Courses & Curriculum
Curricular Requirements for the Major:
Core: All students complete Core Curriculum requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.
|ENG 299 Introduction to English Studies||3|
|ENG 300 level Shakespeare: (one)||3|
|ENG 300 level British Literature before 1800: (one)||3|
|ENG 300 level American Literature before 1900: (one)||3|
|ENG 200 level or ENG 300 level Writing/Rhetoric: (one)||3|
|English major capstone seminar||3|
|200-level English electives: 2 courses||6|
|English Major electives: 4 courses (3/4 at 300-level)||12|
In addition to the classroom experience, internships in local businesses, arts, non-profit and social service oriented organizations prepare majors for careers in all areas where effective communication and understanding are essential, such as teaching, writing, law, social work, mass media and public relations.
Additional department activities, designed to make literature a more integral part of the academic and creative life of English majors and other members of the college community, include The Quadrangle literary magazine, the English Council, Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society) and the Canisius College Contemporary Writers’ Series. Also available for students are The Griffin college newspaper and the Little Theatre.
Additional Course Considerations:
English Honors is a flexible program designed to offer interested and motivated English majors the chance to earn honors designation by participating in innovative seminars and working with a faculty mentor in the writing of an original thesis.
The program requires three courses: two seminars and a thesis. The seminars are unique courses, limited in enrollment, designed by faculty around especially engaging questions, topics, and texts. Some are interdisciplinary; some involve both critical and creative writing; others are organized around a particular period, theme, critical approach or major writer. Typically one English honors seminar is offered each semester. The honors thesis is a long paper, written on a topic of the student’s own choosing under the direction of a faculty mentor, the culmination of a semester’s reading, researching and writing. To read more about the Honors program, visit the English Department website.
Students interested in the creative writing major, should visit the creative writing requirements page.
Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements:
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|Sophomore||200-level ENG Elective
200-level ENG Elective
|ENG 299 (3)
Writing/Rhetoric or Major Elective
|Junior||Shakespeare||Pre-1800 British Literature
Writing/Rhetoric or Major Elective
|English Major Capstone Seminar
Dual majors involving English are available in a large number of areas, including creative writing, communication, history, modern languages, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and biology. Interested students should consult the chairs of both departments. With the permission of both chairs, inter-disciplinary courses may be used for credit toward the major requirements in both departments.
Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may
decide to declare a minor in addition to their major.
The English Department offers four minors:
|The Writing Minor: 5 courses (for majors and non-majors)|
|ENG 401||Texts, Context, and Subtext (offered every other spring)||3|
|ENG 498||Internship (one of the student's choice, with advice of a faculty supervisor)||3|
Electives: Chose three of the following. No more than one of the following courses may be taken for the minor: ENG 294, ENG 342, ENG 411, ENG 426
|ENG 205||Varieties of the Essay||3|
|ENG 294||Creative Writing||3|
|ENG 342||Writing Young Adult Fiction||3|
|ENG 385||Persuasive Writing||3|
|ENG 388||Literary Publishing||3|
|ENG 389||Business Communication||3|
|ENG 402||Creativity and Composition Theory||3|
|ENG 426||Advanced Playwriting||3|
Creative Writing Minor: 5 courses (For both majors and non-majors. A five
course program that provides interested students the opportunity to learn and practice the fundamentals of writing stories, poems, essays and plays. For more information on Creative Writing at Canisius, please visit the Creative Writing website.)
|ENG 294||Introduction to Creative Writing||3|
|ENG 490||Creative Writing Capstone||3|
Required: Three of the following courses:
|ENG 342||Young Adult Fiction||3|
|ENG 388||Literary Publishing||3|
|ENG 392||Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry||3|
|ENG 426||Adavanced Playwriting||3|
|ENG 494||Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction||3|
|ENG 496||Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir||3|
Theatre Arts Minor: 5 Courses (For both majors and non-majors. A five-course sequence that includes course work in acting and production as well as in dramatic literature and playwriting. Student may chose among.)
|ENG 346||Introduction to Theatre||3|
|The Theatre Experience
Theatre Arts Elective
|ENG 426||Advanced Playwriting||3|
|ENG 299||Introduction to English Studies||3|
|ENG 3XX||American LIterature Course (300 level)||3|
|ENG 3XX||British LIterature Course (300 level)||3|
|ENG XXX||A Shakespeare Course||3|
|ENG XXX||A Writing Course||3|
|ENG XXX||English Elective (200 or 300 level)||3|
ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing 3 credits
Designed to help improve proficiency in English composition. Involves frequent writing, practicing strategies for gathering ideas, drafting, revising and editing, and reading/studying prose models.
