Department of Languages and Literature

Courses in English Language & Literature

The Department offers a wide array of courses in English Language & Literature to meet the various interests and needs of students. For the most updated information about course offerings, please consult the University course catalog and BenULive course schedule at the Office of the Registrar website, or contact the Department.

 

LITR 150 | Themes in Literature
This course is designed primarily for non-majors. Students will be introduced to literary methods and theories, with a focus on transferable skills, such as literary analysis, close reading, and essay writing. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.
Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR)
Note: past topics have included Muslim Women's Writing, Film as Literature, Short Stories from the Qu'ran, Web/Text: 21st Century Narratives, and others.

LITR 210 | Literature and Film
Selected literary texts and their representation on film; analysis of the relationship between the two genres, and differences between written texts and visual media. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.
Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR)
Literature Core Elective

LITR 241 | Environmental Literature
Study of the connections between humans and their environment, between the imagined landscapes and the real. Authors studied may include Thoreau, Silko, Leopold, and Steingraber. Course will combine literary analysis with cultural analysis, informed by science-based activism, and is suited to both English Language and Literature majors and others with an interest in the environment. Literature Core Elective. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Writing Intensive and Sustainability. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 250 | Medieval Literature
Study of literature from the medieval era of British European history. Students will learn to read Old English and/or in Middle English; texts to be studied may include work by Marie de France, Chaucer, the Gawain poet, Langland, medieval dramatists, and others major writers. Counts as pre-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term, Odd Years.

LITR 255 | American Literature I
Survey of American literature from its Colonial roots, particularly the influence of the Puritans, to its flowering in New England. Counts as pre-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term.

LITR 256 | American Literature II
Survey of American literature since the Civil War. Emphasis on development of Realism and Naturalism in the nineteenth century, and modernism in the twentieth. Counts as post-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term.

LITR 257 | British Literature I
Historical survey of representative British literary texts from the Anglo-Saxon period to 1789, with attention to modes of critical reading and development of important genres. Counts as pre-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term.

LITR 258 | British Literature II
Historical survey of representative British and Anglophone literary texts from 1789 to the present, with attention to modes of critical reading and relevant cultural and historical contexts. Counts as post-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term.

LITR 259 | World Literatures
Study of major literary works from the ancient and classical, pre-modern, modern, and/or global eras, in English. May include comparative study of world traditions or mythologies. Not a Global-designated course. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core and Writing Intensive. Typically offered: Fall Term, Even Years.

LITR 263 | Literature of the Early Modern Period
Selected literary and cultural texts drawn from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Places these texts in the context of emerging modernity. Counts as pre-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 264 | Global/Postcolonial Literature and Theory
Comparative study of literature and theory concerning colonial, postcolonial, third world, and diasporic cultures and communities. May include such topics as education and the colonial/postcolonial condition; intellectual culture and imperialism; the politics of tourism, identity and diaspora; travel, migration, and globalization; and trauma, genocide, and historical fiction. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Cross-listed with LITR 364. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 265 | Shakespeare
Critical reading of representative comedies, tragedies, and histories. Emphasis on such issues as his Shakespeare’s dramatic art, critical response, and role in constructions of literary culture. Counts as pre-1800. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.

LITR 266 | Studies in the Novel
Critical study of selected novels, with emphasis on British and American writers and forms in English; theories of the novel as literary genre. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Writing Intensive. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 267 | Studies in Poetry
Critical study of selected poetry, with attention to both formal and interpretive issues; theories of poetry as literary genre. Topics will vary. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Writing Intensive. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.

LITR 268 | Studies in Drama
Critical study of selected dramatic literature from a range of cultures and periods; theories of drama as literary genre. Topics will vary. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR) 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Writing Intensive. Typically offered: Fall Term, Odd Years.

LITR 269 | Introduction to Creative Writing
Writing workshop for students; introduction to various forms of modern fiction and poetry. Students will have the opportunity to create original poetry and fiction. Artistic and Creativity Mode of Inquiry (QCA). 3 semester credit hours. Fine Arts Core Elective. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 279 | U.S. Multiethnic Literature
Comparative study of literature reflecting the diversity of American culture. In our exploration of just a sampling of the multiple voices of U.S. literature, we will consider these narratives within specific historical, cultural, rhetorical, and literary contexts. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Fall Term, Even Years.

LITR 280 | African-American Literature

Historical and critical exploration of African-American writers' contributions to American fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction, from the oral tradition to the present. May include an Afrocentric approach. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core Elective. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.

LITR 281 | Gender and Literature
Introduction to gender studies as a mode of literary analysis, and to the role of literary texts in shaping gender constructions. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Literature Core and Writing Intensive. Typically offered: Fall Term, Even Years.

LITR 291 | Topics in Literature
Intermediate-level study of authors, themes, movements, and genres; attention to historical context. Sample topics: American Renaissance, Nineteenth- Century British Women Writers, Gothic, the Graphic Novel, Lyric. May count as pre-1800, post-1800, or diversity course for majors, depending on topic. May be designated Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR) depending on topic. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically. Course Repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed 99.

LITR 298 | Advanced Academic and Nonfiction Writing
Advanced introduction to academic writing and research, with emphasis on understanding the essay form and its history. Students will also develop versatility in adapting writing skills to different platforms, media, and genres. Introductory course for English Language and Literature majors; prerequisite for 300-level Literature courses. Not a Literature Core Elective or Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Fall Term.

LITR 299 | Introduction to Literary Analysis
Advanced introduction to literary study and criticism. Focus on genres, techniques and development of literature. Emphasis on critical reading and writing. Introductory course for English Language and Literature majors; prerequisite for 300-level Literature courses. Not a Literature Core Elective or Literary and Rhetorical Mode of Inquiry (QLR). 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term.

