The core of the program consists of intimate and intensive tutorials and seminars combined with introductory lecture courses in essential areas of the discipline. The tutorial experience, innovative and yet ancient, provides the backbone of the program’s emphasis on skills—small group experiences where students work closely and intensively on reading, thinking, and writing with faculty. The new introduction to the major course, English Tutorial, is based on the Oxford tutorial system, where a small group of students meets weekly with a faculty member to discuss readings and student work. The tutorial system is arguably the original pedagogical model, and it remains the most desirable, only losing favor in more modern times because it is expensive and not easily scalable. For the senior seminar, students will be allowed to choose between a seminar focused on research and a “practicum” course focused on application. Again the basic pedagogic model is traditional, the seminar being one of the oldest forms of institutional instruction and the practicum adapting an apprenticeship model, but the courses themselves promise to be innovative. Finally, the one-unit Senior Capstone offers students the opportunity to reflect on their experience as English majors through analytical and reflective writing on their coursework and development while compiling a portfolio of their work.
Introductory lecture courses ensure that students develop and employ a variety of critical perspectives to study a range of topics in language and literary traditions, genres, authors, movements, and time periods. The six required 3000-level Readings courses— Readings on the English Language; Readings in Theory; and Readings in Ancient World and Medieval English Literatures; Readings in British Literature: Renaissance to Modern; Readings in American Literature(s); Readings in Modern and Contemporary World Literatures—prepare students for the more specialized 4000-level courses. The 3000-level courses provide breadth, and the 2000-level tutorial, 4000-level electives, and senior seminar or practicums all provide depth. The tutorials and practicums, in particular, distinguish this program from other, less personalized Los Angeles area programs. These beginning-middle-end courses also demonstrate the developmental coherence of the program, which fosters individual aesthetic and intellectual growth while gradually broadening the scope of the students’ engagement with academic and civic communities.
ENGL 2900 English Tutorial
ENGL 2900 (English Tutorial) is the first of the core courses English majors will take, and it reconfigures the previous ENGL 340 (Writing in the Major) as an Oxford-style tutorial. This pedagogical mode implements high impact learning practices and provides students with intensive individualized instruction at the outset of their major course work, thereby optimizing their chances of academic success and shortening time to degree. Collaborative learning in a small cohort (which will be offset by the larger enrollments in 3000-level Readings courses) will provide a sense of departmental identity and of early professionalization as students directly address their verbal comments and written analyses to an audience of their peers rather than a single professor.
Writing frequent low-stakes essays will increase students’ willingness to take intellectual risks, help them view essay-writing as a mode of developing ideas in conversation with others in the field, and enable them to set the agenda for their own learning, as professors base direct instruction on the students’ expressed interests and demonstrated needs. The inquiry-based tutorial model provides an organic, “real life” learning experience as students raise questions while working through one or more complex texts side-by-side with a professional scholarly reader.
Instructors may elect to provide a published critical essay as a model for students’ engagement with other voices in the field, but the course as modified from ENGL 340 to ENGL 2900 defers extensive, formal instruction in research practices to a newly proposed course, ENGL 3900, and/or other 3000-level coursework. The modified English major program provides a more clearly scaffolded set of disciplinary practices, moving from basic skills in reading and writing (ENGL 2900) to an introduction to literary fields, approaches, and research methodologies in the 3000-level core Readings courses, ENGL 3900, and detachable online modules, to the more specialized 4000-level coursework. The ENGL 2900 tutorial will, along with the senior-level practicum (ENGL 4910, 4911, 4920, or 4921) and capstone experience (ENGL 4950), distinguish CSULA’s English program from more traditional programs and demonstrate our commitment to meeting the unique needs of our student population.
3000-level Core Readings Courses
The core Readings courses provide majors with awareness of the concepts, histories, and theories central to the study of literature and language, and thus serve as “gateway” courses to 4000-level electives.
ENGL 3100 Readings on the English Language provides students with a background in contemporary linguistics and its application to literary criticism, textual analysis, rhetorical theory, folklore and mythology, and stylistic analysis.
