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English Department
Superintendent talking to Midshipmen

 For all courses see the official USNA English Course Catalog in the USNA Academics website.

The following courses will be offered during the fall semester, 2022
  • HE217 Ancient and Medieval Literature – Marchilena
  • HE242 Methods of Literary Analysis – Clark
  • HE260 Literature of War – Flynn 
  • HE301 Patterns in Drama -- Wagoner
  • HE302 Forms of Poetry – Sproles
  • HE306 Types of Fiction – Ludwig
  • HE307 Topics in Film and Literature – Foster
  • HE313 Chaucer and the Medieval World — Fitzgerald
  • HE314 The Renaissance Mind – Ward
  • HE317 The Romantic Period -- Comet
  • HE326 American Literature, 1860-1914 – Beckman
  • HE330 American Literature, 1914-1945-- Nolan
  • HE333 Shakespeare  -- Nal, Shaffer
  • HE343 Creative Writing – Savage
  • HE344 Professional Communication - Giaimo
  • HE371 African American Studies -- 
  • HE373 Latinx Studies – Cruz Lemar
  • HE375 Native American Studies -- Stanlake
  • HE485 Postcolonial Studies – Quintanilla
Special topics courses:
  • HE360 Children's Literature: Do Our Minds Need Training Wheels -- Dix
  • HE461 The Enlightenement After Dark -- Wessel
  • HE462 Introduction to Food Studies: Food and American Culture -- McWilliams
  • HE503 The Global Novel (Honors) -- Wong
Core Courses - All Semesters

HE101

Practical Writing (3-0-3)
[Fall]

The study and practice of grammatically correct and rhetorically effective expository prose, supplemented by the analysis of essays by professional writers. 

HE111

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature I (3-0-3)
[Fall]

The first of a two course sequence stressing the writing of rhetorically effective and grammatically correct expository prose. Readings include essays, short stories, and plays. 

HE111W

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature I (3-0-3)
[Fall, Spring]

A course similar to HE111 but for students who need more concentrated instruction in writing. Section size limited to 16 students.

HE111S

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature I (3-0-3)
[Fall]

An honors level of HE111 for students with well-developed writing skills.

HE112

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (3-0-3)
[Spring]

The second of a two course sequence stressing the writing of rhetorically effective and grammatically correct expository prose. Readings include novels and poetry. Prereq: HE111.

HE112W

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (3-0-3)
[Fall, Spring]

A course similar to HE112 but for students who need more concentrated instruction in writing. Section size limited to 16 students. Prereq: HE111W.

HE112S

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (3-0-3)
[Spring]

An honors level of HE112 for students with well-developed writing skills. Prereq: HE111S.

HE112V

Rhetoric and Introduction to Literature II (3-0-3)
[Fall]

A one-semester course in writing and literature, focused on novels and poetry. Prereq: validation of HE111.

Electives - Fall Semester

HE217

Early Western Literature (3-0-3)

A balanced survey of the Western literary tradition and its backgrounds, from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages. Readings may include classical Greek and Roman epic, drama, and philosophy; selections from the Bible; and medieval poetry, drama, and philosophy.

HE242

Methods of Literary Analysis (3-0-3)

The gateway course into the major. Introduces students to the critical vocabulary used by literary critics in textual readings and the skills necessary to conduct in-depth research projects. Readings will focus on a small selection of primary sources coupled with a representative sampling of advanced critical methodologies.

HE260

Literature of War (3-0-3)

A multi-genre survey of war and its consequences as represented in classic and contemporary literature with an emphasis on such issues as individual responsibility, leadership, societal values, and military culture.

HE301

Patterns in Drama (3-0-3)

A study of drama, emphasizing reading, viewing, and analyzing dramatic literature and performance. 

HE302

Forms of Poetry (3-0-3)

A study in the analysis of poetic form and expression.

HE306

Types of Fiction (3-0-3)

A study in the novel and short story with particular emphasis on the conventions, techniques, and innovations in the form.

HE307

Topics in Film and Literature (3-0-3)

A study of American, European, and world film in conjunction with relevant literary works.

HE313

Chaucer and His Age (3-0-3)

The literary and philosophical traditions of Chaucer, the Gawain poet, and other contemporaries, including early and late medieval writers from England and the continent.

HE314

The Renaissance Mind (3-0-3)

Literature and thought of the period bracketed by the two great English epics, Spenser's Faerie Queene and Milton's Paradise Lost. The course includes a continental perspective, with readings from such authors as Machiavelli, Rabelais, Cervantes, Montaigne and Castiglione.

HE317

The Romantic Period (3-0-3)

Literature and culture of the Romantic period in Britain from the 1780s to the 1830s. Readings may include works by such writers as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, the Shelleys, Byron, and Keats.

