Department of English

Department Objectives

  • To provide a broad cultural background for the understanding and appreciation of the character and ideals of human beings and society through courses in literature, composition, and English language;
  • To improve communication skills through practice in diverse types of expository and imaginative writing;
  • To develop critical thinking through exposure to and interpretation of the various world views offered in literary works;
  • To increase appreciation for literature, its backgrounds, history, and values, through analysis and discussion of literary works covering a wide range of attitudes, perspectives, and expressions;
  • To prepare future teachers of Language Arts and English for elementary, middle, secondary, and college teaching.

(Upon request, the Department provides prospective students with a more detailed list of objectives.)

English Major

Four options are available in this major:

  1. English - Bachelor of Arts Degree
  2. English - Writing Emphasis - Bachelor of Arts Degree
  3. English 7-12 Teaching Subject Endorsement - Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree
  4. Language Arts 7-12 Teaching Field Endorsement - Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree

The minors in English, Childhood and Youth Studies, Creative Writing, Film Studies and Popular Culture are available for students pursuing majors in other disciplines. The Elementary Education Major has a specially defined minor in English.

Sam Umland, Chair

Professor: Susan Honeyman, Robert Luscher, Marguerite Tassi, Rebecca Umland, Sam Umland

Associate Professor: Michelle Beissel Heath, Megan Hartman, Maria O'Malley, Denys Van Renen

Assistant Professor: Jessica Hollander, Seth Long

Senior Lecturer: Jane Christensen, Annarose Steinke, Jan Thompson, Jenara Turman

Lecturer: Bobby Meyer

English (ENGL)

ENG 100A – English for Academic Purposes     3 credit hours

An introduction to the challenge of reading and writing academic prose. The course encourages students to become more analytical, interpretative, and self-conscious of the persuasive motives of writing. Students learn to develop, organize, and express complex ideas that are appropriate for the academic context. Study of the writing processes will include multiple drafts, revision, invention, and critical thinking strategies.

ENG 101 – Introduction of Academic Writing     3 credit hours

A study of the art of composition with special emphasis on the writing process and on essay form. Students study methods of invention and arrangement and hone their stylistic, grammatical, and punctuation skills.
Prerequisite: ENG 100A or English ACT score of 15 or greater

ENG 102 – Academic Writing and Research     3 credit hours

A continuing study of composition with emphasis on intertextuality. Students learn to read texts in a variety of ways, to respond to those texts, to integrate voices from multiple sources into a single paper using standard citation conventions, and to find pertinent information through library research or interviews and to use it to create coherent and well-developed papers.
Prerequisite: ENG 101 or equivalent or English ACT score of 29 or above

ENG 110 – Writing Tutorial     1 credit hour

Offered by the Writing Center, this course is an individually structured sequence of assignments designed to improve students' writing. The assignments may be focused on particular skills, e.g. writing from sources or writing essay tests. Students may register through the ninth week of the semester.
Total Credits Allowed: 2.00

ENG 153 – Democratic Vistas     3 credit hours

This course focuses on two questions: WHAT IS AN AMERICAN? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AMERICAN? Students will read selected writings of major American cultural figures who have investigated and questioned American identities.

ENG 188 – GS Portal     3 credit hours

Students analyze critical issues confronting individuals and society in a global context as they pertain to the discipline in which the Portal course is taught. The Portal is intended to help students succeed in their university education by being mentored in process of thinking critically about important ideas and articulating their own conclusions. Students may take the Portal in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Satisfies the General Studies Portal course requirement. Students may take their Portal course in any discipline. Students who transfer 24 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a portal course.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: First year freshman standing or sophomore standing only.

ENG 191 – Editing Skills     1 credit hour

Intended to review and/or acquaint students with the conventions of edited American English, equipping them to better edit their own writing; taught by graduate assistants assigned to the Writing Center.

ENG 211 – Introduction to Creative Writing     3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to the four creative genres: poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and non-fiction. In addition to demonstrating the creative elements of writing and the process of revision, students will develop their critical skills from a writer's perspective.

