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Offices & Services > Office of the Registrar > Knox College Catalog, 2015-2016 > Departments and Courses of Study


Students gather under a yellow umbrella on the Gizmo Patio.

Majors and Minors

Faculty and professional interests
Monica Berlin, chair
  Creative writing, poetry, creative nonfiction, contemporary and 21st century literature
Robin Metz, Director, Program in Creative Writing
   Creative writing, modern and contemporary literature, Hemingway, Woolf, Beckett, multidisciplinary arts, environmental literature and arts
Emily Anderson
  Enlightenment literature, Romantic literature, Victorian prose, literary theory, film studies
Laura Behling
  U.S. literature, U.S. ethnic literature, Modernism, literature and medicine
Valerie Billing
  Renaissance literature, Shakespeare
Gina Franco
  Creative writing, British Romantic poetry and prose, Victorian literature, modern and contemporary American poetry, Chicana/Chicano writing, translation
Nick Regiacorte
  Creative writing, modern and contemporary poetry, creative non-fiction, prosody
Lori Schroeder
  Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and culture, early modern literature and gender studies, Chaucer, literary theory, fairy tale
Sherwood Kiraly
  Creative writing
Cyn Kitchen
  Creative writing, modern and contemporary literature
Natania Rosenfeld
  Modern and contemporary literature, Woolf, postcolonial literature, Jewish literature, poetry, creative writing
Katya Reno
  Creative writing
Chad Simpson
  Creative writing, modern and contemporary fiction
Robert Smith
  American literature, literary theory, film studies
Barbara Tannert-Smith
  Creative writing, fiction, creative non-fiction, children's and young adult literature

Distinguished Writer-in-Residence
Robert R. Hellenga

Distinguished Affiliated Scholar
Alex Kuo

Cooperating faculty from other programs
Neil Blackadder, Theatre
John Haslem, Center for Teaching and Learning
Frederick Hord, Africana Studies
Paul Marasa, TRIO Achievement Program
Elizabeth Carlin Metz, Theatre
Magali Roy-Féquière, Gender and Women's Studies

The study of literature and writing is essential to a liberal arts education. Introductory courses in the English department, with their emphasis on analytical skills, close reading, and literary theory, prepare students to become active interpreters of the world rather than passive consumers of the interpretations of others. Period courses offer students an opportunity to look at the world through other eyes, to imagine their way into modes of thought and understanding very different from those of our own age. Courses in modern and contemporary literature help students articulate and clarify their own responses to the world in which they live. Creative writing courses and workshops challenge students to investigate and explore their place in literary traditions. Skills that are emphasized in all these courses— interpretation, analysis, the ability to look at the world from different perspectives, the ability to articulate feelings and ideas clearly and forcefully—are becoming increasingly rare, and therefore increasingly valuable.

The departmental courses are supported by (a) multiple venues for recognizing outstanding student work, including Catch, a national award-winning literary and art journal devoted to student work, edited by students and published twice a year; the "Milk Route," senior majors' reading series; literature majors' "senior symposium," and the Caxton Club, which provides a similar forum for visiting scholars and writers and for faculty in English; (b) strong library holdings, including the Hughes Collection of works by Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation; and (c) a long tradition (strengthened by the creation of the John and Elaine Fellowes Fund for English Literature and Writing) of bringing to campus scholars and writers of the first rank, including several U.S. poet laureates.

Students may major or minor in either literature or creative writing.

The departmental curriculum contributes to the College's Key Competency Requirements as follows:

  • Writing Key Competency - ENG 120, 123, 125, 202, 206, 207, 208, 270, 306, 307, 308, 311, 320, 330, 335, 336, 342, 343, 344, 345, 347, 352, 370, 371, 383, and 398 serve as writing-intensive courses for majors
  • Speaking Key Competency - For Creative Writing majors: ENG 306, 307, 308 or 311 accompanied by a Milk Route reading; and for Literature majors: ENG 398
  • Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology - For Literature majors: ENG 300L and for Creative Writing majors: ENG 300L or equivalent.