HE320

Contemporary British Literature (3-0-3)

British Literature from 1945 to the present day. Reading may include the novels of Orwell, Greene, Murdoch, Naipaul, Barnes, Ishigura, and Zadie Smith; the plays of Beckett, Pinter, Orton, Stoppard, Churchill, and Friel; and the poetry of Larkin, Heaney, Hughes, Gunn, and Motion.

HE326

Early American Literature, 1607-1860 (3-0-3)

A survey of American literature including Native American tradition from European settlement to the Civil War, emphasizing the relationship between the emerging culture and literature. Readings may include works from such authors as Bradford, Bradstreet, Franklin, Wheatley, Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Douglass.

HE329

Modern American Literature, 1914-1945 (3-0-3)

A survey of American literature between the wars. Readings may include works by such authors as Stein, Eliot, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Hughes, Hurston, Larsen, O'Neill, Steinbeck, West, and Wright.

HE333

Shakespeare (3-0-3)

A study of a representative sample of Shakespeare's tragedies, comedies, and histories. Readings may also include works by Shakespeare's contemporaries. 

HE343

Creative Writing (3-0-3)

An introduction to the writing of prose, poetry, and drama.

HE344

Professional Communication (3-0-3)

A study of advanced methods of presenting information in a wide variety of forms. Assignments may include preparing articles, reports, and military documents. Students may be asked to design and present a persuasive or analytical speech.

HE485A

Topics in Native American Studies (3-0-3)

 

HE485B

Topics in Gender and Sexuality in Literature (3-0-3)

 

 

 

Electives - Spring Semester

HE222

The Bible and Literature (3-0-3)

The Bible and its influence on European and American literature. Emphasis will be placed on modern biblical literary-critical methodology and on the symbolic richness of derivative literature from Dante to Nikos Kazantzakis.

HE242

Methods of Literary Analysis (3-0-3)

The gateway course into the major. Introduces students to the critical vocabulary used by literary critics in textual readings and the skills necessary to conduct in-depth research projects. Readings will focus on a small selection of primary sources coupled with a representative sampling of advanced critical methodologies.

HE250

Literature of the Sea (3-0-3)

Study of sea literature from the epic to the novel, with an emphasis on literary qualities, human relationships with the sea, and problems of command.

HE260

Literature of War (3-0-3)

A multi-genre survey of war and its consequences as represented in classic and contemporary literature with an emphasis on such issues as individual responsibility, leadership, societal values, and military culture.

HE301

Patterns in Drama (3-0-3)

A study of drama, emphasizing reading, viewing, and analyzing dramatic literature and performance.

HE302

Forms of Poetry (3-0-3)

A study in the analysis of poetic form and expression.

HE306

Types of Fiction (3-0-3)

A study of the novel and short story with particular emphasis on the conventions, techniques, and innovations in the form. 

HE307

Topics in Film and Literature (3-0-3)

A study of American, European, and world film in conjunction with relevant literary works. 

HE314

The Renaissance Mind (3-0-3)

Literature and thought of the period bracketed by the two great English epics, Spenser's Faerie Queene and Milton's Paradise Lost. The course includes a continental perspective, with readings from authors such as Machiavelli, Rabelais, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Castiglione.

HE317

The Romantic Period (3-0-3)

Literature and culture of the Romantic period in Britain from the 1780s to the 1830s. Readings may include works by such writers as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, the Shelleys, Byron, and Keats.

HE318

Modern British Literature (3-0-3)

The literature of Great Britain and Ireland since 1900. Readings may include the novels of Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, and Lessing; the plays of Shaw, Synge, O'Casey, and Pinter; the poetry of Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Auden, and Dylan Thomas.

HE319

Victorian Literature (3-0-3)

British literature from the 1830s to the end of the nineteenth century. Readings may include works from such authors as Dickens, the Brontes, George Eliot, Hardy, Tennyson, the Brownings, Arnold, Carlyle, and Darwin.

HE328

American Literature from the Civil War to World War I, 1860-1914 (3-0-3)

A survey of American literature from the Reconstruction through the Gilded Age, emphasizing the rise of realism and naturalism. Readings may include works from such authors as Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, Howells, Crane, Dreiser, Chesnutt, Chopin, James, and Wharton.

HE330

Contemporary American Literature, 1945-Present (3-0-3)

A survey of American literature and culture since World War II. Readings may include works by such authors as Ellison, Ginsberg, Lowell, Bishop, Baraka, Heller, Pynchon, Bellow, Plath, Sexton, Rich, Roth, Updike, DeLillo, Mamet, McCarthy, and Morrison.

HE333

Shakespeare (3-0-3)

A study of a representative sample of Shakespeare's tragedies, comedies, and histories. Readings may also include works by Shakespeare's contemporaries. 

HE340

African-American Literature (3-0-3)

A survey of representative African-American literature from such figures as Wheatley, Toomer, Hughes, Hurston, Wright, Ellison, Baldwin, Baraka, Brooks, Hayden, Wilson, and Morrison

HE343

Creative Writing (3-0-3)

An introduction to the writing of prose, poetry, and drama.