ENGL 3200 Readings in Theory introduces students to literary and cultural theory and to some of the key problems and questions that have animated theoretical discussion of the place, role, and nature of literature, artistic expression, and other discursive practices from ancient times to the present.
ENGL 3300 Readings in Ancient World and Medieval English Literature lays the classical, global and European medieval foundations of English and World Literature. The class promotes literacy in the western classical and medieval tradition.
ENGL 3400 Readings in British Literature: Renaissance to Modern explores the key developments, figures, and movements in British literature from the English Renaissance to literary Modernism through readings drawn from a range of genres.
ENGL 3600 Readings in American Literature(s) features close study of representative works of American literature, with the aim of familiarizing students with the authors and the movements that traditionally have defined this literature, as well as with the contributions of minor authors and movements.
ENGL 3700 Readings in Modern and Contemporary World Literatures introduces students to representative works of contemporary world literatures that are either written in English or translated into English from other languages. The comparative literary framework of this class will help expand the students’ literary landscape and enhance their capacity for critical thinking, crucial learning assets for upper-division course work.
Senior Seminars and Practicums
Students can choose to take a senior seminar, a senior practicum, or a senior practicum in teaching. The seminar/practicum experiences acknowledge and celebrate the diverse applications of reading, narrative, and critical endeavor in academic life as well as in society at large, reinforcing the conviction that humanistic education may be not only an individual good but also an asset to the commons.
ENGL 4910 Practicum in the Teaching of Literature is the culminating experience in the undergraduate English program for students pursuing a Single Subject Credential in English. Students use literary analysis and a range of effective pedagogical strategies to plan and teach individual in-class lessons and a multi-week teaching unit.
ENGL 4920 Seminar in Literature and Language is one of the culminating experiences available to General option students. Majors, having developed familiarity and facility with the concepts, histories, and theories central to the study of literature and language, study in depth a selected topic in literature or language.
ENGL 4925 Practicum in Literature and Language is one of the culminating experiences available to General option students. Majors, having developed familiarity and facility with the concepts, histories, and theories central to the study of literature and language, use ENGL 4925 to test and amplify that knowledge in practical contexts, including internships, civic learning, and community engagement.
The capstone experience (ENGL 4950) offers an opportunity for senior English majors to review and better understand the major issues, themes, theories and research findings in the field of English. In particular, the portfolio capstone project enables students to develop a cohesive understanding of literary history and evolving critical conversations; in addition to reviewing their accumulated course materials (syllabi, readings, assignments, and notes), students will also read works on literary history and English disciplines relevant to their chosen pathway through the English major. Students would also read short works contextualizing and explaining the value and purpose of the e-portfolio as a learning practice. Widely recognized as a high impact practice, electronic portfolios are increasingly common pedagogical modes of assessing and deepening student understanding. Students undertaking the portfolio capstone should be able to elucidate how their elective courses enhance their understanding of the field of English in ways that complement and extend the English major core, examining similarities and differences, integrating and synthesizing ideas, and connecting the intellectual currents that make up the discipline of English as a whole. In addition, students should reflect on how they might use and further develop the knowledge gained as English majors, whether in their future career or advanced academic endeavors, or as lifelong learners and cultural contributors.
Core courses constitute just over half of the undergraduate program with the rest consisting of elective courses. To help students focus their studies on areas of interest or to achieve specific post-graduate goals, the department has adopted a uniform course numbering scheme, specific pre- and co-requisites, and advisory program tracks.
Gateways and Tracks
The new program greatly simplifies the use of electives in the General option, but makes more explicit the relationship between introductory studies (in core Readings courses) and elective courses that emphasize more focused and in-depth study. Virtually every 4000-level elective course is linked to a “gateway” 3000-level course through pre- or co-requisites and through a common numbering scheme. Furthermore, students in the General option can focus their studies through use of optional advisement “tracks” that guide students through the rich array of elective offerings.
In addition to the use of pre- and co-requisites and tracks, coherence and continuity are made intentional through the new four-digit course numbering scheme adopted by the university as part of semester conversion. This allows departments to renumber courses to communicate relationships between different levels and amongst different courses. All converted courses have been renumbered and new courses have been numbered to make explicit these relationships.
