English Composition & Literature

  • MET EN 104: English Composition
    Spring 2022: EN 104 A1-- "Boston: Zeal, Insanity, and Lawlessness"

    Boston has captivated the imagination of locals and outsiders alike for centuries, not only as "The Hub" or "The Athens of America" but also as "Suck City" and the town with "dirty water." In this seminar, we will look at Boston as subject and setting of a number of very different works in order to understand the social, political, historical, and artistic forces that have shaped this great American city, and to figure out whether its often- negative portrayal is deserved. We will debate, discuss, and question how such influences shape a culture or define a city, examining nonfiction from such authors as, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Nick Flynn, and Susanna Kaysen; fiction by Jhumpa Lahiri, Ha Jin, and Dennis Lehane; and poetry by Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Frost. We'll also view film excerpts from Malcolm X, Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Lift, Mystic River, Blue Hill Avenue, and Spotlight.
  • 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Aesthetic Exploration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Ethical Reasoning
  • 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Aesthetic Exploration.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
  • 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following areas: Research and Information Literacy; Writing, Research and Inquiry.

    Fall 2021: EN 201 - A1 (Bennett) -- "Contemporary Fiction's Otherworldly Glow"
    In this course, as we work to develop improved writing skills, our readings will take us to Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, regions more culturally different than we may imagine. Our close reading, however, will reinforce the universality of the human condition, as we examine issues of race, class, gender, and ethnicity. We will encounter postcolonialism, war, love, and political intrigue in three twenty-first century novels: Hala Alyan's Salt Houses, Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go, and Luis Alberto Urrea's The House of Broken Angels.
    • Writing, Research, and Inquiry
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • 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 304: Poetry Writing
  • MET EN 323: Survey of British Literature II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: MET EN 322
    Overview of English literature between 1700 and 1900. Topics include London as urban center, modern prose fiction, Romantic and Victorian poetry, tensions between religion and science. Authors may include Pope, Swift, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, Tennyson, Wilde. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
  • 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 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. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Historical Consciousness
  • 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 546: The Modern American Novel
    In this course we will read and discuss American novels and short stories published between 1900 and 1945. We will examine the roots of "modernism," consider various definitions of modernism, and identify characteristics of modernism in American narratives including short stories and films as well as novels--works by Chesnutt, Chopin, Perkins Gilman, Twain, Dreiser, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Toomer, and Hurston. We will also locate the historical and cultural contexts of these works. Some of these novels were widely read at the time they were published; other works had a more limited distribution, but subsequently have been recognized as valuable contributions to the American literary tradition. We will consider art forms in their larger cultural context and consider what "cultural work" any artistic expression does. How does literature convey the values and attitudes of the people who produce it? And conversely, how does literature influence the values and attitudes of the people who read it?