Program Website: http://www.hiram.edu/english/

The English major encourages students to develop a better understanding of their own culture and other cultures through the examination of literature and language. Through the literature that we read, we connect with others in our own communities and around the world. The program offers opportunities to examine the traditions of English and American literature as well as world and post-colonial works in English and in translation (from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean as well as Europe, Canada, and Australia). The course of study in the English program offers interested students a structured opportunity to evaluate these texts from a variety of critical perspectives, and, for those so inclined, an array of writing courses in which to develop their creative and expository talents. 

Who Are Hiram’s English Majors?

Students earning their English degrees at Hiram are passionate readers and writers, eager to learn from each other, their professors, and language. They use their natural curiosity to think flexibly as they analyze texts and cultures.

Hiram’s small, discussion-focused classes foster a tight-knit community of English majors, providing ample opportunity to hone interpretation and communication skills. The close relationship between Hiram’s English students and professors challenges students to relentlessly pursue creativity and their calling.

About the English Degree Program

Hiram’s flexible English major builds analytical and communication skills while focusing on students’ personal passions. The program is rooted in five focused skill areas:

  1. Analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of texts
  2. Close reading of structure, word choice, symbolism, literary devices, and textual meaning
  3. Intensive research, including finding, evaluating, and incorporating high-quality sources to both support and complicate personal positions
  4. Writing short and long projects independently, from planning, to organization, to implementation
  5. Oral communication, expressing thoughts clearly and concisely through discussion

In addition to coursework, Hiram’s major provides training opportunities often reserved for graduate-level students that further prepares them for success beyond college:

  • Training and working as writing tutors and writing assistants
  • Submitting scholarly coursework to conferences and journals
  • Working on the Hiram Poetry Review, as well as other area writing internships

Faculty

Paul Gaffney, (2006) Associate Professor of English; Classical & Medieval Studies Advisory Committee; Director of Eclectic Scholars
B.A., Western Washington University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
gaffneypd@hiram.edu

Willard Greenwood, (2001) John S. Kenyon Professor of English; Editor of Hiram Poetry Review
B.A., University of Maine;
M.A., Georgia State University;
Ph.D., Purdue University
greenwoodwp@hiram.edu

Kirsten L Parkinson, (2001) Professor of English; Director of the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature; Coordinator of Gender Studies Minor; Co-Coordinator of Film Studies Minor
A.B., Harvard University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California;
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California
parkinsonkl@hiram.edu

Mary Quade, (2006) Professor of English
A.B., University of Chicago;
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writer's Workshop
quademr@hiram.edu

Jeffrey Swenson, (2007) Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; Professor of English; Director Writing Across the Curiculum Program
B.A., St. John's University;
M.A., University of Alaska, Fairbanks;
Ph.D., University of Iowa
swensonjc@hiram.edu

Course Descriptions

ENGL 12500:  GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE:IM:  4 Hour(s)  

GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE:IM ~ This course will explore a group of well-known works of literature organized by theme, era, single author, or genre. Considered a reading course, the class will emphasize recall, analysis, and understanding of literature and culture. Students who complete the course will improve their reading skills as well as their knowledge of notable literature.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 14000:  SURVEY IN DRAMATIC LIT:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

SURVEY IN DRAMATIC LITERATURE:IM ~ This course provides an introduction to the variety, complexity, and originality of works written for stage presentation. The students study different styles of dramatic literature through individual plays chosen to represent diverse time periods and literary styles. The course concentrates on developing the student's critical capabilities through short responsive papers on sensitivity to historical and stylistic influences and on general techniques for reading plays. By considering serious and comic plays, both ancient and contemporary, the course offers a student an overview of the contributions drama has made to the fine arts throughout history. Also offered as THEA 14000. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 18000:  WKSP::  1 Hour(s)  

WORKSHOP ~ This workshop will provide the opportunity for students to examine a special topic in English. Through readings, discussions and written assignments there will be opportunities to evaluate the topic at issue. Workshops may be taken Pass/No Credit only. Students may take no more than nine workshops for credit toward graduation. Workshops can be used as elective credit only.

