Department of English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature Course Descriptions

Courses in English Language and Literature

  • CW - CREATIVE WRITING
  • DR - THEATER AND FILM STUDIES
  • EN - ENGLISH COMPOSITION
  • EN - ENGLISH LITERATURE
  • LING - LINGUISTICS

CW 205 Introduction to Creative Writing

This course provides an introduction to the creative practice of writing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and stage/screen writing, while probing major issues of literary aesthetics. This course does not satisfy the General Distribution requirement in English Literature.

CW 350 Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction

The course aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of literary fiction; to develop self-editing skills; and to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing literary fiction. Students will read both contemporary literary fiction and materials related to analyzing and editing literary fiction and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates' fiction, and producing and workshopping their own fiction. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term. Students completing this workshop course will be familiar with the skills needed to produce literary fiction, to self-edit work in progress, and to discern the characteristics that make quality literary fiction.

CW 352 Creative Writing Workshop: Creative Nonfiction

This creative writing workshop is designed to help students develop their writing and editorial skills, as well as the reading habits necessary for the production of works of creative nonfiction. The class will focus upon the creative process and the generation of several different forms within the nonfiction genre including the personal essay, the memoir, travel writing, and the journalistic or magazine profile. Through the examination of superior examples of creative nonfiction, discussions, and critiques, students will become acquainted with the techniques and tools used to build an excellent portfolio of literary and journalistic pieces within the creative nonfiction genre.

CW 354 Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

This course aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of poems; to develop self-editing skills; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing poems. Students will read both contemporary and canonical poetry and materials related to analyzing and editing poems, and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates’ poems, and producing their own poems and discussing them in workshop. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term. Students completing this workshop course will be familiar with the skills needed to produce poems, to self-edit work in progress, and to discern the characteristics of quality poetry.

CW 356 Creative Writing Workshop: Writing the Eternal City

This interdisciplinary writing workshop employs the city of Rome as its muse and offers instruction in several genres of creative writing. By examining a variety of works inspired by the Eternal City, students will learn how to evaluate literature in light of an aesthetic and historic precedent, as well as participate in the long tradition of international writers who have recreated Rome on the page. The course will also problematize Rome, exploring the ancient city’s contemporary contradictions and complexities and the way writers both perpetuate and dismantle certain myths, such as the illusory La Dolce Vita. Writing workshops will acquaint students with the techniques and tools used to critique and incorporate critical feedback into their own revision process. Through studied writing practice and the examination of the Roman setting as a vital literary component, students will generate a final portfolio of textual interpretations in response to the Eternal City.

CW 450 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction

This workshop aims to develop advanced creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of literary fiction; to develop self-editing skills; and to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing literary fiction. Students will read both contemporary literary fiction and materials related to analyzing and editing literary fiction and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates' fiction, and producing and workshopping their own fiction. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term. Students completing this workshop course will be familiar with the advanced skills needed to produce literary fiction, to self-edit work in progress, and to discern the characteristics that make quality literary fiction.

CW 454 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

This workshop aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of poems; to develop self-editing skills; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing poems. Students will read both contemporary and canonical poetry and materials related to analyzing and editing poems, and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates’ poems, and producing their own poems and discussing them in workshop. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term.

CW 550 Graduate Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: Current enrollment in an accredited graduate program in Creative Writing OR, for students not currently pursuing a graduate program in creative writing but who wish to receive graduate credit, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (transcripts required) and assessment of a significant writing sample or previous publications (See JCU website for application procedures).
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This workshop aims to develop graduate-level creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of literary fiction; to develop self-editing skills; and to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing literary fiction. Students will read both contemporary literary fiction and materials related to analyzing and editing literary fiction and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates' fiction, and producing and workshopping their own fiction. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term. Students completing this workshop course will be familiar with the graduate-level skills needed to produce literary fiction, to self-edit work in progress, and to discern the characteristics that make quality literary fiction.

CW 554 Graduate Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: Current enrollment in an accredited graduate program in Creative Writing OR, for students not currently pursuing a graduate program in creative writing but who wish to receive graduate credit, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (transcripts required) and assessment of a significant writing sample or previous publications (See JCU website for application procedures).
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This workshop aims to develop the graduate-level creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for the production of poems; to develop self-editing skills; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in writing poems. Students will read both contemporary and canonical poetry and materials related to analyzing and editing poems, and participate in a traditional creative writing workshop through in-class writing exercises, reading classmates’ poems, and producing their own poems and discussing them in workshop. Students will compile a portfolio of the work they produce during the term.

