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English

Mission of the English Department
 
The purpose of instruction in the Department of English is to develop graduates who are proficient in analytical thinking, in critical reading of literary and non-fictional texts, and in a variety of writing modes. All graduates should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of features of language, interpretive approaches to literature in English from several periods, and in the writing process.
 
Courses offered by the department prepare students for reading and writing throughout the college curriculum, for communication in business and professions, for the advanced study and teaching of English, and for careers in professional writing, publishing, and related fields.
 
Careers
If someone asks what you can do with a degree in English, here are some answers:
  • Actors and Actresses  (Matt Damon, Katharine Hepburn , Alan Alda, Emma Watson);
  • Journalists and Editors (Thomas Matthews,  Bob Woodward);
  • Television and Radio Broadcasters (Diane Sawyer,  Andrea Mitchell, Howard Cosell, Conan O'Brian); 
  • Lawyers and Judges (Supreme Court Justices  John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas);
  • Politicians and Government Administrators (Mitt Romney,  Pete Wilson, Carol Browner);
  • Medical Doctors and Psychologists (Benjamin Spock, Harold Varmus, B. F. Skinner, Rollo May);
  • Business Executives (Hank Paulson,  Anne M. Mulcahy, Steve Wynn);
  • Scientists (Sally Ride, Rachel Carson, Edwin Teale);
  • University Presidents (John Cavanaugh [Notre Dame], Angelo Bartlett Giamatti [Yale], Hazo Carter [WVSU]). 
Simply put, majoring in English opens up several different kinds of doors.
Options
The Bachelor of Arts in English has a common core of courses in language, writing, literature, and critical theory. Students may choose to pursue the more traditional Literature Option, which prepares them for graduate study, professional school, or any other number of professions; the Professional Writing Option, which prepares students for graduate study in writing along with a variety of careers as commercial or creative writers; or the Technical Writing Option, which prepares students for careers in technology fields that require documentation for technical, business, and consumer audiences.
 
Moreover, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in English Education, to teach students from grade 5 to Adult, take English classes to learn the subject matter and methods for teaching literature and writing.

In addition to the three different options for concentration, the department offers several certificates. See the certificates page for more detail.
English Activities & Events
What's Happening in the Department of English?

The English Department is a vibrant and active part of the university community. The department sponsors a variety of events and activities, such as the English Majors Luncheon held each semester, a creative writing contest held in the fall semester in which both the Giardinia Fiction Prize and the Marshburn Poetry Prize are awarded, and the Annual Essay Contest held each spring. Students can also publish in The Kanawha Review, a student literary magazine published annually, or get experience by working for The Yellow Jacket, the student newspaper. 

A variety of activities are also available to students who join the English Club. If that's not enough, we have two honor societies students can join: Lambda Iota Tau and Sigma Tau Delta.

English Majors Luncheon, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 12:20pm

In Hill Hall 219

The English Majors Luncheon features free food prepared by the English Department faculty. We welcome all majors and minors in English! English Education majors, prospective majors, and those curious about the major are also invited to attend. It it always a great time. It is always great food. The winners from the writing contests will also be present to share their work with us.
Curious about what these events are like? The picture below was taken at a previous Majors luncheon. It features faculty, visitors, and the winners of the Marshburn Poetry Prize and the Giardina Fiction Prize (both pictured in the very center). Jessica Hixon won in fiction for her story, "Looking Through Windows." And Kandi Workman won for her poem, "Told You So." Each winner received $100, and she had her story or poem published in The Kanawha Review.

Annual Literary Prizes

Giardina Fiction Prize

You can enter your fiction--one short story or two short stories (the combined entry should not exceed 15 pages)--in competition each fall for the annual prize honoring the service of Prof. Denise Giardina, long-time creative writing instructor at WVSU. The winner will receive $100 and have the story published in the next issue of The Kanawha Review. All entries will be considered for publication in The Kanawha Review. Contact Dr. Shaw for details. The deadline is announced at the start of the fall semester. Keep your eyes open for the announcement!

Marshburn Poetry Prize

You can enter your poetry--whether lyrical, narrative, dramatic, or imagistic, and in either free verse or a traditional form--in competition each fall for the annual prize honoring the service of Prof. Sandra Marshburn, long-time editor of The Kanawha Review and creative writing instructor at WVSU. The winner will receive $100 and have the poem published in the next issue of The Kanawha Review. All entries will be considered for publication in The Kanawha Review. Contact Dr. Shaw for details. The deadline is announced at the start of the fall semester. Keep your eyes open for the announcement!

