English Courses

Develop critical thinking, writing and reading skill— vital to success in any profession and to being an engaged and informed citizen.

First-Year Composition

ENG 090, ENG 111 and ENG 112 are part of a required composition sequence for all North Carolina Wesleyan University students. These courses ensure that our students are familiar with the expectations for academic writing at the college level. Incoming freshmen will be placed into ENG 090 or ENG 111 based on their high school GPA and SAT (or ACT) scores. Students who want to contest their placement must take the Placement Test created by the Department of English before the start of their first semester.

ENG 090 Basic Writing & Reading

The course seeks to develop the student’s writing and reading skills as preparation for college work. Individualized instruction will be available and each student will do considerable work in those areas appropriate to his needs. ENG 090 carries elective course credit and may not be used to satisfy any general education requirements and is graded Pass/Fail.

ENG 111 Writing I

The purpose of this course is to improve the student’s ability to speak effectively, read critically and write clearly. Emphasis is on writing expository essays. A grade of “C” or better is required to pass.

ENG 112 Writing II

Prerequisite: ENG 111

The purpose of this course is to increase the student’s ability to develop written arguments, conduct research, interpret evidence and advance proposals in a reasoned and persuasive way orally and in writing. A grade of “C” or better is required to pass.

Recent Offerings in Literature & Writing

Each semester the Department of English offers a different slate of literature and writing courses. Below you will find descriptions for some of the courses taught in the last few years. Please visit the North Carolina Wesleyan University Course Catalog for a complete list of our offerings.

ENG 206 British Literature II: From Empire to Brexit

(offered every Spring, Dr. Doreen Thierauf)

Prerequisite: ENG 112

This course explores the British Empire during its expansion in the 19th century, its collapse in the mid-20thcentury, and its effects on British self-identification today. We survey Britain’s role in this first true age of globalization and trace how the period’s literature reflects the Empire’s acquisitive ethos. By studying fiction, poetry, essays and speeches from the past 200 years, we will begin to grasp how the British Empire represented the endlessly diverse peoples under its rule to itself and how its cultural productions created assumptions about the world which Britain has not entirely shaken off today. Texts covered include The History of Mary Prince, Jane Eyre, and Wide Sargasso Sea.

ENG 304 Business Communication

(offered each semester)

Prerequisite: Junior Standing and ENG 112

This course emphasizes the importance of building and maintaining relationships in business through the crafting of professional documents, including memos, business letters, proposals and technical manuals. Students will also be introduced to the ethics of business writing.

ENG 311 Shakespeare

(offered every other Spring, Dr. Lee Templeton)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206

Covering a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances and the political, cultural, and religious contexts in which these works were written, this course offers students the opportunity to become better acquainted with the work of Shakespeare, develop a greater appreciation for his plays as texts for reading and performance, and better understand how those texts engaged with the theatrical, historical, and social tensions of Elizabethan and Jacobean England.

ENG 312 The Medieval Foundations of Tolkien’s World

(offered every other Spring, Dr. Lee Templeton)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206

The literature of the European Middle Ages has had a profound impact on the modern imagination. This influence is nowhere more apparent than in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. As a medieval scholar, Tolkien edited texts like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and wrote extensively on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English, drawing on these works for inspiration for his own. This course is designed as a study of some of the medieval texts from which Tolkien drew, as well as the scholarly and fictional work of Tolkien himself, in order to trace the transformation of medieval texts in the popular modern imagination.

ENG 313 Studies in British Literature after 1700: Victorian Monsters

(offered every other Spring, Dr. Doreen Thierauf)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206.

This course considers how the Victorians’ construction of monstrosity reflects their particular historical moment, characterized by industrialization, colonization, and scientific development. Through a critical examination of monsters in literature, we will explore anxieties, fears, and ideals of Victorian society, paying close attention to issues of gender, sexuality, class, race, empire, scientific, and technology. Texts covered include Wuthering Heights, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Dracula.

ENG 415 Writing and Rhetoric

(offered every other Fall)

Prerequisite: Junior Standing and ENG 112

This course introduces students to the history and theory of rhetoric from Aristotle to LuMing Mao, from the classical to the comparative. Students will delve deeply into the use of rhetorical concepts, analyze the rhetoric of modern genres and media and develop their own expertise through the creation of multimodal projects.

ENG 422 Studies in International Literature: Global Masculinities

(offered every other Fall, Dr. Margaret Love)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206

The novels and poetry we will read in this class present a range of global experiences and expressions of masculinity, though they certainly do not represent the entirety of what might be expressed or experienced under that term. Using this group of texts, we will discuss important topics such as identity, gender expectations/stereotypes, and the relationships between colonialism, racism, migration, and ideas or understandings of masculinity. Authors include Danez Smith, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Mohammed Hanif, Chinua Achebe, and Aimé Césaire.

ENG 423 Studies in Contemporary Literature: The Dystopian Novel

(offered every other Fall, Dr. Doreen Thierauf)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206

This course explores one of the most exciting genres of contemporary prose fiction, the dystopian novel, to familiarize students with its themes, formal structures and historical significance. Be warned, there are no happy endings in this course. Authors covered may include Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Suzanne Collins and others.

ENG 424 African American Literature: Afrofuturism

(offered every other Fall, Dr. Doreen Thierauf)

Prerequisite: Six semester hours from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206

This course analyzes the various ways in which writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers of the African diaspora use Afrofuturism to critique racial injustice in the present and imagine free black futures. Writers covered include Octavia Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor and many others.

HUM 495H The Viking Age: Literature and Culture (Honors Course)

(scheduling varies, Dr. Lee Templeton)

This course focuses on the culture and literature of the Viking Age – the sagas, romances, Eddic poetry – and reevaluates the stereotypical vision of the Viking. It also examines the influence that Norse religion and culture had on other European literary traditions. We will read these texts closely and discuss them thoroughly, examining issues of socio-economic mobility, gender, religion, and the shifting relationship of the class structure.