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    School of Humanities and Fine Arts
    Phone: 724-805-2343
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    rkollar@stvincent.edu 

Home > Majors and Programs > English
  • The School of Humanities and Fine Arts 

    The English Program

    The English Department at Saint Vincent College provides an atmosphere and a setting for professors and students to continue the 2500 year-old conversation about text, language, creativity, and imagination. With literature at the center of the conversation, students pursue focused intra-textual reading and apply wider insights that cross national, historical, critical, and disciplinary boundaries. Teachers are devoted to the perennial investigation of beauty and truth, the elasticity and fixity of language, the moral valences of scriptural and non-scriptural books, the complexities of gender, and the quest for self through the ideas of others. As participants in these processes, students think, research and write more fluently about the canon as well as popular culture. Giving direction and resonance to these departmental endeavors are the Benedictine values of community, hospitality, stewardship, and care and concern for the individual. Ultimately, the person graduating with a degree in English will comprehend language both as an instrument and an art, having explored the felicitous tension between creative impulse and traditional form.

    • Literary study lies at the heart of the English Department’s curriculum: all courses demand extensive reading and textual analysis.
    • English faculty consists of publishing scholars of varying interests who prioritize teaching.
    • All courses demand a significant amount of writing and provide substantial writing instruction.
    • A cumulative portfolio requirement enables majors to chart their development as writers and thinkers.
    • Concentrations in Secondary School Teaching Certification, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, Children’s Literature, and Literary Studies allow students to focus their studies and prepare for careers.
    • Based on their concentration, majors complete a publishable Senior Project.
    • Our broad literature curriculum offers survey courses in British, American, and European literatures, as well as advanced courses in Chaucer, the British Renaissance, Romanticism, Sentimental Novels, and American Modernism.
    • Contemporary literature offerings include courses in J.R.R. Tolkien, Science Fiction, The Beat Generation, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Criticism.
    • The Creative Writing concentration develops skills in poetry, fiction, literary translation, and literary magazine production.
    • The annual Ragan Poetry Competition offers cash prizes to successful aspiring poets.
    • A yearly Writer-in-Residence holds readings and master classes.
    • Our Visiting Writer series hosts internationally renowned poets, novelists, and essayists.
    • The Alpha Theta Lambda chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, affords students the opportunity to present and publish creative and scholarly work.
    • The Review, the college newspaper, enables majors to gain first-hand journalistic experience through staff writer and editorial positions.
    • Internships at local newspapers, television stations, and professional writing firms provide practical work experience.

    Students majoring in English must take a common curriculum consisting of courses designed for English majors only along with two historical literature surveys. In addition, English majors, guided by their concentration choice (see below), choose two introductory courses and three advanced courses.

    The English Major:  36 credits

    English Major Common Curriculum: 18 credits
    English majors must take each of the following courses:
    EL 102   Language and Rhetoric* - 3 credits
    EL 202   Intermediate Writing - 3 credits
    EL 325   Literary Criticism I:  Ancient to Modern - 3 credits
    EL 326   Literary Criticism II:  Contemporary Theories - 3 credits
    EL 400   Senior Project - 3 credits
    * This course does not count toward the major, but it does count toward
    graduation.

    English majors also must take two (2) of the following surveys; at least one must be a British survey, and at least one must be an American survey:
    EL 114   British Literature:  Middle Ages to Restoration - 3 credits
    EL 115   British Literature:  Neoclassicism to Modernism - 3 credits
    EL 131   American Literature:  Exploration to Civil War - 3 credits
    EL 132   American Literature:  Civil War to Present - 3 credits

    In addition to the course requirements, all students must develop a portfolio in which they file a sample of their written work in their concentration-related courses and a self-assessment of their learning each semester. Department faculty will evaluate student work after the Senior Project.

