English Classes

ENG100E Speech

This is a course in the fundamentals of public speaking. Emphasis is on content, form, and delivery of the most common types of short speeches such as introducing a speaker, presenting information, persuading an audience, demonstrating a technique or process, and impromptu speaking. Self-evaluation, oral and written comments, videotapes, and conferences are included.

ENG112E Professional and Academic Writing

This course provides practice in writing to inform and persuade and prepares students for successful writing for college and career. Emphasis is on audience, organization, summary, analysis, use of sources, documentation, revision, and mechanics. Several types of essays and a research paper are required. Prerequisite: ENG130E recommended.

ENG113E Learning Skills Seminar

This entry-level course is designed for students who are new to college or who have been away from academia for a considerable length of time. It introduces students to the learning skills necessary for success in their college careers: writing, reading, studying, speaking, thinking, and researching. While students are sharpening these learning skills, they are simultaneously developing confidence in their ability to communicate effectively.

ENG130E English Composition

A writing course emphasizing planning, composing, and revising. Specifically, the course deals with strategies for generating ideas, recognizing audience, clarifying purpose, focusing on a perspective, and choosing effective arrangements of ideas. Techniques of revision, which are central to the course, focus on appropriateness of language and effectiveness of development, as well as on editing.

ENG130E English Composition/ESL

A writing course for those students for whom English is a second language. The course emphasizes planning, composing, and revising, but will also provide students with additional instruction and practice in comprehension, speaking, and reading strategies. While this course is designed for ESL students, it is not an introductory course in the English language, and some proficiency is required

ENG140E Introduction to Literature

This course is designed to acquaint the student with the form and structure of various genres of literature in English. Class discussion and writing assignments make use of such critical concepts as point of view, imagery, and tone. Prerequisite: ENG130E or ENG112E recommended.

ENG181E Film and Literature

Intended primarily as a course that uses the opposition between film and literature to better define both media, this course also serves as an introduction to the study of film. Works include The Dead, The Natural, The Player, Frankenstein, Dangerous Liaisons, and Glengarry Glen Ross.

ENG201E Argument & Persuasion

A course in exposition and argument dealing with the development of effective means of persuasion appropriate to specific audiences, the use of different styles of presentation, and the making of choices in language, arrangement, and style. Emphasis is on written argument, with some attention to reading, listening, and speaking.

ENG202E Journalism

This course introduces students to the basics of newspaper writing, editing, and composition through study of reportorial styles, interviews with professional journalists, and most especially, through regular journalism assignments.

ENG203E Autobiography Writing

This course focuses on methods for autobiography writing. Attention is given to techniques for generating ideas, finding a “voice,” developing descriptions and arranging material. Students also read published autobiographical essays in an attempt to analyze the themes and techniques employed by professional writers.

ENG204E Effective Business Writing

Simple and direct writing works best in business. This course focuses on improving skills that will result in the ability to write better emails, memos, letters, reports, and resumes.

ENG205E Technical Writing

This course deals with the writing of technical and scientific documents (e.g., reports, specifications, technical and scientific articles, business letters). Attention is given to clarity and correctness of writing, organization and interpretation of information, as well as the mechanics of technical writing.

ENG206E Journal Writing

In this course students write daily, using a variety of formats (description, fantasies, letters, reflection, free association, story-making) to develop their powers of self expression and self awareness. Typical assignments include writing about childhood, daily events, dreams and future plans. Even though students share their observations and insights in class, all journals are kept confidential.

ENG209E Creative Writing

In this course, students study the techniques used by published poets and fiction writers and learn to employ some of these techniques by writing original poetry and fiction. We also learn the critical language for discussing these genres in a more precise and meaningful way, and have ample opportunity to develop our understanding of the formal characteristics of poems and stories by both published and student writers.

ENG211E Computer Based Writing

This course seeks to familiarize students with some of the new tools and new venues available for writing. As the Internet becomes a more ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, students need to know how to access available information and how to participate in the ongoing conversation. At the same time, the course emphasizes the basics of good, college-level writing. The class also seeks to foster collaboration on various projects.

