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  The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose it 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






In This Issue

  • Choose Wisely: English Courses for 2008-2009
  • Senior Seminar vs. English 200:  Continuing our series following the trials and tribulations of one senior, Erik Davis and one first year student, Noelle Thompson.
  • The Future Is Wide Open: Careers for English Majors
  • Monmouth Campus Events in April
  • Printing Press Plays Matchmaker in Survey Says!
  • Mellinger Writing Center Hours

The List Is In:  English Courses Next Year

Fall Semester 2008

English 110: Composition and Argument:  A study of basic rhetorical strategies and their application in thesis-focused essays, as well as an analysis of literature emphasizing the symbolic and expressive uses of language. Students are introduced to the imaginative modes of literature and demonstrate their understanding of those uses through discussion and written work. (Four credits) (All Professors)

English 180: Post 9/11 Literature:  A sampling of literature in the post 9/11 world. (Bruce)

English 210: Creative Writing:  Practice in the writing and critical analysis of imaginative literary forms, especially poetry and fiction. (Bruce)

English 220: British Survey I: The first part of a two part sequence required of English majors, this course is a historical survey emphasizing literary and cultural developments in English literature from the Medieval through the early eighteenth century.  Beginning with the canonical alliterative epic Beowulf and continuing through the works of Samuel Johnson, this course covers roughly ten centuries of British literature. Our goals in this course are twofold (at least): to provide a chronology of (mostly) canonical British literature and to develop a sense of literary historicity as well as to think deeply about literature rooted in cultures simultaneously comparable to and disparate from our own. Major projects include a research assignment and a final major essay. (Belschner)

English 224: American Survey I:  One of two introductory surveys in American literature emphasizing literary movements, and cultural and historical developments in the literature of the United States.  A survey of literature from Pre-Colonial times to the Civil War. (Bruce)

English 210: Creative Writing:  Practice in the writing and critical analysis of imaginative literary forms, especially poetry and fiction. (Bruce)

English 310: Advanced Creative Writing:  Students write intensely in poetry or fiction, individually selecting their subject matter throughout the course.  Students sharpen their critical skills by evaluating one another's work and investigating contemporary writing and publishing.  (Watson)

English 350:  Angry Young Men:  This course takes its name from the school of drama that was prevalent in England circa 1956.   John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger foregrounded two young disaffected working-class male protagonists with fierce humor, savage social commentary, and not a little, well, anger.  Osborne wasn’t the first twentieth-century British artist to tap into this base, though.  We’ll move from Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock through the Angry Young Men to some of Philip Larkin’s sardonic verse to the Punk movement to Jeannette Winterson, with other pitstops along the way as we explore class warfare, anger, and gender in some of the high moments – and some of the low – of English culture of the past eighty years. (Willhardt)

English 350:  Transatlantic Literature of the 1890s: What do dentists, dandies, Dracula, dames, detectives, decadents, and a guy named Dorian have in common?  Why is British literature at the turn of the century kinkier than American literature?  Why did British writers seem more interested in art while American writers seem more interested in life? Sign up for Transatlantic Literature of the 1890s and find out.  This course will examine and compare literature and art of England and America created during the last decade of the nineteenth century.  Texts will include Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, Norris's McTeague, and a variety of poems and stories by Thomas Hardy, Sarah Orne Jewett, Rudyard Kipling, Ambrose Bierce, Michael Field, Lionel Johnson, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and others.  We will explore the literature in terms of several artistic movements including aestheticism, decadence, naturalism, and regionalism.  (Hale)

TEDP 371: Secondary English Curriculum & Instruction: A study of the curriculum, teaching methods, and instructional materials pertinent to secondary school English programs. Applying theory and research from English education to the planning and implementing of instruction is stressed. Prerequisites: TEDP 200 & 201. (Roberts)


Spring Semester 2009

English 110: Composition and Argument:  A study of basic rhetorical strategies and their application in thesis-focused essays, as well as an analysis of literature emphasizing the symbolic and expressive uses of language. Students are introduced to the imaginative modes of literature and demonstrate their understanding of those uses through discussion and written work. (Four credits) (All Professors)