The English Department has used four-digit course number in the following way:
- The first digit is used by the university to designate class level. These class levels are defined in depth in the curriculum handbook.
- The second digit is used to designate the area of study within English as follows:
0 - Writing
1 - Linguistics
2 - Theory and Culture
3 - Transnational and Transhistorical
4 - British Literature
5 - <reserved>
6 - American Literature
7 - World Literature
8 - Interdisciplinary
9 - Culminating Experiences (and reserved course numbers)
- The third digit is used to designate the mode, genre or focus of the course as follows:
0 or 1 Historical Period
2 or 3 Focused Study: Single Author/Text
4 or 5 <reserved>
6 or 7 Genre (poetry, drama, novel, etc.)
8 or 9 Special Topics
- The fourth digit is used to indicate sequence or as a unique identifier within a mode, genre, or focus.
Areas of Study
The 4000-level elective courses that will be offered will be drawn from the following list of courses. While some of the 49xx courses are not technically electives, they are included to illustrate the uniform course numbering scheme. New courses are shown in italics.
4011 Practicum in Tutoring English (3)
4020 Evolving Literacies, Cultures, and Writing Technologies (3)
4060 Writing Nonfiction (3)
4070 Writing Fiction (3)
4080 Writing Poetry (3)
Language and Linguistics
4100 Introduction to Linguistics (also listed as ANTH 4710) (3)
4101 Introduction to English Linguistics (3)
4110 History of the English Language (3)
4111 Topics in the History of the English Language (3)
4120 Language in Space and Time (3)
4130 Language and Culture (also listed as ANTH 4700) (3)
4160 Discourse Analysis for Language Studies (3)
4170 Modern English Grammar (3)
4180 Issues in English Language Pedagogy (3)
Theory and Culture
4200 Topics in Theory (3)
4205 Signs, Texts, Meanings: Introduction to Semiotics (3)
4210 Cultural Studies and Literature (3)
4260 Film and Literature (3)
Transnational and Transhistorical Studies
4301 The Medieval Amatory Tradition (3)
4303 The Arthurian Tradition (3)
4320 Anglo-American Modernism (3)
4330 Transnational Women Writers (3)
4340 Diasporic Literatures (3)
4370 Greek and Roman Drama in Translation (3)
4371 Medieval Drama (3)
4379 Modern and Contemporary Poetry (3)
4401 Medieval English Literature (3)
4402 Dramatic Literature of the English Renaissance (3)
4403 The English Renaissance (3)
4404 Seventeenth-Century Literature (3)
4405 The Augustan Age (3)
4406 The Romantic Age (3)
4407 The Victorian Age (3)
4408 Modern British Literature (3)
4409 Contemporary British Literature (3)
4421 Chaucer (3)
4422 Piers Plowman (3)
4423 Shakespeare I (3)
4424 Shakespeare II (3)
4425 Milton (3)
4460 The British Novel: The Eighteenth Century (3)
4461 The British Novel: The Nineteenth Century (3)
4462 The British Novel: The Twentieth Century (3)
Pedagogy and Special Topics
4510 Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Plays (3)
4540 Selected Topics in Literature (3)
4601 Studies in American Literary History Before 1877 (3)
4602 Studies in American Literary History After 1877 (3)
4630 American Women Writers (3)
4660 The American Novel I (3)
4661 The American Novel II (3)
4680 The Politics of American Literature (3)
4690 Ethnic Literature in the U.S. (3)
4691 Black American Literature (3)
4692 U.S. Latino/a Literature (3)
4693 Asian-American Literature (3)
4705 The Bible as Literature: Old and New Testaments (3)
4760 Major Continental Fiction: Cervantes to Balzac (3)
4761 Major Continental Fiction: Stendhal to Tolstoy (3)
4762 Twentieth Century Continental Fiction (3)
4778 Contemporary Drama: Continental, English, and American (3)
4780 Latin American Literature in Translation (also listed as ML 4870) (3)
4785 Postcolonial Literature and Criticism (3)
4801 The English Court in Literature, Art, and Culture (3)
4840 Environment, Ecology, and Literature (3)
4860 Fictions of Finance (3)
4880 Children's Literature (3)
4910 Practicum in the Teaching of Literature (3)
4920 Seminar in Literature and Language (3)
4925 Practicum in Literature and Language (3)
4950 Senior Capstone (1)
2000- and 3000-level Electives
The courses offered by the English Department as General Education (GE) courses are not part of the undergraduate degree program in English and therefore are not included in this discussion. The department does offer some elective courses in writing and research that are open to majors or in some cases only available to majors. These courses are described below.