ENG 217E Introduction to Film Studies

In addition to providing students with a basic vocabulary with which to discuss and understand film technique, this course offers the following variety of approaches to film criticism: formal/structural, generic, historical, viewer response, and gender. The theme of the films will be political in nature

ENG219E Media in the 21st Century

Designed as an overview of the field of mass communications, this is an issue-based course exploring such topics as the influence of television upon culture; media ethics; money and the media; rhetorical analysis of persuasive messages in advertising; public relations and politics; media and minorities; issues in radio, in the music industry, and in publishing; and mass media in the 21st century.

ENG220E Approaches to Reading/Interpretation

This writing emphasis course considers fundamental issues of textual interpretation, primarily but not exclusively in the print media. Representative readings, limited in number, are chosen from a variety of genres and historical periods. In addition to adopting a critical vocabulary that will assist close readings of texts, the course also introduces the student to various interpretive strategies: formalist, historical, reader-response, structuralist, and deconstructionist, among others.

ENG221E Survey of British Literature I

A survey of English literature to the 18th century, concentrating on a selected number of core texts. Special emphasis on literary trends occurring, from Anglo Saxon Britain, Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th-century England, to Enlightenment 18th century.

ENG226E Major American Writers

A study in some depth of a limited number of major American writers, such as Thoreau, Whitman, and James in the nineteenth century, and O’Neill, Frost and Faulkner in the twentieth.

ENG233E Modern Short Story

A study of the major short story writers including Flannery O’Connor, John Updike, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

ENG241E Fantasy Literature

This course is a survey intended to introduce the student to major works of fantasy and to the impact of fantasy on other forms of literature. The course covers a variety of prose ranging from early Greek fantasy to contemporary fiction by Tolkien and LeGuin. There is an emphasis on short story fiction, especially the tale, but the course includes at least one novel.

ENG243E Science Fiction

This course surveys the history of the genre by exploring the myths and literary traditions that prevail in science fiction. We begin with texts from the “golden age” of science fiction in the 1930s and follow the development of the genre up to the present. Authors include Samuel Delany, Robert Heinlein, Connie Willis, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ursula LeGuin, and Philip Dick.

ENG247E The Vietnam War in Word and Image

Never before was a war so fully recorded in word and image. This course examines the artistic response to the Vietnam War, and considers selected writings by both American and Vietnamese novelists and poets. The course also focuses on films of the war, as well as work of journalists, essayists, and photographers.

ENG251E Literature of Concord

This course explores the lives and works of the unusually rich range of authors who lived or visited Concord, Massachusetts in the 19th century. Students explore works by Emerson and his eccentric friends, focusing on Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The course will culminate in a field trip to Concord to visit Walden Pond, the Old Manse, Author’s Ridge, and other sights, setting up a personal essay about the experience.

ENG256E Introduction to Shakespeare

An introduction to the world and works of William Shakespeare. Plays studied may include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, Measure for Measure and Richard III. In addition to reading the plays, students listen to dramatic recordings, see films and attend a play (depending on area theatrical offerings of Shakespeare’s work). Prerequisite: ENG140E rec.

ENG263E Children’s Literature

Beginning with the Tales of Mother Goose, the fairy and the folk tale, this course focuses on the history and the tradition of children’s literature, including works such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, and Charlotte’s Web. Multicultural works that include Asian, Hispanic, and African-American poetry, drama, historical fiction and stories are discussed.

ENG271E American Business in Film and Literature

On Wall Street and in restaurants, at factories and small family farms, Americans involved in management, sales, union organizations, and manual labor have been depicted in literature and film. This course examines the portrayal of business in short stories, in novels, and in drama. Films may include Patterns, Wall Street, and Norma Rae. Through study of characterization, tone, symbolism, and theme in both literature and film, issues of gender, economics, status, and ethics in American business are explored.

ENG281E Women in Literature

Have women found joy and the ability to express it despite the historic restrictions placed on them? Have women’s lives and their writing changed from the nineteenth century to the present? We read the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Sula by Toni Morrison; poetry by Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop, and Adrienne Rich; short stories by Edith Wharton, Flannery O’Connor, and Joyce Carol Oates. We focus on how economic, racial, social, and ethnic backgrounds affect women as they form their identities through art, creativity, work, and relationships.

ENG282E Short Stories by Women

A study of short stories written by women in the 20th century stressing the individual artistry of each author as she focuses on universal topics such as relationships, work, war and racism. The stories of earlier writers (Cather, Woolf, Porter, Hurston, Welty) are compared to those of contemporary authors (Ozick, Oates, Walker, Beattie) to illustrate the evolution of technique and style. Prerequisite: ENG140E recommended.