Annual Essay Contest

The essay contest is held each spring for currently enrolled WVSU students. Students are encouraged to submit personal narratives or expository essays in one of two categories:
  1. Category 1 is open to students in English 020,101 and 102 during the current school year. Your personal narrative or an expository essay should be approximately 500-1000 words. The prize is $100.
  2. Category 2 is open to any WVSU student. Your personal narrative, expository essay, or literary analysis should be approximately 500-1000 words. The prize is $100.
The winners in each category will be invited to read their essays at the English Majors Luncheon held during the spring semester. The English Department Essay Contest Committee reserves the right to decide whether to award a prize in a category.

Entries must be turned into the English Department Office (Hill Hall 226).  The entry deadline is announced at the start of the spring semester.  Don't forget to fill in the cover sheet, available to the right of the office door.

Student Publications

The Kanawha Review

The Kanawha Review is an annual publication of WVSU and is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs. Contributors to the magazine are students and former students of the University. Selections are made by student editors and an English faculty editor. The editors believe that a variety of styles, voices, and views should be represented in the magazine.  Students, former students, and alumni are encouraged to submit stories, essays, scripts, drawings, woodcuts, and photographs. Materials to be considered for publication and inquiries should be directed to the faculty editor,
  • Dr. R. Wallace
Yellow Jacket 

The Yellow Jacket, WVSU's student newspaper, is published at least twice a month during the school year. The Yellow Jacket provides opportunities for students in reporting, writing, editing, advertising, and graphics.

English Club and Honor Societies

The English Club is primarily a social organization where members discuss and spread a general joy for literature, film and other products of our culture. The literary life is alive and well! And the club offers an open invitation to anyone interested in seeking that life out beyond the classroom setting. The English Club has open membership for ALL State students, not just English majors. Check out the WVSU English Club and Honor Societies Facebook page for information about upcoming events, or contact the faculty advisor:
  • Dr McConnell

Lambda Iota Tau

ΛIΤ is an international literary honor society, whose home page is here. Membership constitutes a reward for academic excellence, and students in the Literature and Professional Writing options can join. To join, you must meet some requirements, such as these:
  • Completed 12 semester hours of literature courses with a B average or higher
  • Submitted to the faculty advisors a research or critical paper on a literary topic (usually this is one you've done in a course)
For more information, contact the faculty advisor:
  • Dr McConnell

Sigma Tau Delta

ΣΤΔ, whose home page is here, is an international English honor society reflecting high achievement in language and literature, including writing. To join, you must have
  • Completed three semesters, with a minimum of two courses in English language or literature (beyond freshman composition), and
  • Maintained a B average
For more information, contact the faculty advisor:
  • Dr McConnell
English Certificates
The Certificate in Creative Writing is available for people interested in completing a brief, cohesive program designed to introduce, develop, and/or expand their ability to write creatively in a variety of genres. Only five courses are required:
  1. Engl 255 The Power of Language
  2. Engl 304 Introduction to Creative Writing
  3. Engl 429 Writing for Publication
and any two of these:
  • Engl 430 Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Engl 431 Fiction Writing Workshop
  • Engl 432 Creative Nonfiction

The Certificate in Technical Writing is for those interested in completing a brief, cohesive program designed to introduce, develop, and/or expand writing and editing competencies as preparation for work in the technical writing field.  These people might range from those interested in working full-time as technical writers to those who may devote only a portion of their professional or community activities to producing documents reflecting technical writing styles and standards.  Six courses are required:
  1. Engl 112 Technical Writing
  2. Engl 160 Practical English Grammar and Usage
  3. Engl 204 Writing for Business and Other Professions
  4. Engl 310 Technical and Report Writing
  5. Engl 311 Editing for Technical Writers
and either of these:
  • Engl 410 Digital Literacies
  • Engl 412 Information Design

The Certificate in Literary Studies is available for those interested in completing a brief, cohesive program designed to introduce, develop, and/or expand their knowledge in a variety of genres, periods, or national origins of literary works. It also requires five courses:
  1. Engl 250 Introduction to English Literature
  2. Engl 334 Principles of Literary Criticism
and any three 300- or 400-level literature classes in the department

The Certificate in Diversity Literature is available for any interested in completing a brief, cohesive program designed to introduce, develop, and/or expand their knowledge and exposure to literature focused on subjects (such as Appalachian or Holocaust literature) not routinely discussed in traditional literature courses. This requires six courses:
  1. Engl 250 Introduction to English Literature
  2. Engl 342 Women Writers
  3. Engl 343 Appalachian Literature and Culture
  4. Engl 347 The Immigrant Experience in America
  5. Engl 440 Interpreting the Holocaust
and any one of these:
  • Engl 337 The Black Writer in America
  • Engl 338 Black Novelists in America
  • Engl 339 Black Poets in America
 
