Selecting Courses

Course Planning

As a department, we are committed to offering a wide variety of courses reflecting a number of periods and approaches to textual study. In order to do so, we change our course offerings regularly. Talk with your advisor about the courses you think you might like to take over the next year or so; she or he can tell you who will be on leave, and whether the courses you are interested in will be offered.

In addition, pay attention to the prerequisites in the course descriptions. In the event of over-enrollment, the registrar will be instructed to take those students with the stated prerequisites. If you do not have them, it is unlikely you will get into a heavily enrolled course. Read through the English chapter of the course catalog to familiarize yourself with the kinds of prerequisites upper-level courses require and plan your coursework accordingly.

The English department offers introductory literature courses, courses in creative writing and journalism, and intermediate and advanced literature courses in all genres. We offer two introductory courses designed for first-year students and sophomores: First-Year Seminar 110, a writing-intensive seminar, and English 199, an introduction to English literature and criticism.

We encourage our majors to explore the creative process by taking writing courses. We also urge them to link the study of literature in English with the study of history, art, and other literatures. Courses in classical and modern languages and literatures, art history, philosophy, religion, and history complement and supplement courses in English.

For First-Years

Courses open to first-year students include all sections of First-Year Seminar 110 and ENGL 199, An Introduction to the Study of Literature.

First-Year Seminars 110 taught by English Department Faculty: 

  • Books Within Books, Nigel Alderman 
  • Cyberpunks in the Digital Age, Kate Singer 
  • Emily Dickinson At MHC, Christopher Benfey 
  • A Landscape of One's Own, Leah Glasser 
  • Slang: Community/Power/Language, Mark Shea 
  • U.S. Multiethnic Literatures, Iyko Day
  • Mapping the World/Mind/Self, Mark Shea 
  • Self-Portraiture, Suparna Roychoudhury 
  • American Women's Fiction 1900, Elizabeth Young