The Printing Press

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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose is to inform major and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact or                                                                                                            Spring 2003 Issue 2


Fall 2003 and Spring 2004 English Courses

 Fall 2003


ENGL220:  British Survey I:  This course is a historical survey emphasizing literary and cultural developments in English literature from the Old English through the Neoclassical periods.

 ENGL361:  Shakespeare I:  Comedies and History Plays


ENGL210:  Creative Writing:  Will focus on practice in writing and critical analysis of imaginative literary forms, especially poetry and fiction.

ENGL224:  American Survey I:  A course that focuses on American literature, literary movements, and cultural and historical developments in the literature of the United States.  Readings will include:  Native American creation myths, explorer narratives, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from such writers as Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, Edwards, Franklin, Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson.

ENGL349:  Topics in American Literature:  Millennial American Literature:  A course concentrating on a particular period, movement, or author in American literature.


ENGL348:  Modern British Novels:  The course will cover works written from 1900-1945 and will include such novels as Forster’s Passage to India, Ford’s The Good Soldier, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, and Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.  The books will be examined in historical context and such issues as visual art, music, popular literature, the world wars, politics, imperialism, sexuality, and gender will be considered. 


ENGL430:  Methods of Teaching English:  A study of the basic approaches to the teaching of poetry, fiction, and drama and their application in the classroom.  Attention is given to the teaching of composition, the marking of themes, and the preparing and grading of examinations. 


ENGL180:  Introduction to Literature:  Seeks to encourage life-long reading through appreciation of literary language and form.  The course will emphasize examination and comparison of literary genres, structure, and form in fiction and poetry, and New Critical analysis.  It will also place a particular topic or sub-genre in the context of pertinent historical and cultural settings, while examining categorical assumptions about “popular” and “serious” literary treatments. Course does not count for the major.

* Dr. Watson will be off campus on sabbatical this semester

Spring 2004


ENGL400:  Senior Seminar


ENGL210:  Creative Writing

ENGL274:  Reading, Writing, and Teaching:  This course is a three week off campus course at the University of Reading, England.  It is intended to expose students to fine, international, and multi-cultural children’s literature. The course will teach critical approaches to reading, teaching, researching, and writing children’s literature at the Reading and Language Center.  

ENGL310:  Advanced Creative Writing:  Students will learn to write intensively in fiction or poetry.  Students can sharpen their critical skills by evaluating one another’s work and by investigating contemporary writing and publishing.


ENGL221:  British Survey II:  This course will emphasize major literary movements and historical developments in English literature from the Romantic through the Modern periods.

ENGL299:  Writing Fellows:  This course is an introduction to the tutoring process, as well as basic pedagogical and developmental strategies for teaching writing.  Course requirements will include readings in composition/ tutoring theory and practice as well as tutoring in the Mellinger Teaching and Learning Center.

ENGL350:  Special Topics in Literature:  British Romantic Poets:  This course will cover canonical writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, and Keats.  It will also cover re-discovered women writers such as Baillie, Hemans, and Smith.  The works will be examined in terms of the writers’ lives and some historical/cultural topics of the day, including nature, the French Revolution, industrialization, slavery, and gender.


ENGL201:  Grammar:  This course will give students practice in fundamental English grammar and will emphasize basic skills, not theory.


ENGL225:  American Survey II:  This course will focus on poetry and fiction written after the Civil War and before American involvement in the second World War.  Included are works from such writers as Jewett, Wharton, Twain, James, Kate Chopin, Crane, Pound, Robinson, Frost, Anderson, Stevens, Eliot, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner.  The course will emphasize literary, cultural, and historical movements. 


ENGL200:  Introduction to English Studies:  This course is designed to introduce English majors and minors to the broad range of scholarship and practice within the discipline of English.  Emphasis will be placed on close reading and research skills, as well as overviews of the history of the discipline, creative writing, literary criticism and theory, and vocational paths.  Required of all majors.

ENGL301:  Advanced Composition:  This course is a study of rhetorical strategies and their application to assignments in journalism, scientific writing, and essay writing. 

ENGL343:  20th Century British Literature

Literary Theory Courses at Monmouth College

By Mathew Underwood

          The question of whether or not to make available to English students literary theory courses is problematic in a twofold manner.  The first problem that arises is that of pedagogy and conflicting views on what an undergraduate English degree at Monmouth should entail.  The second is the logistical element that accompanies the introduction of additional courses such as theory courses into a curriculum.

          Stephen Minot writes in his book, Literary Nonfiction, that there is a “growing trend toward specialized vocabularies devised by critical schools.  This limits the exchange of ideas and, more seriously, tends to isolate critical theory from the general public.”  One of the concerns with overemphasizing literary theory is that the jargon developed by particular schools hampers the communication of ideas which is fundamental to an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. 