The Certificate in World Literature is available for people interested in completing a brief, cohesive program designed to introduce, develop, and/or expand their knowledge in a sampling of global literatures. It requires six courses:
  1. Engl 154 Mythology and Folklore
  2. Engl 250 Introduction to English Literature
  3. Engl 320 Literature of the Western World, Part 1
  4. Engl 321 Literature of the Western World, Part 2
  5. Engl 350 World Literature: Classical Era
  6. Engl 351 World Literature: Modern Era
English Courses
020.  INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE WRITING (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to help students improve their basic writing skills and to prepare them to take English 101.  Major topics include drafting, revising, and proofreading essays, with a focus on paragraph and sentence skills.  ENGL 020 is intended for students who are not eligible for English 101 sections.
 
101E.  ENGLISH COMPOSITION I (3 credits)
This course emphasizes writing and reading as elements of active learning and critical thinking.  ENGL 101E is intended for students who are almost eligible for regular ENGL 101 sections as well as those who are eligible.  Prerequisite: Grade of “C” in a developmental writing course or eligible placement score.  Those who are almost eligible for regular ENGL 101 sections must fulfill required Writing Center hours while enrolled in this course.  Must be completed within the first 60 hours of college credit.  Must be completed within the first 60 hours of college credit.
 
101.  ENGLISH COMPOSITION I (3 credits)
This course emphasizes writing and reading as elements of active learning and critical thinking.  Prerequisite: Grade of “C” in a developmental writing course or eligible placement score.  Must be completed within the first 60 hours of college credit.

102.  ENGLISH COMPOSITION II (3 credit hours)
This course primarily focuses on the research writing process for a broad academic community.  It covers basic research inquiry, use of the library with electronic and non-electronic sources, and techniques of formal writing.  Attention is given to argumentation and critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: ENGL 101.  Must be completed within the first 60 hours of college credit.

112.  TECHNICAL WRITING (3 credit hours)
An introductory course, with emphasis on the process of preparing various technical documents (correspondence and reports) as well as methods of research, especially in the library. Prerequisite: ENGL 101. May substitute for ENGL 102 for majors in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics..

150.  INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
A study of poetry, fiction, and drama. The course stresses basic themes and formal elements found in literature.  Prerequisite: ENGL 101 placement, ENGL 101 concurrent enrollment, or ENGL 101.

154.  MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE (3 credit hours)
Investigates the basic myths which permeate literature and explores their contemporary significance. Myths and folktales are the primary reading matter, but students will also read literary works which build on these basic forms of literature.

160.  PRACTICAL ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND USAGE (3 credit hours)
An elective course open to all students who want to improve their writing by reviewing the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Systematic attention will be given to sentence construction, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary development, and self-help through effective use of the dictionary. Emphasis will be placed on the use of such skills in practical, everyday communication.  (Cannot be substituted for ENGL 101 or 102.)

201.  ADVANCED EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION (3 credit hours)
Key communication skills–reading, writing, speaking, and listening–practiced in a critical and reflective way.  Attention is also given to research skills, communication technology, and workplace language issues.  Readings, discussions, written assignments, and oral presentations.  Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

202.  WRITING FOR THE SCIENCES (3 credit hours)
The study and application of written conventions of the sciences for academic, scientific, and general audiences is the primary focus of this course. Students will study and complete a number of written exercises typical of scientists, including abstracts, laboratory reports, research reports, and research proposals.  Prerequisite: ENGL 112 or ENGL 102; previous or concurrent enrollment in at least one laboratory course.

204.  WRITING FOR BUSINESS AND OTHER PROFESSIONS (3 credit hours)
The study and applications of formats, style, and organizational patterns essential in various professions, with particular emphasis on correspondence, reports, research, and audience analysis. Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

225.  JOURNALISM I (3 credit hours)
A combination lecture-laboratory course which emphasizes the functions of newspapers in our society, standards of good newspaper practice, newspaper makeup, the principles of gathering news, and writing various types of news stories. Students will prepare some assignments for publication in the University newspaper. Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or permission of the instructor.

227.  COPY EDITING (3 credit hours)
A combination laboratory-discussion course in editing copy, writing headlines,and designing pages for various types of news publications.Prerequisite:ENGL 225.

