English Department Course Offerings & Descriptions

English Courses

ENGLISH COMPOSITION

ENGL-101 English Composition I2 (1A1)

3 class hours 1 conference hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: A score of 480 on the SAT, or 75% on the New York State English Regents, or a passing score on the CUNY Writing and Reading tests.
Note: Credit will not be given to students who have successfully completed ENGL-103.

Development of a process for producing intelligent essays that are clearly and effectively written; library work; 6,000 words of writing, both in formal themes written for evaluation and in informal writing such as the keeping of a journal. During the recitation hour, students review grammar and syntax, sentence structure, paragraph development and organization, and the formulation of thesis statements.

ENGL-102 English Composition II:

Introduction to Literature2 (1A1)
3 class hours 1 conference hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-101

Continued practice in writing combined with an introduction to literature: fiction, drama, and poetry. During the recitation hour, students review basic elements of writing and analytical and critical reading skills and research strategies.

ENGL-103 Writing for New Media (1A1)

3 class hours 1 conference hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: A score of 480 on the SAT, or 75% on the New York State English Regents, or a passing score on the CUNY Writing and Reading tests.
Note: Credit will not be given to students who have successfully completed ENGL-101.

Students will study and practice writing in Digital Media. They will concentrate on producing clearly and effectively written formal essays with the goal of learning how to communicate in the World Wide Web and e-mail environments. Particular attention will be given to the process of writing, including the use of informal writing strategies. Proficiency in standard grammar and syntax, sentence structure, paragraph development and organization, and the formulation of thesis statements will be stressed in the context of preparing essays, arguments, hyperlinked and other new media documents.

1 Course qualifies as Pathways Common Core 1A–English Composition.
2 Pathways Gateway Course into Major, see “Understanding Program Requirements” in Academies and Programs of Study.

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISCIPLINE

ENGL-201: Introduction to Literary Studies2

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

An inquiry into what it means to study literature, involving close reading and critical analysis of a variety of prose fiction, drama, and poetry, and informed by an introduction to some of the theoretical issues currently debated in literary studies and a consideration of how such issues have evolved historically. In addition to works of literature, students will read critical and theoretical works, some of which they will identify through their own research. This course combines a study of literature with continued training in clear and effective writing.

ENGL-202 Readings in Poetry

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Critical study of the genre of poetry, including epic, narrative, and lyric poems.

ENGL-203 Readings in Drama

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Critical study of the genre of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the Moderns.

ENGL-204 Readings in Prose Fiction

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required. Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Critical study of the short story, the novella, and the novel; readings in fiction of the past three centuries.

ENGL-205 Literary History

4 class hours 4 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102

An exploration of how literary artists and their creations have responded to earlier writers, and how such responses have historically impacted literature in English. Students will also enhance their analytical and interpretative skills through writing about literary traditions, genres, periods, and movements. Readings include representative genre texts from at least two national literatures and historical periods.

ENGL-206 Genre

4 class hours 4 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Broadly defined, genre refers to different forms of literary expression, such as fiction, poetry, and drama, but genres are also a reflection of cultural contexts and traditions. In this course, students will focus on different definitions of genre; issues of form, style, and content; and how ideas about genre change over time. Readings will include texts from at least two genres and two national literatures as well as material from before and after 1800.

LITERATURE IN CONTEXT

ENGL-211 English Literature I: Anglo-Saxon Period through the Eighteenth Century

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

Major British writers from the Anglo-Saxon period through the eighteenth century; principal genres – poetry (the dominant form in this period), romances, and plays.

ENGL-212 English Literature II: Nineteenth Century to Present

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

Major British writers from the nineteenth century to the present: principal genres.

ENGL-213 World Literature I: Ancient through Renaissance

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102, or permission of the Department
Offered in Fall

An exploration of the ideas of some of the greatest writers through the Renaissance. Readings from the Bible and Greek drama, The Divine Comedy and The Canterbury Tales, Don Quixote, Hamlet, and Paradise Lost. Emphasis on the varied ways our ancestors looked at love and war, heaven and hell.

ENGL-214 World Literature II: Masterpieces from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102, or permission of the Department
Offered in Spring

Emphasis on the writer as interpreter of changing culture, science, and psychology, and as creator of imaginative forms; selections from Swift, Voltaire, Rousseau, Goethe, Dostoyevsky, Joyce, Sartre, and Camus.

ENGL-215 American Literature I: Colonial Period to American Renaissance

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

Major American writers from the Colonial period to the American Renaissance; study of text in historical perspective.

ENGL-216 American Literature II: Civil War to Present

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed.

