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Course Detail

Course list for Introduction to Literature

English 110 satisfies the Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric requirement.
Check schedule to determine which course is being offered.

Fall 2018

ENG 110 A Introduction to Environmental Literature (=ENV 210)


(Cross-listed as Environmental Studies 210.)  An introduction to global environmental literature.  We'll focus primarily on short fiction, novels, and non-fiction prose.  The course will introduce students to environmental justice issues as well as contemporary trends in global literature.  Literary and environmental topics include toxicity, waste, food, inequality, the idea of "wilderness," and activism.  No prior experience studying literature is required.

Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Humanities Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor

ENG 110 B World's Greatest Short Stories


This course examines the history and development of the modern short story and its various subgenres through a close reading of texts from many authors and cultures.  The course also gives some attention to the ways short stories are currently evaluated and allows the option of submitting creative work.

Counts as an Innovation course for the English major.

Spring 2019

ENG 110 A - Literary Monsters



ENG 110 B - Graphic Medicine:  Drawing Disability


Why is the graphic novel literary? And why has it become an immensely popular site for the representation of illness, disability, and medicine?  In this Introduction to Literature class, we'll start with the premise that the unique intersection of word, color, image, text, and juxtaposition offered by the graphic novel offers authors singular opportunities for storytelling. We will further ask: what do comics, zines, and graphic novels have to teach us about our varied kinds of embodiment, particularly about disabled bodies? We will consider how these visual texts teach us about how bodies engage with the social and medical contexts surrounding them. Encompassing everything from bipolar disorder to cancer, depression to HIV/AIDS, epilepsy to deafness, and end-of-life issues to amputation, possible course works may include Epileptic, Cancer Vixen, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, and Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo, and Me. 

Counts as an Innovation Course for the major.
Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor

OTHER TOPICS (not offered in current academic year):

ENG 110 Shakespeare & Sports

Contemporary sports and Elizabethan theater have much in common. Both present spectacles, before a rowdy audience, in an arena. Both involve rehersal and scripted performance. Both require guides, whether a director or a coach. Both create rivalry, whether between teams or acting companies. Most important, both center on stories that thrive on the essential, exhilarating, and painful human experience. Like Shakespeare's plays, sports history yields instances of extraordinary heroism and of heart-breaking mistakes. Real athletes find reflection in many of Shakespeare's best known characters. Take, for instance, Dale Earrnhardt, Jr., whose larger-than-life father haunts him as King Hamlet's ghost haunts his son. Andre Agassi's second chance at tennis recalls The Tempest's Prospero, who is exiled from and returns to dominate another court. This class explores how such moments and people in sports find reflection in Shakespeare's works.

ENG110 - Introduction to Comedy


This course offers an overview of the comic tradition in English, from the Middle Ages to the present, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to Arrested Development.  Although humor will be a recurring feature of some texts and of most class meetings, this course traces how comedies respond to inescapable challenges of human life:  social and political structures as apparent obstacles to the desires of individuals; the body and its failings, to the point of death; art, particularly comedy, as a reassuring (or maybe deceptive) refuge of happy endings that can seem elusive in life.  Different eras respond differently to those challenges, so the course offers a broad survey of literary and cultural history.  Over the semester, students and professor alike will look for comedy in surprising places, including in the form of the course itself, certain to end happily, before it has even begun.

ENG 110 - Media & Community
From Walt Whitman's broad embrace of American readers in the 1860s to the digital social networks of today, this course examines how various media form communities of readers and writers. We will investigate how lyric poetry creates one kind of intimacy between author and reader, how blogs establish another, and how the NBC television comedy Community builds its own cult following. Davidson College meets Greendale Community College in a course that teaches you how to read, analyze, and respond critically and creatively to various forms of media. 


ENG 110 Growing Up in America

S. Campbell

In this course, we will consider young adult fiction both from various critical perspectives and within various readerly contexts.  Over the semester, we will:

  • Review a brief history of the genre from 1860 to 2000;
  • Explore shifting perceptions of gender, sexuality, and coming of age in the United States;
  • Discuss in what ways ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status impact expectations about maturation;
  • Consider how reviews of and responses to young adult texts reflect contemporaneous assumptions about the purposes of literature.

Satisfies an elective requirement in the English major.
Provides elective credit in the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor.
Satisfies a Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Rhetoric distribution requirement.


ENG 110 Literature & Medicine


Science and medicine have indelibly influenced how we understand and respond to the physical and mental state of being human.  We will consider how an appreciation of literary texts and the questions they broach give us a different insight into the human condition and affect our awareness of health, addiction, illness, disease, suffering, recovery, and death.  In doing so, we will also pay close attention to the cultural coding of these issues, as we examine how gender, class, race, sexual orientation, or other cultural biases color our perceptions of health, disease, suffering and death.

Counts for the Health and Human Values Interdisciplinary Minor