228.  INTRODUCTION TO DESKTOP PUBLISHING (3 credit hours)
This course will focus on the basic principles of effective document design and the tools for desktop publishing (DTP). The course will cover the basics of layout and design and how those principles are applied to various types of documents, as well as integrating rhetorical concepts, particularly the canon of delivery, with the modern technology of desktop publishing.  Prerequisites: ART 101 and either ENGL 102 or ENGL 112, with a final grade of “C” or higher.

230.  INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL LINGUISTICS (3 credit hours)
The fundamental principles of language and the processes by which it is acquired. Illustrations from English and from a broad spectrum of other languages, with slides, tapes, and other materials. Some attention will be given to the major themes in Linguistics, such as Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, and Semantics. Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or permission of the instructor.

250.  INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
This course focuses on the major periods in English literature and introduces students to representative works from each period. Prerequisite: ENGL150.

255.  THE POWER OF LANGUAGE (3 credit hours)
This course is a survey of some of the basic uses of language with particular attention to manipulation and exploitative language. The course focuses on a number of topics or themes, each of which is allotted approximately one week of discussion/lecture time. Topics to be explored include nonverbal communication, the history of the language and dialects, correctness in language, racial and sexual prejudices, language and advertising, language and the fine arts, language and technology, and the process of writing. Prerequisite: ENGL102.

303.  EXPOSITORY WRITING (3 credit hours)
An advanced writing course which focuses on structure, style, and point of view in contemporary non-fiction writing. Assignments involve the skills of observing, investigating, reporting, interpreting, and persuading. Examples of writing from various disciplines are analyzed. Prerequisite: ENGL102.

304.  INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING (3 credit hours)
This course will stimulate the writing of poetry and fiction through various workshop techniques as well as through the reading and discussion of literature, both traditional and contemporary. Students’ manuscripts will be discussed in class and in consultation with the instructor.  Prerequisite: ENGL 101 or permission of the instructor.

305.  THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF WRITING (3 credit hours)
Students will study the process and pedagogy of writing; write responses, evaluations, and essays; and learn and apply techniques for helping writers. They will use acquired computer skills to help students with word processing, on-line research, and grammar and usage programs.  Required of all Writing Fellows. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 + 45 hours.

306.  PRINCIPLES OF GRAMMAR (3 credit hours)
Introduction to the three major linguistic theories of grammar: traditional, structural and transformational. Discussion and practice of grammatical analysis in light of the three theories. Attention to how meaning is patterned and presented in language and how languages differ syntactically to convey meaning.Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or permission of instructor.

310.  TECHNICAL AND REPORT WRITING (3 credit hours)
A course for students who have already passed the basic technical writing course, the business English course, or have demonstrated proficiency at that level. Emphasis is on a functional approach to business and technical reports, both informal and formal, with additional concentration upon style, audience analysis, illustration of data and process, and the writing of proposals.  Prerequisite: ENGL 112 or permission of the instructor.

311.  EDITING FOR TECHNICAL WRITERS (3 credit hours)
This course aims to prepare students comprehensively for editing tasks in technical and other professional environments by engaging students in various technical tasks including copy editing, compilation, document design and reorganization, and management and production of client projects. The course will cover methods for working in both a paper and in an electronic environment. This course assumes that the student has the foundations of technical or report writing, as taught in ENGL 112, Technical Writing and ENGL 204, Writing for Business and Other Professions. Prerequisites: ENGL 112 or 204 or permission of the instructor.

315.  SHAKESPEARE (3 credit hours)
A study of William Shakespeare’s plays and nondramatic verse, including a selection of tragedies, comedies, romances, and history plays. This intensive course analyzes the author’s context and influence, examining the evolving critical views and the canonical status of the works.  Prerequisite: ENGL 250.

316.  AMERICAN LITERATURE TO 1860 (3 credit hours)
A study of American literary tradition from the Colonial Period through the Civil War. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

317.  AMERICAN LITERATURE, 1860-1940 (3 credit hours)
A study of Realism, Naturalism and Symbolism, with emphasis on those writers who have contributed most to Modern American Literature. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

320.  LITERATURE OF THE WESTERN WORLD, PART I (3 credit hours)
A study of Western literature of the classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods. Introduces students to great works of the European literary tradition outside the English-speaking world. (Works are read in English translation.)  Prerequisite: ENGL 150 and 250.

321.  LITERATURE OF THE WESTERN WORLD, PART II (3 credit hours)
A study of Western literature from the neoclassical through the modern periods.  Introduces students to great works of the European literary tradition outside the English-speaking world. (Works are read in English translation.)  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

322.  TEACHING WRITING AND GRAMMAR 5-ADULT (3 credit hours)
The course will evaluate writing theories, the role of grammar instruction in writing, the components of the writing process, and methods of evaluation. The course will also review the rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation with an emphasis on how to teach grammar in a classroom setting. Prerequisite: Junior classification.

