English Composition & Literature

  • MET EN 104: English Composition
    Required for all undergraduate degrees. Reinforces basic skills in communication necessary for college work. Instruction and practice in fundamentals of critical writing, reading, and thinking. Lectures combined with seminars on vital current social, political, psychological, and philosophical issues. Students choose their seminars. Frequent papers; individual conferences.

    MET EN104 Section Descriptions for Fall 2017:

    Section A1 -- Challener - "Contemporary Disasters: Nature, Culture, Crisis"
    In this course we will investigate the contemporary meaning of disaster from a variety of perspectives. We will focus on two contemporary disasters: 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Drawing on scholarship in sociology, anthropology, ecology, literary and cultural studies, and the relatively more recent field of disaster studies, we will ask whether there is such a thing as a natural disaster, whether disasters expose any differences between "nature" and "culture," and in today's geo-political, urbanized, globalized world, if there's anything especially American about how citizens of the United States think and talk about disaster. We'll also consider how more recent research on crisis intersects with and complicates our understanding of disaster. Possible readings include excerpts from Bill McKibben's The End of Nature; Rebecca Solnit's Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; Rob Nixon's Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor; Catastrophe and Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster, edited by Anthony Oliver-Smith and Susana Hoffmann; and Cheena Marie Lo's A Series of Un/Natural/ Disasters.
  • MET EN 125: Readings in Modern Literature
    Representative fiction, poetry, and drama from modern Continental, British, and American writers. Primarily for students not concentrating in English.
  • MET EN 127: Readings in American Literature
    Selected American writers from the Colonial period to the present. Prose and poetry representative of the American tradition. Primarily for students not concentrating in English.
  • MET EN 141: Literary Types: Fiction
    Representative English and American novels from the eighteenth century to the present. Required papers. Primarily for students not concentrating in English.
  • MET EN 142: Literary Types: Poetry
    Critical reading of representative English and American poems. Primarily for students not concentrating in English.
  • MET EN 143: Literary Types: Drama
    Critical reading of representative plays from the ancient Greeks to the present. Primarily for students not concentrating in English.
  • MET EN 175: Literature and the Art of Film
    Survey and analysis of cinema as an expressive medium from the silent period to the present. Films are screened weekly and discussed in conjunction with works of literature.
  • MET EN 201: Intermediate Composition
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: or MET-approved equivalent or exemption.
    Does not give concentration credit. Practice in writing narration, exposition, argument and persuasion, the critical essay, and the research paper. Related readings. Class discussion of papers. Individual conferences. Students enroll in specific seminars. Limited enrollment.

    MET EN201 -- Section Descriptions for Fall 2017

    Section A1 (Bennett) -- "The African in All of Us"
    This course examines several ways of interpreting Africanness in African and American literature. It looks at how African individuals adjust to life in the Americas as forcefully displaced persons of the diaspora and self- motivated immigrants. It pairs African texts with American ones investigating short stories by Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, James Baldwin, and others. It covers longer selections including Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart; Pulitzer-prize winning novels The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead) and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot D?az); and award-winning National Book Critics Circle Fiction novel Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).

    Section B1 (Pasto) - "Magic, Science, and Witchcraft"
    People throughout the world believe that they can harness invisible, "supernatural" powers to bring about desired--harmful and beneficial--effects. Science, however, says that these invisible forces do not exist and that the effects are either imaginary or psychosomatic. This course will explore beliefs in witchcraft and magic and how they measure up to science. The course will include study of events such as the Salem witchcraft outbreak, contemporary witchcraft beliefs in Europe, Asia, and Africa, popular beliefs in the evil eye, dreams, numerology, etc., and Wiccan beliefs and practices. Students will read shorter and longer works, watch films, and conduct research on a topic related to the course.

