The English Major

Dr. Becky Steinberger and Students

The English major at Misericordia University offers two tracks:

  • Literature Track
  • Professional Writing Track

The Literature Track provides students with a firm background in English and American literature, in addition to courses in a variety of areas of interest to the faculty (see under "Faculty"). This track has the largest number of elective credits and allows students to specialize in Pre-Law, obtain Secondary Education Certification, or minor in any area of interest. The Literature Track also provides an excellent preparation for those planning to go on to graduate school or work in any fields that demand critical thinking and effective communication skills, such as editing, public relations, and marketing.

The Professional Writing Track is designed for those interested in careers in writing and related fields such as journalism, feature writing, magazine article writing, publishing, editing, technical writing, advertising, speech writing, script writing for radio and television, screen writing for film, and other kinds of creative writing. It is also appropriate for those interested in a career teaching writing. Small classes guarantee individual attention to the development of students' writing skills. The Professional Writing Track also requires writing internships with local media outlets in order to give students important practical experience.

Literature Track - Course Sequence

Course sequence

Introductory Level: Select three courses (9 credits)

  • ENG 245: British Literature I
  • ENG 246: British Literature II
  • ENG 247: American Literature I
  • ENG 248: American Literature II.

Intermediate Level: 15 credits
A. ENG 310: Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits)
B. Pre-1800 Literature: Select two courses (6 credits)

  • ENG 319: Early American Literature
  • ENG 347: Seventeenth Century Literature
  • ENG 350: Medieval & Renaissance Literature
  • ENG 351: Restoration & 18th Century Literature
C. Post-1800 Literature: Select two courses (6 credits)
  • ENG 320: 19th-Century American Literature
  • ENG 321: 20th-Century American Literature
  • ENG 355: British Romanticism
  • ENG 356: Victorian Literature
  • ENG 353: 20th-Century British Literature

Advanced Courses: 9 credits
A. ENG 412: Major Author (3 credits)
B. ENG 418: Language Studies (3 credits)
C. ENG 440: Advanced Literary Theory OR ENG 450: Thesis (3 credits)

Major Electives: 6 credits in English at the 200, 300, or 400-level in addition to courses fulfilling the requirements above. Note: English/Secondary Education Majors are required to take 3 of these credits at the 200-level.

Advanced History Courses: 6 credits in History at the 200, 300, or 400-level.

Total: 45 credits (including English core)

Professional Writing Track - Course Sequence

Course sequence

Introductory Level: ENG Core (6 credits)

Intermediate Level: 12 credits

A. ENG 310: Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits)
B. 300-level Literature courses (9 credits)

Advanced Level: 3 credits

A. ENG 412: Major Author(s)

Writing Courses: 15 credits
A. ENG 303: Advanced Expository Writing
B. Select four writing courses (12 credits)

  • COM 207: Script Writing
  • COM 215: Web Design
  • ENG 301: Teaching Writing
  • COM/ENG 325: Feature & Magazine Writing
  • ENG 339: Technical Writing
  • ENG 343: Writing for Media
  • ENG 370: Craft of Poetry (up to 6 credits)
  • ENG 371: Craft of Fiction (up to 6 credits)
  • ENG 372: Craft of Drama (up to 6 credits)
  • ENG 450: Thesis
Additional Requirements: 9 credits
  • ENG 470: Internship (6 credits)
  • Advanced History Course: one course in History at the 200, 300, or 400-level (3 credits)

Total: 45 credits (including the English core)

Course Descriptions

ENG 120 Theatre Production, 1 credit

The preparation and presentation of productions including rehearsal, performance, stage management, scenery production, constructing properties, lighting, sound, costumes, programs, box office, publicity, etc. May be repeated for credit.
Cross registration with FA 120

ENG 150 Introduction to Literature, 3 credits

This course introduces students to literature through the study of poetry, drama, and fiction. Emphasis will be on critical reading/interpretation of and writing about literary texts with special attention paid to conventions of genre, symbolism, and devices such as metaphor, irony, and allusion.
(Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 151 University Writing Seminar, 3 credits

This course introduces and develops skills and abilities fundamental to proficient academic writing. This course emphasizes the critical reading and the summary, synthesis, and analysis of primary materials in specific social and historical contexts.

ENG 205 Beginning Acting, 3 credits

Analysis and experience of dramatic literature through performance. Emphasis is placed on building a basic performance vocabulary and technique, and developing confidence and critical thinking skills.
Cross registration with FA 200

ENG 207 British Literature, 3 credits

This course introduces students to readings in British literature from Shakespeare to the present day. Emphasis is placed on the ways in which specific works reflect changing values and intellectual movements.
Lecture: 3 hours.