ENGL 20300:  INTRO TO FILM ANALYSIS:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

INTRODUCTION TO FILM ANALYSIS:IM ~ Films are deliberately constructed texts, with directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, costumers, set designers, editors, composers, budget managers, and hundreds of other people making active choices that impact the final movie that you see. This course will introduce the basic tenets of film analysis and some simple history of the film industry so that you will be an active consumer, rather than a passive watcher, of films and can detect many of these choices and how they influence the final product and how you as a viewer react to what you see onscreen. Our readings, viewings, and class discussions will give you the vocabulary to talk about what you are seeing and develop heightened awareness of how films are constructed narratively, technically, and culturally—the place they hold both in the film world and in our larger culture.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 20600:  INTRO TO LITERARY STUDIES:IM:  4 Hour(s)  

INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDIES:IM ~ A basic introduction to the study of literature (broadly defined). This course will prepare you to read and analyze in a more systematic and detailed manner, which will make you better equipped to understand and engage with texts. Through discussion and writing, students study major genres in literature, practice textual analysis, and are introduced to significant theories of literary criticism. Several critical papers and one documented research paper are required.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 20900:  SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE:CM:  3 Hour(s)  

SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE:CM ~ Performance is the way in which dramatic texts come to life, and performing a play is an indispensable heuristic to knowledge about it. In this course, students of Shakespeare shall investigate one play in its entirety, learning each scene by staging it. Becoming familiar with the work of the actor and director as well as with that of the critic, scholar, and reviewer, students will keep a daily journal and write analyses of scenes in preparation for staging work in class. The instructor will not serve as a director; rather, students will explore scenes in their own groups. Readings will include critical essays, scholarly discussions of textual issues, and reviews of performances. Also listed as PERF 20900.

Core: Creative Methods

ENGL 21900:  READ AM LIT:IM,UD:  1-4 Hour(s)  

READINGS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE:IM,UD ~ This course will present some key works of American literature. The course may be organized around a major theme, may concentrate on important works of a single author, or may examine examples of a particular literary genre. Suitable for majors and non-majors.

Core: Interpretive Methods; Understanding Diversity Home

ENGL 22200:  READ BRIT LIT:CA, IM:  1-4 Hour(s)  

READINGS IN BRITISH LITERATURE:CA, IM ~ This course will present some key works of British literature. The course may be organized around a theme, may concentrate on important works of a single author, or may examine examples of a particular literary genre. Suitable for majors and non-majors.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 22600:  READ WORLD LIT:IM,EW:  1-4 Hour(s)  

READINGS IN WORLD LITERATURE:IM,EW ~ This course will present some key works of world literature. The course may be arranged around a theme, may concentrate on important works of a single author or geographical area, or may examine examples of a specific genre of writing. Suitable for majors and non-majors.

Core: Experiencing the World; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 23500:  CONTEMPORARY POETRY:  4 Hour(s)  

CONTEMPORARY POETRY ~ English language poetry during the last years of the 20th century and the early 21st century has become turbulent with competing styles and personalities. This course will focus upon four or five distinctive poets of the present day, including newcomers as well as established writers.

ENGL 24100:  LIT PERSPECTIVE ON WOMEN:IM,CA:  3 Hour(s)  

LITERARY PERSPECTIVES ON WOMEN:IM,CA ~ Gender expectations have shaped women's roles in literature and their work as writers. This course examines several facets of the complex dilemmas faced by women artists within their historical context. Its perspectives include such concerns as the debate about women's innate nature, their role in both the domestic and outside world, their contributions to and their current status within literary culture. Counts toward the gender studies minor.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 25200:  ENGL LANG:LINGUISTIC INTRO:CA:  3 Hour(s)  

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: A LINGUISTIC INTRODUCTION:CA ~ This course examines English and other languages from a linguistic perspective, starting with an introduction to basic principles of the field of linguistics. Working with those principles allows students to better engage with the historical development of the English language from its Indo-European origins down to present day U.S. speech, as well as issues of language learning, language politics, language variation, and the future of English. Some fieldwork may be required. Also listed as COMM 25200.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth

ENGL 25500:  HOW WE TALK:DIALECTOLOGY:MM:  3 Hour(s)  

DIALECTOLOGY:MM ~ This course explores the elements of North American dialects, defining them and discussing issues surrounding dialect, such as media stereotypes and cultural perceptions of dialects. Students study the history, syntax, lexicon, and (especially) the phonology of the major American dialects, then produce a dialect study.