ENG287E Contemporary Women’s Drama

In this survey of works by major American, African-American and British women playwrights of the present, we explore emerging traditions in women’s theatre. Mainstream and experimental plays are studied as literary texts and as theatrical productions, using feminist and other approaches.

ENG295E Contemporary American Fiction

This course surveys the fiction of outstanding contemporary writers of the United States.
Short works by Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, Amy Tan, and others, as well as Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s Sula, are discussed. We analyze creative interpretations of issues such as the Vietnam War, AIDS, the Holocaust, substance abuse, immigration, family life, race, and gender roles and images. Focus on literary techniques such as theme, setting, point of view, and tone helps us to appreciate the artistry of these works.

ENG301E Writing for Television and Radio

This course emphasizes the craft of writing scripts for television and radio. We cover three kinds of broadcast writing: to persuade, to inform, and to entertain. In a summer-session or accelerated course, projects include television commercials, public service announcements, and radio spots. In fall/spring semesters, partial scripting of a half-hour TV program is included

ENG302E Writing for Media

This course introduces students to a variety of public relations and advertising topics: writing news releases, press kits, brochures, newsletter and speeches; working with the news media; promoting special events; designing print and radio advertising; and organizing a crisis communications plan. It also helps students develop confidence in their writing skills. The course assumes no previous experience in public relations or advertising.

ENG 303E Magazine Writing

This course challenges students to write the kind of in-depth pieces often found in magazines, as well as a variety of shorter assignments. Our writing will be anchored by extensive reading.

ENG305E Writing Workshop: Fiction

This course attempts to apply the elements of fiction to creating a story. It also applies the various techniques of criticism for revisions and rewriting. The goal of the course is to complete at least one short story suitable for publication. Prerequisite: ENG130E

ENG306E Writing Workshop: Poetry

In this course, students write and share their poems, and also have the opportunity to experiment in a range of poetic forms (i.e., sestina, villanelle, etc.). Consideration of traditional and non traditional forms, and their larger implications, is central.
Prerequisite: ENG 130.

ENG307E Writing Workshop: Drama

A workshop to introduce students to the writing of plays. It consists of theoretical analysis of dramatic technique in a few selected plays, and practical application of such strategies for creating situation and conflict, using dialogue for movement and character, and structuring action. Prerequisite: ENG 130

ENG 308E Writing and Editing

Students will learn a variety of editing techniques through a series of individual and group assignments that will provide opportunities for increased facility with the writing process.

ENG 309E Writing Workshop: Creative Nonfiction

In this course students read and write essays in various forms of creative nonfiction: the personal essay, nature writing, travel writing, and literary journalism. The course will focus especially on the personal essay, in which writers draw upon and narrate elements of their history or experience to address broader social, political, or philosophical themes.

ENG311E Advanced Skills for Professional Communication

This course continues the development of communication proficiency through the study and practice of more advanced speech forms and listening skills. Individual presentations are given regularly with some panel work and problem-solving discussions. Video-taping and tape recording are used to provide immediate feedback. Written self-evaluations are completed regularly. Written comments from the instructor are provided for each presentation. Prerequisite: ENG 100

ENG331E Shakespeare’s Comedies and Romances

A study of Shakespeare’s comedies with special attention to his development as a comic writer and the changing form of his comic vision. The reading of the plays will be supplemented by lectures, class discussions, and papers.

ENG332E Shakespeare’s Tragedies

A study of the development of Shakespeare’s tragic vision and its expression in dramatic form.

ENG335E Shakespeare’s Women

Manipulators, murderesses, wits and wooers — and these are just some of the women characters in Shakespeare we will explore. This study of five plays and a few sonnets will aim to be fascinating, funny and revealing rather than intimidating. Discover how Shakespeare’s varied portrayals of women illuminate gender roles and issues in both Elizabethan life and our culture today.

ENG360E Romanticism

A survey of fiction and poetry in the Romantic tradition. Authors covered include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne and Dickinson. In addition, the class analyzes Peter Weir’s film Dead Poet’s Society as an implicit critique of Romantic attitudes towards life.

