General Education Courses

Literary and writing studies courses which meet requirements for general education at Niagara University.

WRT 100 - Writing and Rhetoric (WI)

Writing 100 introduces students to the reading and writing practices that characterize intellectual work in the university. Students are challenged to explore issues of interest and consequence, considering the perspectives of readers as well as their own. The course adopts a process approach to writing in a variety of academic genres, emphasizing pre-writing, researching, composing, revising, and editing as it prepares students for success at Niagara and beyond. (Previously known as Thinking and Writing before Fall 2020)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 110 - Literary Perspectives

These special topics courses allow 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. Students write extensively in this course, arguing for their own interpretations, and applying critical theoretical approaches used by literary scholars. Assigned literary works are diverse and multicultural.

Credit Hours: 3

Core Courses

Courses which meet the requirements for the English major core.

ENG 201 - Special Topics in American Literature (H, WI)

Concentrates on authors, topics, media, periods or movements in British and/or Commonwealth literature. Contextualizes literature against cultural, political or historical change, using materials from at least three literary periods. Students develop disciplinary knowledge, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills while generating new knowledge through ethical research.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 110

ENG 202 - Special Topics in British and Commonwealth Literature (H, WI)

Concentrates on authors, topics, media, periods or movements in British and/or Commonwealth literature. Contextualizes literature against cultural, political or historical change, using materials from at least three literary periods. Students develop disciplinary knowledge, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills while generating new knowledge through ethical research.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 110

ENG 260 - Methods of Literary Study (WI/H)

Seminar introducing students to English as a discipline, focusing on key debates and research methodologies. Students practice strategies for analysis of literary and cultural texts; they also learn to research, evaluate, and properly cite scholarship and to compose a critical essay that demonstrates knowledge of the readings and assumptions of major schools of literary criticism.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 100 or ENG 110

ENG 261 and WRT 261 (WI) - Methods of Writing Studies

A seminar introducing students to key concepts, historical developments, and methodologies within Writing Studies as well as how to locate, evaluate, and properly cite field-specific scholarship. Students practice field-specific research strategies including rhetorical analysis and produce a variety of creative, academic, and professional texts reflecting the diversity of the discipline. (WI) 

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 350 and WRT 350 - Style

An examination of style from its Western origins in classical rhetoric to its modern inception as a pillar of information design. Emphasis is placed on theories, practices, and pedagogies of style that enable students to gain more conscious control over their writing.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 490 - Senior Seminar (WI)

A series of seminars on a variety of topics in English and American literature proposed on a regular basis and rotated annually among the professors of the department. Each seminar requires that students demonstrate research skills commensurate with advanced study in English. Students must successfully complete this capstone course prior to graduation.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: Senior class standing

Upper-Level English Courses

Literary Studies

ENG 203-204 - Major British Writers, I, II (H)

An overview of English literature from Beowulf to the end of the Modern Era. Each major work is studied critically and textually in an historical context as a symptom of cultural change.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 100 or ENG 110

ENG 207 - Masterpieces of World Literature (H,CD)

Students read, discuss and analyze literature from cultures around the globe, from antiquity to the present. The course primarily explores texts from a variety of non-Western cultures (including African, Indian, Arabic and Chinese), alongside some works from European and/or American traditions. Discussions focus on understanding each work both through close reading and by situating it within its distinctive cultural context.

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 209 - Women and Literature in England I (H,CD)

Introduction to English literature by and about women, from the Middle Ages to 1700. Works of poetry, prose, and drama will be studied in generic and historical contexts as symptoms of cultural change. Interdisciplinary approach to gender, discrimination, social justice make this course an elective in the Women’s Studies Minor.

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 215-216 - Major American Writers I, II (H)

Chronological survey of authors, genres, movements and in uences from colonial writings to Civil War (Eng 215), and from Civil War through present (Eng 216). Emphasis on reading and interpreting primary material, using information about intellectual currents and historical backdrop, which create a vibrant, diverse, multicultural national literature.

