English Literature and Language
English majors (EN) at St. Mary's University explore the power of language in action through a wide range of critical methods and a diversity of texts, from Beowulf and the House on Mango Street to Leaves of Grass and Persepolis. Through courses in literature, criticism, and language, students learn about themselves, social issues and cultural concerns, as well as the potential of story and language to transform society. English majors read multiethnic and international writers to better understand the globalized society in which they live. The English major offers a comprehensive degree, integrating research and writing processes, that enhance creativity, analytical thinking, and presentation skills, in a variety of media. Through exploring literature, students engage world cultures, religions, philosophies, histories, ethics, and economics. The English major applies classroom learning in high impact experiences such as: Internships, Undergraduate Research, Study Abroad, the student newspaper The Rattler, and the literary magazine, The Pecan Grove Review.
English (EN) minors can shape their experience by choosing courses to support an interest in: literature; writing; culture and identity; language; service, justice and peace.
English - Communication Arts Major
English-Communication Arts (EA) majors combine the knowledge and skills of an English major with that of a degree in Communication Studies. This integrated double-major facilitates opportunities for students to hone their critical thinking and writing skills, in conjunction with media production skills. In the EA program students examine how the power of both language and image are used to promote the common good, as they wrestle with how their own communication practices enhance, not only their personal and professional pursuits, but also their engagement in the civic realm. The EA major applies classroom learning in high impact experiences such as: Internships, Undergraduate Research, Study Abroad, the student newspaper The Rattler, and the literary magazine, The Pecan Grove Review.
English Language Arts and Reading (Teacher Certification) Major
The B.A. in English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) with Teacher Certification is for students who are seeking an English major with Texas teacher certification for grades 4-8 or 7-12. Please contact the Education Department for specific information on certification requirements.
Majors in English
- B.A. in English
- B.A. in English Communications Arts
- B.A. in English Language Arts and Reading with Teacher Certification (Secondary)
Minors in English
EN 0301. Intermediate Rhetoric & Composition. 3 Semester Hours.
This course, an introduction to writing and composition, is intended for international undergraduate students whose first language is not English and who do not meet TOEFL/IELTS score requirements for EN 1313 (Rhetoric and Composition for International Students). It emphasizes the structure of a paragraph, function of the topic sentence, supporting details, transitional expressions, and academic grammar usage. Students must pass the course with a grade of “C” grade or better to progress to EN 1313. This is a non-credit course. FALL, SPRING.
EN 1311. Rhetoric and Composition. 3 Semester Hours.
This course emphasizes the composing process, including development and control of authorial voice through pre-writing, shaping, and editing of product for audience and purpose. Required of all students, regardless of major, this course should be taken in the first semester. Must pass with a "C" grade or better. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER I.
EN 1313. Rhetoric and Composition for International Students. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is an enriched freshman composition experience for non-native speakers of English. Students receive instruction in the composing process by studying theory, analyzing model compositions, and completing in-class writing exercises, to produce formal academic compositions of their own. A personal tutor is assigned to aid students with specific writing needs. Must pass with a “C” grade or better. FALL, SPRING.
EN 2323. Survey of International Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on critical readings of representative works in translation of fiction, essay, poetry, and drama. Critical writing and research based on readings. Prerequisite: EN 1311 or EN 1313. FALL, SPRING.
EN 2352. Survey of British Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is a critical reading survey of selections from early through twenty-first century British literature. Critical writing and research based on readings. Prerequisite: EN1311 or EN 1313. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER I.
EN 2357. American Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is a critical reading survey from the beginnings through twenty-first century American literature. Critical writing and research based on the readings. Prerequisite: EN 1311 or EN 1313. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER II.
EN 2399. Special Topics in English. 3 Semester Hours.
Special Topics in English (Elective transfer credit only).
EN 3300. Advanced Composition. 3 Semester Hours.
