Courses

Pitt-Johnstown English Literature

ENGLIT 0040 ESL Reading Skills 2 credits

An advanced reading course for non-native speakers of English, emphasizing the type of reading required in University-level course work. Students will also improve reading speed and expand their English vocabulary. This course cannot substitute for any other ENGLIT course. Prerequisite: Consent of the Instructor.

English Literature

ENGLIT 0055 Survey Of English Literature                 3 credits          

This course is especially designed for prospective English majors to acquaint them with the major works in English literature from its beginning through the 18th century. 

ENGLIT 0056 Survey Of English Literature 2          3 credits

Traces the development of English literature from the beginning of the romantic period to the present.

ENGLIT 0080 Narrative Literature             3 credits

Traces the course of narrative literature from the epic through the novel, with an emphasis on the search for form.

ENGLIT 0088 Introduction To Literature                 3 credits

This course explores the literary devices writers use to produce texts and readers use to interpret them. Although texts may change from section to section and instructor to instructor, they always stimulate investigation into reading and writing as ways of knowing.

ENGLIT 0311 The Dramatic Imagination    3 credits

This course introduces students to the major dramatic forms and compares the ways playwrights from several centuries use ideas, characters, and theatrical contexts. Students will consider how social, historical, and dramatic contexts influence interpretations and evaluation—or may lead to alternative understandings of a play.

ENGLIT 0316 Reading Poetry       3 credits

By studying various kinds of poetry from a number of sources, this course introduces students to particular forms of poetry and kinds of poetic language. Because poetry invites very close reading, students will explore various techniques for making sense of poems.

ENGLIT 0326 Short Story In Context           3 credits

This course studies short stories that explore a variety of themes. It seeks to define the short story as a specific literary genre and to distinguish it from earlier forms of short narrative literature. It then examines the effects of literary, cultural, and historical traditions on these stories and their reception.

ENGLIT 0345 Literature And The Environment    3 credits

In this course, students will read and write about the environment and its issues as expressed through literature. Readings in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction will explore how the geography of a location influences the character of its inhabitants and how the forces of nature affect their lives and fortunes. Writing will consist of personal and critical short essays as well as a longer essay/project involving independent readings and research.

ENGLIT 0351 Gender Studies      3 credits

This course is designed to offer interested students an opportunity to broaden their awareness and understanding of gender in contemporary American and global cultures in relation to the historical trajectories that shape and provoke current issues and events. The course provides a solid grounding in the critical understanding of both the representations of gender in texts of various media and the relationship of such representations to the culture that produces and receives them. A series of text selections, including primary and secondary essays of theory and criticism that explore particular ways of looking and primary texts of literature that contain representations to be analyzed, will be examined in their historical, intellectual, and literary contexts, considering a variety of critical approaches.

ENGLIT 0355 Digital Humanities                   3 credits

The course will introduce students to the emerging field of digital humanities by exploring the contemporary theories of social media, by designing a website, studying digital texts and objects, examining fictional personae within virtual environments, and investigating virtual worlds as spaces of creation, inquiry, political upheaval, and social change.

ENGLIT 0365 Literature And The Contemporary                 3 credits

This course examines contemporary cultural expression across a range of forms and media. It investigates the contemporary as both a complex reworking of past narratives and traditions and as the production of the experimental and the new.

ENGLIT 0368 The Literature Of Science       3 credits

In this course, we will read and appreciate many fine texts in which scientists explain and meditate upon what they do, as well as literary texts depicting science in thought provoking ways.  This will include essays written for scientists and for non-specialists, communicating many aspects of scientific thought, sometimes as salutary warnings to the non-scientists among the readership, and at other times allowing scientists to communicate thinking to one another beyond their scholarly articles and books. 

ENGLIT 0530 Film Analysis           3 credits

This course introduces students to the art of cinema and to the techniques for its formal and iconographic analysis. It examines the nature of shot composition and visual framing, the use of color, the role of lighting as a pictorial element, the potentials of camera movement, the modes of editing and the nature of image/sound montage. It also introduces students to dominant cinema forms—narrative, experimental, documentary, etc.—and connects the cinema to visual arts (like painting and sculpture).

ENGLIT 0574 American Literary Traditions I          3 credits

An introductory course that draws on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to trace characteristic features and consistent concerns that shaped the development of a distinctly American literature. Begins with the religious/economic argument of the first-generation European migration, moves through the literature of the politically charged Colonial era, and closes in the mid-19th century and the initial expressions of a national literature.

ENGLIT 0575 American Literary Traditions II        3 credits

An introductory course that draws on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to explore the characteristic features and shared concerns that shaped the emergence of American literature into international prominence. Begins with the emergence of realism in post-Civil War industrial America, moves through the literature of two world wars and the economic and social revolutions of the 20th century, and closes with the defining concerns of the contemporary era.

