The Major

Major Requirements

Seventy-two credits in English, including the following:

1. Foundations: One designated 100-level course that develops skills of literary analysis and introduces the concept of genre 

  • ENGL 100 Drama, Film, and Society
  • ENGL 100 Literature and Science
  • ENGL 100 Imagining a Self
  • ENGL 100 Writing About America and Globalization
  • ENGL 100 Visions of the Waste Land
  • ENGL 100 Autobiography
  • ENGL 100 How We Read: The History and Science of Reading
  • ENGL 112 Introduction to the Novel
  • ENGL 114 Introduction to Medieval Literature
  • ENGL 115 The Art of Storytelling
  • ENGL 117 African American Literature
  • ENGL 118 Introduction to Poetry
  • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature
  • ENGL 125 Norse and Celtic Mythology (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 129 Introduction to British Comedy
  • ENGL 131 Reading Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
  • ENGL 144 Shakespeare I
  • ENGL 187 Murder
  • ENGL 194 The "Great War" and the Literary Imagination (not offered in 2018-19)
  • LTAM 100 The Politics of Memory in Latin American Literature

2. Historical Eras: 36 credits in literature courses numbered 200-395 (excluding 220 and 295) which must include:

  • Group I: 12 credits in literature before 1660
    • ENGL 126 Arthurian Tradition: From Medieval to Modern (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 202 The Bible as Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 203 The Age of Beowulf (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 204 History of the English Language (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 205 The Medieval Outlaw (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 206 Arthurian Tradition: From Medieval to Modern (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 207 Princes. Poets. Power
    • ENGL 208 The Faerie Queene
    • ENGL 209 The Merchant of Venice: A Project Course (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 210 From Chaucer to Milton: Early English Literature
    • ENGL 213 Christopher Marlowe (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 214 Revenge Tragedy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 216 Milton
    • ENGL 228 Encountering the Other: The Crusades (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 244 Shakespeare I
    • ENGL 302 The Medieval Outlaw (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 310 Shakespeare II
  • Group II: 12 credits in literature between 1660 and 1900
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 217 A Novel Education
    • ENGL 218 The Gothic Spirit
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
    • ENGL 222 The Art of Jane Austen
    • ENGL 223 American Transcendentalism (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 225 'Public Offenders': Pre-Raphaelites and Bloomsbury Group (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels
    • ENGL 319 The Rise of the Novel
    • ENGL 323 English Romantic Poetry
    • ENGL 327 Victorian Novel (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 328 Victorian Poetry (not offered in 2018-19)
  • Group III: 12 credits in literature after 1900 
    • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
    • ENGL 226 Modernism
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 238 African Literature in English (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 249 Irish Literature
    • ENGL 250 Modern Indian Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 251 Contemporary Indian Fiction
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • ENGL 256 Ireland Program: Performing Ireland (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
    • ENGL 264 American Lyric: Poetry, Pop and Rap (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 274 Ireland Program: Irish Literature in Ireland (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 281 London Program: Reading London, Writing London
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 333 Margaret Atwood
    • ENGL 334 Postmodern American Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 350 The Postcolonial Novel: Forms and Contexts (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 351 Zadie Smith (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
    • ENGL 362 Narrative Theory
    • ENGL 395 Yeats and Heaney
    • THEA 242 Modern American Drama

3. English 295: Critical Methods

4. English 395: Advanced Seminar

5. English 400: Senior Integrative Exercise (A senior may choose one of the following):

  • Colloquium Option: A group option in which participants discuss, analyze and write about a thematically coherent list of literary works.
  • Research Essay Option: An extended essay on a topic of the student's own devising. Open only to students who have completed their Advanced Seminar by the end of fall term senior year.
  • Creative Writing Option: Creation of a work of literary art. Open only to students who have completed at least two creative writing courses (one of which must be at the 300 level) by the end of fall term senior year.
  • Project Option: Creation of an individual or group multidisciplinary project.

Of the 72 credits required to complete the major:

1. at least 6 credits must be taken in each of the following traditions:

  • T1: Literature of Ireland and Britain
    • ENGL 112 Introduction to the Novel
    • ENGL 114 Introduction to Medieval Literature
    • ENGL 126 Arthurian Tradition: From Medieval to Modern (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 129 Introduction to British Comedy
    • ENGL 135 Imperial Adventures
    • ENGL 144 Shakespeare I
    • ENGL 202 The Bible as Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 203 The Age of Beowulf (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 204 History of the English Language (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 205 The Medieval Outlaw (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 206 Arthurian Tradition: From Medieval to Modern (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 207 Princes. Poets. Power
    • ENGL 208 The Faerie Queene
    • ENGL 209 The Merchant of Venice: A Project Course (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 210 From Chaucer to Milton: Early English Literature
    • ENGL 213 Christopher Marlowe (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 214 Revenge Tragedy (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 216 Milton
    • ENGL 217 A Novel Education
    • ENGL 218 The Gothic Spirit
    • ENGL 222 The Art of Jane Austen
    • ENGL 225 'Public Offenders': Pre-Raphaelites and Bloomsbury Group (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 228 Encountering the Other: The Crusades (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 244 Shakespeare I
    • ENGL 249 Irish Literature
    • ENGL 256 Ireland Program: Performing Ireland (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 274 Ireland Program: Irish Literature in Ireland (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 282 London Program: London Theater
    • ENGL 302 The Medieval Outlaw (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 310 Shakespeare II
    • ENGL 319 The Rise of the Novel
    • ENGL 323 English Romantic Poetry
    • ENGL 327 Victorian Novel (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 328 Victorian Poetry (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 351 Zadie Smith (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 395 Yeats and Heaney
    • EUST 232 Cambridge Program: The Great War in Poetry, History and Memory
  • T2: Literature of North America
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 117 African American Literature
    • ENGL 212 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
    • ENGL 215 Modern American Literature
    • ENGL 221 "Moby-Dick" & Its Contexts
    • ENGL 223 American Transcendentalism (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 226 Modernism
    • ENGL 227 Imagining the Borderlands
    • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 235 Asian American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 239 Democracy: Politics, Race, & Sex in Nineteenth Century American Novels
    • ENGL 247 The American West
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color
    • ENGL 264 American Lyric: Poetry, Pop and Rap (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 288 California Program: The Literature of California
    • ENGL 329 The City in American Literature
    • ENGL 332 Studies in American Literature: Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 333 Margaret Atwood
    • ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist
  • T3: Global Anglophone Literatures
    • ENGL 238 African Literature in English (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 250 Modern Indian Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 251 Contemporary Indian Fiction
    • ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction
    • ENGL 281 London Program: Reading London, Writing London
    • ENGL 350 The Postcolonial Novel: Forms and Contexts (not offered in 2018-19)
    • ENGL 395 The Twenty-First Century Novel
    • FREN 239 Banned Books (not offered in 2018-19)

2. at least 24 credits must be in courses numbered 300-395

3. up to 6 credits may be in literature other than English in the original or translation 

  • ARBC 185 The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CHIN 245 Chinese Vision of the Past in Translation (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CHIN 251 Heroes, Heroines, Exceptional Lives in Chinese Biographical Histories
  • CHIN 355 Contemporary Chinese Short Stories (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CLAS 111 Classical Mythology (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CLAS 112 The Epic in Classical Antiquity (not offered in 2018-19)
  • CLAS 116 Ancient Drama: Truth in Performance (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 233 French Cinema and Culture
  • FREN 237 Page and Stage: The Performance of Culture (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 238 French Classics Reimagined (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 239 Banned Books (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 241 The Lyric and Other Seductions (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 242 Journeys of Self-Discovery
  • FREN 244 Contemporary France and Humor (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 245 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean
  • FREN 247 The Seven Deadly Sins (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 259 Paris Program: Hybrid Paris
  • FREN 340 Arts of Brevity: Short Fiction (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 341 Madame Bovary and Her Avatars (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 351 Love, War and Monsters in Renaissance France (not offered in 2018-19)
  • FREN 354 The World Beyond
  • FREN 356 Women of Ill Repute: Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France (not offered in 2018-19)
  • GERM 247 Indo-European Folktales (not offered in 2018-19)
  • GERM 360 Song That Sleeps in Everything (not offered in 2018-19)
  • GRK 204 Intermediate Greek Prose and Poetry
  • GRK 304 Greek Tragedy for Advanced Students (not offered in 2018-19)
  • GRK 305 Homer (not offered in 2018-19)
  • LATN 204 Intermediate Latin Prose and Poetry
  • RELG 161 Making Meaning of the Hebrew Bible (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RELG 162 Jesus, the Bible, and Christian Beginnings
  • RUSS 244 The Rise of the Russian Novel
  • RUSS 266 Dostoevsky (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RUSS 267 War and Peace (not offered in 2018-19)
  • RUSS 351 Chekhov
  • SPAN 220 Magical Realism in Latin American Narrative (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S. (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 260 Forces of Nature (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 262 Myth and History in Central American Literature (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 323 The Other American Revolutions (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 330 The Invention of the Modern Novel: Cervantes' Don Quijote (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 344 Women Writers in Latin America: Body and Text (not offered in 2018-19)
  • SPAN 366 Jorge Luis Borges: Less a Man Than a Vast and Complex Literature
  • SPAN 371 Yours Truly: The Body of the Letter

4. up to 12 credits may be in creative writing

Double-majors considering completing the integrative exercise during the junior year will need written approval from the departmental chair.

Workshops in Writing

The Department of English offers workshop courses in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction for those students who wish to gain experience in writing. Students are encouraged to submit their work to college publications such as The Lens, manuscript, the Clap, and Carleton Progressive.

Writers on the Carleton faculty include poets Gregory Hewett and Susan Jaret McKinstry and novelist Gregory Blake Smith. In addition to those courses offered by regular faculty members, the department brings visiting writers to campus to read and to conduct workshops in their specialties. Visitors have included playwright Tony Kushner, memoirists Richard Rodriquez and Patricia Hampl, poets Robert Creeley, Carolyn Forche, Sharon Olds, and Andrew Hudgins, nature writers Dan O'Brien and David Rains Wallace, and fiction-writers Jane Hamilton, Ann Beattie, Maxine Hong Kingston, Marilynne Robinson, Jonis Agee, Paul Auster, and Siri Hustvedt.