ENG 208 African American Literature, 3 credits

This course examines the major African American authors in America, how their texts reflect their sense of identity, and how these texts fit into larger frameworks of American literature. The course also investigates the cultural history behind these works and issues such as stereotyping. Students who previously completed ENG 108: African American Literature may only take ENG 208 for the purposes of grade replacement, and may not receive credit for both ENG 108 and ENG 208.

ENG 216 Italy in Literature and Film, 3 credits

This course seeks to construct the Italian imaginary or "social imaginary," that is, a set of values, traditions, institutions, and symbols that are generally shared by the groups that have inhabited the Italian peninsula in medieval, early modern, and modern times. It is taught only as a Study Abroad course in Italy and examines both literature and films that reflect the culture of early modern and modern Italian civilization.
Prerequisite: One prior English Core course for students entering the University prior to Summer 2012; ENG 151 for students entering in Summer 2012 or later. Summer

ENG 219 Modern World Literature, 3 credits

This course focuses on the literatures of modern cultures other than those of Western Europe or North America. Works and authors are discussed in relation to their native cultures and in relation to the ways in which the literature reveals cultural and historical assumptions different from our own. May not be taken for credit if credit was previously received for ENG 109: Modern World Literature. (Fall 2015 and late)

ENG 223 Ethnic American Literatures, 3 credits

This course surveys literature by ethnic American writers—including but not limited to African American, Asian American, Chicano/a and Native American authors—from the early/colonial period to the present. In this course, students will examine these literatures for how they negotiate the position(s) of ethnic individuals and/or communities within the United States. Students will also identify major discourses of U.S. multi-ethnic literature (for example, the melting pot, conflict/resistance, assimilation, etc.) and analyze how individual works and authors reflect, challenge, and transcend these discourses. (Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 224 Women Writers, 3 credits

Women Writers is an in-depth study of women writers from the nineteenth- and twentieth centuries, focusing on contextualizing their works within a cultural, historical, and political framework. (Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 225 Disability in Literature, 3 credits

This course is designed to explore literary texts and films from across the globe that address disabilities of various kinds (physical, mental, social). Some of the questions we shall consider include: how has the definition of “disability” shifted in recent years? What, then, is “normal”? Is the very term “disability” problematic? How does disability further impact other social constructs such as race, gender and socio-economic status? In order to investigate these issues, we shall begin the course with the lexicon of disability and subsequently approach texts from the following perspectives: patient perspective; family perspective; disability due to trauma (including war/political strife); and resiliency and self-efficacy. (Spring 2016 and later)

ENG 245 British Literature I, 3 credits

This course is a survey of British literature from its origins to the Romantic period. This course will examine major literary periods, the historical and cultural contexts of those periods, and the intersections and cross-currents of literary movements, styles, and forms. (Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 246 British Literature II, 3 credits

This course is a survey of British literature from the Romantic period to the present day. This course will examine major literary periods, the historical and cultural contexts of those periods, and the intersections and cross-currents of literary movements, styles, and forms. (Spring 2016 and later)

ENG 247 American Literature I, 3 credits

This course is an introduction to American literature through 1865 from its early roots in the colonial era to the forming of our nation deep into American Romanticism and the beginning of Realism/Naturalism. This course will examine major literary periods, the historical and cultural contexts of those periods, and the intersections and cross-currents of literary movements, styles, and forms. (Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 248 American Literature II, 3 credits

This course is an introduction to American literature from 1865 to the present. This course will examine major literary periods (naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism), the historical and cultural contexts of those periods, and the intersections and cross-currents of literary movements, styles, and forms. (Spring 2016 and later)

ENG 249 European Fiction, 3 credits

This course introduces students to important figures in the tradition of modern European fiction. Authors may include Stendhal, Goethe, Balzac, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Lampedusa, Beckett, Camus, and Calvino. Students will be introduced to conventions of realism and the romance tradition, as well as the intellectual, social, and historical backgrounds of the modern centuries. (Fall 2015 and later)

ENG 300 Classics of Western Literature, 3 credits

A study of the major works that have influenced Western writers, with emphasis on the characteristics of different types of literature and cultural backgrounds. Readings include works by Homer, Dante, and Goethe.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 301 Teaching Writing, 3 credits

This course offers practice in writing short essays and in responding to the writing of others. Review of grammar and sentence construction is included as needed.