ENG 214 – Beginning Fiction Writing     3 credit hours

Study of the techniques and materials of prose fiction. Primarily, the course examines fiction written by the class members. Some published contemporary stories are included in the reading. Reading fiction well is as important an objective as writing well.

ENG 215 – Introduction to Creative Writing for the Stage/Screen     3 credit hours

Study of the technique and materials of writing drama. Aim is to allow students to develop the skills necessary to create finished pieces of work for theatre, film or television and to give students the critical tools to read and assess dramatic scripts.
Prerequisite: ENG 101 and ENG 102

ENG 217 – Beginning Poetry Writing     3 credit hours

A close reading of poems written by students to discover what poems mean. This means a study of how versification contributes to or detracts from the paraphrasable content of a poem.

ENG 220 – Introduction to Film Studies     3 credit hours

Introduction to Film Studies is designed to introduce thinking and writing about the cinema by means of film theory and history. The course aim is to study films and essays that have proved central to ways of thinking about the cinema.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 234 – Reading and Writing about Literature     3 credit hours

An introduction to the principles of close reading, the interpretation, and the criticism of literary texts. Prerequisite for all 300 and 400 level courses intended to count toward the major. Required of all undergraduate English majors.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 235H – American Studies     3 credit hours

General Studies course for Honors students. Students will employ the techniques of interdisciplinary studies to arrive at an understanding of American culture. They will focus on problem(s) in American life which may range from local to international and may deal with any or all time periods. Subject matter from a variety of disciplines will help illuminate the problem being studied.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 240H – Literary Classics of the Western World     3 credit hours

A General Studies course for Honors students. Introduction to major works of literature ranging from classical antiquity to the present. Authors, genres, and periods will vary. Emphasis will be placed on close reading and comparative analysis, as well as the question of how to define a classic.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 250 – Introduction to Literature: British Literature     3 credit hours

Introduction to authors, genres, and periods from the British literary tradition. Some emphasis will be placed on recurring themes, literary devices, and close reading of texts.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 251 – Introduction to Literature: American Literature     3 credit hours

American literary texts and backgrounds and perspectives helpful in reading them. Students acquire the skills to interpret these texts and to express their interpretation in forms of discourse suitable to an academic setting.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 252 – Introduction to Literature: Western Civilization     3 credit hours

Examines representative literary works from the ancient to the modern world.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 253 – Intro to Literature: Non-Western Civilization     3 credit hours

Examines representative literary works from the ancient to the modern world which have either shaped or reflected contemporary thought and are thus important to what are generally identified as non-western cultures.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 254 – Introduction to Literature: Special Topics     3 credit hours

Introduces types of literature and techniques used in writing and reading texts; works will differ in genre, style, source, and context from section to section.
Total Credits Allowed: 12.00
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 260 – Images of Women in Literature     3 credit hours

An introduction to the study of images of women in various genres of literature. Works of fiction, poetry, and drama written by women will be studied and discussed.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 280H – Special Topics     3 credit hours

A General Studies course for Honors students. Interdiscplinary course that examines the connections between disciplines.

ENG 303 – Introduction to Linguistics     3 credit hours

A course designed to study language in the manner of the structuralists. It includes introductory phonology, morphology, and syntax. Also included is a study of geographical and social dialect.

ENG 304 – Grammar I     3 credit hours

The purpose of the course is to develop the ability to observe, analyze, and articulate the structure of language, including the morphological character of individual words, syntactic relations among words, and the grammatical and/or social acceptance of linguistic constructions. The course also examines approaches to the study of grammar, from the prescriptive tradition to transformational-generative theories and beyond.

