play in the construction of white female authority? How do these plays enable white women to ally with and elevate themselves above lower-ranking Anglo women and women of color? Dramatists may include Aphra Behn, Mary Pix, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Frances Burney. (WS, HM)

ENGL 211. Constructing “The Workshop”: Practices in Teaching Writing (3 hrs)

This course serves as both an advanced composition course and an introductory course to the teaching of writing through theory and practice. Readings in writing theory will pair with readings addressing practical strategies for engaging with different academic writers. Students will spend a few hours during the semester observing sessions in the Writing Center to view ways in which some strategies are used. Along with assigned readings, collaborative work, mock teaching activities, and independent writing, students will enhance their own writing skills and gain insight into the teaching of composition.

ENGL 221. Special Topics in English (1-4 hrs)

Intensive investigation of a topic or author not studied in depth in traditional courses. The topic will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. As the topic changes, the course may be repeated. To count toward the major or minor, the course must be taken for three or four semester hours. (HM)

ENGL 223. Taboos, Experiments, and the Other: Modern Drama (3 hrs)

A comparative study of influential playwrights between the 1870s and the 1990s in Europe and the United States; how their experiments with dramatic form, style, and taboo topics reveal social and cultural consciousness at the center of modern theater. The course will explore how gender, class, sexuality, and race, along with European existentialism, played out on the modern stage. Special attention will be given to the portrayal of women and their issues. The authors will include Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, Wilder, American women playwrights Glaspell, Hellman, and Hansberry, representatives of Theater of Absurd, and the African American theater of August Wilson. (HM)

ENGL 231. Writing of and by Women: Survey of English Literature, 1370-1789 (3 hrs)

While this course will address works by major writers in the English language over a period of nearly one thousand years, it will pay particular attention to the literary depictions of women and the emerging work by women. Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton will be represented in a course that begins with Anglo-Saxon poetry, continues through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and concludes with the Restoration. How do female writers such as Rachel Speght, Jane Anger, and Amelia Lanyer use their writing to access and express a social and political voice during these male-dominated periods? How do women influence literature by men? What might that literature reveal about social and political orders that construct women as inferior creatures? (HM)

ENGL 232. The Romantic to the Post-Modern: Survey of English Literature, 1789-Present (3 hrs)

Selected works of English literature, focusing on works representing literary, historical, and cultural trends and tensions in the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Post-Modern periods. Writers will include canonical male writers such as Blake, Tennyson, Yeats, and Beckett along with formerly famous but now neglected women writers like Charlotte Smith and Elizabeth Gaskell. A standard foundational course, English 232 is recommended for those who would like a framework upon which to build new literary knowledge. (HM)

ENGL 245. Hayao Miyazaki: Anime Master Storyteller and His Infuences (3 hrs)

Best known in the West for his Oscar-winning animated feature, Spirited Away (2002), Hayao Miyazaki has created a distinctive anime image and story aesthetic. Drawing on inspiration ranging from Greek myths and European fairy tales to Japanese folk tales, Homer, Jonathan Swift, and Lewis Carroll to Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones, Jean Giraud Moebius and Osamu Tezuka among others, Miyazaki spins stories that transcend time and culture as he explores the future. Modern history of Europe and Japan, Shinto religion, folklore, and the supernatural, along with passionate environmentalism are some of the subjects Miyazaki probes. Early Disney, Russian, and Canadian animators and Japanese manga have deeply influenced how he combines image with story. The course will analyze Miyazaki’s major animated feature films and explore his literary, filmic, and cultural influences to understand the stories he tells, and how and why he tells them. We will look at Miyazaki’s key themes, plots, and characters, and examine how he integrates these story elements with the visual, auditory, and social conventions of anime.

ENGL 249. Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Shakespeare (3 hrs)

Through close reading and discussion of the selection from Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, histories, and comedies, the world of the Elizabethan period will be explored as reflected through his characters, plots, and language. Shakespeare’s portrayal of gender, race, and ethnicity will serve as lenses through which his relevance to contemporary readers and audiences will be examined. (HM)

ENGL 250. Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hrs)

This course familiarizes students with genres and practices of professional writing in traditional and digital contexts. Students will gain introductory experience writing in a variety of professional genres, including memos, proposals, executive summaries, emails, and letters of intent. Students will also interrogate notions of professionalism and investigate the role of the body in multimodal professional contexts. Prerequisite: any 100-level Signature class (or equivalent for transfer student, with permission of instructor). (HM) 

ENGL 270. Internship in English (1-4 hrs)

The opportunity to use the knowledge and skills that the English major/minor has learned through coursework in a real setting. The apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the students will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with at least a 3.0 average in the major. No more than one internship can count towards English electives and must be taken for three or four semester hours; admission only by application.