English 200:  Intro to English Studies:  It’s not called Boot Camp for the Major for nothing:  this course will help demonstrate what “English” means to those of us who study it, as well as help build a set of skills that can help you thrive in your courses (English and otherwise) for the rest of your college career. (Willhardt)

English 220: British Survey II:  A course emphasizing major literary movements, cultural influences, and historical developments in English literature from the Neo-classical through Victorian periods. (Hale)

English 224: American Survey II:  This is an introductory survey focusing 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. Emphasis on literary, cultural, and historical movements. The course is a continuation of English 224, but may be taken alone and without regard to sequence. (Watson)

 English 301:  Advanced Composition:  Better entitled “Literary Nonfiction” this course is a complement to the two creative writing courses offered by the Department.  A craft course, we will work on understanding the various subgenres of literary nonfiction by reading widely and writing copiously.  The idea is to learn to tell true stories, but tell them as if they were fiction, keeping in mind ways to generate character, scene, plot, and that most elusive of all elements, style. (Willhardt)

English 350:  British Women Novelists of the 19th Century: Why did women writers come of age during the 19th-century and land wide audiences? Why did some women novelists embrace patriarchy while others challenge it? Why did some women writers focus on marriage plots, but others broke into "men's subjects" such as violent crime, politics and industry?  These are just a few of the questions we'll explore in this course.  We'll examine novelists such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and Elizabeth Gaskell using formal, historical, and psychoanalytic approaches to understand the work, the writers, and the women of the period better. (Hale)

English 362 Shakespeare's Tragedies and Romances: This course focuses mainly on Shakespeare's later works, the tragedies and the romances.  Two thirds of the course will focus on tragedies both typical and atypical with particular focus on recurring imagery/ themes and historical/ cultural contexts for the plays. One third of the class will be on the romances: this sophisticated and mixed genre showed up at the end of Shakespeare's career and the romances are some of his best work.  We will also discuss performative elements including film and live performances.  Major projects include a video project (with explanatory paper) and a final, formal essay. (Belschner)

 English 400 Senior Seminar: Early Modern Drama: The focus of this course will be on the great tragedies of the early modern period included only one Shakespearean play (either Othello or The Merchant of Venice).  Other works will include (but are not limited to) Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, Cary's The Tragedy of Miriam, Marlowe's Edward II and/ or The Jew of Malta.  Students will be responsible for leading discussion and providing historical and critical tools for exploring and analyzing the plays.  One important theme that will be explored in the class is the representation of otherness.  The course will culminate in the senior thesis. (Belschner)



Seemingly Simple Advice:

An Educational Tale about English Portfolios

By: Erik Davis

            Many of you might vaguely recall your English 200 professor talking to you about the importance of keeping up to date with your English Portfolio.  I am writing this piece as a warning to everyone who has been putting off compiling their portfolio—you have been warned.

            It was the end of my freshman year, the weather had finally warmed up, the grass was beginning to green, birds were singing in the trees, and I was trapped in Dr. Hale’s office.  Even though English 200 was over—I had survived—Dr. Hale would not let me leave campus until I conferenced with him about my newly completed English portfolio.  At the end of the last English 200 class we were all supposed to receive a nice, black, three ring binder that would house our English portfolio.  Unfortunately Dr. Hale did not bring enough binders for everyone, and I had to use one of my own folders.  Back in Dr. Hale’s office I was sweating, not as much as Dr. Hale but who does.  I was sweating because I had just finished throwing together my ‘end of the year reflection’ right before I left Cleland to walk to Dr. Hale’s office.  I was banking on two circumstances to save me from being forced to do a rewrite.   First it was the end of the year, and second it was spring.

            He had been reading my one and a half page reflection far too long and it was making me feel uncomfortable.  I knew he was going to make me rewrite the whole thing.  I was incredibly depressed.  My roommate had already moved out for the summer, and I was totally alone on campus.  Then he looked up and said in no uncertain terms that it was not good enough to represent my freshman year, but he wouldn’t make me revise it at this time.  I grabbed my fledgling portfolio (in a bright pink ‘Dancing Diva’ paper folder)and ran as fast as I could away from his office.  Ten minutes later I was driving back home, and the portfolio was the last thing on my mind.  I did not think of it again until the end of my sophomore year.