Departmental Learning Goals

Students completing a major in English Literature will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the literary traditions in English and recognize the diversity of literary and cultural voices within those traditions
  2. Analyze texts within their cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts
  3. Write lucidly and compose compelling arguments based on close reading and informed critical reflection
  4. Prepare, organize, and present an engaging oral presentation

Students completing a major in Creative Writing will be able to explore and to demonstrate an understanding of the creative process through:

  1. Constructing internally coherent and resonant art objects in at least two literary genres, with particular attention to elements of craft
  2. Constructing internally coherent and resonant art objects in one nonliterary artistic medium, with particular attention to elements of craft
  3. Assessing cultural and aesthetic values upon the construction of literary art objects within diverse traditions
  4. Engaging in artistic communities through active conversation, presentation, and participation
  5. Collecting, revising, and appraising the literary and nonliterary art they have previously constructed in a culminating project

Requirements for the Majors and Minors

English Course Descriptions

Requirements for the Creative Writing major
12 credits as follows

  • Five writing courses from among: ENG 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 306, 307, 308, 309, or 311, as follows:
    • Two 200-level courses must be in at least two genres; with advisor approval one course in journalism may be counted as one genre course
    • Three courses must be at the 300-level
  • Five elective courses above the 100 level in literature, film, or theory as follows:
    • at least two courses must be at the 300-level
    • one course must be focused before 1900
    • one course must be in an underrepresented literature or in literature written in a language other than English, to be taken either in the original language or in translation (See list of approved courses below)*
  • One studio/allied art course, with an emphasis on the creative process, as offered by the programs in Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre
  • Senior portfolio for writing majors: ENG 399

Requirements for the Literature major
12 credits as follows:

  • Ways of Reading: ENG 200
  • One course in creative writing or journalism: ENG 206, 207, 208, 209, or 270
  • One survey course in American literature: ENG 231, 232, or 233
  • One survey course in English literature: ENG 251, 252, or 253
  • One additional survey course in American or English literature
  • One period course: ENG 335, 336, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, or 347
  • One single author course: ENG 330, 331, 332, 380, or 395 (when appropriate). Period and single author courses in other departments may be substituted with advisor approval
  • Four elective courses in literature, film, or theory, at least two of which must be at the 300-level and at least one of which must be focused before 1900. One elective may be taken in another department, with advisor approval.
  • ENG 300L, taken concurrently with a 300-level course
  • Senior seminar for literature majors: ENG 398.

No individual course may satisfy more than one major requirement.

Students may combine a major in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing as long as no more than two courses are used simultaneously for the two programs.

Students intending to pursue graduate work in English should consult with their advisor regarding suggested courses for graduate school preparation.

Requirements for the Creative Writing minor
6 credits as follows:

  • Introduction to Literature: ENG 120
  • Three Creative Writing courses (at least two at the 300-level)
  • One course in modern and/or contemporary literature
  • One course in an underrepresented literature or in literature written in a language other than English, to be taken either in the original language or in translation (this course may be taken in another department).*

Requirements for the English Literature minor
6 credits as follows:

  • Introduction to Literature: ENG 120
  • One survey course in English Literature: ENG 251, ENG 252, or ENG 253
  • One survey course in American Literature: ENG 231, ENG 232, or ENG 233
  • Two courses at the 300-level in literature
  • One course in an underrepresented literature or in literature written in a language other than English, to be taken either in the original language or in translation (this course may be taken in another department).*

*Courses currently approved in the category of underrepresented or non-English literature: AFST: 206, 220, 227, 233, 234, 235, 240, 335, 383; AMST: 227, 243 ASIA: 220, 221, 225, 263, 363, 370; CLAS: 203, 273; ENG: 205, 242, 245 (and cross-listed offerings in other departments) FILM: 225, 227, 240, 309, 337 FREN: 214, 215, 220, 240, 304, 305, 309, 311, 313, 316, 318, 319, 330; GERM: 202, 302, 317, 326, 328, 332, 334, 337; GRK: 212,213,215-218, 270, 370; GWST: 206, 221, 222, 235, 238, 325, 332, 383; JAPN: 263, 302E, 363; LAST 235, 238, 240, 305, 306, 335; LAT 212,213,215-218, 270, 370; SPAN: 235, 301, 302, 305-309, 322, 330, 335; THTR: 351, 352, 353, 383

Students can petition the Chair of the English Department for possible substitutions when special, one-time offerings that focus on non-English Literature or Under-represented Literature are available. Inquiries should be made before the course begins.

English Course Descriptions

English Catalog Page

Knox College

Printed on Tuesday, October 06, 2015

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