Loyola University Maryland

Department of English

Course Descriptions

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English majors and minors should consult course cycle before registering for any course.

English majors and minors are encouraged to complete the advising template (PDF) before meeting with their academic advisors. Those who choose to register online might consider filling out the document in Word, saving it to a file, and then e-mailing it to their advisors as part of the "permit to register" request.




EN 097 Internship in Public Schools
EN 098 Internship in Private Schools
EN 099 English Internships

Students interested in pursuing an internship must meet with Dr. Cole. Written or electronic permission of the instructor is required. Students may take one internship class for degree credit. It will count as an elective, not as a course fulfilling requirements for an English major or minor.


EN 101: Understanding Literature

EN 101 is an introduction to the serious, college-level study of literature. It seeks to give students an understanding of imaginative writing, means for reading this writing perceptively, and basic principles for making interpretive judgments. While there is no common text for EN 101, all instructors share the goal of bringing students to an enriched awareness of the power and beauty of our language and of its potential as an expressive and persuasive tool. The course is, therefore, writing intensive, and seeks to teach students to develop their writing skills with particular attention to the crafting of analytical argument.

A small number of EN 101 sections are theme-based, meaning that in addition to serving as an introduction to literary study as described above, they are organized around a particular theme. These are described in detail below:

Understanding Literature: Villains, Rogues, and Wastrels
EN 101.01 and EN 101.08 and EN 101.10
MWF 9:00-9:50 MWF 12:00-12:50 MWF 1:00-1:50
Professor Benjamin Jude Wright

From Breaking Bad, to Dexter, to Scandal contemporary media is filled with protagonists of dubious moral character. This class will explore these issues of villainy and moral corruption from a number of angles. Why do characters like Walter White, or Macbeth, or even the devil appeal to us? What do we learn from examining the troubling psychologies of such figures? What do they say about the cultures they emerge from? We will tackle these questions and more in a variety of literary genres including fiction, poetry, and drama. Along the way we will focus on the nuts and bolts of literary analysis and seek to become more astute readers and critics of literature. In order to do this, students will learn the formal properties of literature and develop skills in close-reading and critical analysis. Students will learn to situate themselves within the critical conversation and become participants in the on-going dialogue about the texts we read. Our villainous (or at least morally dubious) texts will include selections from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, poems by Robert Browning, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (amongst other works).

Understanding Literature - First Encounters and the Literary Imagination
EN 101.03 and EN 101.06
MWF 10-10:50 MWF 12-12:50
Professor Dan Mangiavellano

In this class, students will learn analytic strategies central to understanding and writing about literature. Reading assignments, writing prompts, and class conversation will consistently emphasize links between critical reading and written argumentation. Students will develop a critical vocabulary for literary analysis while practicing writing and argumentative skills that will contribute to thoughtful, nuanced arguments about (1) how a piece of literature works and (2) why an argument about literature matters to a broad, non-specialized audience. This is a writing-intensive course, and our goal will be to develop clear, sophisticated arguments that are not only technically precise, but evocative in their scope and ambition. Through reading, discussion, and writing about poetry, prose, and drama, students will cultivate the creative and analytic habits necessary for producing clear, complex, and coherent arguments.

To this end, our course theme will focus on representations of “first encounters” in literature and culture. Reading assignments will emphasize “first encounters” between or among races, genders, and populations. In this class, we use reading and writing assignments to explore provocative connections between literature, the human condition, and tenets of cura personalis at Loyola University Maryland. Our theme will remind us throughout the semester of the dynamic between a writer and an audience—an especially important “first encounter” for all writers to keep in mind.

Understanding Literature
EN 101.15
TTh 1:40-2:55
Professor Carol Abromaitis

The literature of the West reflects the rich history of Western civilization that extends from tenth-century B.C. Greece to twenty-first-century A.D. America. As we read together the poetry and drama of the past five-hundred years and the prose fiction of the past century, we will address how a literary work of art expresses the relationships of human beings with God and with each other; how it portrays love and indifference, fidelity and betrayal, virtue and sin, life and death. We will emphasize close reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing as well as a mastery of critical terminology.
With conscientious and informed efforts students can discern much of the meaning that authors present in their work. Rather than succumb to the solipsism or narcissism that infuses so much of contemporary culture, readers can come to see that they do not make reality; it exists separate from them and is available to them. They need not live under the tyranny of relativism.