    Introductory Electives: 6 credits
    English majors must take two (2) of the following courses, the successful completion of which will also satisfy concentration requirements. Please note that certain concentrations will, to some degree, dictate students’ choices.
    EL 108   Technical Writing - 3 credits
    EL 109   Business Communications - 3 credits
    EL 110   Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 111   Green Writing:  Literature and the Environment - 3 credits
    EL 113   Women's Literature - 3 credits
    EL 114   British Literature:  Middle Ages to Restoration - 3 credits
    EL 115   British Literature:  Neoclassicism to Modernism - 3 credits
    EL 119   History of The English Language - 3 credits
    EL 121   Faces of Battle:  War and Peace in History, Literature and the Arts - 3 credits
    EL 122   African Studies - 3 credits
    EL 124   Literature and The Bible - 3 credits
    EL 125   The History and Development of Science Fiction - 3 credits
    EL 126   Rock 'n’ Roll Criticism - 3 credits
    EL 127   Shakespeare on Film - 3 credits
    EL 128   Children’s Literature:  Fables to 1900 - 3 credits
    EL 129   Young Adult Fiction - 3 credits
    EL 130   Children's Literature:  1900 to Present - 3 credits
    EL 131   American Literature:  Exploration to Civil War - 3 credits
    EL 132   American Literature:  Civil War to the Present - 3 credits
    EL 137   American Short Story - 3 credits
    EL 138   Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States - 3 credits
    EL 139   African American Literature - 3 credits
    EL 140   Myth - 3 credits
    EL 142   Creative Writing:  The Literary Magazine  - 3 credits 
    EL 143   The Beat Generation - 3 credits
    EL 144   Reading as Writers:  The Literary Essay - 3 credits
    EL 145   Reading as Writers:  Poetry - 3 credits
    EL 146   Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking - 3 credits
    EL 147   Arthurian Literature - 3 credits
    EL 148   Modern Catholic Literature - 3 credits
    EL 149   J.R.R. Tolkien - 3 credits
    EL 151   American Indian Literature - 3 credits
    EL 152   The Epic - 3 credits
    EL 153   Satire - 3 credits
    EL 154   Special Topics in Literature - 3 credits
    EL 155   Special Topics in Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 156   Special Topics in Professional Writing - 3 credits
    EL 157   Special Topics in Children’s Literature - 3 credits

    Advanced Electives: 12 credits
    English majors must take four (4) of the following courses, the successful completion of which will also satisfy concentration requirements. At least two of these required Advanced Electives must be a 200-level literature course. One Literature Advanced Elective must be chosen from the following group of courses: EL 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 218, 261, and 272. The second Literature Advanced Elective must be chosen from the following courses: EL 224, 225, 226, 236, 242, 256, 257, 258, 259, 263, 272, 273, and 274. Please note that certain concentrations will, to some degree, dictate students’ choices.
    EL 203   Poetry Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 204   Fiction Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 210   Classical Greek Poetry and Drama - 3 credits 
    EL 211   Medieval Studies - 3 credits
    EL 212   Chaucer - 3 credits
    EL 213   Shakespeare's Histories - 3 credits
    EL 214   Shakespeare's Comedies and Tragedies - 3 credits
    EL 216   British Renaissance Literature - 3 credits
    EL 218   Eighteenth Century Literature - 3 credits
    EL 224   The Romantic Age - 3 credits
    EL 225   The Victorians - 3 credits
    EL 226   British Modernism - 3 credits
    EL 236   Modern European Literature - 3 credits
    EL 242   American Renaissance - 3 credits
    EL 244   Creative Nonfiction Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 252   Literary Translation Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 256   Sentimental Politics:  American Women
                         Writers in the Nineteenth Century - 3 credits
    EL 257   American Realism and Naturalism - 3 credits
    EL 258   American Modernism - 3 credits
    EL 259   Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature - 3 credits
    EL 261   Advanced Studies in Early Literature - 3 credits
    EL 263   Advanced Studies in Modern Literature - 3 credits
    EL 264   Advanced Studies in Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 266   Advanced Studies in Professional Writing - 3 credits
    EL 272   Advanced Studies in Children’s Literature - 3 credits
    EL 273   Representations of Childhood in Literature - 3 credits
    EL 274   Representations of Childhood in Film - 3 credits 

    Concentration Requirements
    The English Department provides opportunities for students to concentrate their studies toward career development and graduate and professional study. English majors must declare a concentration by the end of their first year. Students who do not declare a concentration by the end of their first year will have a literature concentration by default. A student's concentration determines specific choices of lower and upper-level courses as well as the nature of that student's senior project.