ENG 311 – Advanced Writing I     3 credit hours

A study of writing processes as they have been described by professional writers and rhetoricians. The purposes of this course are to familiarize students with various conceptions of the writing process, to introduce them to composition research methods, and to give them ample opportunity to investigate and experiment with various writing strategies.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 312 – Technical and Science Writing     3 credit hours

Explores written communication in technical and scientific contexts through the study of genres and audiences commonly encountered in professional situations. Students will study articles and books on theoretical and applied sciences, then compose a research article or feasibility reports.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 320 – Creative Play/Script Writing     3 credit hours

Formal differences of the drama and screenplay are studied extensively while writers also concentrate on the methods and principles of dramatic adaptation of literary narratives.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 330 – European Literature in Translation     3 credit hours

This course will examine the writings of European writers in translation. The texts selected may range from classic to contemporary and represent a wide range of peoples and cultures.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 333 – Non-Western Literature in Translation     3 credit hours

This course will examine the writings of non-Western authors in translation. Often, these authors dramatize the conflicts between traditional cultural beliefs and the effects of modern telecommunications, industrialization, and consumerism. The texts selected will represent a wide range of peoples and cultures responding to such developments as globalization and post colonialism.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 336 – Ancient Literatures     3 credit hours

Critical study of the uses of literary genres, in the Bible or in other ancient literatures (and in the subsequent literatures following a particular ancient form), with attention to both unity and diversity of voice, style, and structure.
Total Credits Allowed: 9.00
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 337 – Special Topics in Popular Literature     3 credit hours

A study of popular literary taste as reflected in such genres as the detective story, science fiction, adult fantasy, and others.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 338 – Studies in a Literary Genre     3 credit hours

Historical and/or critical study of a selected genre such as poetry, drama, the novel, the short story, autobiography, focusing on a variety of representative works in the literary genre being studied.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 352A – Survey of US Literature I     3 credit hours

An historical and critical study of major American writers to the mid-nineteenth century.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 352B – Survey of US Literature II     3 credit hours

An historical and critical study of major American writers from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 358 – Literature of the American West     3 credit hours

An introduction to the study of Western writers selected from a time period extending from the Native American oral tradition to contemporary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Several Nebraska authors will be studied as well as works by women, Chicano, and Native American writers.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 359 – Contemporary American Multicultural Lit     3 credit hours

This course will examine multiculturalism and how it has impacted American literature. Readings will include philosophical, historical, and political approaches to multiculturalism. Students will read a wide variety of contemporary American ethnic literatures, including writings by Native American, African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American authors.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 360 – American Women Writers     3 credit hours

Surveys American women's writings from early captivity narratives to contemporary avant-garde poetry.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 362A – Survey of British and Commonwealth Literature I     3 credit hours

An historical and critical study of major British and Commonwealth writers through the seventeenth century.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 362B – Survey of British and Commonwealth Literature II     3 credit hours

An historical and critical study of major British and Commonwealth writers beginning with the Restoration and eighteenth century.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 373 – Film Genre     3 credit hours

Study of the various film genres, such as the Musical, the Western, the Gothic, and Film Noir, from their inception in the early twentieth century to the present day. Course concentrates on a particular genre depending on the semester. Weekly film screenings.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 374 – History of the Motion Picture     3 credit hours

The study of film adaptation of literary narratives. Students compare and contrast the narrative conventions of fiction with the visual language of the film.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 388 – GS Capstone     3 credit hours

An interdisciplinary experience where students apply the knowledge, cognitive abilities, and communication skills they have gained from General Studies in designing and completing an original project or paper. Students employ methods and interpretive means of two or more disciplines to integrate knowledge and synthesize their results. Satisfies the General Studies capstone course requirement. Students may take their Capstone course in any discipline.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior level standing or within 6 hours of completing general studies requirements.

ENG 404 – History of the English Language     3 credit hours

A survey of the origins and development of the English language, with special emphasis on modern methods of linguistic study.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 406 – Principles of Literary Criticism     3 credit hours

The methods and principles of literary criticism with special attention to critical vocabulary and the various strategies of reading literary texts.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 411 – Advanced Writing II     3 credit hours

A study of writing as a social act. Students study theoretical descriptions of rhetorical genre, audience, and situation. Besides writing papers that discuss these theories, students also practice writing in a situated rhetorical context and may be asked to work collaboratively.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 415 – Advanced Fiction Writing     3 credit hours