ENG 302 Myth and Symbol, 3 credits

This course surveys texts that focus on a major literary symbol or myth across time and genre, and examines how these devices have provided continuity for authors from different centuries, and how they have changed in response to cultural changes. Examples include the underworld, the journey, the knight, and the machine.
Prerequisites: Literature core

ENG 303 Advanced Expository Writing, 3 credits

Advanced practice in writing clear prose using various modes of exposition, with an emphasis upon developing and improving style. Students who previously completed ENG 203: Advanced Expository Writing may only take ENG 303 for the purposes of grade replacement, and may not receive credit for both ENG 203 and ENG 303.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English Core

ENG 305 Literature and Medicine, 3 credits

This course explores the intersection between literature and medicine in three key arenas: the patient, the practitioner, and the public. The course focuses on issues of social justice and human dignity and considers how literature represents, engages with, and challenges medical language, narrative, and diagnosis.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English Core

ENG 310 Introduction to Literary Studies, 3 credits

This course serves as an introduction to the English major and the study of literature, with an emphasis on the skills and background needed to engage with texts as critics. The course will develop students’ close-reading skills in tandem with introducing them to literary theory and its application to texts. The course will advance students understanding of genre, including genre-specific terms and tools. At the end of this course, students will have the background and skills necessary to embark on a more advanced study of literature.
Prerequisite: English major or minor status

ENG 316 Shakespeare, 3 credits

Introduces the student to Shakespeare through a careful reading and analysis of two or more genres of Shakespearean drama in seven or eight of the major plays. A number of approaches may be taken to the plays, such as their dramaturgy and structural composition, as well as the intellectual and social background of Shakespeare’s age. Students who previously completed ENG 215: Shakespeare may only take ENG 316 for the purposes of grade replacement, and may not receive credit for both ENG 215 and ENG 316.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 317 Theatre in Performance, 3 credits

Examination of dramatic texts in performance and the history of dramatic production in a variety of cultures. Main focus is on Western traditions, but some Eastern traditions are included. Students who previously completed ENG 220: Theatre in Performance may only take ENG 317 for the purposes of grade replacement, and may not receive credit for both ENG 220 and ENG 317.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 318 The Study of Language, 3 credits

An introduction to the phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax of English. Approaches include both an overview of the development of English from the perspective of historical linguistics and an analysis of English from the perspective of structural linguistics. Topics covered include the IPA phonetic system, Indo-European roots of English, borrowings into English, traditional and transformational grammar, and dialect.

ENG 319 Early American Literature, 3 credits

This course will explore the development of literature in Colonial America and the Early Republic, covering a period of time from the early 17th century to the early 19th century. Readings will encompass primary texts in poetry, nonfiction, autobiography, and novels, as well as secondary critical readings or historical contexts that will help us situate the literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Prerequisite: Completion of English core requirements

ENG 320 19th Century American Literature, 3 credits

A survey of major 19th century American authors in the Romantic and Realist traditions, with special attention to cultural backgrounds.
Prerequisites: Literature core

ENG 321 20th Century American Literature, 3 credits

A study of American novelists, poets, and dramatists of the 20th century. This course will cover works and authors from the early decades and naturalism, to modernism and postmodernism, and beyond, with attention paid to cultural background that influenced American writers and literature.
Prerequisites: Completion of English core requirements

ENG 325 Feature and Magazine Writing, 3 credits

Practice in writing longer articles suitable for both newspaper and magazine publishing.
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or two writing-intensive courses; cross-listed with COM 325

ENG 339 Technical Writing, 3 credits

Technique and practice in writing basic technical reports. Guidelines for scientific reporting, memoranda, progress reports, and formal documents.
Prerequisites: Two writing-intensive courses or ENG 103

ENG 341 Imaginative Writing, 3-6 credits

Practice and development of writing skills in poetry, fiction, and drama. The course will be conducted as a workshop.
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or two writing-intensive courses

ENG 343 Writing for Media, 3 credits

Basic communication technique with an emphasis on news values, reporting, and writing.
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or two writing-intensive courses

ENG 345 Fiction Writing, 3 credits

A workshop in the writing of short fiction. Students will analyze the techniques of story writers, write their own original stories, and take part in class critiques of drafts.
Prerequisite: ENG 341 or permission of instructor

ENG 347 17th Century Literature, 3-6 credits

Intensive study of one or more selected authors, genres or movements, including such topics as Cavalier and Metaphysical poetry, the Age of Milton, religious poetry and prose, and the epic. May be repeated once on a different topic.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 350 Medieval and Renaissance Literature, 3-6 credits

Intensive study of a number of authors from the late medieval and Renaissance periods in European literature. Topics for each offering will be specified in advance, but may include Renaissance humanism and the imitation of classical literary models, the development of the lyric, medieval and Renaissance traditions of allegory, or the literary expression of dissent in medieval and Renaissance literature. May be repeated once on a different topic.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 351 Restoration and 18th Century Literature, 3 credits

Intensive study of authors, genres, and movements between 1660 and 1800, including restoration drama, the mock-epic, satire, and the beginning of the novel. Literary works are discussed in the context of political events such as the Puritan Revolution and its aftermath, and social changes, especially the increasing importance of the middle class.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 352 19th Century British Literature, 3 credits

