English and Drama

English Department

Margaret Ellen Mahoney, SSND, Ph.D., Chair
Ray Bossert, Ph.D.
Kate Bossert, Ph.D.
William A. Davis Jr., Ph.D.
Jeana DelRosso, Ph.D
Gene Farrington, Ph.D.
Shelley Puhak, M.F.A.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

The English department of the School of Arts and Sciences offers a major in English and minors in English and drama to students in the Women's College. Women's College students may also pursue a preparatory program for secondary certification in English. Students learn to respond to literature with critical thought, understanding, inquiry and imagination, sharing the many experiences recorded in literary works of all genres and periods. They also have an opportunity to develop their own literature through a strong writing program. Around the core of required English courses, each student can construct a program with an emphasis on either literature or writing, or a balance of both. Special features of the English department are opportunities in creative writing and drama.

The director of the Academic and Career Enrichment Center places English majors in elective internships in public relations firms, newspaper offices, schools, law firms and businesses requiring writing, editing and other English-related skills. These internships are available during the fall, spring, summer and Winterim terms.

Students regularly publish their creative work in outside publications. The department chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, The International Honor Society in English, plans theatre excursions, lectures, literature readings and service projects.

Graduates of the department have completed advanced degrees at institutions such as the Yale School of Drama, The Johns Hopkins University, the Catholic University of America, the University of Delaware, American University and the University of Pittsburgh. Graduates are employed by a diverse number of organizations such as The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore County Public Schools, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Students may fulfill the general education requirement for literature by taking any of the following literature (ENG) courses: 205, 213, 215, 216, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, 230, 238, 240, 242, 243, 250, 251, 270H ,275, 309, 310, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 323, 324, 327, 347360H 405, 410, 411 and 412.

English courses that satisfy the general education requirement in cross-cultural studies are ENG-221, 222, 226, 251, 323, 327 and 410. English courses that satisfy the general education requirement in gender studies are ENG-243, 275, 318 and 412   440H. Drama courses that satisfy the general education requirement in fine arts are DRM-240 and 245.

Students must earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all courses taken to complete the requirements of the English major.

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Programs of Study

Required Courses for a Major in English (42 Credits)

Creative Writing (one course) (3)
ENG-201 Techniques in the Writing of Verse
ENG-202 Techniques in the Writing of Short Fiction
ENG-203 Playwriting
ENG-207 Techniques in Writing Creative Nonfiction

American Literature (one course) (3)
ENG-215 American Literature in the 19th Century
ENG-216 American Literature in the 20th Century

Required Courses (three courses) (9)

ENG-223 Literary Research
ENG-224 Literary Perspectives I (British Literature to 1800)
ENG-244 Literary Perspectives II (British Literature in the 19th and 20th Centuries)

Shakespeare (one course) (3)

ENG-317 Shakespeare: Chronicles and Comedies
ENG-319 Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romances

Required Courses (three courses) (9) 

ENG-327 Contemporary World Literature
ENG-452 Senior Seminar
ENG-453 Literary Interpretation

Additional Courses(15)

Five courses in English electives, at least two at the 300- or 400-level (15)
Students may choose DRM-240 and/or DRM-245 as their 200 electives for either a major or minor in English.

Creative Writing Track (42 Credits)

Nine "core" courses as listed above (27)

Five additional courses in place of the five elective courses:

Second Techniques Course (choose one) (3)

ENG-201 Techniques in the Writing of Verse
ENG-202 Techniques in the Writing of Short Fiction
ENG-203 Playwriting
ENG-207 Techniques in Writing Creative Nonfiction
COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing

One workshop (choose one) (3)

ENG-302 Workshop in Creative Writing
COM-301 Feature Writing
COM-314 Reporting and Writing News

Upper-level genre course (choose one) (3)

ENG-355 Special Topics in Creative Writing
ENG-430 The Literary Essay
ENG-318 Modern and Contemporary Women Dramatists
ENG-320 Influence and Experiment in Modern Drama
ENG-405 Modernism in Fiction

Practicum (choose one) (3)

ENG-401 Writing Tutorial
IDS-361 Career Internship

Elective: One additional course from any of the four options above (3)

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Secondary Education Certification: Approved Program in English

Students who wish to prepare for teaching in secondary schools take the required courses for a major in English. They also take the professional education courses offered by the education department. The education department requires that students also take English courses in which some adolescent, ethnic and non-Western literatures are taught. The education department recommends that students take courses in drama and film.