Core: Modeling Methods

ENGL 25700:  HISTORY OF FILM AND CINEMA:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

HISTORY OF FILM AND CINEMA:IM ~ This course considers the emergence of film in its dual roles as art form and popular entertainment. It reflects particularly on the establishment of film genres, including mainstream narrative movies, experimental films, and documentaries beginning in the early 20th century. It will consider important directors, producers, actors, and films that have influenced the cinema and filmmaking. We will analyze not only the aesthetic elements that make up particular films and genres but also the social and cultural contexts in which cinematic styles and topics emerged. We will also reflect on what the assigned films can teach us about contemporary films and popular culture.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 26100:  SHAKESPEARE:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

SHAKESPEARE:IM ~ This introductory course features major poetry and plays by Shakespeare with an emphasis on their relevance today. We shall also consider historical context, language, genre, and theoretical influences on recent criticism. Plays representing early and late periods and different genres may be included. Counts toward ENTR minor. Also listed as PERF 26100.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 28000:  SEM::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR ~

ENGL 28100:  INDEPENDENT STUDY:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT STUDY ~

ENGL 29800:  FIELD EXPERIENCE:  1-4 Hour(s)  

FIELD EXPERIENCE ~

ENGL 32800:  STUDIES IN AMERICAN LIT:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE:IM ~ This course offers in-depth examination of significant contemporary works of American literature. Students will read both primary and secondary texts and produce a short research paper. The course may be organized around a theme, concentrate on important works of a single a single author, or focus on examples of a particular literary genre. Suitable for English majors and non-majors.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 33000:  STUDIES IN BRITISH LIT:IM,CA:  3 Hour(s)  

STUDIES IN BRITISH LITERATUREIM,CA ~ This course offers in-depth examination of significant works of British literature. Students will read both primary and secondary texts and produce a short research paper. The course may be organized around a theme, concentrate on important works of a single author, or focus on examples of a particular literary genre. Suitable for English majors and non-majors.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 33100:  STUDIES IN WORLD LIT:IM,EW:  3 Hour(s)  

STUDIES IN WORLD LITERATURE:IM,EW ~ This course offers in-depth examination of significant works of world literature. Students will read both primary and secondary texts and produce a short research paper. The course may be organized around a theme, concentrate on important works of a single author, or focus on examples of a particular literary genre. Suitable for English majors and non-majors.

Core: Experiencing the World; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 33200:  STUDIES IN GENRE:IM:  3 Hour(s)  

STUDIES IN GENRE:IM ~ This course offers in-depth examination of significant works in a single literary genre, such as drama, poetry, the short story, the essay, or film. It introduces basic concepts of literary analysis and key terminology for the genre being covered. Students will read both primary and secondary texts and produce a short research paper. Recommended for non-majors as well as English majors.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35000:  AMERICAN LIT I:CA,UD:  4 Hour(s)  

AMERICAN LITERATURE I:CA,UD ~ This course will introduce students to literature from the American colonial, revolutionary, and Romantic periods (the 1490's through 1900), including major authors, works, and genres. In addition to specific texts, the course will consider the impact on literature of significant cultural and historical developments of the period, such as North and South American colonization and the cultural contact zone; developing American cultural identities, racial conflicts; immigration; industrialism; and westward expansion. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Understanding Diversity Home

ENGL 35100:  AMERICAN LITERATURE II:IM:  4 Hour(s)  

AMERICAN LITERATURE II:IM ~ American Literature II will look at novels and poetry in various movements such as: Romanticism, Naturalism, Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism. We will also look at what modes of literary theoretical inquiry developed during these periods. By doing so, students will gain an understanding of the formation of the American Canon in the late 19th and 20th centuries. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35300:  MEDIEVAL LITERATURE:IM,CA:  4 Hour(s)  

MEDIEVAL LITERATURE:IM,CA ~ This course will explore the development of literature in the British Isles from the eighth century through the fifteenth century, including major authors, works, and genres. Cultural and historical contexts, such as the rise and decline of feudalism, pilgrimage and crusading, and the Black Death will inform the discussion and analysis. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35400:  RENAISSANCE LITERATURE:CA,IM:  4 Hour(s)  

RENAISSANCE LITERATURE:CA,IM ~ This course will explore the development of literature in the British Isles from the early sixteenth century through the mid seventeenth century, including major authors, works, and genres. Cultural and historical contexts such as the growth of printed materials, the Protestant Reformation, and the beginnings of European colonialism will inform the discussion and analysis. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35500:  18TH CENTURY BRIT LIT:CA,IM:  4 Hour(s)  

18TH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE:CA,IM ~ This course will introduce students to British literature from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including major authors, works and genres. In addition to specific texts, the course will consider significant cultural and historical developments of the period, such as the rise of the novel as a genre and the Enlightenment, and their impact on the literature. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35600:  19TH CENTURY BRIT LIT:CA,IM:  4 Hour(s)  

19TH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE:CA,IM ~ This course will introduce students to literature from the British romantic and Victorian periods (the 1790s through 1900), including major authors, works, and genres. In addition to specific texts, the course will consider significant cultural and historical developments of the period, such as industrialization, imperialism, and early feminism, and their impact on literature. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35700:  20TH CENTURY BRIT LIT:CA,IM:  4 Hour(s)  

20TH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE:CA,IM ~ This course will introduce students to literature of the British Isles and its colonies that was written in the twentieth century, including major authors, works, and genres. In addition to specific texts, the course will consider significant cultural and historical developments of the period, such as the decline of empire, World War I, and World War II, and their impact on the literature.