Major American writers from the decade preceding the Civil War to the contemporary period; study of texts in historical perspective.

ENGL-217 Contemporary Literature in English

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

This course recognizes the spread of English as a world language in the twentieth century. It will address important changes which have occurred in the English-language literature and “englishes” from non-Western nations, the influence of postmodernist aesthetics and popular culture’s influence on literature. The readings will be selected from a number of national literatures, such as those of Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Great Britain, Asia, and the United States.

WRITING STUDIES

ENGL-220 Introduction to Creative Writing

4 class hours 4 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102

A workshop class that introduces writers to the elements of poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction. Students explore through their own writing and reading of published writers the conventions of each genre, the interrelationships between them, the diversity of expression possible in each. Students will engage in in-class writing exercises, group writing, workshop critique, technique-specific practices, reading and group discussion with the aim of creating a collection of creative work from several genres.

ENGL-221 Creative Writing: Fiction

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

Critical study of the short story, novella, and novel with emphasis on techniques helpful to young writers. Students submit samples of their work for classroom discussion.

ENGL-222 Creative Writing: Poetry

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Themes and conferences required
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

Critical study of poetry with emphasis on techniques helpful to young writers. Students submit samples of their work for class discussion.

ENGL-231, 232 Special Topics in Writing Studies

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

These courses will focus on fiction and non-fiction writing about a specific theme or topic to be announced in advance and will vary each semester. Descriptions of the topic in a particular semester will be available in the English Department before registration.

Students may take two such courses for credit, as long as they do not repeat the topic. Topics will include but not be limited to:

  • Reading and Writing about Crime and Murder
  • Reading and Writing about the Immigrant Experience
  • Finding Nurture in Nature: Reading and Writing about the Natural World
  • Reading and Writing about Place: Geography, Travel, and Identity
  • Reading and Writing about War
  • Be Home Before Dark: Reading and Writing about Family
  • Navigating Difference: Reading and Writing about Being “Other”
  • Love, Lust and Romance: Reading and Writing about Love
  • I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing: Reading and Writing about Food
  • Reading and Writing about Prison, Criminality and the Law
  • Writing for Children and Young Adults
  • The Teaching of Writing
  • Multimedia Writing

JOURNALISM, MEDIA & CULTURAL STUDIES

ENGL-241 Introduction to Journalism; Editing Principles and Practices

3 class hours 2 laboratory hours 4 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

An introduction to journalistic practice through teaching and developing of those writing skills fundamental to the work of reporters and editors. Straight news, feature, and editorial writing are stressed along with the principles and practices of general editing and copy editing. Students learn to edit, revise, cut, and expand written material to make it suitable for publication in the school newspaper and for professional publication.

ENGL-242 Documentary Film: The New Journalism

2 lecture hours 2 screening lab hours 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102 Offered as needed

A study of film as a form of contemporary “journalism” that employs proven methods of persuasion and manipulation. It focuses on the power of the medium to record and reveal – but also to distort – aspects of the real world. Documentary films and television newsreels are examined in order to judge the validity of their claims for capturing the “truth” of events. A variety of films, including war documentaries, sociological “essays,” and rock concerts, will be screened and compared to rhetorical and journalistic models. Instruction on writing strategies and techniques specific to audio/visual media.

ENGL-251 Popular Culture

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

A critical study of the pervasive role the popular arts play in our lives, with emphasis on a rhetorical approach to the mass media. Students will write about the contemporary arts and related issues.

ENGL-252 Film and Literature

2 lecture hours 2 screening lab hours 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

A comparative investigation of the narrative and non-narrative methods and modes of literature and film, their similarities and differences. Novels, plays, short stories, and films are studied. Screenings. Instructions on writing strategies and techniques specific to audio/visual media.

TOPICS IN LITERATURE

ENGL-261 Autobiography

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Readings in autobiographies combined with students’ writing about their own lives and times. Readings selected from the world’s literature including African, Asian, European, Chicano-Latin American, Native American, and American sources.

ENGL-262 New York

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

Study your city, the most influential in the world. Readings will include the rich literature about New York, from Washington Irving to Tom Wolfe, as well as The New York Times. Write about the New York you know and the one you’ll discover.

ENGL-263 Holocaust Literature

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

This course offers a study of the Holocaust through a variety of genres, including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, primary sources, film and children’s literature, in order to gain a better understanding of the unfolding, impact, meaning and significance of the Holocaust. Students will study the origins and development of the Holocaust and its political, cultural, economic and social implications through the lens of a variety of artists, writers and scholars.