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Minor in English

Students who desire a minor in English take six English courses beyond ENG-101. Three of the six courses must be at the 300- or 400-level.

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Drama Emphasis or Minor

English majors who wish to complete a drama emphasis or minor take the following seven courses:

DRM-240 Acting Techniques
DRM-245 Directing Techniques
DRM-320 Techniques in Theatre Practice
ENG-203 Playwriting
ENG-220 Introduction to Drama
ENG-318 Modern and Contemporary Women Dramatists, or
ENG-320 Influence and Experiment in Modern Drama
DRM-320 Techniques in Theatre Practice (focus in stagecraft area)

Students also have the option of a student-designed drama major in conjunction with courses taken at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

Liberal Arts Majors With English Track

Students who desire to major in Liberal Arts with a track in English may select any courses from English Department offerings.

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Four-Year Plan

Sample program of study for the English major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor.

See course descriptions for a list of required courses and description of course and program options.

FallCredits SpringCredits 
First year      
ENG-101 College Writing 3 English elective 3
ENG-215 or 216 3 General Education/Electives 12
General Education/Electives 6 [15 credits]  
IDS-100 Perspectives in Education 3    
[15 credits]      
Second year      
ENG-224 Lit Perspectives I 3 ENG-223 Literary Research 3
Creative Writing 3 ENG-244 Lit Perspectives II 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
ENG-317 or 
ENG-319 Shakespeare
3 ENG-453 Lit Interpretation 3
English Elective 3 ENG-327 Contemporary World Lit 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
English elective (300/400-level) 3 ENG-452 Seminar 3
English elective (300/400-level) 3 English elective (300/400-level) 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  

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ENG-101 College Writing

Provides students with an understanding that clear thinking is fundamental to clear writing. It also demonstrates every stage of the composing process: generating and organizing ideas, prewriting and drafting, critiquing, revising, final editing and proofreading. In addition, students work to accomplish clarity, unity, coherence and emphasis in sentences, in paragraphs, and in the overall structure of an essay. They develop techniques of style and tone toward more fluent and appealing prose and strive to sharpen their analytical, critical and editing skills by interacting with other students about their own writing and about the writing of professionals. Students learn to use standard English and develop a sensitivity to sentence structure and diction and to appreciate effectively written prose and recognize characteristics that make such prose effective. To fulfill the general education requirement in composition a minimum grade of C is required. [3 credits]

ENG-205 Short Fiction

Examines the short story with emphasis on the elements of fiction, focusing especially on plot, character, setting, point of view and theme. Introduces students to stories by a variety of authors-traditional and contemporary, ethnic and mainstream, American and international. Broadens analytical and critical ability through guided discussion and short papers that respond to the literature. Fulfills general education requirement in literature. [3 credits]

ENG-216 American Literature in the 20th Century

Examines and interprets representative works from major authors including Chopin, Faulkner, Williams and Morrison. Analyzes and compares major movements such as Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism. Provides students with a basic background in contemporary literature. Fulfills general education requirement in literature. [3 credits]

ENG-223 Literary Research

Introduces students to the methods and processes of literary research, bibliography and scholarly writing. Students identify and use the latest Internet research tools along with other standard sources in English and American literature and apply their skills to selected literary texts. Provides students with instruction and practice in identifying an original research project, finding and incorporating literary criticism into their own writing, and presenting their work to other students. Majors only. [3 credits]

ENG-224 Literary Perspectives I: British Literature to 1800

Surveys the origins and development of British literature through 1800, introducing students to representative works from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Restoration and 18th Century. Traces pervasive themes, techniques, and genres that develop across periods. By building a foundation in the understanding of literary history, the course establishes a basis for later in-depth study at the 300-level. Fulfills general education requirement in literature. [ 3 credits ]

ENG-302 Workshop in Creative Writing

Provides advanced practice in the writing of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or plays. Participants choose to work in the craft of specific genres. Students share in reading and discussing the submitted artifacts. Revision is emphasized as a significant function of the creative process as students produce a portfolio of work. Prerequisite: ENG-201, 202, 203 or 207, or presentation of a suitable manuscript. [3 credits]

