Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Majors and Minors: Courses

English Courses

(See also Calvin's Course Catalog for the most up-to-date course descriptions)

English 100: Enhanced Written Rhetoric I (3 hours). F. The first part of a year-long enhanced course sequence in written rhetoric. See the complete sequence description under English 102. Enrollment in English 100/102 is by special arrangement with Student Academic Services and the English Department.

English 101: Written Rhetoric (3 hours). F, S. A course in which students write several academic essays in which they practice rhetorical strategies, research-based argumentation,
and methods of composing effective prose. In the process of writing these essays, students consider language as a means of discovering truth about God, the world, and themselves, and they explore its potential to communicate truth and, thereby, to transform culture.

English 102: Enhanced Written Rhetoric II (3 hours). S. The second part of a year-long, enhanced course sequence in Written Rhetoric. Students enrolled in English 100/102 write expository essays, focusing particularly on how to conduct academic research, producing research-based argumentation. In the process of writing these essays and mastering conventions of language, students consider language as a means of discovering truth about God, the world, and themselves; and they explore its potential to communicate truth and, thereby, to transform culture. Prerequisite: English 100.

Course Level: 100 | 200 | 300 | graduate

English 200: Literature in a Global Context (3 hours). F, S. A survey of literature that crosses borders, accumulating meaning as it travels beyond its nation or culture of origin. Texts will include both Western and non-Western works and will cluster around a defined focus such as a specific genre, theme, or period of time.

English 202: Russian Literature (3 hours). S. A survey of the Russian literary tradition in English translation, including writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky.

English 212: Survey of British Literature I (3 hours). F, S. A survey of British literature from its origins through the English Civil War in the seventeenth century.

English 213: Survey of British Literature II (3 hours). F, S. A survey of British literature from the Restoration of the monarchy in the seventeenth century through Romanticism in the nineteenth century.

English 214: Survey of British Literature III (3 hours). F, S. A survey of British literature from the rise of Victorianism in the nineteenth century through contemporary literature in the twenty-first century.

English 220: Survey of American Literature I (3 hours). F, S. A survey of American literature from the colonial period through the Civil War, with attention to representative cultural perspectives and intellectual movements.

English 221: Survey of American Literature II (3 hours). F, S. A survey of American literature from the end of the Civil War to the present, with attention to representative cultural perspectives and intellectual movements.

English 225: African American Literature (3 hours). F, S. A survey of major writers and works of African American literature. Readings will include fiction, poetry, and drama, with special attention paid to historical and cultural contexts.

English 226: Ethnicity and American Literature (3 hours). F. A survey that addresses ethnic perspectives in the literatures of the United States, as well as the contributions of such literatures to an American identity, history, and literary tradition. The course may focus on any or all of the major American ethnic perspectives in literature, such as Native American, Latino American, Asian American, Jewish American, and African American.

English 230: Understanding Literature (3 hours). F, S. A survey of selected literary works with an emphasis on the fundamental elements of literature and methods of reading. Discussion topics may include the genres of literature and their conventions, the means by which texts create meaning and wield influence, the ways readers can interpret and respond to texts, and the roles of imaginative literature in shaping and reflecting culture. An abiding concern will be how Christians might take a distinctive approach to this area of human culture.

English 234: Gender and Literature (3 hours). F. A survey that examines literature through the lens of gender, with particular emphasis on writing by women. Normally, the course will also have a national focus (British or American literature).

English 238: Film as Narrative Art. (3 hours). F, alternate years. A survey of the art of film, focusing on narration and narrative structure, characterization, conflict, setting, and point of view, while also acquainting students with literary adaptation and with the contribution of film image and sound to narrative development. Also listed as Communication Arts and Sciences 296.

English 260: The Craft of Writing (3 hours). F. A course that invites students to write in a variety of genres, exploring composition from two perspectives—how texts are constructed and what they accomplish. From these two perspectives, students will consider the two classical categories of written genres: poetics (the study of belletristic writing) and rhetoric (the study of persuasive writing). This is a foundational course for students who are interested in advanced study of writing. Prerequisite: English 101 or 102 or approval of the instructor.