Major Writers: English Literature -- Why Satan Matters, or Sympathy for the Devil
EN 201.01, 201.02
TTh 12:15-1:30, TTh 1:40-2:55
Professor Giuseppina Iacono Lobo

The character of Satan holds a prominent place in the western literary tradition, conjuring up fear and fascination within—and sometimes even sympathy from—readers past and present. In this course, we will chart the development of the satanic from its biblical roots up through 20th-century British literature. Along the way, we will consider how Satan transforms from God’s innocuous minion in the Book of Job to an eerie presence nearly indistinguishable from the human in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Satan will take on various roles over the course of the semester, playing the archfiend in Milton’s Paradise Lost, a rebellious hero for the Romantics, and the only escape from patriarchal society for Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes. More importantly, with each revision of Satan’s character follows a revision of his relationship to human nature. How do literary representations of the satanic interrogate the limitations placed upon the human, whether divine, natural, or social? Why for the authors on our syllabus must the transcendence of those limitations be satanic, perilous, and yet for some characters too good to resist? How does each text’s adaptation of the satanic reveal both the destructive and productive potential of “evil”? Finally, as we will ask ourselves all semester, why does Satan matter?

Major Writers: English Literature
EN 201.03
MW 3-4:15
Professor Erin Wilson

Upon meeting Lord Byron in 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb famously declared him “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” This sentiment did not stop her from having an affair with him, subsequently stalking him after he ended their relationship, and eventually writing a book about him. In this course, we will ask ourselves why we find ourselves fascinated by wickedness, to the point of admiration, sympathy, and even love. From Byron’s exploits to Breaking Bad’s Walter White, we often find ourselves captivated by tales of bad men committing wicked and often unspeakable acts, sometimes hoping for their redemption and, other times, being drawn in further when they get worse. We will see many examples of “bad men” across this semester, some with good intentions, some charming, and some monstrous. Beginning with Lord Byron, the original bad man of English Literature, we will move through England’s Romantic, Victorian, and Modern eras, ending with the contemporary speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood. Required assignments include quizzes, short papers, a library research assignment, a longer paper, and a midterm exam.

Major Writers: English Literature – Faith and Doubt: Religious Crises in Modernity
EN 201.04
MW 3-4:15
Professor Benjamin Wright

The Post-Enlightenment period was a time fraught with anxiety from many sources. A primary challenge for many people in this culturally shifting world was a religious challenge. How could one believe in God in a world rocked by the violence of the French Revolution, naturalized by the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, and made dizzyingly complex by the technology of the Industrial Revolution? For many people the world around them began to seem less like a well-ordered cosmos with a benevolent creator at its center and more like an incoherent mess ruled by chance. In this class we will examine the way major British writers from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries respond to these anxieties as they seek to grope through the darkness to find something to hold on to. We will encounter numerous responses to the tough questions that these cultural shifts prompt and study writers who find ways to express their doubt, examine their beliefs, and even reaffirm their faith. Major writers we will examine include William Blake, William Wordsworth, Emily Brontë, Bram Stoker, and Graham Greene (and many others).

Major Writers: English Literature
EN 201.05
MW 4:30 - 5:45

Major Writers: American Literature
EN 203.01D and EN 203.03D
MW 3-4:15, MW 4:30-5:45
Professor June Ellis

Focusing on the ways writers develop a language and a literary form that is distinctively American, this EN203D course examines the ways authors present diversity and solidarity as founding principles of the United States. We examine writers from many differing communities, creating an ongoing investigation into the way people define themselves and others. Many of the writers we read provide distinct but complementary perspectives on personal and national identity: for example, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage create innovative literary forms that depict the way slavery affects both black people and white people. Though the books are written nearly 100 years apart, and though one writer is black and the other white, the works share common ground in experimenting with ways to tell stories that promote freedom and justice. The course offers a strong foundation in both time-honored American fiction, drama, and poetry, and contemporary multi-ethnic classics.