ENGL 288. Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers, 1900-Present (3 hrs)

As Virginia Woolf predicted in A Room of One’s Own, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have witnessed the growth and flowering of women’s literature. The writers of this literature grapple with values that would hinder them as artists, examine traditional gender roles, experiment with breaking out of conventional literary forms, and attempt, in Woolf’s words, to “[tell] the truth about [their] experiences as …  bod[ies.]” Specific topics may include the tension between women’s role as art object and her role as artist, women writers’ use of myth, various types of feminism, and the difficulties presented by domestic life for the woman writer. Authors may include Woolf, Rich, Glaspell, Hurston, Dinesen, Sarton, and many others. (WS, HM)

ENGL 290. Honors Independent Study in English (3-4 hrs)

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. in English, subject to the approval of the chair of the department. Honors Independent Study may be taken for a maximum of two courses and must be taken for three or four semester hours.

ENGL 292. First Contact through the Civil War: Survey of American Literature before 1870 (3 hrs)

Selected works of American literature, beginning with accounts of the devastating encounter between Columbus and native American peoples and ending with Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The course will usually cover writings from the Plymouth colony, poems and novels by early women authors, some of the earliest literary short stories, and works by the American Transcendentalists. Writers will include Bradstreet, Wheatley, Poe, Hawthorne, Douglass, Emerson, and Thoreau. A standard foundational course, English 292 is recommended for those who would like a framework upon which to build new literary knowledge. (HM)

ENGL 293. The Culture of African American Literature (3 hrs)

Through an examination of African American writings from the antebellum moment to the Reconstruction era, through the Harlem Renaissance, the Depression era, the Civil Rights/Black Arts moment, and concluding with the contemporary period, this course will examine the ways in which “white” and “black” cultures and literatures are dependent upon each other for definition and existence. Locating the tropes of the black oral tradition in the slave narrative, the course will trace them through contemporary literature. We will examine the African American struggle for political, personal, and literary self-representation. What does it mean, culturally and socially, when the label for a group of people changes? Does it matter who does the labeling? How do race, gender, and class define American individualism and influence an understanding of “great” or canonical literature? How do African American writers turn on its head the traditional understanding of American literature? (WS, HM)

ENGL 294. Frontier, City, Soul: Survey of American Literature after 1870 (3 hrs)

An exploration of American writers’ responses to changing realities of frontier and city and their impact on American “soul” from the late nineteenth century through the 1990s. Considered in historical and social contexts, a selection of representative fiction, poetry, and drama will be drawn from American realism, naturalism, local color, modernism, and ethnic writing. We will examine evolving notions of gender, race, ethnicity, and class in selected works by Anglo American, Native American, Asian American, African American, and Hispanic American writers. (HM)

ENGL 295. Dream and Reality: Literature of the American South (3 hrs)

From idyllic visions of the antebellum South to horrific scenes of racial violence, Southern literature presents readers with complex and paradoxical characters and plots, distinctive settings and language, all intertwined with, in  Flannery O’Connor’s words, the South’s “history of defeat and violation.” Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, authors may include Chopin, Faulkner, O’Connor, and Warren as well as new voices from the American South. Critical analysis of race and ethnicity will be a component of this course. (HM)

ENGL 298. “Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads”: Engaging Modern American Poetry (3 hrs)

An examination of influential voices in American poetry from 1900 to the present. When attending to poetic form, figurative language and meaning, the questions of how a poem means, how different poets mean, and how we as readers mean a poem will be explored. The selected poets will include representatives of the Harlem Renaissance, modernism, imagism, symbolism, beat generation, confessional, feminist, and ethnic poetry. (HM)

ENGL 299. Shakespeare Meets Manga (3 hrs)

A famous adapter himself, Shakespeare has been adapted and interpreted more often than any other author. Manga adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays are the most recent example of how his use of English language inspires inter-art and inter-textual reconfigurations. The most popular of Shakespeare’s plays, their language, dense visual metaphors, ekphrasis, and character descriptions will be examined as they are transformed into manga images, In turn, manga’s visual, auditory and social conventions will be evaluated as contemporary expression of Elizabethan literary and cultural content. For example, Shakespeare’s use of cross-dressing will be related to Japanese kabuki and Noh traditions of theatrical gender-bending that are “reused” in manga. How manga adaptations differ from and change the original Shakespearean plays in ways that reveal differences between the two cultures will be some of the questions guiding our inquiry into this newest form of Shakespeare adaptations. Foundational knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays will be expected. Permission of instructor required.