ENGLIT 0576 Major African American Writers     3 credits

This course offers a broad introductory survey of African American literature. It investigates thematic, formal, historical, or cultural topics in African American literature, examining writers from major periods such as the Harlem renaissance and the contemporary era. The course considers the relationship of social history and literature; the insights these writers furnish us about black consciousness, the black self, black perception, and the black vision; and the distinctive qualities of black literary and cultural traditions.

ENGLIT 0581 Introduction To Shakespeare           3 credits

This course will focus on a number of Shakespeare's major plays from all phases of his career. Class discussion will consider the historical context of the plays, their characterization, theatrical technique, imagery, language, and themes. Every attempt will be made to see the plays both as poems and as dramatic events.

ENGLIT 0598 Bible As Literature                3 credits

This introductory course acquaints students with what is in the Bible and provides background information drawn from various disciplines about the elements and issues that give it its distinctive character. Attention is necessarily given to its religious perspectives, as they govern the nature and point of view of the biblical narratives, but no specific religious view is urged.

ENGLIT 0616 Literature And Migration   3 credits

This course reads various reflections on the immigrant's experience of separation or exile, the problems of encountering a new society, and the processes of acculturation.

ENGLIT 0625 Detective Fiction   3 credits

This course examines detective fiction in terms of its history, its social meaning and as a form of philosophizing. It also seeks to reveal the place and values of popular fiction in our lives.

ENGLIT 0626 Science Fiction       3 credits

This course introduces students to the major ideas, themes, and writers in the development of science fiction as a genre. Discussions will help students understand and use critical methods for the analysis of science fiction. The topics covered include problems describing and defining the genre, contrasting ideologies in Soviet and American science fiction, the roles of women as characters, readers, and writers of science fiction.

ENGLIT 1021 History Of Literary Criticism             3 credits

This course concentrates on the major developments in the history of literary thought and criticism from Plato to modern and postmodern developments. The major documents of literary criticism are studied in relation to the contexts—historical, cultural, and philosophical—that gave rise to these responses. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1106 Middle English Literature                  3 credits

The major works of English literature of the 14th and 15th centuries, exclusive of Chaucer, will be read in the original Middle English. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1111 The Renaissance In England              3 credits

A study of the historical background as well as the important social, political, and literary developments in 16th-century England. Authors range from More to Spenser to Marlowe. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1116 Chaucer     3 credits

This course closely examines major works by Chaucer—The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. Students will view Chaucer's work in its historical, social, artistic, and intellectual contexts. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1120 Restoration And 18th-Century Literature   3 credits

Deals with the main literary developments of the period, excluding the novel. Emphasis is on the major figures from Dryden to Goldsmith.

ENGLIT 1129 Advanced Shakespeare      3 credits

This course assumes a basic understanding of Shakespeare’s dramatic genres and poetic techniques. Students will read and research roughly seven plays, applying to the plays critical theory, performance theory and practice, and textual analysis.

ENGLIT 1130 17th-Century English Literature      3 credits

A study of important ideas and forms in 17th-century England from Donne through Milton. Emphasis is on Milton's major works. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1155 18th-Century Novel              3 credits

Explores the literary and historical conditions that gave rise to the development of the novel in 18th-century England. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1171 The Romantic Period           3 credits

Studies the work of those major writers—from Blake through Keats—that constitutes British romanticism. It explores the social, intellectual, and aesthetic concerns of this movement and its relationships with its British and European cultural contexts. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1175 19th Century British Literature        3 credits

A study of the major writers and cultural issues of 19th Century Britain situated in relation to the social and intellectual developments of the time.  Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1182 Victorian Literature                3 credits            

Studies the poetry of Tennyson, the Brownings, Clough, Arnold, the Rosettis, Meredith, Morris, Swinburne, Hopkins, and Hardy. Attention will also be given to a sampling of prose of the period. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1200 American Lit To 1860            3 credits

This course surveys literature produced in America before the Civil War. In the process it explores the historical, political, social, and cultural factors that affected the development of that literature. It examines the work of writers who saw themselves as powerful framers of the national experience yet fearful they would have little effects on a culture confronting problems of slavery, divisiveness, literacy, economic change, immigration, etc.

ENGLIT 1210 American Renaissance        3 credits

This course surveys the flowering of American literature during the first half of the nineteenth century. It analyzes the struggle of American writers to develop a new national literature.

