Academic Bulletin 2022-2023 
    
    Apr 22, 2024  
Academic Bulletin 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English


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Professors Votava (Chair), Bakken, Buckner, Caballero, Christmas, Ferrence, Hart, Hellwarth, J. Miller, B. Slote, S. Slote

Allegheny’s English Department prepares students for an unknown future through the study of literary citizenship. Our program is oriented in flexibility and deep thinking, dedicated to the analysis and production of texts that mediate our relationship to the world, and committed to the cultivation of the uniqueness of human intellect, creativity, and communication. Our goals and philosophies are centered in our mission statement: 

English Department Mission Statement: 

As readers and writers, we explore how literature and language shape, have shaped, and will shape the world within which we live. 

English Department Learning Outcomes 

Overview of Course Levels 

100-level

Courses in the close reading of literary texts. Through the study of multiple genres of literary works, students develop their ability to read carefully and to understand the relationship between literary texts and a range of historical and/or literary contexts. The courses also introduce students to some of the terms and critical approaches necessary for further literary study.    

Students who successfully complete 100-level English courses will:

  • Master basic terms of literary study;
  • Utilize close reading as a primary skill of literary analysis;
  • Encounter other interpretive methods that build upon the principle of close reading
  • Recognize the conventions of different genres;
  • Develop interpretive arguments both in writing and discussion;
  • Understand the significance of historically underrepresented perspectives and traditions. 

200-level

Literatures

Courses that examine in historical contexts the literatures that inform global Anglophone literary development. Each class examines literature across at least two periods of literary history within the cultural-geographical categorization of the course title, recognizing that various diasporas widen organization beyond “national.” These courses examine how literature and culture are interrelated, continue to develop the skills of “close reading,” and continue to develop the skills of interpretive argument.

Students who successfully complete 200-level literatures courses in English will:

  • Describe literature in its historical contexts;
  • Differentiate between at least two periods of literary history;
  • Identify how literature and culture are interrelated;
  • Continue to develop and refine skills as close readers of literary texts;
  • Continue to develop interpretive arguments about literary texts.

Writing

Courses that examine and describe choices writers make to construct meaning and express human experience. These classes introduce the traditions, controversies, vocabulary, and conventions pertinent to the craft of poetry, fiction, professional communication, or literary nonfiction. These classes require original writing that demonstrates an awareness of the relationship between form and subject; require revision of original writing based on feedback; and develop the ability to offer constructive and informed feedback on peer writing. 

Students who successfully complete 200-level writing workshops will:

  • Examine and describe choices writers make to construct meaning and express human experience;
  • Identify the traditions, controversies, vocabulary, and conventions pertinent to the craft of poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, or professional communication;
  • Demonstrate in their own poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, or professional communication an awareness of the relationship between form and subject matter;
  • Revise their own poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, or professional communication by considering feedback;
  • Provide constructive and informed feedback on peers’ poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, or professional communication. 

300-level

Courses that continue to develop the skills of close reading. These classes emphasize the relationship between text and context; continue to develop the skills of independent interpretive textual criticism; introduce relevant secondary critical texts; require a research project that draws on relevant scholarly/artistic “conversations” in the field; emphasize the study of a discrete formal categories of literature (eg. fiction, nonfiction, poetry); and may be oriented around either critical or craft interpretation.

Students who successfully complete 300-level courses in English will:

  • Continue to hone their skills as close readers of literary texts;
  • Enhance their understanding of the relationship between text and context (literary, historical, craft) begun in the 200-level courses;
  • Refine their ability to ask relevant, independent interpretive questions of literary texts;
  • Encounter relevant examples of literary or craft criticism and be able to summarize and respond to the argument of select articles.

400-level

Courses that emphasize intensive study of a specific genre or literary period. These classes require students to make use of relevant scholarly or craft criticism; and require a substantial research or creative project that displays a sustained sense of historical, cultural, or creative context.       

Students who successfully complete a 400-level literature course in English will:

  • Continue to hone their skills as close readers of literary texts;
  • Find and evaluate relevant published criticism;
  • Apply critical methods to a focused literary topic;
  • Complete a substantial research project that displays a sustained sense of historical and cultural context. 

Students who successfully complete a 400-level creative writing workshop will:

  • Continue to hone their skills as writers who use language to construct meaning and express human experiences;
  • Recognize how their own work fits into the traditions, controversies, vocabulary, and conventions pertinent to the craft of poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction;
  • Find and evaluate relevant published craft-criticism;
  • Demonstrate in their own poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction an awareness of the relationship between form and subject matter;
  • Complete a substantial writing project in poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction that displays a sustained sense of artistic and craft awareness.
  • Provide constructive and informed feedback on peers’ poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction. 

Junior Seminar

The Junior Seminar is required of all English majors and may be taken by minors to fulfill the 400-level requirement. These seminars place an emphasis on discussion, individual student research, and critical methodology. The subject matter of junior seminars varies according to individual instructors. 

Students who successfully complete a Junior Seminar in English will:

  • Continue to hone their skills in literary close reading;
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete a significant research-oriented examination of literary criticism or craft-criticism;
  • Evaluate the critical or craft-oriented “conversation” surrounding a specific topic of literary merit.

Senior Project

Every Allegheny student completes a Senior Project: a significant piece of original research or creative work, designed by the student under the guidance of a faculty advisor. This project demonstrates the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and to speak persuasively. 

Students who successfully complete a Senior Project in English will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to produce a sustained, unique, independent piece of critical analysis or creative writing consistent with high-level undergraduate literary study;
  • Demonstrate awareness of and connection to appropriate critical and creative traditions in Anglophone literature;
  • Demonstrate careful, nuanced use of written English language;
  • Demonstrate an ability to speak cogently about the written project that has been produced.

Courses

To see the courses offered in this department or program, please use the “Course Search” link from the menu at the right of this page.

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