English 261: Academic and Professional Writing (3 hours). S, alternate years. A course in rhetoric and composition designed for students who wish to prepare for writing in their professions or in graduate school. Students enhance their abilities to create and edit effective writing in the genres that they will encounter as professionals.

English 262: Business Writing (3 hours). A course introducing students to the kinds of writing, computer presentations, and electronic media options used in business-related fields. Students collect examples of and practice composing the types of professional communication that they are likely to craft on the job. The class is conducted as a workshop; students consult with each other and with the instructor. Each student submits several projects. The class also includes a group report (with written, multi-media, and oral portions), in-class writing and computer exercises, and the use of word-processing and presentation software. Prerequisite: completion of English 101 with a grade of C+ or above.

English 264: Basic Journalism (3 hours). F. An introduction to reporting for news media, using Associated Press guidelines to write for newspapers and online publications. This course focuses on methods of news gathering, interviewing, and research with particular emphasis on reporting about current affairs. Students analyze trends and discuss ethical issues in contemporary journalism, but their primary focus is on the writing and editing of news.

English 266: Feature Journalism (3 hours). S, alternate years. A course in the art of writing feature stories for magazine and online publications. Students research, write, and edit several substantial articles for different audiences, paying particular attention to matters of strategy and style as called for by those audiences. Topics range from profiles of people to articles about science, history, religion, art, or contemporary events. Although the primary focus of the course is writing, students do explore the possibilities of multimedia journalism.

English 295: Introduction to Studies in English (3 hours). F, S. An introduction for all English ma- jors in the fundamental questions of the discipline as well as the tools necessary for students to succeed in advanced work in the major. This course serves as an overview of English's history, methodologies, and hermeneutical traditions. It also focuses on vocation in both theoretical and practical ways. This course will function as the bridge between introductory courses and advanced ones. Although this class will serve as a prerequisite to all 300-level literature courses, students may take 200-level courses prior to or concurrently with English 295.

English 299: Special Topics in Literature (3 hours). S. A survey of literature focused on a topic of the instructor's choosing.

Course Level: 100 | 200 | 300 | graduate

English 300: Advanced World Literature (3 hours). S. A focused study of recent world literature that crosses borders. This course may forefront writing from a discrete nation, such as Chinese literatures, or examine texts belonging to a global, cosmopolitan movement, such as postcolonialism.

English 310: British Literature of the Middle Ages (3 hours). F, alternate years. A focused study of the literatures of the Anglo-Saxon and Middle English periods.

English 312: British Literature of Renaissance and Reformation (3 hours). F alternate years. A focused study of the writing and cultural contexts of Great Britain from the time of the English Reformation through the English Civil War.

English 313: British Literature of the Eighteenth Century (3 hours). S, alternate years. A focused study of the writing and cultural contexts in Great Britain from the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the emergence of Romanticism.

English 314: British Literature of the Early Nineteenth Century (3 hours). F, alternate years. A focused study of the Romantic literature and cultural contexts of Great Britain, especially as it appeared in poetry and prose during the first four decades of the nineteenth century.

English 315: British Literature of the Middle and Later Nineteenth Century (3 hours). S, alternate years. A focused study of the Victorian authors of Great Britain and the cultural contexts in which they wrote.

English 316: British Modernism (3 hours). F, alternate years. A focused study of the writing and cultural context of Great Britain during the Modernist period, 1901-1939.

English 317: Contemporary British and Commonwealth Literature (3 hours). S, alternate years. A focused study of the writing and cultural context of Great Britain and its commonwealth from World War II to the present.

English 320: Literature of the United States I: Settlement to Civil War (3 hours). F. A focused study of the fiction, poetry, drama, and/or non-fiction prose produced in the United States prior to the Civil War, with a pointed focus on those writers and texts most emblematic of—or influential in—shaping America's diverse literatures.

English 321: Literature of the United States II: Civil War to the Great Depression (3 hours). S. A focused study of the fiction, poetry, drama, and/or non-fiction prose produced in the United States between the Civil War and Great Depression, with a pointed focus on those writers and texts most emblematic of—or influential in—shaping America's diverse literatures.

English 322: Literature of the United States III: World War II to Present (3 hours). S. A focused study of the fiction, poetry, drama, and/or non-fiction prose produced in the United States from World War II to the present, with a pointed focus on those writers and texts most emblematic of—or influential in—shaping America's diverse literatures.

