A survey course is, by its very nature, an incomplete project which must be
selective. Instead of worrying about a 'complete picture' of world
literature, let us instead think of ourselves as explorers or 'surveyors,'
using literary texts as fixed points with which we might measure,
triangulate, and map out various cultural landscapes.
This survey of world literature will focus on free thinkers from Europe to
the Americas in the early modern era. We will trace their ideas of myth and
magic, metaphysics and natural science, to examine how literature migrates
across national boundaries, how it encounters and influences its host
countries, and how it is itself transformed in the encounter.
Our texts will include a variety of genres, including poetry, drama, essay,
treatise, and manifesto. The writers we will consider include Giordano Bruno,
Michel de Montaigne, Guaman Poma De Ayala, Thomas Vaughn, Sor Juana Ines de
la Cruz, and William Shakespeare. All works will be read in English
translation, and you need not have prior familiarity with global literary
history to succeed in this class.
By committing to full engagement with the course assignments and materials,
you will leave having read carefully from the works of several writers, and
you will have acquired interpretive, analytical skills that will aid you in
future coursework in English and other disciplines.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Multicultural, International Cultures (IC) courses study world cultures in critical perspective. They either treat an international culture in view of the issues raised in AC and IP courses (i.e., race and ethnicity, pluralism and mono-culturalism, prejudice and tolerance) or they analyze worldviews that differ substantially from those that prevail in the present-day United States.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.