This course explores the expository essay: the review, critical essay, essay of definition, essay of persuasion, position paper. Focus on writing across majors. Prerequisites: EN 1311 or EN 1313, plus SMC 2304, or if it is a school-specific requirement, 3 hours of EN 2323, EN 2352, or EN 2357. FALL, SPRING.
EN 3301. Advanced Research Writing Practice. 3 Semester Hours.
This course emphasizes the development and practice of academic writing and research skills. The objectives are to critically analyze scholarly sources and effectively integrate source material into a complex argument. Assignments include prewriting exercises, a critique, a critical annotated bibliography, a literature review, and a statement of proposed research. SPRING.
EN 3302. Advanced Research Writing for Publication. 3 Semester Hours.
This course emphasizes the development and practice of academic writing and research skills. The objectives are to critically analyze scholarly sources and effectively integrate source material into a complex argument. Assignments include prewriting exercises, a critique, a critical annotated bibliography, a literature review, and a statement of proposed research. Ultimately, students will produce and edit a finished essay to submit to an appropriate print or web publication. SPRING.
EN 3310. Introduction to the Creative Process. 3 Semester Hours.
This course offers strategies for developing verbal expression and for evaluating our own and others’ literary efforts. Students produce short stories and poetry.
EN 3311. Poetry Writing Workshop. 3 Semester Hours.
This course emphasizes analysis of a wide range of poetry and the creative process, as students increase their understanding and enjoyment of this art form, while they also develop their skills as poets. Performance required.
EN 3312. Fiction Writing Workshop. 3 Semester Hours.
This course facilitates experimentation with a variety of structures and forms, as exemplified in the works of a variety of American, British, and International authors, in student writing of fiction.
EN 3313. Linguistics: Grammar as Communication. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines grammatical structures and practices in written communication.
EN 3315. Children’s Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course includes a critical reading survey of selections of children's literature, identification and perception of literary conventions, types and genres of literature, and an appreciation of the role of children's literature in the transmission of cultural heritage. Models of extension reading activities will be demonstrated and used in school settings. Field experience required. SPRING.
EN 3321. Persuasive Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines classical and more recent approaches to persuasive prose, facilitating student composition of effective claims and convincing arguments.
EN 3331. Free-Lance Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on writing non-fiction articles for commercial publication.
EN 3332. Publication Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on writing for a targeted market, copyright issues, proofreading, style sheets, manuscript preparation, and the publishing industry.
EN 3333. Business Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
This course emphasizes the practice of writing clear, effective, professional business documents, such as email, memos, letters, and reports.
EN 3341. Teaching of Composition. 3 Semester Hours.
Focuses on rhetoric as both theory and practice, studying the history of rhetorical theory from Aristotle to the present, researching recent composing processes and methods for facilitating and developing student writing in today's culturally diverse classroom. Required for all EN-ED majors.
EN 3342. Technical Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
This course explores advanced writing in technical, scientific, and business fields, providing students with broad experience in report-writing formats, such as abstracts, proposals, operation manuals, progress reports, and other correspondence.
EN 3345. Creative Non Fiction. 3 Semester Hours.
This course facilitates student production of literary writing that braids narrative with fictional and poetic techniques to combine portraiture and self-reflection with reportage and critical analysis. Exploring a variety of categories including essay, literary journalism, and memoir, students draw from memory, observation, reflection, research, and storytelling to craft rich non-fiction.
EN 3350. Introduction to the Critical Study of Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course engages students in an historical approach to literary analysis, an exploration of literary terms and their application, and an investigation of a variety of analytical approaches to literature including theories of formalism, poststructuralism, and eco criticism. Required for all English Majors and Minors, and should be taken as early in the program as possible. Recommended for all EA Majors and Minors. SPRING, FALL.
EN 3351. The History of the English Language. 3 Semester Hours.
This course engages students in the story of English from its beginnings as the language of Beowulf through its transformation by social, political, economic, and military forces, especially the invasion of England in 1066, into a global lingua franca.