Intensive study of the literature of the Romantic and Victorian periods. Emphasis is placed on the historical and cultural contexts of the French and Industrial Revolutions, and their influence on major Romantic poets and Victorian poets and novelists.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 353 20th Century British Literature, 3 credits

Intensive study of selected 20th century authors and movements. Covers major modernist figures such as Eliot and Joyce, and relates them to changes in 20th-century society. Also covers postmodernism in poetry and fiction.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 354 Russian Literature, 3 credits

A survey of the most important Russian writers of narrative poetry and fiction in the 19th century, from about 1825 to 1905. Emphasis will be placed on ways in which the literature reflects both European literary influence and specifically Russian history, culture and ideas.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 355 British Romanticism, 3 credits

This course is an in-depth study of British literature from 1832-1901; emphasis is placed on aesthetic developments, thematic concerns of race, class, and gender, and the historical and cultural contexts of the Industrial Revolution, the expanding Empire, and evolution.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English core

ENG 361 Race and Graphic Narrative in the Post-War United States, 3 credits

This course examines the representation of race and ethnicity in the United States from the end of World War II though today. Through the examination of a variety of graphic formats (narratives, films, television, etc.), students will deepen their knowledge of how race and ethnicity have been represented and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of those representations, through the use of primary and secondary evidence. Students will also draw connections between these texts and contemporary U.S. culture and society. May not be taken if the student has already completed HIS 361.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English Core.

ENG 362 Fairy and Folk Tales, 3 credits

An examination of the development of fairy and folk tales from the Italian Renaissance through the literary fairy tale of late 17th century France to 19th and 20th century examples of the genre. Emphasis will be placed on the cultural circumstances that produced the tales and the consequent views of their function in society.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 370 The Craft of Poetry, 3 credits

The Craft of Poetry will explore the fundamentals to poetic forms. Focus will be on the close reading of form and content and the writing of poetry.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English core

ENG 371 The Craft of Fiction, 3 credits

This course will explore the fundamentals to fictional forms. Focus will be on the close reading of form and content and the writing of fiction.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English core

ENG 372 The Craft of Drama, 3 credits

This course will explore the fundamentals to dramatic forms. Focus will be on the close reading of form and content and the writing of drama.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English core

ENG 401 Major Author(s), 3 credits

Intensive study of one author, or of two authors who are profitably studied in relation to one another. Focus will be on primary texts and on secondary works that explore the social, political, and intellectual backgrounds of the author(s), as well as on the biographical background.
Prerequisite: Completion of the English core

ENG 415 Selected Studies in Literature, 3 credits

Intensive study of a specific author, period, genre, literary circle, or topic. Topics vary quite broadly and frequently contain interdisciplinary components; students may also request areas for study.
Prerequisite: Literature core

ENG 418 The Study of Language, 3 credits

An introduction to the phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax of English. Approaches include both an overview of the development of English from the perspective of historical linguistics and an analysis of English from the perspective of structural linguistics. Topics covered include the IPA phonetic system, Indo-European roots of English, borrowings into English, traditional and transformational grammar, and dialect. May not be taken if the student already received credit for ENG 318.

ENG 420 Senior Seminar, 3 credits

Students engage in a semester-long research project while also acquiring some knowledge of advanced literary criticism and critical theory. Texts will vary depending on instructor. Must be taken if ENG 450 (Senior Thesis) is not chosen.
Prerequisite: Senior English major status

ENG 440 Advanced Literary Theory, 3 credits

Students engage in a semester-long research project while also acquiring some knowledge of advanced literary criticism and critical theory. Texts will vary depending on instructor. Must be taken if ENG 450 (Senior Thesis) is not chosen. May not be taken if the student already received credit for ENG 420.
Prerequisite: Senior English major status

ENG 450 Senior Thesis, 3 credits

Students will write an independently chosen critical or creative thesis under the careful supervision of a faculty mentor. For critical theses, students will master all the phases of the research process, including the gathering of research from traditional and electronic bibliographical sources, standard systems of bibliographical citation, and organization of a developed and original argument. For creative theses, students will master all phases of the creative process, including drafting, work-shopping, and revising based on their faculty mentor’s feedback. This course may be taken twice for a total of six credits toward the degree if the student is completing both the English major and the Creative Writing minor.
Prerequisites: ENG Core. Students may only complete a creative thesis if they are on the major’s writing track or completing either track in the Writing Minor.

ENG 470 Internship, 3-12 credits

Academic study combined with work experience in the community at newspapers, radio and TV stations, public relations offices, and other media outlets requiring good communication skills.
Prerequisites: ENG 103, 203, or three writing-intensive courses

ENG 480 Independent Study, 1-6 credits

Special investigation of a selected literary topic. English majors only.
Prerequisite: Literature core

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