            It was the end of my sophomore year, the weather had finally warmed up, the grass was beginning to green, birds were singing in the trees, and I was trapped in Dr. Hale’s office again.  He was glaring at me over the top of my hastily put together ‘end of the year reflection.’  I still had not received a black binder from the English department, so my portfolio was housed in my bright pink ‘Dancing Diva’ paper folder.  I felt even more uncomfortable than I had last year, probably because I had come to expect better work out of myself.  I was disappointed in my reflection, but I was also anxious to get home.  I was saying something to the effect that I knew it was sub par, but I had fried my brain taking all of my finals.  I left his office having promised that I would revise it for next year.

            Right after I got home for my long awaited summer vacation something happened that changed the life of my portfolio forever.  Most of my family had left to go to see a play in Peoria.  My brother, who was going into his senior year of high school, was left home alone.  Just as we were nearing the small town where I live my mother received a phone call from Alex.  He was in a blind panic.  He told my mom that our basement was flooded with murky water.  Hearing your basement is flooded is never good news for a homeowner, but this was especially bad.  It was a flood of Biblical proportions.  By the time we got home there was two and a half feet of water in our basement.  Floating right beside our cat, who was frantically clawing to gain purchase atop a random piece of debris, was my English portfolio.  The bright pink that had made the ‘dancing diva’ look so festive had bled into the water surrounding it.  It was a horrible sight.  After cleaning our basement and rescuing our cat, I recovered my portfolio. It was totally ruined all of my hard work was for naught!  All of my papers and end of the year reports had been dyed a light pink, and the water had fused them into one inseparable lump.

            None of you can imagine the look I got from Dr. Hale when I related this very story to him on a lovely day in spring at the end of my junior year.  It was a terrifying mixture of contempt, rage, disbelief, and disgust.  Flash to my senior year.  I had put off doing any work at all on my portfolio, and it was due the next day.  I also had a paper to write and my senior research prospectus was due.  I was in a bad place.  I managed to get everything done on time, but I had to stay up all night to do it.  My work was not as good as it could have been which, as I am sure many of you know, is disappointing.  If you do not want this to happen to you should listen to these three pieces of advice.  First, keep the portfolio in the back of your mind, and every so often do a little work on it.  Second, when you write a good paper save the original, with comments, to include in your portfolio.  This way you will not be scrambling around your senior year asking professors if they have comments on a paper you wrote for them three years ago.  If you are wondering only Dr. Hale and Dr. Belschner have comments saved from three years ago.  Finally, never under any circumstances store your English portfolio in a bright pink ‘Dancing Diva’ folder in your basement.

Research Blues:

Part 1: Noelle Templeton

           So…research.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy researching topics that interest me, and I can’t say I don’t love learning, but most research essays end up causing much more trouble than they should.  It all begins with the issue of choosing a topic.  I possess the disastrous combination of being chronically indecisive with procrastinating tendencies.  Thankfully we were given a list (I love lists), and after much deliberation and many sleepless nights, I chose the writer whose name I liked the most:  Adrienne Rich.  Reading Rich’s poetry was fun, and I appreciate her work, but I got the impression that she might want to fight me if we ever met in person.  I chose again.

            My next choice was Ernest Hemingway.  Perhaps he and I would be forced into a rumble if we ever met in a dark alley, but I really enjoy his short stories.  Plus, I think I could take him (in a scuffle, that is).  So now that I’ve decided on a writer, I must choose a specific piece of his.  All of this choosing is making me anxious.  Thanks to Watson’s American Survey, I got plenty of Hemingway-reading time, and within the week I had narrowed my choice down to nine stories.  Clearly, my own contemplation was getting me nowhere, and a quick flip of a coin got me ready for take off. 