    Children's Literature Concentration
    The Children's Literature Concentration is designed to explore the various forms of literature written for children. Students investigate literary shifts involving the ways adults imagine and shape children's virtues and capabilities as well as how children live out or resist those fantasies. Analyzing texts written for children and about childhood, this concentration provides the opportunity for both breadth and depth of study. The following courses fulfill the Introductory Elective requirement of the English major; choose two of the three:  
    EL 128   Children's Literature:  Fables to 1900 - 3 credits
    EL 129   Young Adult Fiction - 3 credits
    EL 130   Children's Literature:  1900 to Present - 3 credits

    As one of the required Advanced Electives, Children's Literature concentrators complete one of the following:
    EL 259   Critical Approaches to Children's Literature - 3 credits
    EL 272   Advanced Studies in Children's Literature - 3 credits
    EL 273   Representations of Childhood in Literature - 3 credits
    EL 274   Representations of Childhood in Film - 3 credits 

    Creative Writing Concentration
    The Creative Writing concentration offers courses in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and literary translation, as well as seminar courses in reading and writing about literature. Following this track, students develop their craft in a genre of choice, in preparation for the senior project manuscript. All creative writing courses extend from the English major's foundation in literature and aim to introduce students to contemporary literature as well as the current conversations informing literary art.
    The following courses fulfill the Introductory Elective requirement for the English major:
    EL 110   Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 146   Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking - 3 credits
        or
    EL 142   Creative Writing: The Literary Magazine  - 3 credits 
    Creative Writing concentrators must complete one of the following advanced electives, in the genre of the senior project:
    EL 203   Poetry Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 204   Fiction Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 244   Creative Nonfiction Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 252    Literary Translation Workshop - 3 credits
    (Note: Literary Translation concentrators must take an additional advanced workshop in the genre of the translation project.)

    Literature Concentration
    The Literature Concentration has a traditional base, with an emphasis on the connections of literature to history and philosophy, and with intensive study of literary elements such as irony, symbolism, satire, comedy, and tragedy. However, ample opportunity is provided to investigate the relation of literature and critical applications to special topics and themes, to interdisciplinary affiliations, and to contemporary events and ideas. Students interested in graduate programs in focused literary fields - such as scholarship or college teaching - would find this concentration most appropriate. To concentrate in Literature, students will take one fewer Introductory Elective and one additional Advanced Elective. Thus, students take the required Advanced Literature Electives, one from group one and one from group two. Students also take two Advanced Literature Electives of their choice as well as one Open Advanced Elective and one Open Introductory Elective.

    Professional Writing Concentration
    The Professional Writing Concentration prepares English Majors for careers in Technical Writing, Grant Writing, Editing, Documentation Manual Writing, and Corporate Communications. This concentration consists of stipulated major requirements and electives that will give students a background in professional written discourse, design, electronic media, and publishing. In addition, English majors concentration in Professional Writing will be encouraged to secure a professional writing internship during the junior or senior year.
    EL 108   Technical Writing
    EL 109   Business Communications
    Professional Writing students also must complete one of the following, which will count as one of their four required Advanced Electives:
    EL 142   Creative Writing:  The Literary Magazine  
    EL 144   Reading As Writers:  The Literary Essay
    EL 156    Special Topics in Professional Writing
        or
    EL 266   Advanced Studies in Professional Writing

    English Certification
    The English Certification Concentration is carefully designed through close collaboration between the English and Education Departments at SVC, and is aligned with the requirements set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The course sequence emphasizes skill in reading and writing, along with abilities in research and interpretation demanded in the literature classes. Secondary Education students must take the following Introductory Electives:
    EL 119   History of the English Language
    EL 129   Young Adult Fiction

    English Certification students must also take one of the following Shakespeare courses:
    EL 127   Shakespeare On Film
    EL 213   Shakespeare's Histories
    EL 214   Shakespeare's Comedies and Tragedies
    The two remaining Advanced Electives must be advanced electives in Literature.
    Along with English courses, English majors seeking English certification must take the following courses, amounting to an additional 36 credits: Psychology courses: PY 115, PY 214, PY 290. Education courses: ED 100, ED 101, ED 205, ED 208, ED 220, ED 301, ED 309, ED 322, ED 400, ED 410, and ED 411.
    Mathematics course: MA 102 (does not fulfill core)

