English - Course Descriptions



Upper-Level Course Descriptions

A full list of classes offered can be found in your WebCentral account.

ENG 336 The Romantic Age CRN 15017
Professor Brian Folker
Tuesday and Thursday 4:30-5:45 PM

The course considers the British dimension of the international romantic movement, a revolution in aesthetic values and sensibilities which continues to resonate more than two centures later.  We'll consider poetry by William Blake, Anna Barbauld, William Wordsworth, and Lord Byron; fiction by Mary Shelley, and social commentary by Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft.


ENG 340 / AMS 310 Early American Literature CRN 14914
Professor Gil Gigliotti 
Monday and Wednesday 9:25-10:40 AM 

A look at the poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction of early America before 1800. Students will read works ranging from the revolutionary poetry of Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley Peters and the surprising support Puritan minister Cotton Mather gives the smallpox vaccine to the bi-racial heroine’s adventures of Unca Eliza Wakefield’s The Female American and the gothic exploration of the American experiment in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. 


ENG 348 Riot on the American Stage CRN 15214
Professor Susan Gilmore
M 4:30-7:10 PM

How does a riot speak? How does riot as a mode of protest or giving voice to what Martin Luther King, Jr., called “the language of the unheard”? King’s conceptualization of the riot as the voice and language of the oppressed and silenced has inspired the work of several American poets, playwrights, and filmmakers whose work we’ll explore. Works we’ll consider include Gwendolyn Brooks’ 1969 poetry chapbook Riot, Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman interview-based play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Luis Valdez’s 1978 play, Zoot Suit, and Amanda Gorman’s January 2021 inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb,” which speaks to the Capitol Riots and reminds us that not all voices that speak through riot are progressive. We’ll also consider Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing and the literature and voices of the Stonewall Riots and the LGBTQ rights movement it expressed and accelerated.


ENG 337 Victorian Ecologies: The Environment in Victorian Poetry and Prose CRN 15213
Professor Deborah Spillman
Monday and Wednesday 3:05-4:20 PM

While a distinctly modern interest in the environment, both natural and humanly made, has informed British literature since the Industrial Revolution, the English word “ecology,” referring to the relationship between living organisms and their surroundings, first appeared in Victorian prose. Victorians were among the first to confront the large-scale effects of human activity on the natural world at the beginning of our current geological era: the Anthropocene. In this course, we will explore Victorians’ changing ideas about nature, development, and social justice in an age of unprecedented industrial growth while also considering how these ideas continue to speak to twenty-first-century concerns about the environment and our relationship to it. Readings include selected poetry and prose by Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Darwin, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Morris, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson, and John Ruskin, among others.


ENG 398 Handmaid's Tale CRN 14440
Professor Eric Leonidas
MW 1:40-2:55 PM
Ripping into topics as wide-ranging as Early American Puritans, modern-day theocracy, reproductive freedom, consumerism, the Reagan “Revolution,” and forms of political resistance, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale—along her recent follow up, The Testaments—offers a rich opportunity to explore the complicated relationship between a literary text and its multiple cultural contexts. Our discussion of the novels will include theoretical readings on gender and sexuality, social class, and cultural materialism, as well as essays by and interviews with Atwood. We’ll watch the first season of the television series, read sections of last year’s written court opinion Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, and we’ll discuss some recent critical work by CCSU scholars investigating Handmaid’s genre, narrative form, intertextuality, and critical reception. After several short writing assignments, students will be guided through a research project and ultimately produce an extended analytical paper.


ENG 460 Shakespeare and Film CRN 15018
Tuesday and Thursday 1:40-2:55 p.m.
Professor Stephen Cohen

Virtually since the invention of the motion picture, Shakespeare and film have been inextricably related.  Like any relationship between two such culturally and economically powerful institutions, the interaction has been complex and bidirectional: Shakespeare has shaped film, and film has shaped Shakespeare. In order to explore this complicated relationship, this course will be both intermedial—investigating the similarities, differences, and intersections between the media of film and theater—and interdisciplinary—making use of the methods and concepts of literary studies and film studies.  In doing so, we will learn to see Shakespeare’s plays as more than antiquated tokens of an elite culture and to see films as more than mere entertainment: we will begin to discover what film can teach us about Shakespeare and his role in our culture; what Shakespeare can teach us about the nature and history of film; and what the intersection of the two can teach us about the politics of entertainment media and about the multiple media of politics in contemporary society.  We will read three plays—Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and The Tempest—and watch 2-3 film versions of each play.


ENG 480 Modern Irish Literature: The Dramatists CRN 15019
Tuesday and Thursday 10:50-12:05
Professor Robert Dowling

This course will analyze the major literary themes and historical contexts in Irish drama from the 20th and 21st centuries. Included will be works from the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Civil War, the Troubles, and the Celtic Tiger to the present day through the perspective of such masterful theatrical, lyrical, and political voices as W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Edna O’Brien, Tom Murphy, Brian Friel, Marina Carr, and Martin McDonagh. 


ENG 488 Topics in World Literature: Migration and Borders in Literature and Film CRN 14937
Tuesday and Thursday 12:15-1:30 p.m.
Professor Lakmali Jayasinghe

This course explores the themes of migration, borders, mobility, and the right to freedom of movement in literary and filmic texts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Texts taught in this class are representative of a variety of world literary and filmic cultures from countries such as Nigeria, Germany, Mexico, Bolivia, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. We will consider the ways in which literary and filmic narratives generate a space of recuperative asylum from coercive border rules, while providing a critique of migration laws and policies that impinge on the rights and dignities of immigrant and itinerant communities. How do literature and film help us to reevaluate “universal” human rights vis-à-vis the right to freedom of movement? How do the form and aesthetics of narrative challenge legal yet unequal border policies? In what ways do these narratives help to humanize migration, and generate migration narratives that present alternatives to widespread negative stereotypes of migrants and migration?