    Section C1 (Grabianowski) -- "Technology, Ideology and Society"
    Is it possible to create a sustainable and livable world where equality and human rights are respected? What roles do science and technology play in creating such a world? How can thinking about our experiences in the natural landscape help us to think about our experiences in the technological landscape? In this section of English 201, we will first consider how 19th- and 20th-century writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Wordsworth, E.M. Forster, Aldo Leopold and David Bohm have addressed the practical and ethical issues that arise out of the intersection of technology, nature and society. We will then explore through topics like sustainable business models, ecological economics, agribusiness, big data, wild writing, hyperobjects, genetics and robotics how contemporary scientists, poets, technology industry leaders, and writers like Arnold Pacey, Timothy Morton, Neil Postman, Michael Pollan, Herman Daly and Sherry Turkle continue to grapple with the rapid transformation of our technological existence.

    Section D1 - Jackson: "The Sixties"
    This course examines the 1960s, a tumultuous decade of political, social, and cultural change in the United States, through a range of readings that include poems, song lyrics, manifestos, autobiographies, speeches, essays, stories, and the "non- fiction novel." The major movements of the era (anti-war, civil rights, feminist, environmental, sexual liberation, and expanded consciousness) constituted a wide-ranging revolution. Literary critic Fredric Jameson characterizes the period with "the widely shared feeling that in the 60s, for a time, everything was possible: that this period, in other words, was a moment of a universal liberation, a global unbinding of energies." Some of the key players and events were in and around Boston (Martin Luther King, Jr. living in Myles Standish Hall, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton meeting Robert Lowell at the other end of Bay State Road, Huston Smith expanding consciousness in Marsh Chapel, Malcolm X growing up in Roxbury). We will read these writers as well as others including Rosa Parks, Betty Friedan, Bob Dylan, and Rachel Carson. We will write about what these writers meant in their time and about the reverberations and reactions that continue to affect how we live today.
  • MET EN 202: Introduction to Creative Writing
    Designed mainly for those with little or no experience in creative writing. An introduction to writing in various genres: poetry, fiction, and plays. Students' works discussed in class. Limited enrollment.
  • MET EN 220: Proseminar: Literacy Study
    Fundamentals of literary analysis and interpretation. Intensive study of selected literary texts. Frequent papers. Limited class size.
  • MET EN 305: Advanced Writing of Fiction
    The writing of short stories and perhaps longer fiction discussed in a workshop setting, including one-on- one meetings to discuss student work.
  • MET EN 322: Survey of British Literature I
    Prereq: MET HU 221. British literature from its beginnings to the Restoration.
  • MET EN 323: Survey of British Literature II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: MET EN 322
    British literature from the Restoration to the end of the nineteenth century.
  • MET EN 355: Modern Drama
    A century's transformations of drama and stage. Reading and discussion of plays from early realism and expressionism to the theatre of the absurd and present trends: Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Synge, Pirandello, Brecht, Sartre, Ionesco, Beckett, Genet, Pinter, and others.
  • MET EN 356: Modern Drama II
    Modern to contemporary drama since about 1950. Beckett, Genet, Osborne, Wesker, Pinter, Arden, Stoppard, Durrenmatt, Grass, Weiss, Handke, Albee, Miller, Williams, Shepard, and others. Related readings in predecessors, such as Kleist and Artaud, and in less well known contemporaries.
  • MET EN 363: Shakespeare I
    Six plays chosen from the following: Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV (Part 1), Troilus and Cressida, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter's Tale.
  • MET EN 364: Shakespeare II
    Six plays chosen from the following: Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, and The Tempest.
  • MET EN 373: Detective Fiction
    Origins and development of the detective and crime genres in England and America, including works of Collins, Poe, Dickens, Doyle, Christie, Sayers, and Chandler, among others.
  • MET EN 529: The Romantic Age: English Literature in the Age of Revolution
    Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. Emphasis on readings, but the course deals with romanticism both as an historical movement and as a cultural category significantly connected to modernism.
  • MET EN 535: Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry
    Close reading of balladic, lyric, and longer poems by Hardy, Yeats, Lawrence, Auden, Rosenberg, Mew, Loy, MacDiarmid, Gurney, Douglas, Larkin, Hill, Harrison, Prynne, others. Poets' essays and opposed schools and approaches. Reference to other arts, and times of political tragedy.