324.  LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN (3 credit hours)
Comprehensive survey of the field, past and present, with emphasis on types and uses, including evaluation of books and the art of storytelling.  Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and 150 or permission of the instructor.

325.  ADOLESCENT LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
A survey of literature for the young adult based on wide reading in the field.  Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and 150 or permission of instructor.

326.  JOURNALISM II (3 credit hours)
This course is a continuation of Journalism I and is designed to provide the student practical experiences in the many areas of newspaper writing and production. Activities in the course include staff organization, the writing of news stories, editorials, drama and musical reviews, personality profiles, headlines, interviews, and copy makeup.. Prerequisite: ENGL 225.

334.  PRINCIPLES OF LITERARY CRITICISM (3 credit hours)
This course introduces the fundamental questions of criticism: What is literature? What is interpretation? How is literature produced and for whom?  What are the effects of literature on readers? What is the value of literature?  Readings will emphasize modern and contemporary critical texts. Concepts and methodologies of contemporary literary theory will be introduced.  Prerequisite: ENGL 150 and 250.

337.  THE BLACK WRITER IN AMERICA (3 credit hours)
Major literary works of the Black writer in America from the Colonial Period to the present. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

338.  BLACK NOVELISTS IN AMERICA (3 credit hours)
Study, discussion, and analysis of the major Black novels of the 20th century, with special attention to the social, economic, and intellectual background of the period. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

339.  BLACK POETS IN AMERICA (3 credit hours)
Students in the class will study and analyze African-American poetry in its cultural and historical context.  This course may be taught as a survey class or focus on specific writers, themes, and periods.  Prerequisite: ENGL150.

340.  READINGS IN AFRICAN LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
Comparative study and analysis of basic literary writings of Africans in Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean.  Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

342.  WOMEN WRITERS (3 credit hours)
This course is a study of literature by women authors within the context of their times; historical periods, genres, and themes may vary. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

343.  APPALACHIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE (3 credit hours)
Through study of selected fiction and poetry by Appalachian writers, we will examine characteristics and views of Southern Appalachian culture. We will attempt to dissect some stereotypical images of the region as well as to build understandings distinct from such stereotypes. The course will emphasize both the social background and literature of Appalachia. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

345.  POPULAR LITERATURES (3 credit hours)
A study of the conventions of a selected literary genre (e.g., Gothic literature, science fiction, detective fiction) through reading and analysis of classic examples.  The course focus will be announced each time it is offered. In addition to an overview of the definition and history of the genre, the course will examine the conventions (e.g., setting, types of characters and dramatic conflicts, acceptable resolutions) that identify this body of literature and how they compare to our expectations of “high”literature.  Larger cultural conflicts often reflected in these works, such as Gothic literature’s treatment of exotic materials related to colonialism or science fiction’s reflections of anxieties about progress, will be explored.  Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

346.  LITERATURE AND FILM (3 credit hours)
This course will examine literary works and films based on them. Students will compare the narrative and descriptive strategies of the two media with an eye toward choices by literary writers and filmmakers and the limits of each mode of expression. The class will read a range of literature, view a film or films based on each work, and discuss the relationships between the two modes of expression and the various separate but distinct texts created over time to explore a specific narration. Readings will also include selected writings on film and narrative theory. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

347.  THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA (3 credit hours)
Immigrant experiences in America as depicted in poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

348.  HISTORY AS LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
This course examines primary sources, such as essays, memoirs, and other narratives of a historical period and/or theme as literature, in order to come to an understanding of how ideas, written words, and experiences made specific historical events and/or transformations possible. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

350.  WORLD LITERATURE: CLASSICAL ERA (3 credit hours)
An exploration of the diversity of the world’s literature, with emphasison works outside the “Western canon.” Using a comparative approach, the course will examine issues such as cultural difference, translation across cultures, ethnocentrism, canon construction, colonization, literature and politics, and literature as a “way of seeing” the world. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

351.  WORLD LITERATURE: MODERN ERA (3 credit hours)
An exploration of the diversity of the world’s literature, with emphasison works outside the “Western canon.” Using a comparative approach, the course will examine issues such as cultural difference, translation across cultures, ethnocentrism, canon construction, colonization, literature and politics, and literature as a “way of seeing” theworld. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

360.  STUDIES IN A MAJOR AUTHOR (3 credit hours)
This course will examine a single literary author and her or his major works.  After situating the specific author in her or his literary period, the class will read a range of literature written by the specified author.  (In some cases, the study of an author may be supplemented by reading other closely related authors.)  Intensive study of a single author will allow the students to study historical, cultural, and literary influences and to use that information to enjoy and analyze a single author’s body of work and impact on readers and writers. Prerequisite: ENGL 150.

