English (BA)


2014-2015 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG
Effective 1 June 2014 through 31 May 2015

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF version of past catalogs.

Areas of Emphasis

This program offered by College of Arts & Sciences/English Department

Departmental Mission Statement

In the English Department at Webster University we cultivate creativity, explore the beauty and power of great writing from around the world, and connect art with life.

Program Description

The student with a major in English selects an emphasis in creative writing; literature, society, and politics; or world drama and playwriting.We also offer a minor in English and minor and certificate in professional writing. In addition, we contribute to the interdisciplinary drama studies minor offered at our London campus.

Our students graduate with not only a substantial knowledge of literature and excellent writing abilities, but also the general critical reading, thinking, and communication skills necessary to make a mark on the world in whatever way they see fit. Our classes are small and discussion-oriented, and students are individually mentored by their professors and advisors.

See also the English Department website (external to catalog).

Special Study Opportunities

Internships: English majors can perform writing internships with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.  These internships can earn course credit if taken as part of WRIT 3000 Professional Writing Practicum.

Departmental Honors in English: With the English Department's approval, an English major may earn recognition as an outstanding student in the department by completing the additional requirements below.

To earn departmental honors, an English major must:

  • Complete at least 45 credit hours in residence at Webster University.
  • Maintain a G.P.A. of 3.5 in English coursework completed at Webster University.
  • Complete at least 15 credit hours in English courses offered at the 3000 or 4000 level.
  • Complete at least six credit hours of a foreign language with a grade of B or higher in each semester, or test out of that requirement.
  • Further explore cultures other than British or U.S. in one of four ways: complete at least three additional credit hours of foreign language with a grade of C or higher; complete an approved course in literature in translation; complete an approved course in world literature; or participate in study abroad.
  • Through consultation with an English Department advisor and successful completion of the Petition to Write the Honors Thesis, secure the approval of the department to proceed with the Honors Thesis. This step should be completed by the Monday before the mid-semester break of the semester before the student plans to write the thesis.
  • Complete ENGL 4900 Thesis Workshop. Guidelines for writing the thesis can be found on the departmental website.  Students who successfully complete ENGL 4900 will earn 1 credit hour, for a total of 43 credit hours.
    1. Creative writing emphasis: original creative work by the student.
    2. Literature, society, and politics emphasis: an original scholarly essay.
    3. World Drama and Playwriting: an original scholarly essay on dramatic literature or an original play.
  • Receive Honors on the thesis by writing a thesis that meets departmental standards for exceptional work. A student who receives Honors on the thesis will be enrolled in the 0-credit ENGL 4910 Honors Thesis course before the end of the semester in which the thesis is completed.

Admission

Applicants for a major in English are required to submit a photocopy of one graded literary analysis essay, including the instructor's comments and grade, written for a previous English class. Students applying for English with an emphasis in Creative Writing must also submit one short story, play (or portion thereof), nonfiction essay, or three poems.

Learning Objectives and Intended Outcomes

 Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Interpret the canonical works and major periods of American and British literature as well as some lesser known works within and outside that canon (including global literature).
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the history and conventions of literary genres, including poetry, drama, and fiction.
  • Interpret individual works within their historical and cultural contexts.
  • Synthesize trends, themes, and/or patterns of language use found in a range of literary texts in response to overarching questions.
  • Evaluate the impact of literature on individuals, societies and cultures.
  • Analyze the motivations, needs, values, and social dynamics that give rise to literature.
  • Compose thesis-driven, textually-supported literary analyses that apply the conventions of literary study, including close reading and MLA style.

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Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

  • 42 required credit hours
  • 3 international language requirement credit hours
  • Applicable university global citizenship or general education program hours
  • Electives
  • English courses completed with a grade lower than C- do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.
  • Each student must complete at least 12 credit hours of courses for the major at the 3000 or 4000 level.
  • At least 21 credit hours within the major must be completed at Webster University. Of the 24 credit hours required in any one emphasis, 12 must be taken at Webster University.


International Language Requirement

  • A minimum of three hours in a non-native language is required in addition to the requirements for the major. Courses used towards the International Language requirement may also be used to fulfill general education requirements or a major/minor in a foreign language.
  • Transfer students who have completed their 3 credits at an institution of higher education are considered to have fulfilled the requirement, as are students who have scored a "3" or higher on an Advanced Placement exam in a non-native language.
  • For students whose native language is not English, a passing grade on the TOEFL will count as their foreign language requirement. Students who are from bilingual families but have no evidence of academic study of the second language on a transcript will need to take one course.

Required Courses

  • ENGL 1900 Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2020 Major British Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2030 Major British Writers II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2050 Major U.S. Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2070 Major U.S. Writers II (3 hours)
  • Twenty-four hours from the list or lists specific to the student's emphasis (see below).
  • Three elective hours from the emphasis list or other English courses.
  • ENGL 4600 Portfolio Review (in the final semester of study) (0 hours)

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English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing

Program Description

The primary focus of the program is on learning the art of reading as a writer: opening up influences, gathering strategies, widening the range of what's possible in a student's own writing. Small classes, high standards, and a congenial atmosphere combine to foster each student's individual growth as a writer.

The attendant Visiting Writers Series brings nationally prominent writers to campus for public readings and colloquia. Each year students in the program edit and publish a literary magazine, The Green Fuse. Playwrights have the opportunity to see their own work produced in the annual spring festival of student plays, Surfacing: The Emerging Playwrights Festival.

Emphasis-Specific Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Read from the perspective of a writer, analyzing and understanding the elements of good writing, conventions of the respective literary genres, and the strategic use of language, voice, form, and other instrumental aspects of the writer's craft. 
  • Produce accomplished creative work that demonstrates a command of literary strategies appropriate to their chosen genre (fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, or translation).