Further study of the techniques of prose fiction, concentrating on stylistics. Student manuscripts, written for the course, will provide most of the examples for study. Contact department for permission to register.
Prerequisite: ENG 211 or ENG 214 or ENG 215 or ENG 217

ENG 419 – Advanced Poetry Writing     3 credit hours

An advanced course in writing lyric poetry. Students concentrate upon their own style and subject matter.
Prerequisite: ENG 211 or ENG 214 or ENG 215 or ENG 217

ENG 422 – Language for the Elementary Teacher     3 credit hours

This course is a practical survey of the current findings in language as they pertain to the Language Arts teacher. The topics it examines have been under discussion for some time and form a solid part of the developing body about the English language, particularly as related to the traditional responsibilities of the Language Arts teacher.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 423 – Reading Problems of Secondary Schools     3 credit hours

This course proposes to enable teachers of English and other content areas to deal with those students who have reading problems as well as to increase reading ability in all students.
Prerequisite: ENG 102

ENG 424 – Teaching Secondary School English     3 credit hours

Content and the teaching of language, literature, and composition in the secondary school.

ENG 425 – Children's Literature     3 credit hours

A study of texts recommended to and/or popular among children, informed by readings of literary criticism and historical discourses on childhood.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or ENG 235H or ENG 240H or ENG 250 or ENG 251 or ENG 252 or ENG 253 or ENG 254 or ENG 280H or department permission

ENG 426 – Literature for Adolescents     3 credit hours

A study of texts recommended to and/or popular among adolescents and young adults, informed by readings of literary criticism and historical discourses on youth.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or ENG 235H or ENG 240H or ENG 250 or ENG 251 or ENG 252 or ENG 253 or ENG 254 or ENG 280H or department permission.

ENG 427 – Electronic Literacy     3 credit hours

Students will explore ways of teaching English in the new electronic environment and examine the implications of the electronic environment on traditional curriculum and pedagogy.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 429 – Theory and Pedagogy of Writing     3 credit hours

Theory and Pedagogy of Writing will study topics and issues in teaching writing in the middle and secondary schools. The course will focus on the history and theory of composition rhetoric, the various sub-genres of writing, the writing process elements, language and language conventions, workshop techniques, technological resources, and strategies for assessment.
Prerequisite: ENG 102 and ENG 234 or equivalent

ENG 442 – Colonial/Early American Literature     3 credit hours

Surveys the emergence and development of Colonial and early U.S. national literature, from approximately 1620-1820, by examining the evolution of ideas about U.S. culture, society, and national identity as expressed in early American writers' fiction, poetry, drama, autobiography, essays, and journals.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 443 – Seminar in the American Renaissance     3 credit hours

This seminar will examine selected literary issues from the early Nineteenth Century to the rise of realism.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 444 – Seminar in American Realism     3 credit hours

A study of works of literary realism. The seminar focuses on literary responses to contemporary issues and explores the intersection of art and social conscience.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 445 – Seminar in Early 20th Century American Literature     3 credit hours

Each student will develop an in-depth project applying particular critical methodologies to a body of works representative of the American literary culture of the first half of the twentieth century. This seminar focuses primarily on American literary texts representative of late realism and early modernism, focusing on the growing awareness of indeterminacy and the role imaginative works might play in ordering reality. Students will produce a major paper, demonstrating their progress through the major.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 447 – Seminar in Post-World War II American Literature     3 credit hours

This seminar focuses primarily on American literary texts representative of late modernism and post-modernism and focusing on the growing awareness of America as a multivalent, multiracial, multiethnic society. Each student will develop an in-depth project applying particular critical methodologies to the selected works. Students will produce a major paper, demonstrating their progress through the major.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 450 – Seminar in World Literature     3 credit hours

A study of selected works in translation. Works will vary from semester to semester.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 455 – The Graphic Novel     3 credit hours

This class will focus on the broad genre of art-writing called "visual narrative" in comic strips, single-panel cartoons, wordless novels, graphic journalism, superhero comics, saga, adaptation, and memoir. We will be discussing such technical issues as the relationship between image and text, their interdependent potential for unique literary expression, word adaptation to image, and graphic novel adaptation to film as well as thematic issues that vary by semester.
Prerequisite: ENG 234