ENG-316 English Literature: 20th Century

Studies major writers and literary techniques and themes characteristic of 20th-century Britain. The course examines modernism and postmodernism and the way in which the literature has been shaped by literary movements and world events. Students will have the opportunity to read selected poems, novels, essays and short plays by authors ranging from Hardy and Yeats to A. S. Byatt and Iris Murdoch. Fulfills general education requirement in literature. [3 credits]

ENG-327 Contemporary World Literature

Introduces an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of contemporary literatures from different cultures by presenting authors who are often omitted from the literary canon. Students will attain a global view of basic social issues as they are represented in literature and will focus on the common elements of humanity as well as on the differences across diverse cultures. The class will examine the themes of hope and despair, peace and war, joy and anguish, and the distances between these through fiction, autobiography and essay. We will also examine the different cultural perceptions of literature and its purposes. Fulfills general education requirement in literature and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]

ENG-401 Writing Tutorial

Provides student the opportunity for intense work on a single extended work or collection of shorter works under the direction of one English faculty member. Allows student to recognize the importance of revision in the writing process. Before enrolling in this course, the student is expected to have demonstrated proficiency in one of the creative writing genres and to have obtained the consent of her prospective tutorial director. The minimum prerequisite for this course is the successful completion of the relevant writing workshop, depending on the writing genre that the student wishes to pursue. With the consent of the instructor, the writing tutorial may be continued for two semesters, with three credits applicable to degree requirements each term. Prerequisite: ENG-302 or ENG-307 and permission of instructor. [3 credits]

ENG-412 Topics in Literature: Gender Studies

Investigates gender as it is represented and constructed in literature by examining such literary topics as the following: a significant writer or group of writers; a literary period or movement; a particular genre or geographic region. The topic will be announced before registration each semester when the course is offered, and the course itself can be taken more than once on different subjects. Fulfills general education requirement in literature and gender studies. [3 credits]

ENG-463 Independent Study

Requires students to create a production project in acting, directing or stagecraft. A student could direct a full-scale stage production, design either lighting or set for a show, perform as a lead actor in a production, or serve as dramaturg for a major production. These projects would be under the direction of a faculty member. For directing, a completed playbook would be required. For design projects, completed sketches and/or models would be required. For acting, an intense written examination of the role would be required. For dramaturgy, a paper outlining the extent of the research and the conclusions would be presented to the director. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. [1, 2 or 3 credits]

ENG-496 Assistantship in Writing

Assists the instructor in class preparation and instruction, including research, classroom administration, assessment, guiding other students' writing, editing and revision, and moderating student discussions. Students create and design lesson plans and class writing activities. Experience is designed for those desiring to teach English, particularly on the college level. Prerequisite: Prior successful completion of the course for which the student is the assistant and permission of the instructor. [3 credits]

ENG-547 New Woman Literature

Explores selections from the fiction, periodical journalism, and drama of the Victorian period, including George Gissing?s novel The Odd Women, essays by Sarah Grand and others, and plays such as Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession. Examines the "Woman Question" of late nineteenth-century England and identifies its main issues, e.g., the "nature" of women, women?s roles and esponsibilities, independence and its social effects, education, sexual relations, and gender differences. [ 3 credits ]

ENG-548 Classical World Literature

Analyzes classics of world literature from ancient to pre-modern times, learning to identify and appreciate the qualities that make a work a classic, including its enduring worldview, its style, its impact, and its universality. The course will explore such issues as social and familial relationships, gender roles, the relationship between the individual and society, differing value systems, mythopoetic and folkloric influences on literature, elements of narrative, poetic, and conceptual structure in the works, and the ways in which literature shapes our perception of reality. Texts covered may include works by Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Ovid, and Virgil from classical times, selections from Gilgamesh, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita (or another Vedantic book), the Tao Te Ching, and Persian poetry, works like The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Pillow Book by Sei Sei Shonagon, and more recent works regarded as classic by such authors as Dante, Boccaccio, Rabelais, Moli?re, Cervantes, and Goethe. [ 3 credits ]