369.  GAY & LESBIAN LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
This course is a survey of 20th and 21st -century literature from Western Europe and the Americas that focuses on same-sex themes. The course will examine notions of masculinity and femininity, historical and cultural traditions, politics, and sexuality from the perspective of gay and lesbian authors or their protagonists. While the readings will focus primarily on novels and short stories, the course will also include excerpts from theoretical/critical works and some films and documentaries. Pre-requisite: ENGL 102.

390. INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE (3 credit hours)
Normally taken during the junior or senior year, this is an internship experience for English majors demonstrating skills and knowledge in advanced writing principles and practices. For students with a 3.25 GPA or higher in the major and a 3.0 GPA or higher overall, emphasis will be placement of qualified B.A. English majors in positions in fields such as advertising, public relations, legal or business writing, and print journalism with the purpose of providing supervised work experience in the student’s chosen area of interest. All students will develop, submit, and present a portfolio. The course is three hours and may be repeated once for a total of six credit hours.

399.  SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENGLISH (3 credit hours)
A course designed for a topic of special current interest, including televised courses. Prerequisites: Literature or writing courses as determined by the professor. See current schedule.

401.  HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (3 credit hours)
The history and development of the language from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. Prerequisite: ENGL 102; 230 recommended.

402.  EARLY ENGLISH LITERATURE THROUGH THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY (3 credit hours)
The Old English background, selections from the works of Chaucer, medieval romance, the “Arthurian matter”and the ballad.  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

403.  THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE, 1500-1660 (3 credit hours)
A literary, political and social analysis of England from 1500 through the Interregnum with an emphasis on the works of Spenser, Sidney, the Sonneteers, Donne and Milton. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

405.  LITERATURE OF THE RESTORATION AND THE 18th CENTURY (3 credit hours)
A literary and social analysis of the years 1660 to 1800 in England and with particular emphasis on the Restoration Drama and the rise of the literature of irony.  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

406.  ENGLISH ROMANTICISM (3 credit hours)
The work of Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Wordsworth, and Shelley along with an analysis of the Gothic and the sentimental in English prose and poetry and the ballad.  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

407.  THE VICTORIAN PERIOD (3 credit hours)
English literature from 1832 to 1900, with emphasis on the works of Tennyson, Browning, Rossetti, Arnold, Swinburne, Carlyle, Ruskin, and Mill.  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

408.  CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
A comparative and analytical study of the major works and trends in recent American Literature. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

409.  MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE (3 credit hours)
An examination of those works since 1900 which have been most influential in British Literature with an analysis of current trends in fiction, poetry and drama. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

410.  DIGITAL LITERACIES (3 credit hours)
This class will examine the meaning of literacy in the digital age by examining, through the lens of technical communication, various modes of composition.  Through readings and on-line discussions, the course will explore theories of cultural convergence and how we produce and consume information.  As students discover new technologies such as blogs, social media, Twitter, YouTube, wikis, podcasts, and others as they emerge, they will learn how to transform theory into practical application using the various media.  While students are developing these functional literacies, they will also examine the technologies critically and rhetorically, learning not only how to use a technology—why and when.  Prerequisite: ENGL 112.

412.  INFORMATION DESIGN (3 credit hours)
This class will teach a rhetorical approach to information design.  Using the rhetorical principles of audience, purpose, and context, the course will analyze the layout of documents and discuss effective layout and design.  The course will include discussions of theories and principles of information design, but the course will be mainly activities-based, in which students will work on their own projects applying the knowledge acquired through readings and lecture.  The course assumes that students already have a good understanding of computers.  It is strongly recommended that students take ENGL 228 Introduction to Desktop Publishing, or the equivalent, prior to enrolling in the course.  Prerequisite: ENGL 112.

413.  DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOVEL (3 credit hours)
Traces the evolution of the novel as a literary genre from Defoe to the great Realists of the nineteenth century. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

414.  THE MODERN NOVEL (3 credit hours)
Focuses on the revolutionary experiments in style and form by novelists in the twentieth century. Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

415.  THE MODERN DRAMA (3 credit hours)
Study, discussion, and analysis of the modern drama from Ibsen to present.  Prerequisites: ENGL 150 and 250.