English 330: Hermeneutics and the Study of Literature (3 hours). S. An exploration of literary interpretation that considers various critical theories, both traditional and contemporary, through which texts can be read and understood, with illustrations of various hermeneutic approaches as well as practical criticism.

English 332: The Novel (3 hours). F. An intensive study of the novel from its origins through to its contemporary manifestations, including the work of major novelists, the development of important sub-genres, and the history of ideas and culture that have influenced the novel. Normally, the course alternates yearly between British and American novels.

English 333: Poetry (3 hours). F, alternate years. An intensive study of selected poets in English. Readings involve focused attention on individual poems, the history and formal concerns of the genre, and essays on poetics. The emphasis of the course varies according to individual instructor and may include such offerings as the Sonnet, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry, the Metaphysical Tradition, Lyric Poetry, Georgics, American Surrealism, the New Formalists, the Elegy, Open Form, or Imagism.

English 334: Drama (3 hours). F, alternate years. An intensive study of dramatic literature. The emphasis of the course varies according to individual instructor.

English 335: Genre Study (3 hours). S, alternate years. An intensive study of a particular medium or genre, such as the graphic novel or the short story, chosen by the instructor.

English 337: Major Authors (3 hours). S. An in-depth exploration of the works of a major literary figure. Normally, this course will alternate between a study of Chaucer and a study of Milton.

English 338: Shakespeare (3 hours). F, S. An in-depth exploration of the major works of William Shakespeare.

English 340: Children's Literature (3 hours). F, S. A focused study of children's literature, including intensive reading of the best of this literature and the application of literary standards to what is read. The prerequisite is waived for students in the Elementary Education Program.

English 341: Adolescent Literature (3 hours). F. A focused study and critical evaluation of the nature and content of adolescent literature, including intensive reading, application of literary standards, and discussion of issues in the field of young adult literature such as censorship, selection criteria, reader-response theories, ethnicity, and gender-based criticism. The prerequisite is waved for students in the Elementary Education Program.

English 350: Teaching of Writing (3 hours). F. A course in the theory and practice of teaching literature in middle and high school language arts programs. Extensive reading complements frequent writing about and practice in all elements involved in teaching writing. Majors and minors in English secondary education programs must take this course prior to enrolling in Education 346: "Directed Teaching."

English 351: Language, Grammar, and Writing for the Elementary Classroom (3 hours). F. An introduction to several significant and practical aspects of the nature of language, a review of the nature of traditional grammar, including some comparisons of traditional grammar with more recently developed grammars, and an exploration of the relationships between these grammars and composition instruction and practice.

English 352: Teaching of Literature (3 hours). S. A course in the theory and practice of teaching literature in middle and high school language arts programs. Extensive reading of literature along with the study and practice of teaching literature. Majors and minors in English secondary education programs must take this course prior to enrolling in Education 346: "Directed Teaching."

English 359: Seminar in Principles of and Practices in Secondary Education (3 hours). S. A course in perspectives on, principles of, and practices in the teaching of English on the secondary level. This course should be taken concurrently with Education 346: "Directed Teaching." Before taking English 359, students must pass the English Department Screening Exam and complete English 350, English 352, and Education 302/303. Before taking English 359, students normally also complete Education 307 and 398.

English 360: Creative Nonfiction (3 hours). S. A course in the principles and practice of creative nonfiction. Students will examine a variety of models and engage in extensive practice of the genre. Special emphasis will be given to the relationship between faith and art for the writer. Prerequisite: English 101 or 102.

English 362: Creative Writing (3 hours). F, S. A course in the principles and composition of fiction or poetry. Students will engage in extensive practice. Special emphasis will be given to the relationship between faith and art for the writer. Students may take both the fiction and the poetry version of the course for credit. Normally, this course will alternate between poetry (F) and fiction (S).

English 365: Writing in Digital Environments (3 hours). A course that engages students in writing rhetorically effective digital texts. Students will apply rhetorical, aesthetic, and technical principles as they write extensively in a variety of genres such as blogs, wikis, web pages, and digital stories. Special attention will be paid to questions of authorship and copyright when writing in digital environments. Prerequisite: English 101 or 102.