Major Writers: American Literature – Three Decades of New York City
EN 203.02
TTh 1:40-2:55
Professor Jean Lee Cole

New York has inspired great works of literature, nurtured many of the country’s greatest writers (and destroyed some of them), and shaped the nation’s literature. Works written about the city—one of America’s most prototypical yet most anomalous--also reflect abiding concerns regarding the effects of industrialization and urbanization, immigration, and social reform. We will explore literary representations of New York during three of its most formative decades: the 1850s, the 1890s, and the 1920s, tracing both the evolution of the city and of American literature. Course requirements: active participation in discussion (in-class and online); two short papers (2-3 pages each); research paper (8-10 pages); midterm; final.

Major Writers: American Literature
EN 203.04 and EN 203.05
MW 3-4:15 MW 4:30-5:45
Professor Madeleine Monson-Rosen

Despite seeming to be two disciplines quite distinct from each other, American literature and American science have, according to one scholar, “permeable boundaries.” This class will investigate the interconnections enabled by that permeability, examining the interrelationships and mutual influences in literature and science. From Poe’s purloined letter, to the evil computer Hal 9000, to Mumbo Jumbo’s jazz virus, we will explore together the ways in which literature and science reckon with each other, especially as both disciplines become increasingly dominated by discourses of information. Primary texts include works by Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Jorge Luis Borges, and Ishmael Reed as well as the films 2001 and Moon. Secondary texts include historical accounts and works of literary criticism. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the ways in which literature intervenes in the discourse of the sciences, structuring and shaping it, yet always maintains a connection to the human.

Major Writers: Shakespeare
EN 205.01 and EN 205.02   Strange Bedfellows
TTh 12:15 – 1:30 TTH 1:40-2:55
Professor Lou Hinkel

Shakespeare’s plays are so good that they can speak for themselves, right? This course will go one better. Shakespeare’s plays are so good that they can speak with and to the concerns of others: other times and places, other tribes and tribulations, other fields and endeavors. Ever wonder what the discussion might sound like between a 16th century Jewish financier and one of our contemporary corporate gurus? Or what a boy playing a girl dressed as a boy playing herself might have to say to a pair of male musicians on the lamb disguised as women in an all-girl band? Or what advice a couple of star-crossed lovers could get from an evolutionary psychologist? Or how a disgraced Roman general might have a thing or two to teach one of the new centurions of the American empire? We’ll pair Shakespeare’s plays with prominent works from other disciplines (business management, theology, film, psychology, foreign affairs) and put them in active conversation, encouraging each to talk back to the other. Requirements include reading quizzes and a handful of short reflection papers, a midterm exam, a performance scene and research essay, and a final project.

Major Writers: Classical Mythology
EN 211.01/CL 211/01
MWF 11-11:50
Professor David Jacobson


Shakespeare I
EN 310.01
MW 3-4:15
Professor Thomas Scheye

“He doth bestride the narrow world/ Like a colossus.” The way Cassius describes Julius Caesar can apply to Shakespeare as well. And not only because his achievement towers over nearly all other authors’ in our language. It is also because of the nature of that achievement: Shakespeare does more than write plays; he creates a world—one where the characters seem to come alive and the language becomes part of our patrimony, our common inheritance as English speakers. This course focuses on Shakespeare’s history plays, where he lays the foundation for that world, and the major tragedies, where it finds its fullest expression.

Seminar in Renaissance Literature: Shakespeare’s Rivals
EN 317.01
TTh 4:30-5:45
Professor Bryan Crockett

Shakespeare’s brilliance can easily blind us to the constellation of other bright lights who illuminated the late Tudor and early Stuart stage as well as the page. This seminar will explore the remarkably evocative plays and poems by some of Shakespeare’s friends and rivals. Focusing on some of the period’s great tragedies and comedies as well as the finest lyric poetry, we’ll likely read Christopher Marlowe’s funny and frightening Doctor Faustus, John Marston’s metadramatic The Malcontent, Ben Jonson’s hilarious Volpone and Bartholomew Fair, Thomas Middleton’s lurid The Revenger’s Tragedy, Middleton and William Rowley’s treachery-filled The Changeling, and John Webster’s brilliantly twisted The Duchess of Malfi. We'll also read poems by some whose mastery of the craft rivaled Shakespeare's: Marlowe, Jonson, and John Donne. Requirements will include presentations, a research paper, and a final exam.