ENG371E The 1920’s

Perhaps in response to the shock of WWI, or the aftershocks of challenging ideas in science, psychology, politics, philosophy, and art, the 1920’s produced works by some of the most significant writers of the 20th century. Students read some of the key texts from this period from an historical and literary/artistic perspective.

ENG377E Contemporary Irish Literature

This course concentrates on Irish writing from the mid-1960s to the present. Readings include: the plays of Brian Friel, Graham Reid, Thomas Murphy; the fiction of William Trevor, Brian Moore, Mary Lagin, John McGahern; the poetry of John Montague, John Hewitt, Seamus Heaney, Richard Murphy, Dered Mahon, among others; and essays by Heaney and Seamus Deane.

ENG 378E Special Topics: Theater of the Absurd

This course covers some of the most significant examples of avant-garde drama of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Theater of the Absurd arose out of the surrealist and dada movements, as well as the cultural challenges of World War II. Works by Albee, Pinter, Beckett and others are covered. Screenings of short one-act plays are included.

ENG 378E Special Topics: Short Works of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf

This course reviews the careers of two of the most important writers in English during the 20th Century, concentrating on their shorter prose works. Works by the authors include Joyce’s short story collection, The Dubliners, and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

ENG380E American Literature from Poe to Dickinson

This course focuses on the Romantics in American literary tradition, and considers how they offered different answers to fundamental questions that affect our own lives as 21st century Americans. Readings may include works by Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson.

ENG381E American Novel to Film

Critics often claim that film, with its compressed focus, does a poor job of adapting novels to the silver screen. Is this always true? This course explores novels and the films that evolved from them. Books may include works by Alice Walker, Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Susan Orlean, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Michael Cunningham, and others. Genres of the work include detective, science fiction, and realism. The related films may include The Color Purple, Blade Runner, The Big Sleep, Adaptation, The Age of Innocence, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Hours

ENG383E 20th Century American Novel

An examination of the American novel in the last century as its practitioners anticipate or respond to social, political, economic, and technological change. Likely authors include: Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, Saul Bellow, Thomas Pynchon, Jon Hassler, Joan Didion, Dan DeLillo.

ENG387E African-American Literature
From rap to hauntings, African-American literature is a dynamic part of our culture. Many of us, however, have limited appreciation of these texts because we are ignorant of their cultural contexts, so different from our own. Beginning with a video on Black English—which shows the aesthetic integrity of this dialect— students explore both the folk and literary traditions as reflectors /creators of African American experience. Work songs, blues, and jazz, as well as classic AA texts form the perspective through which we study novels by Baldwin, Ellison and Morrison.

ENG396E American Cinema from the 60s
A study of some of the classics of American film from the 1960s and beyond, a time of extraordinary excitement and creativity, when the old studio system was breaking up and a new generation of American filmmakers — Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, Nichols and a host of others — began to develop new language to reflect the changing social and emotional realities of American life. Films may include The Graduate, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Jaws and others. In addition to discussing the thematic implications of the work, students learn the basic components and terminology of film.

ENG398E Topics in Film: American Cinema
A survey of various trends in American movies. Students view films to analyze them for content, technique, mass audience appeal, and the historical context within which the films were produced.

ENG398E Topics in Film: Screwball Comedy
During the 1930s, American film makers created comedies that combined traditional romance with slapstick humor. Actors such as Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, usually associated with high romantic comedy, were shown in absurd situations typical of low slapstick comedy. These films often focused on the tensions in relationships between men and women, treating real social problems through witty and clever dialogues and situations. We focus on the visual, narrative, and cultural aspects of screwball comedies and contrast them with current romantic comedies.

ENG398E Topics in Film: Women and Film

This course considers how a spectrum of films from classic Hollywood cinema to contemporary “female buddy” films and films by women directors reflect/help to shape our perceptions of women and their place in American culture.

ENG399E Special Topics: A Literary Tour of Ireland

Join Dr. Michael O’Shea, long-time member of the English department at Assumption College, as he leads a literary tour of Ireland. Dr. O’Shea’s specialty is the study of Irish drama and literature, and he has traveled extensively in Ireland. This travel-study trip includes visits to Dublin, Sligo, Galway, County Clare, Killarney, and more, as well as two theatre performances, a medieval banquet, and a literary pub crawl.