ENG 101 Writing about Literature 3 credits
Introduces students to the study of literature as a creative expression of ideas. Students will sample literary work from the major genres (poetry, fiction, drama, literary nonfiction). They will develop a literary vocabulary, hone their critical and analytical skills and practice the writing process, including completion of a research assignment.
ENG 147 Acting I (Field 3) 3 credits
Introduction to the art of acting. Through lecture and practice in acting assignments in class, students gain understanding of the actor’s role in theater.
ENG 148 Acting II (Field 3) 3 credits
Continuation of Acting I.
ENG 201 Poetry (Field 3) 3 credits
Introductory survey of poetry for majors and non-majors.
ENG 202 Drama (Field 3) 3 credits
Introductory survey of drama for majors and non-majors.
ENG 205 Varieties of the Essay (Field 3, Advanced writing Intensive) 3 credits
Practice in writing several kinds of essays. Readings will provide models for writing on topics such as interpersonal relationships, cultural values, politics, nature and the environment. Special attention given to writing style.
ENG 206 Art of the Essay (Field 3) 3 credits
Survey of the essay as a literary form. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 211 Science Fiction (Field 3) 3 credits
Survey of science fiction for majors and non-majors.
ENG 212 Classic English and American Novel (Field 3) 3 credits
Novels chosen to represent main developments in form and theme. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 213 Word and Image (Field 3) 3 credits
Focuses on the formal and thematic elements of literary texts, films and texts composed of both words and images. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 220 Contemporary Catholic Fiction (Field 3) 3 credits
Study of novels and short stories by Catholic American writers from 1950 to the present, such as Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Mary Gordon and Andre Dubus.
ENG 221 Hallowed Houses in American Literature (Field 3, Diversity, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
American literature that emphasizes place as embodied in houses-haunted or otherwise esteemed. Open to majors and non-majors. American Lit II credit for majors.
ENG 222 Vampires in Literature and Culture (Field 3, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
The image of the vampire in English and American literature and culture, covered in a range of literary and other aesthetic genres and historical periods. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 223 Images of Women in Literature and Film (Field 3) 3 credits
Representations of women as major characters in literature and film. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 224 The Journey in World Literature (Field 3, Global Awareness, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Explores the concept of the journey in international literature from a number of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 225 The Journey in American Literature (Field 3, Diversity, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Explores the concept of the journey in American Literature. Open to majors and non-majors.
ENG 285 Writing and Animal Studies: Representations in Film and Literature (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
This advanced writing-intensive course enables students to explore and evaluate representations of non-human animals, as well as how those representations signify human uses and understandings of non-human animals, in a range of literary texts and films. Some knowledge of or interest in animal behavior strongly recommended.
ENG 243 Comedy and Humor (Field 3) 3 credits
A course for enjoying and thinking critically about a great variety of texts, ranging from single-sentence jokes to stage plays and novels.
ENG 294 Introduction to Creative Writing (Field 3, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Workshop in the fundamentals of poetry and fiction writing, focusing on the close study and discussion of both student manuscripts and professional texts.
ENG 299 Introduction to English Studies 3 credits
Introduction to the essentials of literary analysis and interpretation. Focusing on the rigorous analysis of poetry, prose narrative and drama chosen from different historical periods, the course will stress writing with critical awareness about literature. Required of all English majors.
ENG 303 Medieval Literature 3 credits
A survey of the major voices of medieval British literature centering on Chaucer.
ENG 305 Seventeenth Century Literature 3 credits
A survey of the poetry and prose of major British authors from the Renaissance to the Restoration.
ENG 306 Eighteenth Century Literature 3 credits
A survey of the poetry and prose of major British authors in the “long” eighteenth century.
ENG 307 English Gothic Novel 3 credits
Characterized by opposing forces: knowledge and mystery, good and evil, the beautiful and the sublime, light and dark, these novels often dramatize psychological, social and sexual conflict.
ENG 308 Nineteenth Century British Literature 3 credits
A survey of the major works and authors of the Romantic and Victorian periods.
