English

Jay Dickson

The novel, British modernism, Victorian literature, queer studies, postcolonial studies.

Michael Faletra

Medieval literature, Arthurian literature.

Rebecca Gordon

Film, film theory, American studies, American fiction, including Chicano/Latino literature.

Maureen Harkin

18th- and 19th-century British narrative, the sentimental novel, aesthetic theory, spatial studies. On sabbatical and leave 2008-09.

Nathalia King

Rhetorical and narrative theory, the novel, autobiography, gender studies, creative writing.

Robert S. Knapp

Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, literary theory.

Laura Leibman

Early American literature and culture, American poetry, poetics and ethnopoetics, Native American literature and culture, postcolonial theory, gender theory, American studies.

Christine McBride

History and theory of the novel, Victorian literature, transatlantic modernism, 19th-century American literature, music and narrative, Henry James.

Jonathan Naito

20th-century British and Irish literature, postcolonial literature and theory, Black and Asian British studies, contemporary literature.

Roger J. Porter

Modern drama, modern fiction, Shakespeare, autobiography as a literary form, nonfiction prose.

Peter Rock

(See Creative Writing.)

Pancho Savery

African American literature; American literature and cultural history; modern and contemporary drama, poetry, and fiction; creative writing; American Indian fiction.

Gail Berkeley Sherman

Medieval English literature, gender studies, poetics of biblical narrative. On sabbatical and leave 2008-09.

Ellen Keck Stauder

Modern poetry, Victorian literature, prosody, literature and the arts.

Lisa M. Steinman

Modern and contemporary poetry, creative writing, Romanticism, 18th-century poetry.

Crystal Williams

(See Creative Writing.)

The English department offers courses in English and American literature; some courses also include works from other national literatures. The department offers introductory courses in drama, fiction, and poetry most semesters: nonmajors and prospective majors should begin their study of literature with these courses. Two of these introductory courses are required for the major; they are also a prerequisite for most of the department’s upper-division offerings.

In each academic year, the department offers at least 12 courses at the upper-division level. Among these are two junior seminars (intended principally for majors) and courses in American and British literature in various genres from the 14th to the 21st centuries. Some courses are listed under general rubrics such as “Studies in Shakespeare” or “Poetry and History.” (Students may register for more than one course under the same rubric, provided that the subject matter differs.) Courses in the catalog not offered in the current academic year will normally be offered in one of the next two academic years.

In consultation with their academic advisers, students majoring in English should plan to take courses from a range of genres, topics, and periods within the department. Students may also include in the major one course in creative writing or one course in translation given in other departments within the Division of Literature and Languages.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Two 200-level English courses in different genres (Literature 266, when offered, may be used to fulfill this English department requirement, as well); one semester of the junior seminar; at least three other 300- or 400-level English courses at Reed, one of which may be in creative writing or literature in translation; English 470. One of the English courses aside from the junior seminar and English 470 must be in literature prior to 1700.
  2. Each student must pass a junior qualifying examination before beginning the thesis. The qualifying exam is generally taken at the end of March or at the beginning of April, over a weekend in the spring semester of the junior year, although it is offered also at the beginning of each semester. The exam usually consists of three parts, the first two involving questions about a piece of fiction and a critical or theoretical essay (both of which are handed out to be read before taking the exam). There is generally also a question about a poem or poems, copies of which are sometimes not available in advance. Students are given a weekend over which to work on the qualifying exam, although no more than six hours are to be spent writing on the examination questions.
  3. Departmental courses are open to first-year students only with the consent of the instructor. This will be permitted only on very rare occasions. Students wishing to enroll in a particular course and lacking the prerequisite for it should consult with their adviser and the course instructor.

The department recommends that all majors take at least one course in each of the principal literary genres: poetry, drama, and fiction. 200-level courses are intended primarily but not exclusively for sophomores.

English Course Descriptions



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