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 218 - Native American Literature (H/CD)

This course explores the complex relationship between Anglo- American images of Native Americans and the self- representations of American Indian writers. We examine the process through which the Native American identity has been constructed, how this identity serves the dominant culture, and most importantly, how American Indian writers have resisted, challenged, appropriated, and/or transformed this identity through autobiography, fiction, poetry, and essay.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 110

ENG 300 - Medieval Literature (H)

An introductory course on the literatures of medieval England. The course typically includes texts from both the Old English (700-1100) and the Middle English (1100-1500) periods, including selected works of Chaucer. Students will read and discuss literature in a variety of genres (lyric poetry, Arthurian romance, religious allegory, etc.), and explore the distinctive aspects of medieval culture and society. (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 301 - Seventeenth Century Literature (H)

English prose and poetry from 1603-1700 excluding John Milton. Major emphasis is on Donne, Cavalier lyricists, and John Dryden. The poets’ relation to and expression of the philosophical, intellectual, religious and political movements are examined. (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 303 - English Renaissance Literature (H)

This course is a study of major literary achievements in poetry, prose and drama from the close of the Middle Ages to 1603. Students will study such in uential forms as the sonnet, romance epic and revenge tragedy, and read representative works by Elizabeth Cary, Queen Elizabeth I, Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Isabella Whitney and Thomas Wyatt. (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 305 - English Romantic Poetry (H)

Examines the common assumptions shared by the chief romantic poets, and the contribution each made to English romanticism, including the visionary mysticism of Blake; the revolt in poetic diction championed by Wordsworth; Coleridge’s concept of the imagination and fancy; the neoplatonic idealism of Shelley; Keatsean negative capability; and the classicism of Byron, whose popularity as a romantic poet was unrivaled among his contemporaries. (Post-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 306 - Victorian Poetry

Virtually every Victorian poet experienced a tension between devotion to individual sensibility, and commitment to the social and moral needs of the age. This course explores major poets’ attempts to reconcile con icting claims of private and public responsibility. Principal authors studied include Tennyson, Browning, and Arnold, with some consideration of the contribution of Rossetti, Hopkins, Housman and Hardy, among others. (Post-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 307 - The Modern Age Through Contemporary Literature (H)

A look at the complex 20th century through the eyes of selected modern English and American poets, novelists, and playwrights. Works by authors such as Yeats, Eliot, Dreiser, Faulkner, Bellow, Pinter, and Becket will be discussed with an eye toward defining a “spirit of the modern age.” (Post-1800 or Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 308 - Romanticism in America (H)

Examines distinctive features of the romantic movement in America, with major weight on the writings and thoughts of Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendental group, and the romantic reaction embodied by Hawthorne and Melville. The art of Poe is also discussed. (Advanced American.)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 310-312 - Studies in American Authors (H)

Single authors or combinations of authors studied in depth. For example, Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Toni Morrison, and Faulkner. Also groups such as Native American writers; Early American writers and American poets. May be taken up to three times, with different authors or topics. (Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 312 - Studies in American Authors: Writers of the American Southwest

In this course we will read and discuss a variety of authors who write about the American Southwest, including Native American, Chican@, and Anglo writers working in a range of genres, from fiction and poetry to memoir and nature writing.  We will study how the desert southwest and the border region function imaginatively and ideologically in the US, and explore issues related to gender, race, religion, multiculturalism, and the environment (among others) as they are raised by these writers.  Authors will likely include (but not be limited to) Edward Abbey, Rudolfo Anaya, Ana Castillo, Cormac McCarthy, and Leslie Marmon Silko. (Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 315 - Greek and Roman Literature (H)

This course explores the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, with special attention paid to classical epics, plays, and myths as both products of their times and foundational texts in the Western literary tradition. Authors studied may include Homer, Sophocles, Virgil and Ovid.

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 333 - Old English (AS/H)

An intensive introduction to Old English, the vernacular language of Anglo-Saxon England (ca. 500-1100 CE). Students learn the basics of Old English grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, translate selections of Old English prose, and read works of Old English literature in translation. (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 354 - Literature for Children and Adolescents (H)

A central question undergirds this course: What constitutes ‘good’ literature for children and adolescents? Students examine critical debates, methodologies, and resources relevant to evaluating texts and illustrations as they read and discuss a variety of works written for children and adolescents. Implications for teaching literature K-12 are also considered.