ENG 309 Modern and Contemporary British Literature 3 credits
A survey of representative figures and genres in British literature of the twentieth-century and beyond.
ENG 311 Women Writers 3 credits
Works by women writers from all periods and backgrounds. (WST)
ENG 312 American Women Poets: Reading and Writing (Field 3) 3 credits
Practice in reading and writing poetry, as well as critical interpretation. Emphasis on women poets from 1950s to present. (WST)
ENG 313 Literature and Psychology (Field 3) 3 credits
Focuses on the convergence of the disciplines of literature and psychology, especially the ways in which psychology has drawn on literary genres, techniques and motifs. (WST)
ENG 314 Chaucer 3 credits
Studies the major works, including The Canterbury Tales.
ENG 315 American Literature I (Diversity) 3 credits
Studies the formation of a national literature from origins to 1900 through a diversity of American writers.
ENG 316 The American Renaissance (Diversity) 3 credits
The course looks at a prolific period in American Literature from 1820-1865 examining romanticism, sentimentality, the slave narrative and periodical literature.
ENG 317 Heroes and Heroines in American Literature 3 credits
A study of uniquely American heroic types, including the Alger hero, the western hero and the picaresque hero. Representative texts studied in detail, in historical and cultural context.
ENG 318 Modern American Novel 3 credits
A study of representative modern and contemporary American novels.
ENG 319 Special Topics in American Literature 3 credits
The study of a particular theme, mode or period, such as “Captivity Narratives,” “Fictions of the Real,” and the “Roaring Twenties.” Topics vary semester to semester.
ENG 321 Child and Adolescent Hero in American Literature 3 credits
Examines child and adolescent heroes in American literature from post-Civil War period to the present. Texts explore major themes in American literature, from Mark Twain on.
ENG 322 Shakespeare I 3 credits
Introductory survey for majors. Plays drawn from the categories of comedy, tragedy and history.
ENG 323 Shakespeare II 3 credits
Works selected with emphasis on specific themes, structures, or styles.
Shakespeare I is not a prerequisite.
ENG 324 Reading and Writing in Early America 3 credits
This course explores pre-Civil War writers and the audiences of their texts in terms of the social and cultural significance of literacy and literary production. (WST)
ENG 325 British Women Writers 3 credits
A survey of British women writers in different genres and historical periods.
ENG 330 The Bible as Literature (Field 3) 3 credits
A study of the Bible as literary text and cultural source, integrating film, painting and sculpture as representations of biblical images for interpretation.
ENG 331 Studies in Irish Literature 3 credits
An historical survey focused mainly on twentieth century Irish writers. An aim of the course is to define Irish literature and identify its distinguishing features.
ENG 332 Literature of Anglo-Saxon England 3 credits
Covers the period from roughly 800 to 1100, with Beowulf dominating the course. Other works include “The Wanderer,” “The Dream of the Rood” and excerpts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and prose pieces.
ENG 333 James Joyce’s Ulysses 3 credits
Semester-long seminar in the study of the novel.
ENG 342 Writing Young Adult Fiction 3 credits
Combines the study and the practice of the genre, reading and writing. Students study young adult novels in order to gain a sense of the variety of approaches and techniques available to a writer of YA fiction and, in a workshop setting, students propose, draft, revise, and edit YA stories of their own.
ENG 346 Introduction to Theater (Field 3) 3 credits
The collaborative efforts of theater, play and audience to create the theater experience. Exploration of the development of modern theater from its ritualistic roots to modern times.
ENG 347 English Novel I 3 credits
Studies a range of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century novels and their contexts, including both experimental works and traditional domestic tales.
ENG 348 English Novel II 3 credits
Major British novels from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
ENG 350 The Theater Experience 3 credits
Up close and personal experience in theater production through attendance at professional plays in the city, and hands-on experience in reading and producing short works in the classroom. Intro to Theater (Eng 346) recommended as a pre-requisite but not required.
ENG 351 Theater Arts Elective 3 credits
Aspects of theatrical production, performance and direction. Topics vary by semester.
ENG 361 The Literature of Service (Field 3) 3 credits
Develops connections between literary works and various forms of community service. Requires that students perform community service as part of the course. (SL)
ENG 364 Short Fiction (Field 3) 3 credits
Detailed investigation of various modes of short fiction to develop students’ ability to read, comprehend and appreciate short fiction through an understanding of its techniques.
