English 110 Topics

ENG 110: Literary Perspectives, is Niagara's new general education literature course for all students. ENG 110 is a special topics course which allows students to concentrate on a significant author, topic, genre, medium, period, or movement set against contextualizing backdrops of literary, cultural, political, and/or historical change. Different sections of ENG 110 focus on different topics.

Topics, course descriptions, sections, and professors for Fall and Spring 2018 are listed below.

Fall 2018 Topics

Literary Lives (ENG 110A; Dr. Martin)
Biography, said Samuel Johnson, is at the heart of all good literature. This course will examine the often mundane or unappreciated biographical events in the lives of famous writers which have become the motivating factor behind the creation of some of England's most well-known literary works. Students will learn how the scandalous relationship between a famous lord and his sister led to the creation of the Romantic hero, a literary type that dominated nineteenth century literature and  anticipated the emergence of the modern anti-hero; or how the tragic death of his best friend led one poet to immortalize his loss in England's greatest elegy; or how an orphan boy's love of the outdoors among the hills and lakes of northern England inspired him to become the greatest poet of his age.   

Modern Irish Writers (ENG 110B; Dr. Martin)
This course examines the contributions of William Butler Yeats toward the end of the nineteenth century to a literary movement uniquely nationalist in spirit which became known as the Irish Literary Revival. As the most prominent Revivalist author, Yeats aimed at overturning the prevailing English dominance of Ireland's national literature. Well into the twentieth century, however, subsequent Irish authors challenged the Revivalist assumptions that had been championed by Yeats in an effort to create works which they believed more accurately reflected the realities of Irish life. Whether the harsh countryside of Patrick Kavanagh's Inniskeene, the urban setting of James Joyce's Dubliners, or the cherished landscape of Seamus Heaney's Ulster, three generations of Irish writers have tried to come to terms with the assumptions that underlie the Irish Literary Revival first articulated by Yeats.  

Forms and Approaches (ENG 110C: Dr. Collington)
This section of ENG110 explores how literary forms and genres, as well as poetic and rhetorical conventions, communicate meanings to the reader. Using a variety of short stories, poems, and one play, students will familiarize themselves with the “tools” of literature, and practice techniques of literary analysis.

Morality in Literature (ENG 110D and ENG 110E: Prof. Stein)
This section focuses on issues of morality in literature through the exploration of various texts.

Graphic Novels  (ENG 110F: Dr. Pinti)
This section introduces students to the academic analysis of comics as a multi-modal medium, the complex relationships between comics and literature, and the analysis of long-form comics known as graphic novels.  The primary focus will be on graphic novels (of various genres) published in the 21st century.

21st Century Prose Fiction (ENG 110G and ENG 110H: Dr. Laurel)
This section draws from non-textbook anthologies and resources to supply a reading list of materials published in the 21st century. We'll look at a range of styles and subjects that will provide a springboard for students to continue reading for pleasure long after college.

To Be Announced (ENG 110I and ENG 110J)
A description for these sections of ENG 110 will be added as soon as it is available.

Literary Niagara (ENG 110K; Dr. Carr)
For centuries, Niagara Falls has captured writer’s imaginations, mythically and symbolically expressed in travel essays, poetry, short stories and novels. Yet, little of that work is read today, relegated instead to the regional margins of literary study. What value can a literary heritage bring to a region? This course begins with two theoretical premises: 1.) that “place is a way of seeing, knowing, and understanding the world” (Place: An Introduction); and 2.) that literature might “help people reimagine the places where they live and their relations to those places” (The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place). We’ll examine the contested images, interpretations, and land at Niagara Falls across time and embark on excursions to explore the sites/sights that we think we know well.

Memory and Trauma (ENG 110L; Dr. Carr)
This course examines the role of storytelling in relation to historical trauma and inherited memory. We’ll explore literature as a mode of bearing witness, analyzing both written and visual narrative forms that challenge convention, confront difficult pasts, and deconstruct assumed divisions between self and other. Taking literature as performative, we’ll ask questions about the effects on readers and how we are called to respond as inheritors of this literary memory.

Spring 2018 Topics

Literary Lives (ENG 110A; Dr. Martin)
Biography, said Samuel Johnson, is at the heart of all good literature. This section will examine the often mundane or unappreciated biographical events in the lives of famous writers which have become the motivating factor behind the creation of some of England’s most well known literary works. Students will learn how the scandalous relationship between a famous lord and his sister led to the creation of the Romantic hero, a literary type that dominated nineteenth century literature and  anticipated the emergence of the modern anti-hero; or how the tragic death of his best friend led one poet to immortalize his loss in England’s greatest elegy; or how an orphan boy’s love of the outdoors among the hills and lakes of northern England inspired him to become the greatest poet of his age.   

Graphic Novels  (ENG 110B: Dr. Pinti)
This section introduces students to the academic analysis of comics as a multi-modal medium, the complex relationships between comics and literature, and the analysis of long-form comics known as graphic novels.  The primary focus will be on graphic novels (of various genres) published in the 21st century.

Literary Niagara (ENG 110CHYB; Dr. Carr)
This section explores the way writers have responded to and helped to shape the meaning of the Falls over the past three centuries. We will frame our understanding with theoretical readings of landscape, place and travel writing. Students should be prepared to read a number of nineteenth century texts, write weekly, and commit to attending 3 excursions off campus.

Form as Communication (ENG 110D: Dr. Collington)
This section of ENG110 explores how literary forms and genres, as well as poetic and rhetorical conventions, communicate meanings to the reader. Using a variety of short stories, poems, and one play, students will familiarize themselves with the “tools” of literature, and practice techniques of literary analysis.

Irish Writers (ENG 110E; Dr. Martin)
This section of ENG 110 examines the contributions of William Butler Yeats toward the end of the nineteenth century to a literary movement uniquely nationalist in spirit which became known as the Irish Literary Revival. As the most prominent Revivalist author, Yeats aimed at overturning the prevailing English dominance of Ireland’s national literature. Well into the twentieth century, however, subsequent Irish authors challenged the Revivalist assumptions that had been championed by Yeats in an effort to create works that more accurately reflected the realities of Irish life. Whether the harsh countryside of Patrick Kavanagh’s Inniskeene, the urban setting of James Joyce’s Dubliners, or the cherished landscape of Seamus Heaney’s Ulster, three generations of Irish writers have tried to come to terms with the assumptions that underlie the Irish Literary Revival.  

Modern Literature (ENG 110F: Prof. Dicamillo)
This section of ENG 110 focuses on modernism in literature from 1900 to 1950.

American Short Stories (ENG110G: Dr. Kot)
American Short Stories focuses on the development of the short story in America, from early writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne to 20th-century writers such as Ernest Hemingway and contemporary writers such as Stephen King. We will examine how the short story has provided a vehicle through which to explore the American dream and American identity as well as gender, socio-economic, and racial conflict. We will also work with artwork from the Castellani Art Museum to compare how writers and artists address similar concerns in their works. 

21st Century Prose Fiction (ENG 110H: Dr. Laurel)
This section draws from non-textbook anthologies and resources to supply a reading list of materials published in the 21st century. We'll look at a range of styles and subjects that will provide a springboard for students to continue reading for pleasure long after college.

Morality in Literature (ENG 110I and ENG 110J: Prof. Stein)
This section focuses on issues of morality in literature through the exploration of various texts.