LITR 300 | Advanced U.S. Literary and Cultural Studies I
Explores critical questions, analytical categories, and common methodologies that structure the practice of U.S. literary and cultural studies. Students will work primarily with literary texts written before 1800 as well as with secondary sources and theoretical works. Students will also complete a research paper. Counts as pre-1800. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 301 | Advanced U.S. Literary and Cultural Studies II
Explores critical questions, analytical categories, and common methodologies that structure the practice of U.S. literary and cultural studies. Students will work primarily with literary texts written after 1800 as well as with secondary sources and theoretical works. Students will also complete a research paper. Counts as post-1800. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Fall Term, Even Years.

LITR 305 | Critical Theory
Survey and application of contemporary theories of literature and language. Covers the intersection of modern literary theory with philosophy, linguistics, psychology, anthropology, and other humanistic fields. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Fall Term, Odd Years.

LITR 307 | Modern English Language
A systematic and rigorous survey of the structure and functions of contemporary English language. Examines how English grammar (including vocabulary) is used in different registers of contemporary speech and writing including conversation, fiction, news reporting and academic writing. Introduces some contemporary linguistic theories on the nature of language and different approaches to teaching grammar; topics include first and second language acquisition, differences between spoken and written English, the effects of language change on English grammar and usage, the concept of Standard English and how cultural attitudes affect our ideas of “correctness.” Cross-listed as LING 307/507. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Fall Term, Even Years.

LITR 315 | American Literary Realism and Naturalism
This course provides advanced study of U.S. realist and naturalist literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Counts as post-1800. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.

LITR 322 | Reading, Writing and Thinking in the Middle and Secondary School Curriculum
Examines the relationship between reading, writing, oral communication and thinking and explores strategies for integrating these areas across the curriculum. Examines a variety of theoretical perspectives and instructional strategies involving simulation, role-playing, case studies, inquiry, problem-solving, critical thinking and environmental learning. Lesson and unit plan development emphasized. Prerequisite: Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 and TEP. Cross-listed as EDUC 322. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 352 | Young Adult and Multicultural Literature in the Middle and Secondary School Curriculum
Evaluation, selection and teaching of literature to serve the interests and reading needs of students from the middle-school through high school. The course includes literature which reflects the culture and heritage of America’s multiethnic/multicultural population. The course emphasizes theory and research in reading comprehension, literary criticism, including reader response and curriculum and instruction. In addition, the course includes critical analysis, methods of teaching literature and the uses of literature in the curriculum. Prerequisites (Lisle campus): cumulative GPA of 2.5 and TEP. Prerequisites (Springfield campus): cumulative GPA of 2.75 and TEP. Cross-listed as EDUC 352. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 357 | The Nineteenth Century
Advanced study of nineteenth-century fiction, poetry, and/or drama. Topics may include Victorian literature, the nineteenth-century novel, and Romanticism. Counts as post-1800. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 362 | Modern Literature
Examines the evolution of poetic and narrative forms since the late nineteenth century. Emphasis on major British and/or American poets and novelists; may also include translated works from other cultures. Counts as post-1800. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Even Years.

LITR 364 | Global/Postcolonial Literature and Theory
Comparative study of literature and theory concerning colonial, postcolonial, third world, and diasporic cultures and communities. May include such topics as education and the colonial/postcolonial condition; intellectual culture and imperialism; the politics of tourism, identity and diaspora; travel, migration, and globalization; and trauma, genocide, and historical fiction. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. Cross-listed with LITR 264. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 369 | Advanced Creative Writing
Advanced writing workshop with focus on writing and revision of fiction and poetry: includes group discussions and individual conferences. Students will produce a professional portfolio of creative work. Prerequisite: LITR 269 or Department approval. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 381 | Theories of Gender in Literary Analysis
Advanced readings in literature and in selected gender-based modes of textual analysis, as well as theories of the relationship between gender and language. Counts as diversity elective for majors. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299 or GENS 100. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Spring Term, Odd Years.

LITR 384 | Major Authors and Genres I
Detailed study of major writers and/or literary genres prior to 1800. Authors to be studied may include such figures as Geoffrey Chaucer, Aphra Behn, or John Milton; genres to be studied may include epic or the rise of the novel. Counts as pre-1800 for majors; may also count as diversity course depending on topic. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically.

LITR 385 | Major Authors and Genres II
Detailed study of major writers and/or literary genres after 1800. Authors to be studied may include such figures as Jane Austen, Robert Browning, or Toni Morrison; genres to be studied may include slave narratives and the poetic collection. Counts as pre-1800 for majors; may also count as diversity course depending on topic. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Fall Term, Odd Years.

LITR 391 | Advanced Topics in Literature
Advanced study of authors, themes, movements and genres, with attention to historical context. May count as pre-1800, post-1800, or diversity course for majors, depending on topic. Prerequisite: LITR 298 or LITR 299. 3 semester credit hours. Typically offered: Periodically. Course Repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed 12.

LITR 395 | Independent Study
Students with interest in independent study of topics not offered in the curriculum may propose a plan of study in conjunction with a faculty member. Approval based on academic appropriateness and availability of resources. May count as pre-1800, post-1800, or diversity course for majors, depending on topic. Prerequisites: LITR 298 or LITR 299 and junior or senior standing. 3 semester credit hours. Department Consent Required. Course Repeatable. Maximum number of units allowed 12.

LITR 399 | Senior Seminar
Group workshop and individual instruction in literary research and critical writing, leading to the completion of a thesis paper in a literary field of the student’s choice. Prerequisites: LITR 298, LITR 299, and senior standing. 3 semester credit hours. Writing Intensive and Engaged Learning. Typically offered: Fall Term.

Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.

– Dave Eggers