Seminar in Romantic Lit: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: Romanticism and the Gothic Tradition
EN 347.01
MWF 1-1:50
Professor Dan Mangiavellano

“Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” was how Lady Caroline Lamb described Lord Byron in 1812, but it could just as easily describe the heroes, heroines, and villains populating the Gothic novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. In this seminar, we will study the literary conventions of Gothic poetry and prose from Horace Walpole through the Romantic period, and ask to what extent the Gothic tradition exchanges social justice and ethics for the thrills and chills of the supernatural and sentimental. Such questions will help us situate the Gothic within eighteenth-century literary history, and trace its subsequent influence on the development of British Romantic literary theory and aesthetics. Why does Romanticism have such a tenuous relationship to the Gothic? If the Gothic is as morally and ethically bankrupt as early Romantics would seem to think, why do later poets and novelists like Percy and Mary Shelley, Byron, and Keats return to Gothic tropes? Ultimately, let’s ask why readers (then and now) find so much pleasure in getting scared and what this tells us about our own tastes and habits. Texts may include selected poetry from the Graveyard Poets/Boneyard Boys, Walpole’s Castle of Otranto, Radcliff’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Lewis’s The Monk, Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Percy Shelley’s St. Irvyne, or The Rosicrucian, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and a wide variety of poetry and plays from Coleridge, Keats, Byron, and Joanna Baillie, among others. (Expect Edgar Allan Poe to make a series of guest appearances in celebration of Baltimore’s own gothic literary history)

Topics in Victorian Literature: The Brontes—Wild at Heart
EN 361.01
T-Th 3:05-4:20
Professor Gayla McGlamery

They were an unusual family—three sisters and a brother who grew up in an isolated Yorkshire village with only servants’ gossip, their father’s books and journals, and their own extraordinary imaginations to entertain them. Over the course of their short lives, Branwell produced little more than some juvenilia and a number of bad paintings, but Anne, Emily, and Jane left distinctive marks upon the literary world, publishing at least five novels of note, among them three acknowledged masterpieces. In this seminar, we will study five Bronte novels—Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Villette, along with selected poems and early writings. We will examine these strange and wonderful works in the context of the Bronte’s lives, their reading, and the literary, religious, and political movements that define the late eighteenth and early-to-mid-nineteenth century. We will also view at least one film adaptation. Requirements: one group presentation, a 12-15-page paper, a midterm, and a final—occasional homework assignments

Literature and the Catholic Imagination: Chesteron, Lewis, and Tolkein
EN 365.01
TTh 12:15-1:30
Professor C.N. Abromaitis

Fulfills requirement of Catholic Studies minor.

One of the most fruitful literary friendships of the twentieth century was that of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, both of whom were greatly influenced by G. K. Chesterton. All three confronted the result of the deracination of modern man: the tyranny of solipsism and relativism. Their novels and stories are imbued with the sacramental imagination: the vision of nature as a bridge between humans and God. In their rejections of materialism and Gnosticism these authors create worlds that force their readers to see what they have merely been looking at, to listen to what they have merely been hearing. We will read Tolkien’s The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King; Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength, and Till We Have Faces; and Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday and a selection of Father Brown short stories. Requirements include a mid-term, a final, a research presentation, prepared questions distributed to the class, and a term paper.

The Civil War in American Literature
EN 367.01
TTh 10:50-12:05
Professor Jean Lee Cole

The Civil War rent the nation apart 150 years ago, but we’re still licking our wounds. How do we remember a war that many of us would prefer to forget? Writers from the past and present—including Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, William Faulkner, E. L. Doctorow, and Natasha Trethewey—have characterized the war as an unmitigated tragedy, a promise fulfilled, an exercise in folly. What does the Civil War mean to you? Come explore what it means to “Never forget!” Course requirements: active class participation, weekly 1-page response papers, midterm, final.

