Bachelor of Arts

AIC’s English program provides a comprehensive study of literary works and other creative texts — how they communicate information and meaning, how they help clarify thinking, and how the ideas they convey help shape society, culture, and the human experience.

Working closely with faculty, you’ll engage in close, analytical reading, and develop effective written and oral communication skills.

Whether you want to study African American literature, cultivate an expertise in scientific or technical writing, improve your public speaking, or better understand how language informs film, graphic design, or Web content, you’ll find those opportunities here at AIC.

Additionally, the department offers opportunities to for writers and photograhers to develop their skills via its literary magazine The Criterion.

As a graduate of the program, you’ll have the skills and knowledge needed for a variety of advanced degree programs and careers, including:

  • Publishing
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Public relations
  • Marketing/advertising

Learning Outcomes for English
The following are learning outcomes for successful completion of the English major:

  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of language as a means of clarifying thinking, determining value, communicating information, and influencing the views of others.
  • Students will distinguish between ethical and unethical uses of language, demonstrate skepticism and curiosity by asking questions, and seek and evaluate the evidence that underlies claims.
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of how values and perspectives shift over time, and how they shift according to nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, social class, and ability grouping. They will also demonstrate an understanding of the relationships among language, knowledge, and power.
  • Students will demonstrate an appreciation for writing as a means of knowing, develop an ability to do close, analytical reading, and use reasoning to analyze, criticize, develop, and defend arguments.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to formulate a research question, to locate and evaluate sources, and to synthesize and converse with these sources in the context of a research paper. They will demonstrate the ability to cite the work of others in MLA or other appropriate styles and use information ethically and responsibly.
  • Students will demonstrate effective writing skills in various formats and for various purposes, effective oral communication skills, and be aware that it usually takes multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text.
  • Students will develop insight (especially through reading) into one’s own and others’ behavior and thinking processes. They will also reflect (especially in writing) on their experiences and find meaning in them. They will also develop the ability to deal with other people in a civil and appropriate manner.
  • Students will engage in career planning and development by developing realistic goals for implementing one’s knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits. They will also identify and develop skills and experiences that will help in achieving these career goals. In addition, students will use electronic environments to draft and compose.

My favorite aspect of being an English major at AIC is that my professors constantly provide unique views that help me think outside of my comfort zone. I’ve grown in countless ways—both as a writer and as a person.

—Whitney McKay ’15 English Student

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll engage in close, analytical reading, demonstrate effective written- and oral-communication skills, and prepare for numerous careers and post-graduate opportunities.

Future Studies

You will develop the analytical skills to continue your studies in business fields, such as public relations, marketing, and advertising.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate, you’ll have the skills necessary to succeed in a wide range of careers, including those in publishing, education, and journalism.

Major requirements:

  • ENG2410: Western World Literature I
  • ENG3800: Shakespeare
  • ENG4200: Writing Seminar
  • ENG4375: Approaches to Literary Study

Plus, all English majors must take three of the four following courses:

  • ENG3400: Major Authors in American Literature, 1492-1865
  • ENG3410: Major Authors in American Literature, 1865-Present
  • ENG3480: Major British Authors from 800 to 1780
  • ENG3490: Major British Authors from 1780 to the Present

In addition, all English majors must also complete a minimum of 15 additional credit hours in area requirements from the following, including at least one course from each area:

1. Language and Rhetoric

  • ENG2280: Professional and Technical Writing
  • ENG4411: History of the English Language

2. Genres

  • ENG3210: The Drama in English
  • ENG3280: The Novel in English
  • ENG3290: The Short Narrative
  • ENG3377: Modern Poetry
  • ENG3430: Women Writers
  • ENG3440: Children’s Literature
  • ENG3450: Environmental Literature

One of the four American and English literature 3000-level surveys in addition to the three taken to meet the core

Literature Other Than British and American

  • ENG2420: Western World Literature II
  • ENG2500: Literature of the Non Western World
  • ENG3380: The Bible As Literature