EN 3352. How English Works. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on the syntax of an English sentence. Students explore syntactic foundations by identifying and manipulating grammatical structures and their various functions. By doing so, they emerge as stronger writers and editors who can successfully develop within and adapt to a variety of communication environments, ranging from academic prose to poetry, fiction, journalism, and social media.
EN 3361. Poetry Analysis. 3 Semester Hours.
Study of diction, imagery, tone, and theme in poetry. Analysis of types, versification, and the critical language used in the study of poetry.
EN 3362. Fiction Analysis. 3 Semester Hours.
Intensive study of the structures of fiction: narrative voice, characterization, setting, symbol, tone, and theme. Includes a study of novels and short stories by writers such as Henry James, Edith Wharton, Toni Bambara, Jorge LuÍs Borges, Albert Camus, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, Yukio Mishima.
EN 3363. Drama Analysis. 3 Semester Hours.
Study of drama from many countries. Discussion about dramatic structure, character, plot, setting, dialogue, and theme.
EN 3371. Contemporary Literary Criticism. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is an application of critical approaches, including reader-response, psychoanalytical, mythic, socio-historical, and feminist approaches, to works of literature.
EN 3372. Rhetorical Criticism. 3 Semester Hours.
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts and tools of describing, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating a variety of texts. Grounded in rhetorical theory, this course helps students learn about the nature, function and effects of communications and develop the skills necessary to produce written, scholarly, analytical critiques.
EN 3381. Modern Short Story. 3 Semester Hours.
Cross-cultural reading of the modern short story; historical development of the
genre; theory and practice of short story criticism.
EN 3391. Author and Work. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on the body of work by one or two major authors, such as Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Doris Lessing and Margaret Atwood, James Joyce and Edna O’Brien, or Ernest Hemingway, with an emphasis on specific genres developed by writers.
EN 3395. Bible as Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course examines the historical process that culminated in the canonical books of the Bible and the study of the different genres which constitute those books. The course also covers the process through which the basic English translations, the King James and Douay-Rheims versions, were made, and traces the influence of biblical allusion and style in the works of several major writers.
EN 4310. American Romanticism: Origins and Development. 3 Semester Hours.
This course engages students in the study of how a distinctly American literature developed through the themes of individuality, nature, the rejection of materialism, and social reform. The course includes the writings of authors such as Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Dickinson, Whitman, Poe, Hawthorne, Stowe, Melville, Douglass, and Jacobs. This is a writing- and research-intensive course.
EN 4312. American Realism and Naturalism. 3 Semester Hours.
The course will probe how the novel as genre in the Age of Realism and Naturalism (Civil War to First World War) expresses the class, racial, and gender tensions of the times. Typical authors read include Twain, James, Howells, Wharton, Jewett, Dreiser.
EN 4331. Contemporary American Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course embraces the rise of post-WWII feminine and minority voices. It coincides with America's reluctant assumption of the role of world power and adds significantly to an understanding of ourselves as a diverse people with a distinct culture within the world community. Intensive research and writing are required. (formerly EN 4353).
EN 4332. Literature and Film. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is an in-depth study of films and their connection to literature, with emphasis on the characteristics of cinema-drama (as opposed to stage-drama).
EN 4351. Medieval English Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
In this course, students explore cultural meaning and literary excellence in a world lit only by fire. The medieval worldview is examined as made manifest in classic works such as in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.
EN 4365. Shakespeare Studies I. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on Shakespeare’s dramatic and poetic genius through critical student of selected works, to understand how the Bard’s use of literary elements, motifs, and conventions generate themes of the works, as well as how those works were influenced by a variety of social and cultural issues and how they continue to influence society and culture.
EN 4375. Novel Analysis. 3 Semester Hours.
This course explores the rise and development of the novel through political, gender, class, and cultural analyses.
EN 4381. Nineteenth Century British Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course covers the poetry and prose of the Romantic and Victorian periods. It considers the influence of historical, social, political, and philosophical thought on the literature and the effect of ideas developed during this time on contemporary thinking.
