English

Chair: Mick Cochrane, PhD

Introduction

The English major is structured to help students build their reading, writing, and critical skills, as they gain broad exposure to British and American literature and develop a particular interest within the field of English studies. Two-hundred level courses, usually taken in the sophomore year, are organized around a particular literary genre or theme and emphasize literary analysis. ENG 299 introduces majors to critical methods and theoretical approaches to reading and writing, providing a gateway for studying literature at the upper-level. Courses numbered 300 and above are typically based in literature from a particular historical period and usually focus on a tradition, issue, or topic vital to English studies. These more advanced courses often require student presentations, critical approaches, and researched papers. Finally, an English capstone seminar helps students synthesize skills and knowledge from their coursework and reflect upon the meaning and value of their English major.

For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please see our English department website.

Qualifications

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in English.

Advisement

All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Major advisors are normally assigned in the sophomore year, but may be requested in the freshman year to supplement a student's freshman advisor (their GRIF 101 facilitator). Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.

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

Minors

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

Internships

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.

Co-Curricular Activities

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, 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

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.

English Honors 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 critical essay or creative project, 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. You can read more about the program on the English Honors website

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

ENG 299Introduction to English Studies3
English 300 level Shakespeare: (one)3
English 300 level British Literature before 1800: (one)3
English 300 level American Literature before 1900: (one)3
English 200 level or 300 level Writing/Rhetoric: (one)3
ENG 450English Capstone Seminar3
200-level English electives: 2 courses6
English Major electives: 4 courses (3/4 at 300-level)12
Total Credits36

Prerequisites for 200-level and above English courses: FYS 101 and ENG 101, or permission of the department chair. Acting courses (I and II) carry no prerequisites and are open to freshmen.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

Sophomore
FallSpring
200-level English electiveENG 299
200-level English electiveWriting/Rhetoric or Major elective
Junior
FallSpring
ShakespearePre-1800 British Literature
Pre-1900 American LiteratureWriting/Rhetoric or Major elective
Senior
FallSpring
Major ElectiveEnglish Major Senior Seminar
Major ElectiveMajor Elective

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary continuity through attention to different literary genres, literary traditions, historical periods, or national literatures.

Students will:

  • Objective A: Students will evaluate literary works within specific genres, traditions, periods, or national literatures;
  • Objective B: Students will evaluate literary works across specific genres, traditions, periods, or national literatures.

Student Learning Goal 2

Students will demonstrate an understanding of literary texts as works of art.

Students will:

  • Objective A: Analyze literary works through carefully selected textual examples;
  • Objective B: Analyze literary works in terms of literary language or structure;

Student Learning Goal 3

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the role of literary criticism in shaping the meaning and significance of literature.

Students will:

  • Objective A: Incorporate critical sources appropriately into their writing;
  • Objective B: Integrate critical sources effectively into their analysis of literature;
  • Objective C: Situate their interpretation of literature in terms of critical issues or theories;
  • Objective D: Students will use MLA bibliographic and citation style.

Student Learning Goal 4

Students will demonstrate writing skills commensurate with the development of a clear thesis, logical organization, appropriate use of evidence, and command of English grammar and usage.

Students will: 

  • Objective A:   Students will demonstrate the ability to introduce a literary topic and assert a thesis;
  • Objective B:    Students will demonstrate the ability to use evidence to make a point about literature;
  • Objective C:    Students will demonstrate the ability to develop an argument about literature with coherent paragraphs;
  • Objective D:   Students will demonstrate the ability to develop an argument about literature with a logical overall structure;
  • Objective E:    Students will demonstrate the proper use of grammar and punctuation, as well as versatility with vocabulary and sentence structure.

For non-majors only. The Minor is a six-course sequence that includes many of the basic requirements for English majors.

English 200 level Elective Course (one)3
ENG 299Introduction to English Studies3
English 300/400 level British Literature course (one)3
English 300/400 level American Literature course (one)3
English 300 level Shakespeare course (one)3
English 200/300/400 level Writing/Rhetoric (one)3
Total Credits18

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 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.

Restriction: none (open to any student, including freshmen).

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts), Oral Communication

ENG 148 Acting II 3 Credits

Continuation of Acting I.

Restriction: none (open to any student, including freshmen).

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts), Oral Communication

ENG 201 Poetry 3 Credits

Introductory survey of poetry for majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 202 Drama 3 Credits

Introductory survey of drama for majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 205 Varieties of the Essay 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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

ENG 208 Novel 3 Credits

Introductory survey of the novel for majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 211 Science Fiction 3 Credits

Survey of science fiction for majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 213 Word and Image 3 Credits

Focuses on the formal and thematic elements of literary texts, films and texts composed of both words and images.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 218 Literature and Medicine 3 Credits

Surveys a range of Western cultural literary representations of health and disease, emphasizing the different power positions occupied by patient, caretaker, and doctor. Open to majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 219 Literature and Psychology 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. Open to majors and non-majors.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 220 Contemporary Catholic Fiction 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.