            I am left now with the thoughts of dozens of critics, many of whom are painfully cynical and most are obsessed with the kinky and erotic.  While it is troublesome sorting through the views and interpretations other readers, I finally find myself at point where I can enjoy this process.  Reading, analyzing, and creating are the reasons I chose English to be my focus for at least four years, if not the next few decades.  If I can avoid distractions and discouragement, I will have fun with my research, and isn’t that what college is supposed to be?


Part 2:  Erik Davis

          Before I took senior seminar I had always found that I struggled most with coming up with a topic to write about.  I had always assumed that coming up with a suitable topic for my senior research paper would be the most difficult part of the paper.  This has not been the case.  Coming up with a topic was challenging and took several revisions, but the hardest part for me has been finding research.  In previous papers my research problems usually came from having to sift through the numerous research results that I had found.  This time it was very different.  I am not sure if this was because my topic was more obscure than previous papers, or if there is not as much written about Russian literature. In any case, I have had no end of trouble finding sources that discuss my topic.  I cannot count how many different combinations of search terms I have used.  I used every academic search engine that I know about.  Eventually through sheer persistence rather than any newly acquired research skills I found enough sources to put together a tentative bibliography.  This whole experience has really illustrated how much more rewarding research is when it is not sans results. 

          I would encourage everyone to work seriously on beefing up his/her research skills before senior seminar. This paper has definitely put my research skills to the test.  Also do not be afraid to go to any of the professors with questions.  This paper will go much more easily if you illicit the help of the faculty.  Most of the time, unless it is during a particularly busy time during the semester, the faculty are more than willing to sit down and help with research questions.  The librarians have also been a great resource to me when I get stuck.  They can help tweak your search terms or point you to another database.  There are tons of different resources available to help you with research.  If you utilize them you will get through your paper, it might not be easy, but it will ultimately be rewarding.




English Majors: Life After College



Eric Seaman, 2005 Graduate of Monmouth College talks to English Majors about his current job.  He has created a newsletter titled "Observer" for Bradley University.




On April 2nd, Dr. Rob Prescott and Eric Seaman gave an informal presentation on the career options available to any English major.   Dr. Prescott has recently completed a book manuscript entitled Why to Major in English if You’re NOT Going to Teach, and his talk presented useful information from that study. 

Dr. Prescott gave the percentages of what English majors actually do for a living: 70% work in business and government work, 42% work for private, for-profit companies, 14% own their own businesses, 7% work in the non-profit sector, and only 27% work in education.  This break down shows just how much you can do with your B.A. in English.  The reason for this is the “English major’s skill set” which includes proficiency in analysis, oral communication, interpersonal skills, writing, research, and computer skills.  More and more employers are looking for these attributes.  Dr. Prescott focused on creating resumes that enhance your abilities as an English major to specific job requirements. 

He also stated that English majors choose to make a little less when they start out with a salary in the low 30’s.  He says that we “Do not by any means, make a choice to be unemployable or otherwise to live below the poverty line.”  Eric Seaman, who spoke as well, is a Monmouth College alum and is in Bradley University’s M.A. program in English.  In addition to this, he works for Bradley’s graduate school where he produces print and electronic communications, like his newsletter “Observer”, and supports the graduate school’s grant-writing and grant-research needs.  Seaman is a great example of one who is taking advantage of the possibilities available to English Majors. 

Dr. Prescott worked hard to present English majors in all fields of work: Actors, Actresses, poets, novelists, Athletes, and CEO’s of major companies.  Did you know that Harrison Ford was an English major at Ripon College or that Micheal Eisner, CEO of Disney, was also an English major?  Although we won't all become famous, Dr. Rob Prescott believes that this major is the most practical and beneficial to employers today.

To Read About More Monmouth Alum's and Their Jobs, click here.




Campus Events in April

On April 10th, there will be a Faculty Poetry Reading at 3:00 p.m. at Poling Hall in the Morgan Room.  This is always a fun event and it's open to everyone.