ENGL 305. Professional Writing in Community Contexts (3 hrs)

This service learning course offers experience working with community partners in order to practice professional writing. Students will refine their skills in genres including grants proposals, grant letters, project pitches, memo writing, and social media for professional purposes. Students will be exposed to writing center theory and practice with an emphasis on social justice applications. Prerequisite: ENGL 250. 

ENGL 310. Toni Morrison: Reconstructing American Identity (3 hrs)

Quiet as it’s kept” are the first words spoken by Toni Morrison’s narrator of The Bluest Eye. And, indeed, Morrison’s novels force us to identify, examine, and displace what is “quiet” and why it is “kept” so. At the same time, her writings compel us to reexamine notions of race, gender, and class, as well as our place in a global community. The real work of the course will involve the “why” and the “how” of racial, gender, and class-based subordination that Morrison’s writings explore. We will read all of Morrison’s novels with the intention of putting aside any preconceived ideas or ideological assumptions about oppression versus privilege, linear versus non-linear time, eurocentrism versus afrocentrism, blackness versus whiteness, and freedom versus slavery. (WS, HM)

ENGL 315. Major British and American Writers (3 hrs)

An intensive study of the works of one or two important American or British writers. Emphasis on the themes, style, and artistic development of each writer. The topic will be announced prior to the beginning of the course. As the topic changes, the course may be repeated. (HM)

ENGL 316. History of the English Language (3 hrs)

Study of the historical development of English. Offered as needed.

ENGL 320. Pilgrims, Questers, and Warriors: American Fiction after 1945 (3 hrs)

Meet a diverse group of American men and women writers who gave voice to the impact of WWII on the American psyche, participated in the culture wars of the 1950s and 60s, and articulated contested ideas of identity, gender, race, and ethnicity in the second half of the twentieth century. Varied in their writing styles, from realistic to experimental to postmodern, their stories tell of pilgrimages, quests, and battles that shaped contemporary America. The writers studied will include Vonnegut, Pynchon, Wideman, Walker, Cisneros, Kingston, and Hogan among others. (WS)

ENGL 325. Modern Writings from Women of the Non-Western World: Global Literature (4 hrs)

This course will analyze literature by women from the non-Western world through a critical lens of race and gender in order to interrogate indigenous constructions of identity. Drawing on contemporary women’s literature from different parts of the globe, the course will examine the complex connections between gender and culture. The course is designed to provide a foundational understanding of the historical, political, social, and cultural conditions that influenced the development and production of the literature under examination. The novels in the course will depict the impact of colonial history on literature, resistance, and postcolonialism. (WS, HM)

ENGL 335: Freelance Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing (3 hrs)

This course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of how to create, promote, and sustain freelance writing work. Focusing on multiple outlets of professional writing including copy editing, ghost writing, freelance writing, tutoring writing, and self publishing, this course will cover freelance experiences from conception through practice. Students will create a variety of professional materials including the basics of a personal website, professional social media accounts, business cards, and more. Prerequisite: ENGL 250. 

ENGL 341. Visions, Violence, and Violets: The Romantic Era, 1786-1832 (3 hrs)

The Romantic Era in England was marked by a shift away from the values of the Age of Reason as writers embraced the imagination, emotion, nature, and radical political change. This change in values was accompanied by a change in writing styles, as writers eschewed the elaborate poetic diction of their predecessors. Course topics may include nature, artistic values, common people as poetic subjects, and the Gothic. Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, the writers will often include Austen, Blake, Smith, Radcliffe, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, and Byron.

ENGL 346. Conservatism and Crisis: The Victorian Era, 1832-1901 (3 hrs)

Although the Victorian Era in England began with a conservative backlash against Romantic values and Regency profligacy, the Victorians also experienced unsettling changes in religion, in science, in the class system, and in women’s roles. These issues are explored by Victorian poets, essayists, and fiction writers, this last group developing the novel to new heights of artistry. Course topics may include women’s roles as people and artists, the Darwinian crisis, artistic values, poverty, and industrialization. Although the specific focus and list of authors may change from semester to semester, the writers will often include Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Tennyson, Dickens, Eliot, the Brontës, the Rossettis, and Hardy.