Core: Social/Cultural Analysis Meth; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 35900:  WORLD LITERATURE:EW,IM:  4 Hour(s)  

WORLD LITERATURE:EW,IM ~ English language literature is found on every continent of the world. British and American colonial influence resulted in Australian, African, and Asian literatures in English, as well as Caribbean and Canadian literature in North America. Class members will read and discuss examples of these works. Non-English world literature from the Middle Ages through the modern period may also be studied. ENGL 20600 or junior/senior standing recommended.

Core: Experiencing the World; Interpretive Methods

ENGL 38000:  SEM::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SEMINAR ~

ENGL 38100:  SPC TPC::  1-4 Hour(s)  

SPECIAL TOPICS ~

ENGL 41800:  ADV AMER LIT::  4 Hour(s)  

ADV STUDIES IN AMERICAN LIT: SPECIAL TOPICS IN AMERICAN LIT ~ This course will engage students in advanced study and research in a topic in American literature. Students will present a significant documented essay after a concentrated introduction to the methodology of contemporary literary study. Prerequisites: ENGL 20600 and junior standing.

Prerequisite: ENGL 20600

ENGL 42800:  ADV BRIT LIT::  4 Hour(s)  

SPECIAL TOPICS IN BRITISH LITERATURE ~ This course will engage students in advanced study and research in a topic in British literature. Students will present a significant documented essay after a concentrated introduction to the methodology of contemporary literary study. Prerequisites: ENGL 20600 and junior standing.

Prerequisite: ENGL 20600

ENGL 43800:  ADV WRLD LIT::  4 Hour(s)  

SPECIAL TOPICS IN WORLD LITERATURE ~ This course will engage students in advanced study and research in a topic of world literature. Students will present a significant documented essay after a concentrated introduction to the methodology of contemporary literary study. Prerequisites: ENGL 20600 and junior standing.

Prerequisite: ENGL 20600

ENGL 47000:  LITERARY THEORY:  4 Hour(s)  

LITERARY THEORY ~ This introductory course in contemporary literary theory probes issues basic to language, interpretation, and culture. In response to a broad range of recent theoretical essays, we shall break ground on questions concerning the nature of the text, the (ir)relevance of historical context, the role of the reader/critic, the "death" of the author, the (in)determinacy of meaning, and the politics of gender, ethnicity, and class. Prerequisite: ENGL 20600 and junior standing.

Prerequisite: ENGL 20600

ENGL 48000:  SENIOR SEMINAR:  1-3 Hour(s)  

SENIOR SEMINAR ~ English majors must complete this course in their senior year. This revision and workshop course requires students to significantly rework a research paper from one of their earlier literature courses. The revision must include more elaborate research of primary and secondary sources, more extensive and complete exploration of a subject, and a more theoretical and sophisticated approach to the literary essay. This research project will help students to achieve a historical and contemporary understanding of their subject. Students will write a one-page introduction that explains their interest in and relationship to the project. Students will identify journals or conferences that would be suitable arenas for publication and presentation. Students will present their work in a public forum. Also listed as WRIT 48000.

Corequisite: ENGL 48010

ENGL 48010:  SENIOR SEMINAR PART I:  1 Hour(s)  

SENIOR SEMINAR PART I ~ English and creative writing majors must complete this course in their senior year. In Part I of the course, students define their project, develop a project proposal, and research and write an extensive annotated bibliography of resources that will help them in the writing and revision process. Also listed as WRIT 48010.

Corequisite: ENGL 48000

ENGL 48100:  INDEPENDENT RESEARCH:  1-4 Hour(s)  

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ~

ENGL 49800:  INTERNSHIP:  4 Hour(s)  

INTERNSHIP ~ Developed in consultation with the student's major faculty advisor, the internship will be tailored to the interests and needs of the student and can be served in a wide variety of private and public organizations. Hiram College's internship program permits students to bridge the distance between the theory they learn in the classroom and the application of their knowledge. The academic program establishes prerequisites for the application procedure. Students should check with individual programs for specific requirements and guidelines for the experience, as they may vary by discipline. Prospective interns work with the faculty advisor, who will monitor the experience and grade the academic component of the internship.

Academic Offerings