Gordon College logo

English Courses

Requirements

Students with a major or minor in English must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all coursework in the major or minor.

Historical Courses

Literary Studies Courses

4 credits are required from each of the following categories.

    Literature before 1800

    British Literature after 1800

    American Literature after 1800

    ENG 347 may count towards American Literature after 1800 or Representational Ethics, but not both.

    Representational Ethics

    ENG 347 may count towards American Literature after 1800 or Representational Ethics, but not both.

    Writing and Rhetoric Courses

    8 credits required.   Only one of  COM 217 or  COM 317 can count toward the Writing and Rhetoric requirements and/or the Creative Writing Concentration.  ENG 419 can count towards Writing and Rhetoric or the Senior Capstone, but not both.

    Vocation/Internship Courses

    2 credits required.

    Senior Capstone Courses

    4 credits required.ENG 419 can count towards Writing and Rhetoric or the Senior Capstone, but not both.


    ENG 140A: Nobel Literature (4 credit hours)
    First awarded in 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature represents the acme of literary artistry, and, in the words of Alfred Nobel, is given to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.” Considering not a particular text but a writer’s oeuvre (a writer’s work regarded collectively), the awarding committee, the Swedish Academy, bestows this honor for the tremendous contributions which the writer has made to the world of literature and which also have “conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.” In this course, we will study texts by authors from several different countries and continents, with the aim of developing both an appreciation for their respective texts and represented cultures and also an understanding of how literature can enable us to transcend our own borders. Course texts will include the genres of poetry, drama, short fiction, and the novel. For students on the pre-2016 core, this course fulfills the core literature requirement and the Global Understanding requirement of the thematic core.

    ENG140B: Immigrant Literature (4 credit hours)
    What does it mean to leave home? In this course, we will engage with stories of people who have migrated, either to a new country, or to a new cultural context. Some of these stories are about people who choose to migrate, hoping for a better life elsewhere, and some of them are about people who are forced to leave. We will explore the migration of Koreans to Japan in the middle of the twentieth century in the novel Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, and we will read Yaa Gyasi’s sweeping novel, Homegoing, which traces one family line from 17th century western Africa to the beginning of the 21st century in the U.S. In between, we will read about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, about immigrant families in the U.S. from Mexico and China, and about the migration of Native Americans and African Americans within the U.S. We will interrogate the usage of the word “immigrant” to describe the literature we read, thinking together about the various meanings of home, family, ethnicity, nationality, and religious identity that we encounter. We will also explore the layered meanings of home and exile for Christians, as the history of God’s people is marked by migration, beginning in the Garden.

    ENG140C: Contemporary Nobel Authors and their Peers (4 credit hours)
    In this course, we’ll be looking closely at a wide range of literature from many countries, including Canada, China, Egypt, Poland, Russia, South Africa and the U.S. We’ll be looking at literature that deals with themes crucial to the present as well as the past, from racism to suffering to identity. We’ll work hard to gain a deeper understanding of how to read and respond to fiction and poetry. As readers who are both part of contemporary U.S. culture and a particular Christian sub-culture, we’ll also seek to gain a deeper understanding of the many cultural contexts that impact literature. Short response writings and class discussions will allow you to consider the works as we read them, and oral presentations will help you to build your knowledge of the authors’ worlds. A final essay will challenge you to consider two of the authors’ work in greater depth, but we’ll break the essay down into a step-by-step process to build your confidence in writing essays. For students on the pre-2016 core, this course fulfills the core literature requirement and the Global Understanding requirement of the thematic core.

    ENG140D: TBA (4 credit hours) 

    ENG140E: Cast-Offs and Castaways: Fictional Tales of Survival (2 credit hours)
    From Robinson Crusoe to Life of Pi, castaway narratives and other tales of survival have long captured readers’ imaginations. In addition to feeding our desire for adventure, such stories raise important questions about human nature, good and evil, our relationship to the natural world, and our confrontations with the “other.” Through an examination of fictional narratives of cast-offs and castaways from around the globe, this course will explore the evolution of the survival fiction genre, its differing perspectives on human motivation and achievement, and its historical role in both perpetuating and challenging various political and cultural ideologies. We will also consider how these stories of survival reflect and respond to their authors’ distinctive cultural contexts.

    ENG 140A: Climate Fictions: Literature in a Time of Climate 
    Climate fiction (or “cli-fi”) is a growing genre of literature that imagines the present and future impacts of climate change on the earth and its inhabitants. Many (but not all) works of climate fiction grow out of the wider genres of science fiction and speculative fiction, which also consider alternate worlds and narrate possible futures for humanity. In this course, we will read works of fiction and scientific writing that engage with climate change in various ways, seeking to understand the relationship between human culture and the earth’s climate. As we examine this diverse, interdisciplinary group of texts, we will consider the relationships between scientific and literary communities, appreciate the creativity and imagination involved in science, and reflect on literature’s ability to critique and assess the role of science in culture. In this course, our central questions will be: How can literature represent climate change (something so gradual, and yet so huge, that can feel like it is beyond our ability to understand or respond to it)? Can literature shape our conceptions of the earth and our role in caring for it? How are writers from diverse cultures narrating their experience of climate change? For students on the pre-2016 core, this course fulfills the core literature requirement and the Natural World requirement of the thematic core.

    ENG 140B: Magical Realism
    Magical realism is a global genre of fiction that uses experimental narrative techniques to tell stories in striking and unsettling ways. According to critic Roger Holland, magical realist texts “re-imagin[e] ‘reality’ in ways that challenge readers to deconstruct both text and the contexts in which they live. A ‘book’ classified as magic realism tells its stories from the perspective of people who live in our world and experience a different reality from the one we call reality.” In magical realism, the supernatural becomes an unremarkable, unquestioned part of reality, while aspects of ordinary life are rendered strange and extraordinary. We will read novels and short stories from different cultural contexts – South America, North America, South Asia – to compare the ways these writers use magical realist techniques and the effects they have for us as part of their global audience. For students on the pre-2016 core, this course fulfills the core literature requirement and the Global Understanding requirement of the thematic core.

    ENG 140C: Nobel Literature
    Established in 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature is given each year by the Swedish Academy to an author who, in the words of Alfred Nobel, has “produced the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency” and whose body of writings has “conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” Hailing from numerous countries around the globe, Nobel recipients have formulated diverse answers to the “big” questions that most interest us as members of the human race, including questions about God, community, art, oppression, identity, and suffering. In this course, we will explore the works of Nobel novelists, poets, and dramatists as we grapple together with what unites and divides us as people from different backgrounds and cultures, and as we consider how, if at all, literature may foster greater understanding between people. For students on the pre-2016 core, this course fulfills the core literature requirement and the Global Understanding requirement of the thematic core.

    Seniors who maintain at least a 3.50 GPA in the major (with no grade lower than a B) and a 3.0 GPA overall may apply to graduate with honors in English Language and Literature upon completion of major requirements. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop an independent study with a substantial research project in literature or creative writing, culminating in a written honors thesis delivered to the departmental faculty and students in the fall or spring of the senior year. See the department chair for further details.

    With departmental advice non-majors may design a 20-credit English minor with courses selected from 200- through 400-level English courses. ENG 202 and ENG 203 are required for the minor. Students with a minor in English must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all coursework in the minor.