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Fall Course Descriptions

ENG 210 | Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing | Dr. Luke Redington

This course provides theoretical and practical approaches to technical communication. As an introductory course, it welcomes interested students from all disciplines. Its first major unit, “What Is Technical Writing?,” gives students the opportunity to identify and describe the powerful role technical communication is currently playing in their own lives. In the second unit, “Technical Writing and the Law,” students will use primary documents from an actual court case to navigate a realistic workplace scenario. The third unit, “Technical Writing and the Cutting Edge of Science,” gives students experience in the key skill of making technical concepts understandable to public audiences. This course fulfills a Writing and Rhetoric requirement and is a required course for the professional writing concentration.

ENG 331 | Medieval Literature | Dr. Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger

Geoffrey Chaucer’s title as “the Father of English Literature” is well-deserved. Long before Shakespeare or Milton, before the rise of the novel, The Canterbury Tales demonstrated the unique insight literature can provide into human character and human community. The Tales, with its motley collection of characters, each of whom tells their own story, reveals the impossibility of disinterested discourse. Each of Chaucer’s characters is presented, in the General Prologue, as a particular and interested individual, and as they tell their tales to the group, we as readers get to see their investment, preoccupations, and concerns. In addition to reading and discussing The Canterbury Tales, this course will culminate in a class project that creates a fictitious story-telling competition (just like the one Chaucer created) that takes place at Gordon College. Who might we want our tellers to be? How might we learn to both investigate and appreciate tale telling today? This course fulfills the Literature before 1800 requirement.

ENG 337 | Contemporary British Literature | Dr. Andrew Logemann

This course focuses on British literature published from 1980 to the present. As we consider literary texts from this period, we will be especially interested in British constructions of identity—that is, how issues of gender, race, class, transnational migration, and postcolonial displacement shape literary representations of the United Kingdom and its commonwealth nations. We will have three primary objectives. The first is to introduce you to the literature of the contemporary period and to help you develop a historical and cultural understanding of the central writers of the era. Together we will read these authors carefully, discuss the value of their techniques and ideas, and seek to understand how their contributions shaped art and culture in the late 20th, and early 21st, centuries. As we explore the rich literature of the contemporary period, we will develop the critical tools and historical understanding needed to comprehend and appreciate this challenging, but rewarding, group of texts. We will also situate our conversations about these texts and authors within the larger discourse of literary theory and criticism. This course’s second objective is to teach you how to formulate good questions in the discipline of literary studies, to generate strong arguments in response to these questions, and to support your arguments with relevant evidence and research. You should have learned the basics of making arguments about literature in previous courses; my goal in this course is to equip you to take your skills to the next level. The final objective of this course is to explore why writing, reading, and studying literature continues to matter in our contemporary world. If you are interested in thinking about how literature addresses modern cultural issues, and how art shapes, and is shaped by, our contemporary world, you will find this set of authors very engaging. This course fulfills the British Literature after 1800 requirement.

ENG 345 | American Romanticism | Dr. Andrea Frankwitz

Reacting against the Age of Reason, Romantic writers elevate emotion and intuition and celebrate the imagination.  This course will be a study of how nineteenth-century American fiction writers, autobiographers, poets, and essayists tackled the extraordinary issues of their day (such as women's rights, race relations, and religious upheaval) and addressed their own competing value systems. We will examine some of the heavy hitters and lesser-known figures of the Romantic Age to learn why this period between 1820 and 1865 has been dubbed as the "great flowering of American literature." This course fulfills the American Literature after 1800 requirement.

ENG 380 | Tutoring: One to One | Dr. Luke Redington

ENG 380 combines theory and practice to train excellent writing center tutors. As an introductory course, it assumes no prior knowledge of writing center theory or practice; rather, it provides rigorous engagement with the history, practices, and major ideas that have shaped writing centers around the world and here on campus. Upon completion of ENG 380, students are eligible to apply to be peer tutors in the Tupper Writing Center at Gordon College or to apply for positions at Gordon’s Career Connection Institute. This course fulfills a Writing and Rhetoric requirement and counts towards the professional writing concentration. 