HE344

Professional Communication (3-0-3)

A study of advanced methods of presenting information in a wide variety of forms. Assignments may include preparing articles, reports, and military documents. Students may be asked to design and present a persuasive or analytical speech.

HE355

Topics in Multi-Ethnic Literature (3-0-3)

This course considers literature that raises questions of race and ethnicity, postcolonial responses to hegemonic culture, canon formation, and shifting definitions of nation and subjectivity. Readings may include the works of Achebe, Cisneros, Coetzee, Desai, Diaz, Erdrich, Gordimer, Hagedorn, Hong Kingston, Llosa, Mahfouz, Mishima, Marquez, Naipaul, Neruda, Ngugi, Puig, Rushdie, Soyinka, Tan, and Walcott.

HE442

Literary Theory (3-0-3)

A survey of key problems, figures, and texts in the history of literary and cultural thought. Required of all honors majors. 

HE486

Asian American Literature (3-0-3)

This course focuses on Asian American literature before, during, and after the inception of the Asian American literary canon in the 1960s and 1970s. As we examine Asian American literature before the existence of the term “Asian American,” we will investigate Asian Americanism as a method of universalism rather than the stabilized political identity that the term denoted during the civil rights era.

Special Topics - Fall Semester

Special Topics — Fall 2022

Cruz Lemar, HE360

From Australia to Zanzibar: A Journey in Travel Writing. Travel writing requires an adventurous spirit, a journalistic eye, and a storytelling flair. In this course we will review a variety of styles of writing—article, memoir, and essay—to answer the questions “What makes good travel writing?” and “Why does it matter today?” We’ll explore literature from across the world to this end. Great travel stories don’t tell a reader how amazing a place is. They reveal what it’s like to be there. The sights, sounds, smells, and feelings evoked from a place. This course will explore the essential travel writing ingredients that do just that: concrete detail, evocative writing, character development, and a solid narrative arc.

 

Moore, HE461

Sci-Fi and the Supernatural in African American Literature and Black Cinema. Using Black Speculative Fiction as a theme, this capstone seminar will introduce students to some of the ways African American writers use folklore, fantasy, and magical realism to address issues facing Black people in the US. We will analyze, critique, and theorize using African American cultural criticism, a school of thought and critical methodology that centers Black practices, traditions, and cultural perspectives. This is a reading-intensive course that will be supplemented by visual art, music, and filmic media. Students will produce a capstone project that applies African American cultural criticism to a work of Black speculative fiction.

Shaffer, HE503

The Graphic Novel. This course will explore the form and theory of the graphic novel, beginning with Will Esiner’s early experiments, progressing through the advances of the 1980s and 1990s, and finishing with an emphasis on the diversity of new voices contributing to the genre in the present.

Special Topics - Spring Semester

Spring 2022

Wessel, HE360

Jane Austen for Non-Majors. This course will explore Jane Austen’s iconic literary status and her continued popularity into the 21st century by reading her novels alongside modern adaptations, fan fictions, and spin-offs. We will also learn about the material culture of Austen’s world by visiting local eighteenth-century houses, cooking contemporary recipes, and learning some of the crafts that Austen’s characters practiced, ultimately producing a better understanding of Austen’s position and experience as an eighteenth-century woman writer.

Ward, HE462 Revenge. This course will examine the theme of revenge, focusing on early modern revenge tragedy. We will consider why revenge is such a perennially popular phenomenon on the stage and why it might have become especially resonant with early modern audiences in particular. While the course will be grounded in texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth century, we will also look at literary antecedents as well as modern works. This wide range of readings will help us understand changing ideas about justice and violence in the English Renaissance and our own time. We will also look outside tragedy in order to consider whether and how revenge is represented in other genres: is there such a thing as a revenge comedy?

Wagoner, HE463

The Theatre of John Fletcher. After William Shakespeare retired, John Fletcher took over as the principal playwright for the King’s Men. In this position, as Shakespeare’s theatrical heir, Fletcher enjoyed widespread popularity into the 18th century. However, he now has fallen into relative obscurity. This course will explore Fletcher’s plays, considering especially their prescient attitudes toward women, economics, and hierarchies. Through such re-evaluation, we will consider what these works might offer for 21st century audiences.

Bloomfield, HE504

Metaphysical Poetry. Students in this course will conduct an intensive reading of a small but culturally significant genre of poetry: the metaphysical lyric. This poetry, defined by its conceptual complexity, formal innovation, and dramatic vocal effects, will provide opportunities to explore the intricacies of poetic technique as well as the literature and culture of seventeenth-century England. We will focus our attention on three poets: John Donne, George Herbert, and Andrew Marvell, and will conclude by reading modern and contemporary poets whose work has been informed by these brilliant and difficult writers who were crafting their poems four hundred years ago.

 

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