 On Thursday, April 24th at 4 p.m., Véronique Tadjo, a writer and painter from France and the Ivory Coast, who currently lives in South Africa, will be doing a talk on campus in conjunction with the ALA (African Literature Association) at WIU in Macomb.  The talk will be in the Tartan Room and there will also  be a reception.  The topic is “The Power of African Images:  From Written to Painted Narratives”.

To go to Veronique Tadjo's Website, click here.




Survey Says

Question:  If you were dating someone what book would make and what book would break the relationship for you?

Based on the responses we received, several of the you look to be very compatible and we here at the Printing Press staff think you will make an excellent couple!!!


Nicolas Sparks...the bane of many English majors existence; and for others the only reason for their existence



Make:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Break:  Dante

-Megan Carlson

Dante's Inferno would make the relationship, but Dante's Paradiso would definitely break it.

-Raleigh Moon






I guess this relationship depends on which of Dante’s works Megan was referring to.






Break:  Anything by Ann Coultier or Bill O'Reilly--unless it was for a good laugh.
-Kelsey Cole

Make: Stephen Colbert's -- I am America, and So Can You
Brake: The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

-Sara Hawk





Break:  If I ever saw any man in possession of one of those trashy romance novels you see on the racks in Wal-Mart or Jewel-Osco I'd have to rethink the relationship. If I saw the author was Danielle Steel, then I'd have to show him the door immediately. I cannot do Danielle Steel. That's just taking it too far!

-Laura Dumont






Make: A Clockwork Orange

Break: Go, Dog! Go!

-Mo Simpson



Wordsworth’s *Lyrical Ballads,* of course, would make the relationship; Nicholas Sparks’s *Message in a Bottle* would break it.

-Rob Hale

My date would have to love The Notebook, and I would dump him immediately if he said one good thing about Lyrical Ballads.  Oh. Wait …….

-Erika Solberg

Well we all thought there relationship was a great match, but is it....?





Make it-The Awakening

Break it-Teen Vogue

-Kyle O’Keefe


Make: Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, Anything by Nikki Giovanni
Break: Nothing. I would just be happy to see them reading.

-Fannetta Jones



Make: The Fountainhead

Break: if he didn’t read, that would probably break it…there isn’t really a specific book

-Elizabeth Towns-Law

Make = 'The Velvetine Rabbit", "The Weight of Glory', My Antonia, or any Ayn Rand (minus the political/ideological implications) or Renaldo Arenas poetry

Break = I think reading is totally hott (yeah, two t's), but I guess I would say any trashy romance or Nicholas Sparks (wait, is there a difference). And Oscar Wilde. Ewww.

-Luke Gorham


Make: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Break: …any guy who reads  Nicholas Sparks would definitely have to go.  Also any huge Harry Potter fanatic wouldn't rate so high with me... Sorry Erik : )

-Paige Halpin

These three all seem to be compatible for a relationship.  I guess they will have to sort all of that compatibility out on their own.





Make – The Odyssey

Break – Harry Potter

-Sarah Sherry

Make:   Harry Potter because if they don't read it and/or can't take me being a huge HP fan, then it's definitely not meant to be.

-Natalie Pistole

It looks like these two will never be getting together.







Catcher in the Rye is a deal breaker.  Always.

-Amanda Bloomer



Make:  Alice in Wonderland by Charles “Lewis Carroll” Dodgson

Break:  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

-Manuel Solis


Make: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey a/o "Civilization & Its Discontents" by Sigmund Freud
Break:"The Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris" by Paris Hilton's dog Tinkerbell

-Jessica Irons

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal would definitely make the relationship interesting whereas the sight of any book by Nicholas Sparks would induce involuntary vomiting and possible suicide.

 -Jeremy Doze




Make:  Nicolas Sparks

-Craig Watson

Make:  Absolutely anything by Nicolas Sparks would make the relationship for me!!

-Melissa Gorski




Perhaps most surprisingly Dr. Watson and Melissa Gorski both put Nicolas Sparks as one of their favorite authors.  This is almost too good to be true.  It looks like a match made in heaven.






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

Megan Carlson

Erik Davis


Features | Survey Says | Mellinger Tutoring Hours | Events | Staff


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