EN 4398. Modernism. 3 Semester Hours.
This course tracks Modernism as a concept from its beginnings as a major aesthetic and philosophical revolt to its evolution as it is reflected in a variety of literary works.
EN 5325. Classical Literature of the Western World. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the classic works of the Western World from Dante to Moliere, to more recent authors such as Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Works selected represent the various literary movements of the Western World.
EN 5326. Multicultural American Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on literature from diverse American cultures.
EN 5327. Mexican American Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
Students examine readings that emphasize the major genres and cultural perspectives in Mexican-American Literature. Students engage in critical reading, critical writing, and critical analysis of these works written in English.
EN 5330. Women Authors. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on the cross-cultural reading of women authors’ texts and the study of the development of a woman's tradition in literature, with an emphasis on the themes, genres, and writing styles created by female authors. Intensive research and writing are required.
EN 5333. Latin American Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
The course explores a variety of literature by Latin American authors.
EN 5335. Catholic Authors. 3 Semester Hours.
The focus of this course is on the cultural, philosophical, historical, and religious vision of a selection of major catholic authors from early writers such as Dante and Sor Juana Ines. to writers of the present time, such as Shusaku Endo, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy.
EN 5340. Language of Peace. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on the role of language in promoting, challenging, and sustaining cultures of peace and war.
EN 5348. South Asian Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course focuses on the literature, culture, and life of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Students read and examine the novel, short story, and film.
EN 5349. Irish Literature. 3 Semester Hours.
This course introduces students to the culture and history of Ireland as it reshapes its cultural identity and negotiates its disproportionately large effects on the wider world.
EN 5360. Special Studies. 3 Semester Hours.
This course provides innovative approaches to selected topics in literature: literary genre, history, and criticism. Stress on relationship of literature to other disciplines. It also may include courses within other of the department’s designated areas. Students may take a second version of this course listed as EN5361.
EN 5361. Special Studies. 3 Semester Hours.
This course provides innovative approaches to selected topics in literature: literary genre, history, and criticism. Stress on relationship of literature to other disciplines. It also may include courses within other of the department’s designated areas. Students may take a second version of this course listed as EN5360.
EN 5390. Internship in English. 3 Semester Hours.
This course reinforces academic work by providing students with a range of opportunities for pre-professional workplace experience. Open to juniors and seniors only. Internships must follow general University guidelines and be approved by the Internship Coordinator. A second Internship (EN 5391) may be taken as an elective to further develop skills acquired in the first internship or to acquire different skills. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER I.
EN 5391. Internship in English. 3 Semester Hours.
This course reinforces academic work by providing students with a range of opportunities for pre-professional workplace experience. Open to juniors and seniors only. Internships must follow general University guidelines and be approved by the Internship Coordinator. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER I.
EN 5394. Research in English and Cultural Studies. 3 Semester Hours.
This course introduces students to advanced qualitative research methods applicable to English, Cultural Studies, and related or interdisciplinary fields. The sheer volume and fluidity of information as well as the constantly changing portals for accessing information requires different ways of thinking about, doing, and teaching research. The course helps students re-think writing, presentation, and publication in light of changing expectations. Recommended to be taken in the junior year. SPRING.
EN 5395. Senior English Capstone. 3 Semester Hours.
Required of English majors and those with a concentration in English. The seminar focuses on developing the student's understandings and skills acquired through the study of Language, Literature, and Writing. FALL.
Diane Bertrand, M.A.
Margaret Cantu-Sanchez, Ph.D.
Francesca Coley, Ph.D.
Bonita Dattner-Garza, Ph.D.
Benjamin Doty, Ph.D.
Mary Lynne Hill, Ph.D.
Alice Kersnowski, Ph.D.
Kathleen Maloney, Ph.D.
Refugio Romo, Ph.D.
Melissa Scully, M.A.