Required Courses for Emphasis in Creative Writing

  • ENGL 1900 Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2020 Major British Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2030 Major British Writers II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2050 Major U.S. Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2070 Major U.S. Writers II (3 hours)
  • 15 credit hours from the following:
    • ENGL 2150 Creative Writing: Poetry (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2160 Creative Writing: Fiction (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2170 Creative Writing: Playwriting (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2180 Creative Writing: Nonfiction (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2190 Creative Writing: Translation (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3030 Topics in Poetry (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3040 Topics in Fiction (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3050 Topics in Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3160 Advanced Creative Writing (2-4 hours)
    • ENGL 3450 Reading and Writing Autobiography (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4400 Advanced Writing Workshop (3 hours)
  • 9 credit hours from the following:
    • ENGL 3100 Modern Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3130 Contemporary Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3140 Women Create Women in Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3150 Men Create Women in Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3210 Tragic Themes (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3300 20th Century American Poetry (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3500 Contexts (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3600 Prize Winning U.S. Writers (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3900 Myth and Classical Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4000 Myth and Modern Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4010 Art and the Artist (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4020 Heroic Themes (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4030 Literature of Latin America (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4130 Seminar in A Single Author (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare I (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4160 Shakespeare II (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)
  • An additional 3 credit hours of ENGL electives
  • ENGL 4600 Portfolio Review (in the final semester of study) (0 hours)

Note: Students with an emphasis in creative writing must successfully complete at least one section of ENGL 4400.

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English with an Emphasis in Literature, Society and Politics

Program Description

In this emphasis, students are expected to engage with literature not only in terms of its aesthetic dimensions, but also in terms of the ways it expresses the values, views, and dynamics of a given cultural and historical context. In small classes and seminars students are given multiple opportunities to develop their skills in literary analysis, critical writing, and oral expression. Outstanding student essays are selected by faculty to be published each spring in our literary journal, The Mercury.

Emphasis-Specific Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate appropriate research sources, incorporate those sources into well-documented formal academic writing, and formulate their own arguments based at least in part on those sources.

Required Courses for Emphasis in Literature, Society, and Politics

  • ENGL 1900 Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2020 Major British Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2030 Major British Writers II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2050 Major U.S. Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2070 Major U.S. Writers II (3 hours)
  • 24 credit hours from the following:

 

    • ENGL 2035 History of the Novel (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2086 Contemporary Multiethnic Literature of the US (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2110 Perspectives (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2210 Literature into Film (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2300 Worlds of Romance (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2400 The Short Story (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3030 Topics in Poetry (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3040 Topics in Fiction (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3050 Topics in Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3100 Modern Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3130 Contemporary Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3140 Women Create Women in Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3150 Men Create Women in Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3210 Tragic Themes (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3300 20th Century American Poetry (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3500 Contexts (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3600 Prize-Winning U.S. Writers (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3900 Myth and Classical Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4000 Myth and Modern Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4010 Art and the Artist (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4020 Heroic Themes (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4030 Literature of Latin America (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4130 Seminar in a Single Author (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare I (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4160 Shakespeare II (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4190 Historical Linguistics: History of the English Language (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4200 Contemporary Linguistics (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)
  • An additional 3 credit hours if ENGL electives
  • ENGL 4600 Portfolio Review (in the final semester of study) (0 hours)

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English with an Emphasis in World Drama and Playwriting

Program Description

This emphasis is designed to give students a strong grounding in our rich legacy of dramatic literature from the ancient to the modern eras. Students in the emphasis read classic as well as contemporary dramatic work from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Our dramatic literature classes are designed to engage and involve students as active readers, thinkers, and writers. The emphasis provides students with the necessary literary and analytical skills they will need as teachers, writers, scholars, and theatre professionals.

Our study abroad program makes it possible for students to study drama at our London campus, where students can see and study some of the world's finest drama onstage.

Emphasis-Specific Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Interpret major works of dramatic literature from the ancient to the contemporary eras within and across historical and cultural contexts.
  • Describe and analyze the changing role of the playwright in the collaborative process of creating and producing dramatic works throughout the ages.
  • Compose accomplished and original dramatic work, thereby demonstrating the ability to put theory into practice.


Required Courses for Emphasis in World Drama and Playwriting

  • ENGL 1900 Introductory Seminar in Literary Analysis (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2020 Major British Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2030 Major British Writers II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2050 Major U.S. Writers I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2070 Major U.S. Writers II (3 hours)
  • Additional Required Courses for the World Drama and Playwriting Emphasis:
    • ENGL 2170 Creative Writing: Playwriting (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
  • 18 credit hours from the following:
    • ENGL 2110 Perspectives (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2170 Creative Writing: Playwriting (repeatable with permission of instructor) (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2210 Literature into Film (3 hours)
    • ENGL 2250 Literary London (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3050 Topics in Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3100 Modern Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3130 Contemporary Drama (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3210 Tragic Themes (3 hours)
    • ENGL 3900 Myth and Classical Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4000 Myth and Modern Literature (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare I (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4160 Shakespeare II (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4400 Advanced Writing Workshop: Playwriting (3 hours)
    • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)
    • SCPT 3110 Script Analysis (3 hours)
    • THEA 2030 History of Theatre: Greeks to Elizabethan (3 hours)
    • THEA 2040 History of Theatre: Restoration to 1915 (3 hours)
    • THEA 2050 History of Theatre: 1915 to Present (3 hours)
    • THEA 3040 Topics in Theatre (3 hours)
  • An additional 3 credit hours of ENGL electives.
  • ENGL 4600 Portfolio Review (in the final semester of study) (0 hours)

Specified credit hours from other departments may, with approval, be selected.

Note: Theatre arts courses listed above are considered for this emphasis to be in the English Department.

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