CW/DJRN 346 Creative Writing Workshop: Travel Writing

This creative nonfiction workshop explores the long tradition of travel writing, fostered by the keen observation and thoughtful documentation of landscape and culture that travel inspires. Students will gain exposure to several subgenres encompassed by the term travel writing including, but not limited to, the travel memoir, the travel essay, guidebooks, and food and humor pieces that tandem as travel writing. The course offers instruction in the research and mechanics of travel writing aimed at the generation of articles and essays for newspapers, magazines, guidebooks, the Internet, as well as how to begin drafting ideas for longer-form works.

CW/DMA 334 Writers’ Workshop: Screenwriting for Episodic Television

Writers' Room is an immersive workshop-style course that places students in the shoes of a television writer working to break a season's worth of story and write a screenplay that advances the program's plot and develops its themes while maintaining characterization and tone consistent with the vision of the showrunner. Students will learn how to pitch ideas, collaborate with others writers (giving and taking notes) and express themselves in the voice of the show. The course covers the economic, historical, and aesthetic foundations of contemporary television writing and production and will prepare students to evaluate, develop, and pitch series ideas for episodic television, evaluate and develop episode ideas in a collaborative working environment in line with the tone of the show and produce effective written material (pitches, summaries, show bibles, screenplays) that adhere to professional standards.

CW/DMA 348 Creative Writing Workshop: Screenwriting

This creative writing workshop helps students to develop the creative, editorial and reading skills needed for the production of a screenplay, based on the following principles: focus on visual story telling using minimal dialogue, introduction to story analysis using published screenplays and clips, and the exploration of narrative development. Material will be presented in the form of lectures, discussions, handouts, writing exercises, as well as screenings. In the context of a creative writing workshop, students will complete in-class and at home writing exercises. Students will also be required to provide their fellow writers with thorough feedback. Finally, students will pitch ideas in preparation for a full script, to be presented and critiqued at the end of the term.

CW/DMA 349 Adapting Literature to the Screen

This course will examine how film is linked to other forms of storytelling such as the novel, short story, and theater. Students will learn to identify, and effectively express, the visual components of literature as well as the literary components of film through an analysis of plot, character, dialogue, setting, theme, and symbolism. Issues related to style, adaptation, translation, and interpretation will also be discussed. There will be opportunities through written and oral responses to develop the visual literacy required to "read" films, develop a vocabulary for analyzing literature and film, and ultimately come to a practical understanding of how to transfer literature into screenplay format through the production of a short screenplay.

CW/DMA 360 Creative Writing Workshop: Videogames

This course will serve as a primary introduction to the art and craft of interactive storytelling and narrative design for video games. Students will gain an intimate understanding of the challenges and  demands that come with writing for what many consider to be the most complex and collaborative medium of our time.

CW/ITS 358 The Art of Literary Translation

This course aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for literary translation; to develop an awareness of the theories associated with the practice of translating a work of literary excellence from one language into another; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in literary translation. Students will read and discuss theoretical texts and will create their own translations of works by authors that will be chosen by each student. These translations will be presented to the class in a traditional workshop format, with emphasis on analysis of the difficulties posed by the chosen text(s) and a justification for the choices made in rendering the texts into English. Students will compile a portfolio of the translations they produce during the term, having become familiar with the skills and sensitivities needed to translate works of literary merit and to discern the characteristics of quality literary translation.

CW/ITS 458 Advanced Art of Literary Translation

This advanced course aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for literary translation; to develop an awareness of the theories associated with the practice of translating a work of literary excellence from one language into another; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in literary translation. Students will read and discuss theoretical texts and will create their own translations of works by authors that will be chosen by each student. These translations will be presented to the class in a traditional workshop format, with emphasis on analysis of the difficulties posed by the chosen text(s) and a justification for the choices made in rendering the texts into English. Students will compile a portfolio of the translations they produce during the term, having become familiar with the skills and sensitivities needed to translate works of literary merit and to discern the characteristics of quality literary translation.

CW/ITS 558 Graduate Workshop in the Art of Literary Translation

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: Current enrollment in an accredited graduate program in Creative Writing OR, for students not currently pursuing a graduate program in creative writing but who wish to receive graduate credit, a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (transcripts required) and assessment of a significant writing sample or previous publications. (See JCU website for application procedures)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This graduate course aims to develop the creative, editorial, and reading habits needed for literary translation; to develop an awareness of the theories associated with the practice of translating a work of literary excellence from one language into another; to foster an aesthetic sensibility for use in literary translation. Students will read and discuss theoretical texts and will create their own translations of works by authors that will be chosen by each student. These translations will be presented to the class in a traditional workshop format, with emphasis on analysis of the difficulties posed by the chosen text(s) and a justification for the choices made in rendering the texts into English. Students will compile a portfolio of the translations they produce during the term, having become familiar with the skills and sensitivities needed to translate works of literary merit and to discern the characteristics of quality literary translation.