This refined, exclusive lingo is indicative of how specialized and possibly narrow contemporary theory has become.  When asked, Dr. Watson stated that he feels that theory has become too concerned with interpretations of texts which narrowly focus on race, gender, class, and ethnic issues.  These approaches have been conceivably exchanged for moral, spiritual, and pragmatic interpretations of texts.  Another concern voiced by Dr. Watson is that, with too great an emphasis on literary theory in an undergraduate education, the primary texts are no longer primary, but become secondary to publications by literary theorists.  This contributes to the students' inability to read primary texts.  Close readings of poems and literary analysis are skills that are compromised when the political and philosophical texts of theorists become primary.  While Dr. Watson utilizes theory in upper level classes, incorporating formal, contemporary theory courses into the curriculum would inhibit close reading and analytical skills of students.

So why are theory courses an issue here at Monmouth College?  In his book, A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory, Raman Seldon writes “the signs are that the graft of theory has taken rather well, and may remain intact for the foreseeable future.”  Literary theory courses have become a staple in graduate schools, and conceivably a student who is not familiar with theory could be at a disadvantage since all graduate courses expect a theoretically informed viewpoint.  Literary theory does in fact present new approaches to texts that are simply not adequately discussed in survey courses or even 300 level English courses.  These approaches potentially offer a great deal of intellectual enrichment for English majors and useful preparatory work for graduate school.

In order to get literary theory courses taught here at Monmouth College, more faculty would possibly need to be hired in order to both alleviate the workload of the professors and perhaps have specific expertise in the field of literary theory.  Also, it is difficult to generate sufficient student interest and commitment within the English department to even warrant the addition of new courses and new faculty.  This disinterest and lack of commitment could be attributed to the intellectually demanding nature of literary theory.

It seems that there might be a simple solution to the problems that arise in pedagogy and logistics that accompanies incorporating literary theory into our curriculum.  Selden observes that “theory seemed a rather rarefied specialism which concerned a few individuals in literature departments who were, in effect, philosophers pretending to be literary critics.”  Here at Monmouth College there are courses which have co-professors, such as women's studies courses.  Offering a course that is taught by a faculty member of the Philosophy department and a faculty member of the English department would relieve some of the strain of offering additional courses on faculty.  If the courses were to also offer Philosophy credit, then the class would have higher enrollment than if it were merely an English course.  These co-professor courses would not be mandatory for an English major nor would the concentration on primary texts be compromised; and they would be more beneficial to students who were interested in going on to graduate school.  Admittedly contemporary literary theory draws from multiple disciplines (i.e. economics, politics, psychology, etc), that would make offering comprehensive courses impossible to provide.  But that does not detract from the preparatory work and intellectual growth that could still be gained from theory schools whose focus is literature and philosophy.

Thus, although literary theory courses here at Monmouth College are not foreseeable in the near future, there are clearly many convincing reasons as for why they should be offered.

Puns to Brighten Your Day

(courtesy of

  • Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery
  • Shotgun wedding:  a case of wife or death
  • I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded
  • If electricity comes from electrons, does that mean that morality comes from morons?


  • Marriage is the mourning after the knot before
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes
  • Banning the bra was a big flop
  • Sea captains don’t like crew cuts
  • A pessimist’s blood type is always B-negative



Warning:  High Speed Hilarity, Not for People with English Degrees

     On Wednesday, March 26, a video entitled "The Reduced Shakespeare Company" will be shown in the Hewes Electronic Classroom from 8-10p.m.  This event, which is sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, promises to be an educational night filled with Shakespeare at his funniest.  "The Reduced Shakespeare Company" is a video of three different individuals attempting to mention or perform every work written by Shakespeare within a ninety minute time frame.  A discussion will be held following the viewing of the video regarding Shakespeare and his works. 

Do you believe that literary courses should be taught here at Monmouth?  Why?

     I think the English Department should provide at least one course, whether it is offered every other year or so, or combine it with the Senior Seminar in order to provide necessary knowledge for those students wishing to go on to graduate school.  I think it should at least be offered each year, whether there are enough interested to have the class, that is a different story.

  •  Michael L. Fanucce, Jr.Director, ThinkLab – MC Academic Team “Sport is for the Mind”



It would be nice to have more theory courses available, even though it is difficult to have that variety at a smaller college like Monmouth.  I haven't personally found a strong need for it, but I am sure that others do.

  • Lisa Rzetzsuko



Hmmm, this sounds like an essay topic for Mark's class.

  • Betsy Mahrt


Writing Labs 3:00-5:00 pm Monday - Thursday
  7:00-10:00 pm Sunday - Thursday

Faith Bode

Mathew Underwood

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