English 370: Linguistics (3 hours). F, S. A study of some of the more interesting and important characteristics of language, with particular attention given to the processes of language acquisition; to patterns and effects of linguistic change through time; to variations in language from region to region, social class to social class, and gender to gender; and to the assumptions informing the study of various grammars.

English 371: History of the English Language (3 hours). S. An analysis of the changes that have occurred throughout the history of the English language, based on an intensive study of selected British and American texts.

English 372: Sociolinguistics and Issues in Language Education (3 hours). F. A course involving two major activities: (1) an examination of selected topics that have arisen in recent sociolinguistic research, particularly those topics centering on questions about how standard and nonstandard languages and dialects appear to affect people's educational success; and (2) an evaluation of how these topics should affect approaches to language education, particularly approaches to teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Prerequisite: English 101 or 102.

English 373: Stylistics and Discourse Analysis (3 hours). S. A course that reviews significant grammatical terms; analyzes how words can be combined into longer constructions in English; examines the kinds of meanings—such as agency, modality, and solidarity—that those constructions can convey; and discusses how patterns of clauses conveying these various kinds of meaning within texts can be related to textual contexts.

English 374: English Grammar (3 hours). Interim. A study of traditional grammar, focusing on its history, its system, its applications, its competitors, and its connection to prose style; special emphasis will be given to the system and terminology of this grammar.

English 375: Grammar for Teachers of ESL (3 hours). F. A course that reviews the fundamentals of English grammar and examines the possibilities and limitations of teaching grammar in the ESL classroom. Students must research or practice the teaching of some of this grammatical material. Prerequisite: English 101 or 102.

English 380: Internship (3 hours). F, S. A course requiring students to work ten hours per week in a job related to English studies. The practicum asks students to reflect on vocation broadly and to apply theoretical, technical, and ethical principles to their work. Students will work with Career Services to secure a suitable position. Prerequisites: junior or senior status, a 2.0 college and departmental GPA, and permission of advisor.

English 390: Independent Study (3 hours). F, I, and S. Prerequisite: permission of the department chair.

English 395: Senior Seminar (3 hours). F, S. A capstone course for all English majors. This senior seminar is designed to nurture Christian reflection on issues related to writing, language, and literary studies, such as the significance of story and literary expression, the relationship of language and meaning, and the ethical implications of language and story. Students also consider vocational opportunities for those who love words. These contemporary literary and linguistic issues are framed by readings from within the tradition of Christian aesthetic reflection as well as from reformed cultural criticism and theology. Significant written work is required. Prerequisites: English 295, Biblical Foundations I or Theological Foundations I, Developing a Christian Mind, and Philosophical Foundations.

English 399: Honors Thesis (3 hours). F. A substantial work of research and criticism in the field of language or literature or a significant creative project (with an additional critical component), required for those graduating with honors in English.

Course Level: 100 | 200 | 300 | graduate

English 510: Literature for the Adolescent (3 hours). A survey and evaluation of adolescent literature, an examination of reference tools and approaches to the teaching of adolescent literature, a consideration of criteria for selection, and a critical study of several representative works.

English 511: Studies in Analytical Approaches to the Teaching of Literature (3 hours). An examination of the theoretical considerations underlying various approaches to teaching literature at the secondary level and application of critical approaches to selected literary works. The specific subject matter will be defined each time the course is offered.

English 531: Language and the Elementary Classroom (3 hours). A study of some aspects of traditional grammar, an introduction to the history of the English language, and an examination of current linguistic theory and concerns. Special emphasis is placed on the implications of this knowledge for classroom teaching.

English 537: Teaching of Writing in Elementary and Middle Schools (3 hours). A course in the principles and practice of writing, including the study of techniques appropriate for teaching elementary and middle school students to write well.

English 580: Principles, Practices, and Programs in Secondary English Education (3 hours). An advanced methods course for those teachers working at the middle school or high school level, involving general principles, materials, and pedagogical practices with emphasis on current trends. Each student will make a special study of a given area of language, composition, or literature.

English 581: Methods and Materials in the Language Arts (3 hours). A study of programs and techniques of effective teaching of language arts in the elementary school and a review of current materials in relationship to improvement of instruction.

English 590: Independent Study.