ENGL 2010 Intermediate College Writing helps students develop analytical, interpretive, and information literacy skills necessary for writing a well-supported, researched, academic argument.
ENGL 3010 Advanced College Writing helps students in all disciplines learn methods of and gain practice in college writing, with an emphasis on critical reading and writing and advanced rhetorical issues including invention strategies, arrangement, selecting and analyzing evidence, and developing an appropriate style.
ENGL 3030 Professional and Technical Writing focuses on methods of and practice in writing professional documents, reports, proposals, and other workplace writing, with an emphasis on understanding the rhetorical situation and developing a clear style.
ENGL 3050 Issues in Writing Pedagogy is required of Single Subject Credential option students and focuses on recent research in written expression and writing pedagogy, examining theories of composition and discourse, and practicing applying, and evaluating these theories.
ENGL 3900 Research Tutorial and Symposium is a hybrid course that provides students with an opportunity to pursue focused, but flexible, study in a topic of shared interest to faculty and students. This course offers an introduction to research methods in the field and provides students with the opportunity to apply those concepts to a department-wide semester symposium theme for which they will prepare individual and/or group presentations.
High Impact Practices (HIPs)
As part of semester conversion or as part of continuing practice, the department utilizes several high impact practices (HIPs) as identified by George Kuh in High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter (Washington, DC: AAC&U, 2008). The HIPs built into the department’s undergraduate program and course offerings are listed below, with new courses shown in italics.
High Impact Practice
Common Intellectual Experiences
ENGL 2900, Core Readings Courses, Senior Seminars/Practicums, Research Tutorial and Symposium (ENGL 3900)
Statement Magazine (ENGL 3920), Senior Capstone (ENGL 4950)
ENGL 2900, Senior Seminars/Practicums, Research Tutorial and Symposium (ENGL 3900), most 4000-level electives, all writing courses, most GE courses
Collaborative Assignments and Projects
ENGL 2900, Senior Seminars/Practicums, Research Tutorial and Symposium (ENGL 3900), Statement Magazine (ENGL 3920), Senior Capstone (ENGL 4950)
Senior Seminars/Practicums, Research Tutorial and Symposium (ENGL 3900)
ENGL 3700 Readings in Modern and Contemporary World Literatures, 4000-level electives in world literatures, transnational and transhistorical studies, and interdisciplinary studies
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
ENGL 4925 Practicum in Literature and Language, several courses with civic learning options
Capstone Courses and Projects
Senior Seminars/Practicums, Senior Capstone (ENGL 4950)
Shown below is a curriculum map indicating the relationship between the undergraduate program in English and the program student learning outcomes.
Theory and Critical Perspectives
Rhetoric, Research, and Writing
Research and Community
2900 English Tutorial
3100 Readings on the English Language
3200 Readings in Critical Theory
3300 Readings in Ancient World and Medieval English Literature
3400 Readings in British Literature: Renaissance to Modern
3600 Readings in American Literature
3700 Readings in Modern and Contemporary World Literature
49xx Senior Seminar or Practicum
4950 Senior Capstone
(I = Introduced, P = Practiced, D = Demonstrated)
* All 4000-level elective courses require practice in and demonstration of student learning outcomes related to writing, research, and community. In addition, depending on the focus of the elective, students will also practice and demonstrate student learning outcomes in at least one and usually more of the four subject area student learning outcomes (literary coverage, literary analysis, theory and critical perspectives, and linguistics).