421.  TEACHING ENGLISH IN SECONDARY SCHOOL (3 credit hours)
Background, principles and techniques of teaching English in the secondary school, emphasizing the study of literature in print and non-print forms, the study of the English language, and the study of oral and written composition.  Prerequisites: EDUC 316, senior standing, and permission of instructor.

429.  WRITING FOR PUBLICATION (3 credit hours)
A course primarily for the writer of articles intended for periodicals.  Emphasis is on surveying the market, topic research, style and organization, preparing the manuscript, and editing proofs.  Additional attention is paid to the differing requirements of local and national publications, general circulation, business, industrial or public relations magazines.  Prerequisite: ENGL 303 or 304 or permission of the instructor.

430.  POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP (3 credit hours)
This course offers the student an opportunity to write poetry, to present it in a workshop format, and to receive support and feedback from a group of fellow writers. Discussions will also emphasize revision and publication possibilities. Students will be required to read traditional and contemporary poetry to nourish their own writing. Prerequisite: ENGL 304 or permission of instructor.

431.  FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP (3 credit hours)
A small seminar-type setting which allows students to share their short stories and novel excerpts in an atmosphere of constructive criticism, followed by guided revision. In addition to creating their own body of work, students will gain experience in critical reading and identifying the building blocks of creative writing. Prerequisite: ENGL 304 or permission of instructor.

432.  CREATIVE NON-FICTION WORKSHOP (3 credit hours)
This course is a workshop in writing nonfiction from a personal perspective. Developed with examples from experience and research and using a literary style, the form encourages writers to discover not only intellectual but emotional and aesthetic insights. Prerequisite: ENGL 303 or 304 or permission of instructor.

440.  INTERPRETING THE HOLOCAUST (3 credit hours)
A study of the Holocaust—the attempted destruction of the Jews by Nazi Germany from 1939-45—through selected writings of historic, interpretive, and literary importance. This course partially fulfills the International Perspectives requirement of the General Education core curriculum. Prerequisite: ENGL 150 and 60 hours or permission of the instructor.

441.  CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL THEORY (3 credit hours)
This course engages with the contemporary critical perspectives and strategies of structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, feminist theory, new historicism, and postmodernism. Prerequisite: 75 credit hours.

477.  SENIOR SEMINAR (3 credit hours)
Designed as a capstone experience for seniors in the Professional Writing and Literature options, this course requires students to complete their departmental assessment portfolio, complete several short assignments, and present a major project in writing and orally.  The course also provides students with information about graduate school, career choice, and professional portfolios.  Students are required to take the departmental assessment test and the University's graduate exit survey.  A grade of "C" or better is required to pass/graduate.  Prerequisite: 90 credit hours.

499.  SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENGLISH (3 credit hours)
A course designed for a topic of special current interest, including televised courses. Prerequisites: Literature or writing courses as determined by the professor. See current schedule.
 
English Curriculum

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENGLISH

120 hours required for graduation (123 before Spring 2013)

GENERAL EDUCATION—50 TO 52 HOURS

MATH REQUIREMENT
Must take MATH 111 or higher.

MAJOR—42 HOURS

Option A: Literature—42 hours
Core Courses: ENGL 230, 250, 303, 315, 334, 401, 477
Select one from ENGL 320, 321, 350, or 351 (for students starting Fall 2006)
Select one from ENGL 316, 317, 408
Select one from ENGL 337, 338, 339, 340, 342, 343
Select five (5) additional Literature courses from 300/400 level.
Select four (4) additional Literature courses from 300/400 level (for students starting Fall 2006)
 
Option B: Professional Writing—45 hours
Core Courses: ENGL 112, 204, 225, 228, 250, 303, 304, 315, 334, 477
Select one from ENGL 230, 255, 306, 401
Select one from ENGL 316, 317, 408
Select one from ENGL 337, 338, 339, 340, 342, 343
Select one from ENGL 227, 430, 431, 432
Select one from ENGL 310, 326, 429
 
Option C: Technical Writing—42 hours
Core Courses: ENGL 112, 160, 204, 228, 310, 311, 410, 412, 477; COMM 285
Select one from ENGL 250, 315, 402, 403, 405, 406, 407, 409
Select one from ENGL 316, 317, 408
Select one from ENGL 337, 338, 339, 340, 342, 343
Select one from ENGL 320, 321, 350, 351, 413, 414, 415

COGNATES—9 HOURS (OPTION A), 21 HOURS (OPTION B), OR 18 HOURS (OPTION C)

Option A: Literature
Six hours in the same foreign language at the 200-level or above, excluding courses on foreign cultures taught in English. Three hours from among British, American, or World History (can be cross-listed with General Education Core).
 
