English Major

Introduction to Writing Poetry –

Practice in the writing of poetry, with attention paid to various techniques, approaches (free verse and formal verse), and the reading of contemporary poets. The course is workshop-based: peer critiques constitute the basis for each class.


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.


Literary Analysis – 

Designed for majors. Emphasizes theoretical approaches and critical strategies for the written analysis of poetry, fiction, and drama and/or film. Writing intensive. Required for the major.  Students who major in English should complete 220 by the end of the sophomore year. Those who do not meet this deadline must make special arrangements with the Chair.


Advanced Poetry Writing- 

A “laboratory” course focusing upon advanced work in writing poetry, with various experimental techniques explored,
to consider what a poem is and/or does. The course is workshop-based: peer critiques constitute the basis for each
class. A collection of poems is required as a final project.


The Avant-Garde – 

A course concerned with avant-garde schools, movements, and strategies, “The Avant-Garde” will include exploration of different genres, media, and cultures, and investigate the relationships between avant-garde practice and theory, artistic innovation and social change, and forms, platforms, and politics.


Literary Satans –

In progress.


Contemporary Poetry – 

In progress.


“Course Catalog .” Davidson College – Acalog ACMS™, Davidson College, 2017, catalog.davidson.edu/index.php?catoid=13.