The Department of English teaches students to read with active understanding and wide appreciation, to write with clarity and grace, and to explore themselves and the world through the intensive study of literature.
ENGL 103 and 104 are designed for students beginning the serious study of literature at the college level, and as such are especially appropriate for first-year students. Either ENGL 103 or ENGL 104, or junior standing, is a prerequisite for further study in English at Kenyon. Students may register for a maximum of 1 unit of 100-level courses in English, and students may not go back to take a 100-level course after taking a 200-level course.
Students who have taken ENGL 103 or ENGL 104 should advance to one of the courses numbered 210-289. These courses have been designed for and are limited to sophomores and first-year students. Like the department's 100-level courses, these classes are small in size, so that classroom interaction can be discussion-centered and so that instructors can devote more time to helping students with their writing. These courses provide an introduction to fundamental terms, techniques, and methods for the advanced study of literature. Students may expect to learn some of the following: how to do a close reading of a literary text, how to conduct research in literary study (including an introduction to library and information resources, and basic reference tools), some of the basic principles of different approaches to literary criticism, important terms used in literary analysis (including prosody in poetry courses), and the proper documentation of sources. While the subject matter of these courses sometimes parallels that of courses for upper-level students (e.g., Shakespeare, postcolonial literature ), all are intended as introductions to a focused and intensive consideration of particular genres, themes, periods, or critical questions.
These are courses grounded in the advanced study of literature in English, as well as in the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to literature. These courses examine literary works from a range of historical periods, written in a wide variety of genres, and contributing to different national traditions. Through the reading of influential critical books and articles or through the instructors' modeling of different critical practices, these courses aim to teach students about the various modes of literary criticism, theory, and scholarship that constitute the current state of literary study. Thus, these courses aim to make students critically self-aware. Some of these courses will situate literary texts in their historical and cultural contexts. Others will focus on the formal concerns of genre and style. Many will require that students conduct independent research. When the subject matter of these courses overlaps with that of an ENGL course numbered from 210 to 289, these courses will provide more intensive critical study than the broad introductions of the lower-division courses. By taking courses at both curricular levels, students will thus have the opportunity to specialize in a period or genre. The prerequisites for these courses are ENGL 103 or ENGL 104 and an ENGL course numbered from 210 to 289. For students with junior standing, the course prerequisites are waived, since such students have typically written enough analytical essays to be prepared for advanced work in literary study. While these courses will constitute the bulk of the coursework of most English majors, non-majors are encouraged to enroll since contemporary literary study frequently draws upon knowledge and techniques from other disciplines.
Requirements for the Major (Class of 2012, 2013, or 2014)
English majors in the Classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 are required to complete a minimum of 5.0 units (ten courses total) offered or approved by the department. English majors are required to complete the following requirements:
Please use this link to see the courses that fill each distribution requirement for the major or check specific course descriptions to see which requirements they satisfy.
Note: Courses marked by asterisks fulfill more than one requirement. However, in any individual student's major, an asterisked course can be counted in one category only. Therefore, the student must choose which distribution requirement will be fulfilled with the course in question.
Requirements for a Major with Emphasis in Creative Writing (for all classes)
Students wishing to major in English with an emphasis in creative writing are required to complete the following:
Qualified seniors who have taken both introductory and advanced creative writing workshops may, with faculty approval, pursue an Individual Study in creative writing (ENGL 493); this course is not available to students who have not taken both workshops. Students who are unable to take the advanced creative writing workshops may petition the Department of English to count two introductory workshops in a single genre as fulfillment of the requirements for the Emphasis in Creative Writing, as long as these workshops have been taken with different instructors.
Requirements for the Major (Class of 2015 and after)
English majors are required to complete a minimum of 5.5 units (eleven courses total) offered or approved by the department. To graduate as English majors, students must meet the following requirements:
ENGL 200, 201, 202, 300, and 301 (Creative Writing)
Admission to all creative writing courses, introductory and advanced, is based on the submission of a writing sample and permission of the instructor. ENGL 200 or 202 is a prerequisite for ENGL 300; ENGL 201 is a prerequisite for ENGL 301. Creative writing courses are open to non-majors; first-year students may submit writing samples and seek permission to enroll in second-semester courses only. For specific course offerings, sample requirements, and submission deadlines, check with the English Department administrative assistant.
Requirements for the Minor
English minors are required to complete a minimum of 2.5 units (5 courses total) offered or approved by the department. Students must meet the following requirements:
· Completion of one .5 unit course in each of the following historical periods (please see the English Major Distribution Requirements link or check specific course descriptions to see which requirements they satisfy):
* Completion of two electives
* Completion of at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level.
Please note that only one of ENGL 103 or ENGL 104 can count toward the minor. No courses taken off campus (except in the Kenyon-Exeter program) can be applied toward the minor.Senior Exercise
In order to meet the college-wide Senior Exercise requirement, the English Department requires its majors both to take an examination based on a set reading list and to write either a nine- to twelve-page critical essay or a creative project of similar length and scope. The English Department regards the examination and critical essay/creative project as equally important. English majors working toward an emphasis in creative writing must complete a creative project; only those who have met the other requirements for the emphasis will be permitted to submit creative work for the Senior Exercise.
The examination is based on a short reading list of a major work or set of lyric poems by twelve different writers; it will be completed in two timed sittings, normally on the Saturday of the week after spring break. The morning two-hour examination will consist of short-answer questions, and a short essay, as well as identifications of and brief commentary on passages reproduced from works on the reading list. The afternoon two-hour examination will require students to write an extended essay analyzing a lyric poem by one of the poets on the reading list. The reading list will be different for each graduating class, so students should request from the chair of the English Department the reading list for their particular class.
In addition to taking the examination, each English major will also submit a critical essay or creative project. Proposals for the essay/creative project (a brief description of the topic, including authors, works, and critical problems to be addressed, or the nature of the creative work to be pursued) are due in fall semester; they will be evaluated by a department committee to ensure that the proposed essay/project is appropriate for a culminating exercise in the English major. Student work on the critical essay or creative project should be undertaken and completed independently.
Students of demonstrated ability who would like to undertake more independent work are encouraged to enter the Honors Program. Please see the description for the Honors Program in English, available from the department administrative assistant, for details.
The department directs a year-long program of study at the University of Exeter in England for junior majors and non-majors who qualify for admission. A member of our department teaches at the university, conducts seminars for Kenyon students, leads numerous co-curricular excursions, and administers the program. See the director of the Center for Global Engagement or the department chair for more information.
Transfer Credit Policy
Returning students wishing to transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere must petition the department before taking the courses in question.