Minor requirements:

  • ENG2410: Western World Literature I
  • ENG3800: Shakespeare
  • One 3000-level course in American literature
  • One 3000-level course in British literature
  • Any 2000- or 3000-level English course in literature
  • Any 2000- or 3000-level English course in literature

English 1000 Level

English 1100 is a course that helps students develop fluency and confidence in their writing in preparation for the demands of ENG1201. The course focuses on improving writing through application and practice with an emphasis on grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and other fundamentals. Students examine writing as a process and engage in activities such as brainstorming, drafting, revising proofreading. Enrollment in ENG1100 is determined by performance on a placement test.

English Composition 1201 is a writing-intensive course that prepares students for all levels of academic discourse. Emphasis is placed on the art of persuasion, on the development of students’ critical thinking skills, and on key rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose, and voice. Students learn the various steps to the writing process, from brainstorming to final revision, and learn the importance of writing coherent, unified, and organized essays that are fundamentally and mechanically sound. Though primarily a writing course, English Composition 101 also helps students see the connection between reading and writing. In addition, students learn the art of academic research and documentation. ENG1201 is determined by performance on a placement test or by satisfactory completion of ENG1100.

ENG1202 is an advanced writing course and is designed to extend reading and writing skills developed in English 1201. Emphasis is placed on critical and analytical writing and the analysis and interpretation of texts. Students are exposed to a variety of texts from fields across the curriculum. They write essays in response to what they read by formulating and defending a thesis, by synthesizing sources, and by evaluating information and ideas from multiple perspectives. In addition, students demonstrate an ability to do research and to document their work in the major academic styles.

This course is an accelerated version of ENG1201. Enrollment in ENG1601 is determined by high performance on a placement examination or invitation into the AIC Honors Program.

This course is an accelerated version of ENG1202.

English 2000 Level

This course provides practice in the construction of speeches, analysis of appeals to various audiences, and development of the speaking voice. It is a practical course offered to fit the needs of students in all fields. In cases of over-enrollment, seniors will be given preference.

This meets the requirement as a writing intensive course in the major. A comprehensive treatment of the theory and practice of business communication and the development of skills in presenting technical information, with emphasis on the effectiveness of expression through written correspondence, reports, technical manuals, and job resumes. Writing as a rewriting process will be stressed. Students will investigate the development of business and technical literature from idea to draft, to final product.

Through the study of a variety of works translated into English, the student wil lhave the opportunity to examine human behavior, motivation, and reasoning from the perspective of French writers. Selected works of Moliere, Voltaire, Flaubert, Zola, Camus, and Sartre will be the focus of discussion and written reflection. Please note that this course is conducted in English and will count toward the General Education literature requirement.

This meets the requirement as a writing intensive course in the major. This is a survey of outstanding literature of the Western World from Homer to the Renaissance. There will be selections from, as well as complete works of, such authors as Homer, the Greek dramatists, Virgil, and Dante.

This course surveys literature extending from Neo-Classical to modern literature. Selections include Racine, Moliere, Swift, Flaubert, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevski.

This course provides a one-semester overview of American literature from the colonial period to the present. Authors studied may include Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Douglass, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, Frost, Hemingway, Faulkner, O’Neil, and Williams.

This course includes selections of poetry, fiction, drama, and memoir – works from established and esteemed writers from around the globe: Eastern Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Each piece and its author are placed within the context of his/her culture.

This course provides a one-term overview of British literature from the medieval period to the twentieth century. Authors may include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Swift, Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Auden, Yeats, and others.

This course surveys highlights of African American literature. Writers include Douglass, Washington, DuBois, Hurston, Toomer, Bontemps, Hughes, Walker, Wilson, and Morrison.

This course provides an overview of contemporary Spanish American writers who depict the character, philosophy, social problems, attitudes towards human dignity, and the respect for human rights in Spanish-speaking countries. Such widely known and respected writers as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazer, Juan Rulfo, Luisa Valenzuela, Rosario Ferre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and others are studied.

