Course Catalog: Literature Courses
The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2015-2016 academic year.
Latino Literature & Culture in the US
Introduces students to the history, art and writings of Latinos in the United States by studying the contributions of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Dominicans. Topics covered include Latino approaches to space, identity, and sexuality. Readings include short stories, poetry, biographies and academic essays. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but not required. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity, Self & Society or Languages and Literature. Introductory.
Women in Literature
Explores the work of women writers from the 18th century to the present, including poetry, essays, short fiction, drama, and novels. Emphasis on female identity, creativity, coming of age, race, and feminist literary criticism. General Education: Languages and Literatures. Introductory.
Questioning Russian Authors
Introduction to the work of a major Russian author. Russian literature has long responded to two fundamental questions: What is to be done? Who is to blame? Consider how the author under consideration addresses these questions as well as their own responses. General Education: Critical Thinking and Languages and Literatures. Introductory.
Introduction to the Short Story
Introduces students to the short story genre and methods employed by authors to craft successful short stories. Focuses on elements of short fiction such as character, plot, point of view, description, and style, and how these elements contribute to a story’s effect. Requires students to engage in both analytical and creative writing. General Education: Languages and Literatures OR Creativity and the Arts. Introductory.
The Bible as Literature
Offers a critical study of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as distinct but related literary and theological traditions. Stories will be examined in light of their cultural, historical, and especially literary contexts. Students will be introduced to the Ancient Near East and the Graeco-Roman world. Integrated Humanities course. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121) and Languages. Introductory.
Introduction to Literature
Introduces students to close reading and critical analysis of literary texts from major genres of literature (lyric poetry, drama, novel, short story). Considers historical context of themes that are adapted, transformed, and rethought at critical moments in literary history. General Education: Languages and Literature. Completion of or exemption from ENG 120.). Introductory.
Film and Fiction
Compares cinematic and literary treatment of a story. Emphasis on literary and film history, and on comparing language, structure and technique of film and fiction. Works may include Shakespeare, 19th novels such as Frankenstein, or recent works, such as Beloved. Integrated Humanities course. General Education: Languages and Literatures. Prerequisite: Completion of or exemption from ENG 120. Introductory.
Literature of the Holocaust
Examines exemplary responses to the Holocaust in a variety of genres by writers and filmmakers. Reviews the basic historical background and examines testimonials by death camp survivors as well as imaginative responses in various media: poetry, short story, graphic novel, and film. Intermediate.
Survey of American Literature
Surveys American literature from beginnings to the present. Includes study of Native American narratives and poetry, Puritan writers, American Renaissance, modernism, Harlem Renaissance, and contemporary writers. Emphasis on distinctive themes of American literature, such as individualism, democracy, and equality. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121, ) and Languages and Literatures or Self and Society. Prerequisite: Completion of or exemption from ENG 120. Intermediate.
The British Novel of the 19th Century
Examines 19th century British novels with attention to historical and cultural contexts. Focuses on British classics by such writers as Austen, Dickens, the Brontës, Eliot, and Hardy. Emphasizes students’ critical perspectives on novels and current scholarly criticism. Integrated Humanities course. General Education: Languages and Literature and Upper Level Writing. Intermediate.
Literature and History of the Caribbean
Analyzes literature of the Caribbean in cultural and historical contexts. May include writers from Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Barbados, Guyana, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico. Emphasizes concerns of island writers, including Indian cultures, slave life, African heritage, folk material, colonialism, and independence movements. General Education: Languages and Literatures AND Perspectives on Diversity. Integrated Humanities course. Global Perspectives course. Intermediate.
African-American Women Writers
Studies fiction of African-American women writers and its impact on American literary tradition. Includes personal narratives of slave women and progresses to novels of contemporary writers. Examines strategies of self-construction to affirm African-American womanhood. May include Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker. General Education: Languages and Literatures and Perspectives on Diversity. Intermediate.
The Renaissance in England
Introduces literature of English Renaissance of 16th century, beginning with English revisions of Italian poetry, placing achievements of Wyatt, Sidney, Shakespeare, and Spenser in context of tumultuous changes in religion, renaissance humanism, power of the court, growth of London, Tudor style, a female monarch, voyages of discovery, and influences of classical literature. Integrated Humanities course. General Education: Upper-Level Writing (after ENG 121,) and Languages and Literatures or Historical Perspectives. Integrated Humanities course. Intermediate.
Native American Literature
Surveys Native American literature from oral narratives, to 19th century autobiography and speeches, to contemporary novels and poetry. Topics include ways of telling stories and writing, identity, and connections to tribal and American history. General Education: Upper Level Writing and Perspectives on Diversity and Languages and Literatures. Intermediate.
Surveys African-American literature from slave narratives through contemporary novels and poetry. Topics, periods, and genres include slave narratives, late nineteenth-century novels, poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, the 1960s, and contemporary drama, fiction and poetry. General Education: Languages and Literatures AND Perspectives on Diversity. Intermediate.
Studies the achievement of a single author. Selected works by one writer are studied to consider the author’s artistic development, vision of reality, persistent themes, and value to 21st century readers. May be repeated for credit. General Education: Languages and Literatures and Upper-Level Writing (after ENG 121). Intermediate.
Studies Shakespeare’s plays in historical context and on stage and screen. Emphasizes plays as reflections of Renaissance culture in England. Focuses on language of the plays, genre (comedy, tragedy, history, romance), and gender roles. May focus on comedy or tragedy, analysis of one play in historical context, or Shakespeare films. General Education: Creativity and the Arts or Languages and Literatures. Intermediate.
The Epic: Heroes and Monsters
Introduction to the epic poems of the ancient world. Topics include changing nature of heroism, oral vs. literate poetry, social function of the epic, myth and epic, representation of evil and the monstrous, and gender. Considers the historical and cultural contexts in which epics were composed. General Education: Upper Level Writing and Languages and Literatures. Intermediate.
The American Renaissance
Studies literature of mid-nineteenth century America in historical context, emphasizing close reading of works by major writers: Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Stowe, Douglas, Jacobs, and Dickinson. Considers such themes as the persistence of the Puritan past, national identity, and issues left unresolved from the Declaration of Independence. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121, ) and Languages and Literatures or Self and Society. Integrated Humanities course. Intermediate.
Studies in the Novel
Offers opportunity for intensive study of selected novels. Novels are studied in historical context, and differing critical approaches to the works are reviewed. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: One course in literature or permission of the instructor. Intermediate.
Medieval Literature: Epic and Romance
Examines epics and romances in medieval literature from the 10th to the 14th century. Focuses on changing ideals of heroism and increasing importance of romantic love to those ideals. Considers chivalric society, the role of women, the function of kinship, church, and feudalism in organizing social ties. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121) and Languages and Literatures. Intermediate.
Advanced Study in Literature
Offers opportunity for advanced study in literature. Topics will vary from year to year but include historical study, exploration of critical and theoretical perspectives on literature, and writing critical essays. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: One course in literature or by permission of the instructor. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121). Advanced.