ENGL-264 Graphic Genres

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

This course seeks to explore graphic novels and other related graphic genres and visual formats – journalism, memoir, fiction, history, and film – to investigate the evolution, power and popularity of texts that combine words and pictures. Topics and themes examined include war, family, sexuality, adolescence, ethnicity, identity, politics and science fiction. In addition to learning about graphic novels and genres, students will conduct research and present on a topic, artist, genre, or work of their choice.

ENGL-265 The Immigrant Experience in Literature

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-102

This course offers a study of the Immigrant Experience through a variety of genres, including memoirs, poetry, novels, short stories, plays, primary sources, film and children’s literature, in order to gain a better understanding of the significance and impact of the immigrant experience. Students will study texts about US Immigration in their respective social contexts through the lens of a variety of writers, scholars and artists.

ADVANCED COURSES IN WRITING & JOURNALISM

ENGL-301 Advanced Fiction Writing

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisites: ENGL-201

This course offers students the opportunity to further develop fiction writing techniques introduced in ENGL-221. The course will provide students with intensive practice in a wide variety of narrative forms, supportive critical feedback on their work, strategies for editing, and exposure to a broad range of contemporary published fiction.

ENGL-311 Journalism II: Feature and Magazine Article Writing

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 3 credits
Prerequisite: ENGL-214 Offered as needed

A continuation of the principles and practices of print journalism established in ENGL-241 with an emphasis on the non-deadlined “soft news” or feature article suitable to special interest areas of newspapers or magazines.

ENGL-321, 322 Cooperative Education in Journalism

ENGL-321: 2 credits (90 hours)
ENGL-322: 3 credits (135 hours)

This course is open only to matriculated students who have completed at least 36 credits in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a 2.5 index and who have completed Introduction to Journalism (ENGL-241) or who have received special permission from the English Department. It is recommended that students who apply possess word processing skills.

The cooperative experience in journalism is designed to provide students with internship training in newspaper reporting, editing, and production. Students intern with local weeklies, where they have the opportunity to learn beat reporting, writing news and feature stories and working with editorial, design and business staff. Students are evaluated on the basis of portfolios, journals, conferences with the instructor, and a written evaluation by the employer. Students will earn a grade of “Pass” or “Fail.” Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

Interested students should contact the English Department during the semester prior to enrollment to make necessary arrangements.

LITERATURE ELECTIVES

ENGL-501 The Novel

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered as needed

Works of such writers as Richardson, Melville, Joyce and others who have contributed to the development of the novel in the English language.

ENGL-502 Modern Drama

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered as needed

Modern drama as represented in the works of such authors as Ibsen, Strindberg, Ionesco, and Albee.

ENGL-503 Shakespeare in Elizabethan Drama

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered in Spring or Fall

Intensive study of selected plays of Shakespeare.

ENGL-504 The Bible as Literature

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered as needed

Study of the Old and New Testaments as an anthology of poetry, folklore, history, proverbs, letters, and drama; the influence of the Bible on literature, art, and music.

ENGL-505 Children’s Literature

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered as needed

A study of literature for children from its deep cultural roots in myth and legend to its contemporary manifestations as both a reflection and a determiner of modern society.

ENGL-591, 592 Special Topics in Literature

3 class hours 3 credits Prerequisite: ENGL-102
Offered as needed

These courses will focus on a specific theme or topic to be announced in advance and will vary each semester. Descriptions of the topic in a particular semester will be available in the English Department before registration.

Students may take two such courses for credit, as long as they do not repeat the topic. Topics will include but not be limited to:

  • Women in Literature
  • Afro-American Literature
  • Asian-American Literature
  • Love and Sexuality
  • The Experience of War
  • Growing Up
  • The Search for Identity
  • Literature of Madness and the Irrational
  • Views of Aging in Literature
  • The Individual and the Community
  • The Literature of Revolt
  • The City in Literature
  • The Immigrant Experience
  • The American Dream
  • The Graphic Novel

English Developmental Courses

The developmental courses cover such areas as reading, study skills, and composition. They are designed primarily for students who must raise their level of competence to the standard required for admission to courses of college level. They are also open to all students who wish to improve their reading comprehension, their study skills, and their ability to write clearly.

As a result of standard placement tests, one or more of these courses may be required before a student takes the regular college credit courses (See the section on “Testing and Placement” on page 34 of the college catalog).

• BE-111, BE-112 / BE-121, BE-122
OR
• BE-201, BE-203 and BE-205 / BE-225, BE-226 (for ESL – English as a Second Language – students). ESL students with very limited skills in reading, writing, and speaking English should enroll in the CUNY Language Immersion Program. For information, call 718-281-5460.

For more information about the developmental courses contact the Department directly.