Post-Colonial Literature: Homelands
EN 384.01
W 6:30-9
Professor June Ellis

The first step towards changing reality is to re-describe it (Salman Rushdie, following Richard Wright). Working from this urgent premise, the writers in this course work to discover what it means to be at home in the world, in language, in culture, in spirituality, in creativity, in ourselves. Who gets to describe reality? The answer affects what we make of ourselves and our future. Readings in this course present world-expanding definitions of honor, of compassion, and of justice. Likely writers include Chandra, Rushdie, Achebe, Mukherjee, Wendt, Hau'ofa, Gilbert. Blogs, oral presentations, two exams, good-humored discussion; service-learning option available.

Seminar: Modern Classic Revisions: Contemporary Rewritings of Canonical Texts.
EN 399.01
TTh 1:40-2:55.
Professor Mark Osteen.

Oscar Wilde once quipped, “It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything.” This course will consider the most purposeful form of such annexation: paired texts that embody what David Cowart calls “literary symbiosis,” in which an author borrows the characters or story from a previous text and rewrites it from a different angle. Wouldn’t you liked to know how Mr. Rochester’s first wife became a madwoman? If Grendel, from Beowulf, has a story of his own? In this course, we’ll answer such questions by pairing classic literary texts with their contemporary rewritings. These couplings will allow us hear and see what the original texts suppressed, particularly the voices of women, slaves and “monsters,” to gain new perspectives on such typical postmodern practices as parody and pastiche, and to consider whether true originality is possible or even desirable.

Paired texts will include those cited above, as well as Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day, two versions of Frankenstein, and As I Lay Dying coupled with Suzan-Lori Parks’s Getting Mother’s Body. We’ll end with Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. These books are, as James Joyce put it, “the last word in stolentelling!”

Students will give an oral presentation, write a seminar-length paper, post online responses to each pairing, watch selected films and read some critical essays on theories of intertextuality. For a complete list of texts, please e-mail Dr. Osteen: mosteen@loyola.edu.


EN 409.01 (by invitation only): Books of Conscience
TTh 9:25 – 10:40
Professor Giuseppina Iacona Lobo

What more binding then Conscience?” John Milton, Of Reformation (1641)

Conscience is a knotty term. Coming from the Latin con-scire, “conscience” literally means to know with. This definition alone leaves much to the imagination: to know what? and with whom? This semester, we will consider works rife with questions of conscience, beginning with literature inspired by the English Reformation, King Henry VIII’s notoriously scrupulous conscience, and Sir Thomas More’s painstaking conscience. Along the way, we will encounter various attempts to define, pin down, liberate and even standardize this elusive construct: conscience is a witness, a guide, a judge, a “deity in my bosom,” or even a book; conscience can wield a thousand tongues, or be the locus of Christ’s Second Coming; conscience can be free or bound; and conscience can simulate within the sinner the fires of the deepest hell, or, within the faithful, the feeling of paradise itself.

As we tease out our own definition(s) of conscience, we will consider books (and plays, and poems) of conscience written by well-known authors such as Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne and Milton, alongside some of the lesser-known, yet influential, works of their contemporaries. Our syllabus will also be punctuated with iterations of Henry VIII’s “Great Matter,” and that of his Lord Chancellor-turned-traitor, Sir Thomas More, including entries from John Foxe’s seminal Book of Martyrs, Shakespeare and Fletcher’s Henry VIII, Anthony Munday, Henry Chettle, and (possibly) Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More, and even Robert Bolt’s 1954 smashing success, A Man for All Seasons. How might these impulses to look back to this foundational moment act as a barometer of conscience’s development through the years of the English Renaissance up through the Revolution, and even to the present-day?

Finally, our semester-long endeavor will be to produce our very own book of conscience, an original artifact representing our grapple with this knotty term and its various manifestations. Other assignments will include class presentations, short papers, Feast-planning, and perhaps even a debate or two.