ENG 458 – Great Plains Studies     1-3 credit hours

Offers the opportunity to reflect on life through the literature and other lore of the Great Plains. Through a different subject focus each offering, the course integrates literary, historical, and paleontological investigations around issues affecting the plains, with a special focus on prairie.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

ENG 460 – Topics: Women's Literature     3 credit hours

Investigates in-depth topics and issues related to literature by and about women.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 462 – Early/Middle English Literature     3 credit hours

Readings in special topics drawn from early/middle English literature.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 463 – Seminar in Shakespeare     3 credit hours

Advanced course in Shakespeare's dramatic works focused on genre, language, characterization, and theater. Criticism, film analysis, and reader's theater will enhance students' readings of the plays.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 464 – Seminar in the Renaissance     3 credit hours

Advanced course in English Renaissance literature with some attention given to Continental influences. This course will cover various genres and authors and will include both Renaissance and modern criticism.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 466 – Literature of the English Restoration and Eighteenth Century     3 credit hours

A study of the rise and decline of neoclassicism in non-dramatic literature from Dryden to Burns.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 467 – Seminar in Romanticism     3 credit hours

Readings in special topics drawn from the Romantic literature of Western cultures. Emphasis can be on particular writers, genres, or critical issues.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 468 – Seminar in Victorian Literature     3 credit hours

A study of selected British prose and poetry from approximately 1830 to 1900.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 469 – Seminar in Modernism     3 credit hours

Specific topics will vary at each offering: topics will be based on specific author(s), themes/motifs, etc. The scope of the seminar is literature of international modernism (c. 1891-1950) written in English.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 471 – Seminar in Rhetoric     3 credit hours

A capstone seminar in rhetoric designed to introduce students to rhetorical criticism, to familiarize students with recent developments in the field of composition and rhetoric, and to give them opportunities (1) to do research in the field by writing either a theoretical paper or a rhetorical criticism, or (2) to produce a professional-level document.
Prerequisite: ENG 102 and ENG 234 and an upper division writing course or department permission

ENG 474 – Postmodern/Contemporary British Literature     3 credit hours

A study of the major, international post-modernist texts written in English (exclusive of the U.S.). The course takes aim at the transnational and cross-genre post-modern elements of the texts. At each offering, a specific genre will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission

ENG 480 – Ft. Kearny Writers' Workshop     1-3 credit hours

A workshop in creative writing for those who would like to improve their abilities in writing poetry, fiction, and drama.
Total Credits Allowed: 10.00

ENG 481 – Plains Literature Institute     1-3 credit hours

This course proposes to study major Western and Plains writers either individually, by theme, or by genre. Writers might include Nebraskan or regional writers.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

ENG 483 – Film Institute     1-3 credit hours

A study of the film in both its aesthetic as well as historical dimensions. Students will examine the development of film as both art and mass entertainment in addition to studying the various critical methods of interpreting the film.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

ENG 484 – Classic Literature of Childhood     3 credit hours

Historical and critical study of major writers for children and youth. Topics may vary from "Golden Age" children's literature of the nineteenth century (e.g, Carroll, Barrie, Burnett, Stevenson, Kipling) to more modern established texts (e.g., C.S. Lewis, L'Engle, Dahl, Seuss, Milne).
Prerequisite: ENG 234

ENG 485 – Narrative Strategies     3 credit hours

Study of language, structure, point of view, imagery, dialogue, setting character, and plot in works of fiction, including fiction written by class members. Aim is for students to demonstrate mastery of techniques and identify them in the literary works of others.
Prerequisite: ENG 320 or ENG 415 or ENG 419

ENG 490 – Special Topics     1-3 credit hours

Specific topics in literature which are not covered in other departmental offerings. Format of the course will vary according to topic, instructor, and needs of the student.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

ENG 499 – Individual Research     1-3 credit hours

Independent study under the supervision of a major professor of language or literature.
Total Credits Allowed: 18.00
Prerequisite: ENG 234 or department permission