Option B: Professional Writing
Six hours in the same foreign language at the 200-level or above, excluding courses on foreign culture taught in English. Nine-hour area study in a single discipline or a set of related disciplines, to be designed with and approved by the student's advisor (twelve-hour area study for those who entered before Fall 2003).
 
Option C: Technical Writing
Six hours in the same foreign language at the 200-level or above, excluding courses on foreign culture taught in English. Twelve-hour area study in a single discipline or a set of related disciplines, to be designed with and approved by the student's advisor.

ELECTIVES

To bring total hours to 120 from Spring 2013 (123 before Spring 2013)

MINOR IN LITERATURE—15 HOURS

ENGL 250 and 334; three courses in literature from the 300/400 level.
 

MINOR IN TECHNICAL WRITING—15 HOURS

ENGL 112, 160, 310, 311, and 202 or 204. (Designed for students in technical or business fields).
 

MINOR IN WRITING—15 HOURS

ENGL 303; one course from ENGL 230, 255, 401; three courses from ENGL 225, 227, 304, 310, 326, 429, 430, 431.
 
English Degree Options

What Is an English Major?

While it may seem the English Major is solely focused on the reading and interpreting of literature, most English majors can attest to an even broader base of knowledge. In order to understand literature, an English Major can seek a more thorough understanding of the culture that produced that literature. He or she can consider theories and philosophies of language in order to grasp the methodology behind a novel, story, essay, or poem. In some instances, an English Major writes the poems, stories, essays, or novels that will be considered literature at some point in the future.

WVSU offers three different tracks for the English Major. The Literature Option, the Professional Writing Option, and the Technical Writing Option. Stop by the departmental office (Hill Hall 226) for more information on steps for pursuing any of those options.

What Can a Major Do?

The English Major equips students with critical thinking skills that are absolutely essential for the 21st Century professional. A major can go into advertising, business management, education (whether in teaching in the classroom or administration), government, politics, and writing of many kinds--freelance, journalism, science, industry, and even television and film.
 
As the innovations in our technical world begin to mature, the value of the critical thinker emerges. How technologies are used and why technologies would be useful are questions that aren't always addressed while a technology is under development. The English Major teaches you to think, not just to memorize. You learn to read critically, not just to skim mechanically. You learn to write effectively or expressively or didactically. And you can understand exactly how those three terms are distinct from one another. 
 
Additionally, the English Major prepares you for graduate school in maybe more fields than any other undergraduate major will prepare you for:
  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Rhetoric & Composition
  • Technical & Professional Writing
  • American Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Law
  • Education
  • Library Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Political Science
  • Administration
  • Business
  • Classics
  • History
Literary Contests
Each fall, the English Department is happy to sponsor two literary contests. They fall into the following categories:
  • Marshburn Poetry Prize: Named in honor of Professor Sandy Marshburn, who taught creative writing at WVSU for 30 years. The contest is open to students currently enrolled at WVSU. Please send 1-3 poems in any style. The winner receives $100!
  • Giardina Fiction Prize: Named in honor of our recent writer-in-residence Denise Giardina. The contest is open to students currently enrolled at WVSU. Please send 1-2 stories. Entries should not be over 15 pages in length. The winner receives $100!
All entries will considered for publication in the Kanawha Review

Each spring, the English Department is happy to sponsor the Annual Essay Contest. which falls into the following categories:
  • Category I, Narrative or Expository Essay: Open to students enrolled in English 020, 101, or 102 in 2015-2016. Recommended length: 600 - 1,000 words, typed. The winner receives $100!
  • Category II, Narrative or Expository Essay, including literary analysis: Open to all students. Recommended length: 600 - 1,000 words, typed. The winner receives $100!
Deadline for the Essay Contest is Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at noon. Please enter your submission online via HERE by sending your name, address, phone number, and email address. Be sure to include which category you are submitting for, and please don't forget to attach your submission. You can also bring your submission to Betsy Allen, 226 Hill Hall. 

Thanks for letting us consider your work!
 

Faculty & Staff

Student listening to an English lecture

English Advising Handbook.
 
Rob
Rob Wallace, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, College of Arts and Humanities, Chair of English
Monday: 8:30 - 5:00
Tuesday: 8:30 - 5:00
Wednesday: 8:30 - 5:00
Thursday: 8:30 - 5:00
Friday: 8:30 - 5:00
Davis Fine Arts Center 201
Phone: (304) 766-4114
wallacer@wvstateu.edu
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