ENGL 347. “Odd” Literary Couples: American Novel, 1900-1945 (3 hrs)

Modernist experimentation and social protest will be examined through comparative analysis of American novels written in the first four decades of the twentieth century. The emphasis will be on how diverse American novelists contested the existing notions of gender, race, and class to usher in a new aesthetic and cultural awareness. Some “odd” literary couples will include Anderson/Stein, Faulkner/Hurston, Hemingway/Barnes, Steinbeck/Olsen, Wilder/Cather, Wright/Larsen. (WS)

ENGL 348. The Rise of the Female Novelist, 1684-1900 (4 hrs)

Reading women novelists who, until recently, have remained relatively ignored—despite being wildly popular and greatly respected during their day—this course will examine how British female novelists established literary techniques that later female and male novelists imitated, modified, and contested. How did Anglo women writers generate a new version of “True Womanhood” that was dependent upon racialized and socialized “others”? What techniques did they use to produce ideal and idealized depictions of femininity and masculinity, family and sexuality, and nation and race? How did an Aphra Behn manage to become the first Englishwoman to make her living as a writer during a historical moment when women writers were considered prostitutes? How did these writers participate in a historical moment whereby white women of the middling or upper social ranks became “true women” at the expense of white women from the lower social ranks and women of color? (WS)

ENGL 349. Race, Culture, and Identity in Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (3 hrs)

What is literary multiculturalism? How do race and culture connect to define Native American, African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American literatures? How do different writers negotiate between individual and group identities, their race, ethnicity, gender, and class intersecting with dominant American culture? Looking closely at individual texts in their specific social, historical, cultural, and aesthetic contexts, the themes of survival, “usable past,” “bloodlines,” “borderlands,” assimilation, and acculturation along with different “signifying” practices will be explored.

ENGL 352. Writing as Revolution! Milton and Seventeenth-Century Culture (4 hrs)

This course will examine the works of Milton within the context of the seventeenth century, a period of great crisis and tremendous change, of revolution and a redefinition of individual ability, of women as writers and agents of change, and of imperial power and the growth of the slave trade. Through analysis of Milton’s writings, the course will identify each of these moments of crisis and change and examine what his work reveals about gender, education, divorce, race, religion, and government. Readings will include Paradise Lost in the context of Milton’s earlier writings on church and government, on freedom of the press, on education, and on marriage and divorce, in an attempt to understand the great epic as his personal response to the eventual failure of the revolution that he had sought to bring about.

ENGL 380. Senior Seminar (3 hrs)

This seminar will involve a sustained exploration of a literary topic, which could include a literary period, genre, or the oeuvre of a specific author. Students will undertake extensive primary and secondary reading on the specified topic. The outcome of this reading will be an independent research project that the student will develop into a major paper (or thesis). In conjunction with the department members, the professor teaching the course will determine the course topic. This course is required of English majors. Enrollment limited to seniors.

ENGL 399. A Game of Interpretation: Introduction to Contemporary Literary Theory (3 hrs)

How is literature related to the world around us? What do literary critics do? How do literary texts mean? Is there a difference between feminine and masculine imagination? How do gender, race, ethnicity, and class play out in textual interpretation? An exploration of seminal texts by critics representing different literary theories ranging from structuralism, deconstruction, semiotics, cultural materialism to feminism, gender and postcolonial criticism. Major concepts shaping the study of literature since the early twentieth century, examined when applied to interpretation of texts by Poe, Hawthorne, Hemingway, Faulkner, Dickinson, O’Connor, Morrison, and Kingston. Conducted in a seminar discussion format, the class will engage in-depth critical reading, thinking, and writing.

The English professors are fantastic, and they were all willing to work directly with me to ensure I was able to pursue material I was interested in, even if those interests didn’t necessarily line up with what the department was currently offering. For example, for my Honors thesis I wrote a paper on gender, race, and mobility in fairy tales, and although no one in the department was covering anything along those lines my advisor, Dr. Zehr, never questioned my decision to pursue that area of research. Further, she devoted much of her own time to ensure that my final thesis was the best it could be. The sense of camaraderie at Salem, for me, made a world of difference. I’ve always been shy about speaking up in class, afraid that my opinion wasn’t 'smart' enough or was too obvious to matter. In English classes at Salem, this fear was put to rest. Students, rather than competing with each other, were all focused on encouraging their peers.
Shelby Wilson

Class Year: 2013

Major: English

Graduate Studies: Masters in literature, University of California, Santa Cruz

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