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 360 - Literary Criticism (H)

Introduction to theoretical approaches to literary analysis, typically emphasizing post-1960s developments in theory and criticism. The course may be conducted as a survey of important theoretical movements or a focused investigation of a major theoretical school or theorist, in either case exploring the applicability of theory to selected literary works.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 260

ENG and CMS 365 - Comics and Graphic Storytelling

This course introduces students to the study of comics as medium and narrative art form. Students explore important examples of comics storytelling, fundamentals of comics theory, and significant comics scholarship. The course may be focused on a particular creator, genre, or topic (e.g., the relationship between comics and other media). (Comparative Studies Elective)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 370 - Contemporary Anglophone and British Literature (H/CD)

This course examines contemporary Anglophone and British literatures in aesthetic, cultural, and political contexts, particularly as these relate to developments in literary theory and criticism. Attention is given to issues of canon formation and the meaning of “English” literature. The course may focus on a major theoretical issue or geographic locale. (Post-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 400 & THR 400 - Shakespeare (H)

This course examines in depth representative plays of Shakespeare in each of the genres; tragedy, comedy, history and romance, as well as the sonnets. (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 401 - Dante (H)

This course is an intensive introduction to selected works of the medieval poet Dante Alighieri, with particular attention paid to his Divine Comedy. Analysis and discussion focus primarily on Dante as narrative poet, lyricist, philosopher, and critic. The course also explores the cultural and historical contexts for Dante's work and, time permitting, his influence on later writers. (Pre-1800; Comparative Studies)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 405 - Milton (H)

Lycidas, minor poetry and “Paradise Lost” examined exhaustively and analyzed critically as to structure, language, prosopic technique, and thematic development. Stress on developing critical techniques to analyze the pastoral elegy and epic poem as applied to Milton's works, or other works of these genres. (“Paradise Regained” and “Samson Agonistes” examined as time permits). (Pre-1800)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 406 - Modern British Poetry (H)

This course traces attempts by 20th-century British poets to fashion a modernistic aesthetic. The influence of French symbolist poets, and of impressionist, expressionist, and surrealist theories help explain complexity of form and content typical of poets like Yeats, Eliot, Auden and Dylan Thomas, and provide a context for comparison with more recent verse of Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney. (Post-1800)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: permission of the instructor

ENG 407 - Modern American Novel (H)

A study of the modern American novel concentrating on Post- 1950 novelists. Some attention is paid to earlier novelists (Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck) to set the stage for discussion of contemporary novelists such as Bellow, Doctorow, Irving, and Walker. Discussion will focus on contemporary narrative theory and technique, and on varieties of setting, character, and themes in the modern American novel. (Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: permission of the instructor

ENG 409-411 - Topics in American Literature

Themes in American literature, such as Captivity Narratives through the 19th Century; Imagining Native Americans; The American Dream and Immigrant Writers; Poverty in the 20th Century American Literature; Freedom and Determinism in American Literature. May be taken up to three times, with different authors or topics. (Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 420-421 - ENG 420 (Pre-1800) and ENG 421 (Post-1800) The History of the English Novel (H)

Intensive genre study of representative novels spanning several literary periods, beginning in the early 18th century and culminating in an extensive examination of the contemporary English novel. Explores thematic, philosophical, and aesthetic considerations in the evolution of types of English novels. Students will become familiar with major British novelists, and may perform independent research into specific areas of English fiction.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: permission of the instructor

ENG 430 - 19th Century American Fictions (H)

A study of American fiction in the romantic, naturalist, and realist modes, covering such authors as Brown, Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Cable, Howells, James, Crane, and Norris, in light of the intellectual, philosophical and political forces that shaped their work. (Advanced American)

Credit Hours: 3

Writing Studies

ENG 221 and WRT 221 - Creative Writing (H/WI)

This course, taught in a workshop format, introduces the fundamental skills used by writers of poetry and fiction. The primary text of the course is the students’ original poems and short stories; works by contemporary writers are also read and analyzed. Students develop individual portfolios of revised work in fulfillment of course requirements. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 223 and CMS 223 - Creative Nonfiction (CD/H/WI)

Students will read and write creative non fuction from a number of sub-genres, including nature writing, personal essay/memoir, profiles, and reportage, considering possibilities for publication. They will explore the literature of reality — from the power of true stories, to the fascination of odd facts, to the revelation of insight. WRT 100 is a pre-requisite for this course. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 231 and WRT 231 - Business Communication (WI)

Emphasizes practical techniques of professional communication through the study of theories and practices of workplace communication. Students acquire and practice a variety of oral and written communication techniques through analysis, research, synthesis, and creation of workplace-focused documents such as memos, emails, reports, visuals, and other types of documents. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 321 and WRT 321 - Poetry Writing (H, WI)

Theory and practice of poetry. Workshop format, building on skills from ENG 221 (WRT 221). Assignments include poems, essays, presentations, and responses to readings. Texts include student writing, contemporary poetry, and essays by contemporary poets. Students develop portfolios of revised work prepared during the semester. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 221, or permission of the instructor

ENG 341 - Editing and Collaboration (H, WI)

