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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: fiction, playwriting, multidisciplinary artes; environmental literature and arts, modern and contemporary literature, Hemingway, Woolf, Beckett
Emily Anderson
  Enlightenment literature, Victorian literature, literary and narrative theory, film studies
Laura Behling
  U.S. literature, U.S. ethnic literature, Modernism, literature and medicine
Valerie Billing
  Medieval and Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, queer literature
Cyn Fitch (On leave Fall 2016)
  Creative writing: creative nonfiction, fiction; modern and contemporary literature
Gina Franco
  Creative writing, British Romantic poetry and prose, Victorian literature, modern and contemporary American poetry, Chicana/Chicano writing, literary theory, translation
Sherwood Kiraly
  Creative writing: fiction, playwriting, screenwriting
Nick Regiacorte
  Creative writing: poetry, creative nonfiction; modern and contemporary poetry, prosody
Katya Reno
  Creative writing
Natania Rosenfeld (On leave Fall 2016)
  Modern and contemporary literature, Woolf, Jewish literature, creative writing: poetry, creative nonfiction
Lori Schroeder
  Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and culture, early modern literature and gender studies, Chaucer, literary theory, fairy tale
Chad Simpson
  Creative writing: fiction, creative nonfiction; modern and contemporary fiction
Robert Smith
  American literature, literary theory, film studies
Barbara Tannert-Smith (On leave Winter 2017)
  Creative writing, fiction, creative non-fiction, children's and young adult literature

Distinguished Writer-in-Residence
Robert R. Hellenga

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 the influences of 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

Knox College

Printed on Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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