    Cooperative Program with Duquesne Law School
    This program allows majors to earn their bachelor's degree and Juris Doctor degree in six years. In this program, qualified students who complete their first three years of study at Saint Vincent, fulfilling the Core Curriculum requirements and the requirements for the major, may transfer into the Law program and complete the requirements for the Juris Doctor in three years.  For details, see the explanation of this program in the Pre-Law section of the Bulletin

    Minor in English: 18 credits
    EL 102   Language and Rhetoric - 3 credits
    EL 325   Literary Criticism I:  Ancient to Modern - 3 credits
        or
    EL 326   Literary Criticism II:  Contemporary Theories -3 credits
    EL 114   British Literature:  Middle Ages to Restoration - 3 credits
        or
    EL 115   British Literature:  Neoclassicism to Modernism - 3 credits
    EL 131   American Literature:  Exploration to Civil War - credits
        or
    EL 132   American Literature:  Civil War to Present - 3 credits
    EL — Any 2 Advanced courses (200 level)

    Minor in Children’s Literature: 18 credits (6 courses)
    The Children's Literature Minor is designed to explore the various forms of literature written for children. Students investigate literary shifts involving the ways adults imagine and shape children's virtues and capabilities as well as how children live out or resist those fantasies. Analyzing texts written for children and about childhood, this minor provides the opportunity for both breadth and depth of study. English majors are ineligible for the minor but may concentrate in children's literature. 

    Required courses: 12 credits (4 courses)
    Choose four courses from the following lists. At least two must be introductory, 100-level, and at least one must be advanced, 200-level.
    EL 129   Young Adult Fiction - 3 credits
    EL 128   Children's Literature:  Fables to 1900 - 3 credits
    EL 130   Children’s Literature:  1900 to Present - 3 credits
    EL 259   Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature - 3 credits
    EL 272   Advanced Studies in Children's Literature - 3 credits
    EL 273   Representations of Childhood in Literature - 3 credits
    EL 274   Representations of Childhood in Film - 3 credits

    Elective courses:  6 credits (2 courses)
    Students are encouraged to choose from the courses listed above and/or choose relevant courses in related disciplines by approval of the director, Dr. Sara Lindey, sara.lindey@email.stvincent.edu.

    Minor in Creative Writing: 18 credits (6 courses)
    The Creative Writing Minor offers courses in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and literary translation. After three introductory courses in creative writing, students select a genre of focus for advanced study. The minor allows aspiring writers from all academic disciplines to develop their literary craft and become familiar with contemporary literature. Students build sufficient experience to pursue graduate study in creative writing and related fields. 

    Required courses: 12 credits (4 courses)
    Choose four courses from the following lists. At least two must be introductory, 100-level, and at least one must be advanced, 200-level.
    EL 110   Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 142   Creative Writing:  The Literary Magazine  - 3 credits 
    EL 144   Reading as Writers:  The Literary Essay - 3 credits
        or
    EL 145   Reading as Writers:  Poetry - 3 credits
    EL 203   Poetry Workshop - 3 credits
        or
    EL 204   Fiction Workshop - 3 credits
        or
    EL 244   Creative Nonfiction Workshop - 3 credits
        or
    EL 252   Literary Translation Workshop - 3 credits

    Fall Semester
    EL 102   Language and Rhetoric - 3 credits
    EL 114, 115, 131, or 132   British or American Literature - 3 credits
    Classical or Modern Language - 3-4 credits
    Mathematics or Natural Science - 3-4 credits
    100-level History - 3 credits

    All students will take one course designated as a First-Year Seminar which
    will satisfy a Core Curriculum requirement.

    Spring Semester
    TH 119   First Theology - 3 credits
    Classical or Modern Language - 3-4 credits
    Mathematics or Natural Science - 3-4 credits
    PL 101   First Philosophy - 3 credits
    EL 114, 115, 131, or 132   British or American Literature - 3 credits