ENG 368 Native American Literature (Field 3, Diversity) 3 credits
A survey of contemporary Native American literature, covering major and lesser-known authors. The course traces the origins of traditions, both thematic and structural. (WST)
ENG 369 Contemporary Fiction (Field 3) 3 credits
Study of recently published novels and short stories, exploring the formal and thematic range of new fiction and focusing on the contemporary issues it reflects. (WST)
ENG 370 Beauties and Beasts 3 credits
Multiple versions of the beautiful and the ugly in nineteenth-century British literature, stemming from the fairy tale and rooted in changing views of good and evil, sexuality, the growth of science and industry and other massive cultural shifts.
ENG 37 1 Special Topics in Drama 3 credits
Selected plays chosen by the instructor to elucidate the nature of the dramatic genre or sub-genre, or to study a specific historical period, such as modern Irish drama.
ENG 372 Charles Dickens 3 credits
An in-depth examination of the major works, life and times of one of the most important British novelists of the nineteenth century.
ENG 373 Jane Austen 3 credits
Studies the novels along with literary criticism and other eighteenth century texts in order to understand Austen and her time.
ENG 374 Interdisciplinary Studies 3 credits
Selected works chosen by the instructor to examine the connections between English or American literature and other disciplines.
ENG 375 Studies in Literary Criticism 3 credits
Selected works studied in the context of critical theory, aesthetics, or the history of literary criticism; for example, “New Historicism and 19th Century American literature” or “Cultural Studies and the Cold War.”
ENG 376 Film as Literature (Field 3) 3 credits
An exploration of the relationship between two distinct aesthetic forms: film and literature. The course relies heavily on the original written text and then explores the film director’s interpretation of the literary work.
ENG 378 The City in American Literature (Diversity) 3 credits
The city as the focus for literary representation in the American tradition.
ENG 381 Postcolonial Studies 3 credits Post World-War II literature from areas of the globe that have recently emerged from European colonization; may include literature and film from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean, Ireland.
ENG 382 African American Literature (Field 3, Diversity) 3 credits
A survey of major writers and historical trends in African American literature from the time of slavery to the present.
ENG 385 Persuasive Writing 3 credits
Analysis and construction of arguments. Readings on issues in law, politics and education.
ENG 388 Literary Publishing 3 credits
A practicum combining the study of the history of the literary magazine in America with the practical work of editing The Quadrangle, the Canisius College literary magazine.
ENG 389 Business Communication (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Practice in writing letters, memos and reports, with models and strategies offered for each form.
ENG 392 Advanced Creative Writing Poetry 3 credits
Workshop for experienced writers in poetry. Prerequisite: ENG 294 or permission of instructor.
ENG 396 English Honors Seminar 3 credits
Any student may take one or more of the seminars. Seminar topics vary each semester.
ENG 401 Texts, Contexts and Subtexts (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
The dynamic of rhetorical situations. Observations/ practical writing in rhetorical theory, writing process theory, writing and thinking, sociocognitive theory. Writing is both creative and analytical. (WST)
ENG 402 Creativity and Composition Theory (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
A writing theory course that addresses a variety of composing patterns and strategies found in the invention, development and revision of writing for different purposes and audiences.
ENG 411 Playwriting (Field 3, Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
The playwriting process. Brief review of dramatic technique and theory, followed by working through the process from germinal idea to finished playscript.
ENG 426 Advanced Playwriting (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Further exploration of the playwriting process, with attention to a variety of dramatic modes and styles.
ENG 450 English Capstone Seminar 3 credits
A culminating experience where students apply critical skills and knowledge gained from their English major coursework to an intensive study of a particular literary theme, topic, author, or genre. Topics vary by semester.
ENG 490 Creative Writing Senior Capstone 3 credits
Focus on preparation of a portfolio of polished work, creation of an artistic statement, submission of professional work, and career opportunities for writers.
ENG 494 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction (Advanced Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Workshop for experienced writers in fiction. Prerequisite: ENG 294 or permission of instructor.
ENG 496 Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir (Advanced Creative Writing Intensive) 3 credits
Workshop for experienced writers in memoir. Prerequisite: ENG 294
ENG 497 English Honors Thesis 3 credits
ENG 498 Internship 3 credits
ENG 499 Independent Study 3 credits
Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, department chair and associate dean.