ENG 491 | Senior Seminar: The Future of Reading | Dr. Andrew Logemann

In this course, we will explore the practice of reading in American culture. As we consider our current reading methods, their relationship to those of the past, and their implications for those of the future, we will discover much about the affiliation between reading and technology. We will begin by thinking about the history of this association, investigating the extent to which nearly everything about a book, from the alphabet used to form its words, to the printing press used to mass-produce it; to the scroll, codex, or digital file upon which it is printed, is a technology. We will also take note of the strategies through which writers and their texts enable, resist, or offer commentary upon the symbiotic relationship between reading and technology. After anchoring ourselves in this history, we will use the insights we glean from the past to articulate our present understandings about the value of books and reading, and to consider the ways in which technological innovations may change our future relationships to these things. Among the questions that will guide our inquiry are the following: What is the relationship between reading and our culture of information? How is reading related to cognition? Are digital technologies changing the way we read and study literature? What do we gain, and what do we lose, when we employ different reading practices? What does the future hold for the practice of reading in the digital age? In this course, we will read works of literature alongside the work of historians, literary and cultural critics, and others as we generate our own insights about the past, present, and future of reading. In so doing, we will practice applying humanities research skills to real-world problems, and developing our ability to think critically about cultural ideas and practices. This course fulfills the Senior Capstone requirement.

ENG 140A & B | Nobel Literature | Dr. Andrea Frankwitz (4 credits)

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. 

ENG 140C | Orphans and Others: A Place in the World | Prof. Lori Ambacher (4 credits)

In this course, we’ll be exploring literature that examines the theme of finding a place in the world. Why is the theme of belonging somewhere, and to someone, so important to humans? We’ll be looking at literature that is familiar to you, along with some that is not, reading novels, stories, poetry, movies and passages of scripture that follow the lives of orphans and others who aren’t always welcomed by society—underdogs, if you will. We’ll also be working to make connections between these literary sources. Short response writings and class discussions will allow you to consider the works as we read them, while oral presentations will help you to build your knowledge of the authors’ worlds. A longer essay will challenge you to consider two of the authors’ work in greater depth, and a final reflective essay will ask you to make deeper connections between your own life, your faith, and one of the pieces you read over the course of the semester. Research presentations will allow you to explore a real topic related to one of the course’s novels, such as the actual orphan trains. 

ENG 141 | Western Literature | Prof. Alex Miller (4 credits)

This course, subtitled “The Order of Myths,” explores Western Literature from a particular angle: the development, reuse, and reinterpretation of Greek mythology by western and non-western writers over the centuries. Though our readings progress in loosely historical order, this is not a "history of literature" course. Instead, it is organized according to a theme: plagiarism. Beginning with Homer, the development of literature in the West has involved creative retellings of certain myths. Shaped and contorted by the assumptions and contexts of each author and generation, myths are the spine of western literature. They constitute a common narrative currency that unites western literature’s many tribes, languages, and epochs, and even forms a point of entry for non-westerners to begin interacting with western ideas. By studying the appearance and reappearance of these myths over time, you will develop a sense of the images, characters, and themes that have haunted all exchanges in the history of western culture. But, if you are paying attention, you will also notice how individual authors’ personalities have been just as important as the myths themselves: it is not just the tales that matter, but the telling and the teller. Western Literature is the product of a unique mixture of corporate and individual influences, of myths (for which we can never locate an original author) and interpreters (the well-known authors who, again and again, have made those myths memorable and relevant). By paying attention to the way western myths have been ordered and reordered over time, my hope is that you will learn to appreciate the unique collisions of style and substance that characterize the western heritage.

For a complete list of the literature, composition, and creative writing offerings this semester, see the fall course schedule.

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