English 3000 Level

A series of courses that concentrate on a single significant topic in literature. Representative topics include: In Search of the American Dream, Nobel Prize Winners in Literature, and the City in Literature.

This survey examines the genre of drama in western culture beginning with ancient Greece, followed by a study of Roman drama. The focus then moves to the morality and mystery plays of the Middle Ages. Representative plays from the Renaissance, the Neoclassical period, and the modern era including the Theater of the Absurd will complete the course, which will explore how drama shapes and is shaped by culture and how individual dramaturgy distinguishes one playwright from another.

This course is a study of representative novels by major British and American novelists since 1800. Novelists may include Austen, the Brontes, Eliot, Dickens, Melville, Twain, Lawrence, Woolf, Joyce, Hemingway, and Faulkner, as well as other major figures.

This course explores the ways words and images function as symbol systems. The class will look at the illuminated poetry of William Blake as one site where words and images work both together and against one another. The class will also look at words and images in comic books, on film, and on the web. In addition to several written projects, each student will design and present either a PowerPoint slide show or a web site.

This course explores the short story genre through reading a wide variety of short fiction, beginning with innovators such as Edgar Allan Poe and continuing through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Joyce Carol Oates, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Nadine Gordimer. Short fiction from various cultures, both eastern and western, will be read. The elements, unique to the short story and the challenge the genre itself presents by virtue of its brevity will be the focus. The role of the short story within the context of the societies that produce it will be discussed.

This course is a study of representative poems by major British and American poets since 1860. Poets may include Dickinson, Whitman, Browning, Hardy, Yeats, Frost, Williams, Stevens, and Lowell as well as other major figures. Some attention will be given to important critical concepts about poetry.

This course is a study of some of the literary qualities of the Old and New Testaments, with added attention given to the historical development of the English Bible.

This course is a historical survey of American literature and its relation to American culture from its beginnings in 1492 through the Civil War. Authors studied may include Bradford, Bradstreet, Edwards, Franklin, Jefferson, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Douglass, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson.

This course is a historical survey of American literature and its relation to American culture from the Civil War through the present. Authors studied may include Twain, Chopin, Frost, Hemingway, Faulkner, O’Neil, Williams, Updike, and Walker.

This course surveys British and American women writers from the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors will include: Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and Maxine Hong Kingston.

This course surveys works by such environmental writers as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, Bary Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Al Gore, William Cronon, and Bill McKibben.

This course studies the founders of the British Literary Tradition. Authors include Chaucer, Spenser, Jonson, Donne, Milton, Pope, Swift, and Johnson.

This meets the requirement as a writing intensive course in the major. This course surveys representative authors of the Romantic, Victorian, and Early Modern Period, including authors Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Austen, Dickens, Eliot, Browning, Conrad, Lawrence, Woolf, and Joyce.

A study of selected plays is arranged chronologically. Representative plays from Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances are studied.

English 4000 Level

This is an advanced, writing-intensive course. Students will progress in a workshop setting through a series of assignments culminating in an individually chosen project. Each student will compile a portfolio of his or her writing. Students will be asked to evaluate their own work and to comment upon that of their classmates. In addition, some attention will be given to rhetorical theory.

This course will acquaint students with a wide range of critical approaches to literature in order for them to become better critical readers themselves. Texts will range from such classical critics as Aristotle, Johnson, and Poe to such recent theorists as Miller, Fish, and Derrida.

English 4411 is a study of the major trends in the development of English as it has grown from a dialect of West German to a major world language. Organized chronologically, the course will give some attention to ways in which modern linguistics has enhanced our understanding of language history.

Directed study involves readings and papers. A student may take a maximum of six hours of credit in English 399 during any single term and twelve hours altogether. The course is ordinarily limited to English majors who have senior status, fifteen hours of English courses beyond ENG1201 and ENG1202, and a B average in English. In exceptional cases, a student who is not an English major may be allowed to take directed study.

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