DEVELOPMENTAL READING AND WRITING

BE-111 Development of Composition Skills

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 1 laboratory hour 0 credit

First course of a two-semester sequence in writing skills for students with fundamental writing problems who require extensive instruction prior to BE-112, as determined by a standard skills assessment or placement test and screening results. Grammar and usage, sentence structure, and facility with paragraph development stressed. To be followed by BE-112, except upon Departmental waiver.

BE-112 Composition Workshop

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 0 credit
Prerequisite: BE-111 or placement in BE-112
Pre- or co-requiste: BE-122 or Exempt Reading
If a student receives a grade of “R” two times, he/she cannot repeat the course. Instead, the student must enroll in a repeaters’ workshop.

For students with special writing problems who need intensified instruction, as determined by a standard skills assessment or placement test and screening results. Paragraph and essay composition and preparation of reports stressed, with emphasis on organization, thought development, and grammar.

BE-121 Development of Reading Skills

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 0 credit

First course of a two-semester sequence designed for intensive instruction in fundamental reading skills. Emphasis placed on developing word recognition, comprehension, reference techniques, and introductory note-taking skills. The skills include phonics, word structure analysis, sentence meaning, and the organization of ideas in a simple outline. BE-121 will be followed by BE-122 except upon Departmental waiver.

BE-122 College Reading and Study Skills Improvement

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 0 credit
Prerequisite: BE-121 or placement in BE-122
If a student receives a grade of “R” two times, he/she cannot repeat the course. Instead, the student must enroll in a repeaters’ workshop.

Workshop in college reading improvement to help develop reading skills and effective use of time in required college reading. Emphasis on organizing ideas, increasing speed, improving comprehension and interpretation, developing vocabulary, and reading to remember facts.

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL)

Note: Students who receive a reading placement “Language Immersion” have placed too low to take the remedial reading and writing courses offered by the English Department. They should enroll in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). For information call 718-281-5460.

BE-201 Beginning Composition for ESL Students

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 1 laboratory hour 0 credit

First course of a writing skills sequence for students of English as a second language who have little or no previous composition experience in English. The objective is to provide the student with a sound foundation in the basic structure of English through intensive instruction and drill in the relationship between spoken and written English and in the fundamentals of grammar, usage, sentence structure, and paragraph development.

Note: Students who complete BE-201 successfully will be informed by their instructors whether to register for BE-203 or BE-205.

BE-203 Intermediate Composition for ESL Students

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 1 laboratory hour 0 credit
Prerequisite: BE-201 or Placement in BE-203

This course is intended for students who are judged to need additional preparation before taking BE-205, based on the results of the departmental examination administered in BE-201. Emphasis is on intermediate grammar, paragraph development, and writing the short composition. Students must demonstrate competence in writing a short composition in order to pass a Departmental examination before taking BE-205.

BE-205 Advanced Composition for ESL Students

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 1 laboratory hour 0 credit
Prerequisite: BE-201 and BE-203 (if required) or placement in BE-205. Pre- or co-requiste: BE-226 or Exempt Reading.
If a student receives a grade of “R” two times, he/she cannot repeat the course. Instead, the student must enroll in a repeaters’ workshop.

Designed for students who speak English as a second language and have had some experience in English composition, but who still require remedial work before taking content area courses. It is also the final course of the sequence for ESL students with serious writing deficiencies. Emphasis is on advanced grammar and organizing and writing a five-paragraph essay.

BE-225 Basic Reading Skills for ESL Students

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 0 credit

First course of a two-semester sequence (with BE-226) for students who speak English as a second language and who are in need of intensive instruction in fundamental reading and communication skills. Emphasis is placed on development of word recognition skills, knowledge of English idioms, listening skills, and literal comprehension. These skills include phonics and pronunciation, word structure analysis, dictionary use, multiple meanings of words, language patterns in reading, following directions, and basic note-taking skills from oral presentations.

BE-225 is followed by BE-226, except upon Departmental waiver.

BE-226 College Reading and Study Skills for ESL Students

3 class hours 1 recitation hour 0 credit
Prerequisite: BE-225 or placement in BE-226
If a student receives a grade of “R” two times, he/she cannot repeat the course. Instead, the student must enroll in a repeaters’ workshop.

Designed for students who speak English as a second language who need to develop college-level reading and study skills. It is also the second course of a two-semester sequence (with BE-225) for students with serious skill deficiencies in reading. Emphasis is placed on development of fluency, patterns of organization in text type material, vocabulary in context, note-taking skills, test-taking skills, library and reference techniques, and knowledge of English idioms.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust CenterOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and ArchivesOpens in a new window

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art GalleryOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.