This course develops skills students need to write successfully in college, in the workplace, and in their everyday lives. It prepares students for the various types of writing they would do as professional editors or writers, including synthesizing information from various sources, providing feedback to other writers to guide their revision, managing multi-authored documents, and co-authoring. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 342 and WRT 342 - Special Topics in Web Writing (H, WI)

A course which focuses on specific trends, genres, or aspects of Web writing. Topics include: Web writing in social, workplace or academic contexts; unique genres of Web writing (blogs, wikis, forums); challenges to traditional media and publishing made by Web writing. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 343 and WRT 343 - Studies in Rhetorical Theory (H, WI)

Offers in-depth study of rhetorical theory. The course may focus on one or more periods (e.g., Classical rhetoric, Enlightenment rhetoric), theorists (e.g., Aristotle, Burke), or concepts (e.g., invention, metaphor). May be taken up to three times with different course material.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100, or permission of instructor.

ENG 345 and WRT 345 - Science Writing (H, WI)

Examines the forms of communication undergirding science. Students analyze and write in a variety of scientific genres as they learn the rhetorical dynamics of research. Emphasis is also placed on the public understanding of science, including representations of science in fine art and film.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100

ENG 346/546 and WRT 346/546 - Visual Rhetoric (H, WI)

Students analyze and synthesize the rhetorical principles by which visuals are produced and used to inform, educate, advocate, and persuade. Students also consider the cultural contents for visual communication, how visuals work with other forms of communication, and the ethical implications of how visuals are used for rhetorical purposes.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100, or permission of instructor.

ENG 348/548 and WRT 348/548 - Ethnography and Travel Writing (H, CD, WI)

This course focuses on nonfiction writing about culture. Students use participant-observation and interviewing as tools for developing vivid characters, scenes, dialog, and story elements, while reading Latin American and Hispanic ethnography for exemplars. Emphasis is placed on writing that promotes cultural awareness and understanding of the changing American demographic. Travel not required. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: WRT 100, or permission of instructor.

ENG 351 and WRT 351 - Grant Writing (H, WI)

This course introduces students to the process of applying for grants in their area of specialization using research and documentation skills. Students gain practice analyzing the mission, values, and priorities of philanthropic and other funding institutions, and apply that knowledge to their organizational and/or individual ethos. This course culminates in a grant proposal, requiring extensive persuasive and analytic writing. (Advanced Composition; part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: ENG 231, or permission of the instructor

ENG 355 - Teaching Composition (WI)

Designed for prospective elementary and high school English teachers, this course examines current research and theory in composition studies and the implications for teaching writing. (

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 356 - English Grammar: Theory and Practice (H)

A survey of English grammar and syntax. Students receive instruction and practice in exercising grammatical options to enhance writing style. They also consider research in linguistics and its implications for teaching and for social justice. (Part of Writing Studies minor)

Credit Hours: 3

ENG 510 and WRT 510 - Introduction to Academic Writing

This course introduces students to common genres, methods, and approaches for academic writing at the graduate level such as literature reviews, conference papers and presentations, and academic articles.  The course emphasizes that academic norms, styles, and standards vary by discipline and assists students in determining appropriate ones for their chosen discipline(s).

Credit Hours: 3


ENG 414 and 415 - Honors Thesis I and II

Individual research of a substantive nature pursued in the student’s major field of study. The research will conclude in a written thesis or an original project, and an oral defense. Students enrolled in the university’s honors program write a thesis during their senior year. Students who are not enrolled in the honors program may obtain departmental honors by completing this sequence of courses. Student and instructor must agree on specific topic for research.

Credit Hours: 6

ENG 440 - Independent Study

Provides an opportunity for intensive work in an area of particular interest to the student and a faculty member. Departmental approval necessary.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor

ENG 493, 494, 495, 496 - English Internship/Co-op

A junior or senior work-study program providing relevant employment experience. e program integrates classroom theory and practical work experience. (Transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours in the major at Niagara University before enrollment. Registration is to be arranged through the chairperson.)

Credit Hours: 3

Previously Offered Courses

These courses were offered as part of the previous curriculum for English majors/minors but are no longer offered under the new curriculum.

ENG 100 - Introduction to Literature (WI)

Introduces students to several genres of literature (usually poetry, drama, fiction), and to contemporary critical-theoretical approaches literary scholars use. Students write extensively in this course, arguing for their own interpretations, applying critical approaches, and incorporating secondary source ideas in thesis-driven analysis. Assigned literary works are diverse and multicultural, and may be organized by theme or motif.

Credit Hours: 3