Prerequisites: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 223 Images of Women in Literature and Film 3 Credits

Representations of women as major characters in literature and film.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 224 The Journey in World Literature 3 Credits

Explores the concept of the journey in international literature from a number of cultural and intellectual perspectives.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts), Global Awareness

ENG 225 The Journey in American Literature 3 Credits

Explores the concept of the journey in American Literature to examine the multi-cultural character of the United States.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Diversity, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 233 The Quest in Medieval Literature 3 Credits

The theme of the quest focuses this survey of medieval literature which includes texts from Anglo-Saxon poetry, the French Lais, and the Arthurian legends. The class also considers how these Medieval texts have been adapted in contemporary film and the stage.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 285 Animals in Film and Literature 3 Credits

This advanced writing-intensive course enables students to explore and evaluate representations of animals, as well as how those representations signify human uses and understandings of animals, in a range of literary texts and films.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 294 Introduction to Creative Writing 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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 301 British Literature I 3 Credits

A survey of British literature from Medieval times through the Seventeenth Century.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 305 Age of Shakespeare 3 Credits

A survey of poetry, prose, and drama in the vibrant English Renaissance.

Prerequisites: FYS 101 and ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Offered: spring of odd-numbered years.

ENG 306 Eighteenth Century Literature 3 Credits

A survey of the poetry and prose of major British authors in the "long" eighteenth century.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 308 Nineteenth Century British Literature 3 Credits

A survey of the major works and authors of the Romantic and Victorian periods.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 315 American Literature I 3 Credits

Studies the formation of a national literature from origins to 1900 through a diversity of American writers. (Diversity).

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Diversity

ENG 316 Revising the American Renaissance 3 Credits

The course looks at a prolific period in American Literature from 1820-1865 examining romanticism, sentimentality, the slave narrative and periodical literature.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 319 Special Topics in American Literature 3 Credits

The study of a particular theme, mode or period, such as "Captivity Narratives" and "The Rise of the American Novel." Topics vary semester to semester.

Prerequisites: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 322 Shakespeare I 3 Credits

Introductory survey for majors. Plays drawn from the categories of comedy, tragedy and history.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 323 Shakespeare II 3 Credits

Works selected with emphasis on specific themes, structures, or styles. Shakespeare I is not a prerequisite.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 339 Southern Literature 3 Credits

Studies twentieth-century literary fiction from the U.S. Southern region in terms of Southern history and culture, especially the legacy of the institution of slavery and the Civil War. Authors include William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, and others.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Diversity

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Oral Communication

ENG 365 English Core Capstone 3 Credits

Themed courses that integrate core curriculum attributes and skills. For majors and non-majors. Topics vary by semester and have recently included "Culture and Conflict: Re-Interpreting World War I," "Memoir: Individual and Culture," and "Post-Colonial Literatures".

Prerequisites: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Core Capstone

ENG 368 Native American Literature 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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Diversity, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 369 Contemporary American Fiction 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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 381 Postcolonial Literature 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, or Ireland.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Global Awareness

ENG 382 African American Literature 3 Credits

A survey of major writers and historical trends in African American literature from the time of slavery to the present.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Diversity, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

ENG 383 Reseach Writing: Process and Product 3 Credits

Intensive practice in all stages of research paper writing, including developing a topic, defining a purpose, finding credible sources, annotating a bibliography, and drafting the paper. A formal oral presentation of research is also required.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

ENG 385 Persuasive Writing 3 Credits

Analysis and construction of arguments. Readings on issues in law, politics and education.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

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.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 389 Business Communication 3 Credits

Practice in writing letters, memos and reports, with models and strategies offered for each form.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

ENG 391 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction 3 Credits

Workshop for experienced writers in fiction.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of B in ENG 294 or permission of instructor.

ENG 392 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry 3 Credits

Workshop for experienced writers in poetry.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of B in ENG 294 or permission of instructor.

ENG 393 Advanced Creative Writing: Memoir 3 Credits

Workshop for experienced writers in memoir.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of B in ENG 294 or permission of instructor.

ENG 396 English Honors Seminar 3 Credits

English Honors seminars are 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. Majors do not need to be in the English Honors Program to take this course.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

ENG 411 Playwriting 3 Credits

The playwriting process. Brief review of dramatic technique and theory, followed by working through the process from germinal idea to finished playscript.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Field 3 (Literature and the Arts)

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 or subject. Topics vary by semester.

Prerequisite: FYS 101 & ENG 101, or permission of the department chair.

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.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of B in ENG 294 or permission of instructor.

ENG 497 English Honors Thesis 3 Credits

The honors thesis is a long paper, written on a topic of the student's choosing under the direction of a faculty mentor, the culmination of a semester's reading, researching, and writing.

ENG 498 Internship 3 Credits

Internships are by application only and must be approved by the associate dean.