ENGLIT 1239 Special Topics In American Literature          3 credits

Treats topics relevant to American literature. Topics vary, but will include the literature of a specific era or region; the achievement of a specific writer or school of writers; ethnic and/or gender studies; film and literature studies; specific thematic topics; genre studies; and/or close readings of influential texts. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1242 20th-Century Poetry            3 credits

The works of such poets as Pound, Frost, Eliot, Williams, Auden, and Dylan Thomas, together with more contemporary poets, such as Rich, Levertor, Snyder, Forche, Lowell, and Snodgrass, are considered. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1246 African American Literature             3 credits

Explores the emergence and consolidation of African American literary traditions. Uses fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Focuses on the aesthetic and political considerations of defining such a tradition. Traces the historic development from the Colonial age and the rise of slavery through Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era, closing with contemporary concerns of the post-civil rights movement. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1248 Literature Of Minority Women       3 credits

Through a close study of literary works by minority women writers of North America, particularly African/Asian American writers, the course intends to help students develop a clear understanding and a critical appreciation of these different "strands" in North American culture.

ENGLIT 1252 20th-Century American Literature                 3 credits

Examines significant American writings published from 1900 to World War II, specifically American literature's response to two world wars, the introduction of narrative experimentation, economic booms and busts, the scientific revolution, political radicalism, the women's movement, the emergence of ethnic literatures, and the beginning of the nuclear age. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1253 Contemporary Poetry          3 credits

A study of works by poets who have been active since World War II to the present. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1260 American Poetry    3 credits

Examines select poets and signature texts that represent the defining elements of American poetry from the Puritan era to the present. Emphasizes shared themes and concerns as well as those formal experiments that have come to distinguish American poetry. By permission of instructor only. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1294 Form And Theory   3 credits

This advanced seminar explores the interconnections between the disciplines of literature and creative writing. Students will study the history, criticism, and craft of modern and/or contemporary literary works. Through critical and creative writing assignments, students will engage these texts as both writers and readers.  Cross listed with ENGWRT 1294.

ENGLIT 1301 19th-Century Novel              3 credits

Deals with the rise of the English novel of the 19th century. The authors include Austen, Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, the Brontes, George Eliot, Hardy, and Butler. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1312 The 19th-Century American Novel 3 credits

Tracks the emergence of a defining American novel from the early years of the Republic through the political and social upheavals of the Civil War and through the issues specific to a new industrial and economic power at the close of the century. Includes texts that represent the romance, psychological realism, experimental impressionism, naturalism, and urban and regional realism. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1320 The 20th-Century Novel     3 credits

A study of the various transformations of the traditional novel in contemporary British and American fiction. Conrad, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, Hemingway, and Faulkner are among the writers to be studied. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1326 The Modernist Tradition    3 credits

This course examines major works in the modernist tradition—poetry, fiction, drama—to determine the role these texts have played in creating the world that seems so familiar now. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1360 Topics In 20th-Century Literature   3 credits

Considers thematic, formal historical or cultural topics in late 19th- and 20th-century literature. It ties these issues to critical and social concerns in international modernism and postmodernism. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1365 Contemporary American Literature              3 credits

Explores works that represent the defining literary movements of American literature from 1950 to the present, including post-Hiroshima realism, postmodernism, posthumanism, cyber-realism, and post-postmodernism. Offers historical perspective on post-war American intellectual culture by examining the era's defining theoretical/literary models. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1371 Makers Of Modern Drama      3 credits

Concentrates intensively and comparatively on plays written by late-19th and early-20th century continental, English, Irish, and American dramatists. Plays selected will reflect major dramatic movements of the period (realism, naturalism, symbolism, expressionism) and will be analyzed not only by theatrical characteristics but also in relation to their dramatic, critical, and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1381 World Literature In English               3 credits

This course examines modern literature, written originally in English, produced in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, etc. It pays particular attention to its depiction of social, political, and moral concerns. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1420 Major American Dramatists              3 credits

This course considers the full range of American drama, but emphasizes the development and achievement of American theater in the last 100 years. It focuses on the major movements, the formal experimentations, the defining voices, and the distinguishing themes of American theater. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1500 Independent Study              1–6 credits

To be arranged in consultation with instructor. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1553 History Of The English Language    3 credits

A survey of the linguistic development of English from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. Attention given to basic linguistic structures and discursive practices and to the social and historical conditions under which they change. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1630 American Dream    3 credits

An interdisciplinary examination of the American dream of success and the myth of the self-made individual. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1647 Literature For Adolescents                3 credits

Students will read classics as well as modern works written specifically for an adolescent audience. We will also read and discuss sociological and psychological constructions of adolescents and books on pedagogy. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 and ENGCMP 0006.

ENGLIT 1912 Senior Seminar       3 credits

Intensive study of a single topic or figure that assumes previous work in related literary historical and critical areas. Each seminar moves toward a final paper that integrates earlier literary study with the specific critical perspective developed in this course. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0004 or ENGCMP 0006.