2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English and Textual Studies, BA

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Silvio Torres- Saillant, Director of Undergraduate Studies

417 Hall of Languages



Crystal Bartolovich, Dorri Beam, Michael Burkard, Dympna Callaghan, Jonathan Dee, Steven Doles, Susan Edmunds, Chris Eng, Carol Fadda-Conrey, Arthur Flowers, Chris Forster, Ken Frieden, Mike Goode, Roger Hallas, Chris Hanson, Sarah Harwell, Brooks Haxton, Mary Karr, Christopher Kennedy, Coran Klaver, Erin S. Mackie, Patricia Moody, Patricia Roylance, George Saunders, Will Scheibel, Stephanie Shirilan, Bruce Smith, Dana Spiotta, Scott Manning Stevens, Harvey Teres, Silvio Torres-Saillant

The Department of English offers programs in textual and cultural studies, with special emphasis on literary history, criticism, and theory. Courses deal with such problems as the nature and implications of reading and interpretation, the production of meaning in language and culture, and the nature of literary forms. The curriculum also includes courses in creative writing.

Students who wish to major in English and Textual Studies should consult the English Studies Coordinator to be assigned an appropriate advisor, who helps plan the course of study.

Some students majoring in English and Textual Studies may wish to pursue a concentration in either Creative Writing or Film and Screen Studies.

Some students majoring in English and Textual Studies may wish to apply for a dual enrollment with another school or college within the University, such as the School of Information Studies, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, or the School of Education. Those interested in certification to teach English should see “English Education (Dual), BA ” in the School of Education’s Academic Offerings. Students must have departmental approval to become candidates for honors or distinction in English and Textual Studies. For more information, see the web site at english.syr.edu.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Recognize how meanings are created through acts of critical reading and analysis of texts

2. Analyze texts using theoretical paradigms for literary and cultural studies

3. Analyze texts in relation to their historical contexts

4. Analyze texts as bearers of political and ethical meaning and mediators of power relationships

5. Analyze texts in relation to their aesthetics

6. Analyze the way texts construct categories of difference, including differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class

7. Formulate sustained interpretive, analytical, or conceptual arguments based on evidence drawn from texts

8. Develop skills for writing fiction or poetry

Major Requirements

To qualify for a B.A. degree in English and Textual Studies, students complete a total of 30 credits of coursework.  Students must attain a grade of C- or better in order to count a course toward their major credits. These credits include:

Remaining 24 credits

The remaining 24 credits are in courses numbered above 299 and must include:

Six upper division critical courses numbered 300 or above (18 credits). Creative writing workshops and “Reading & Writing” courses do not count toward the six required upper division critical courses. 

Of these six courses, at least two must focus on texts written before 1900, at least one must be a “Race, Empire, and Culture” course, and at least one must be an “Advanced Critical Writing” course. A course may fulfill more than one of these requirements at the same time. 

Advanced Critical Writing

Courses fulfilling the “Advanced Critical Writing” requirement have titles beginning with “Advanced Critical Writing”:

Two remaining elective courses:

Two remaining elective courses may be chosen from any upper division ETS critical courses, or from among upper division creative writing courses (ETS), or one upper division Literature in Translation course (LIT) or one approved upper division Writing Program course (WRT).  Of the two electives, only one may come from outside the department. 

Dually enrolled in the School of Education

Students dually enrolled in the School of Education include the following among the 24 credits of upper-division courses:


Outstanding junior ETS majors will be invited to participate in the Distinction Program, enabling them to earn the designation “Distinction in English and Textual Studies” with their degree. The Distinction Program requires students to demonstrate outstanding academic accomplishment by maintaining a 3.4 overall GPA and a 3.6 within the major, enroll in and complete a graduate-level English course during their senior year, and successfully complete a senior thesis project (which will include enrolling in the 1-credit Thesis Research Practicum in the fall and the 2-credit Thesis Workshop in the spring semester of their senior year). The “Distinction” designation will be granted upon graduation.

Pursuing a concentration in Film and Screen Studies

Students pursuing a concentration in Film and Screen Studies within the ETS major must meet the 100-level requirement by taking ETS 146 ETS 154, ETS 170, or ETS 171 . Three of the six upper division ETS critical courses taken must focus on film and screen studies (as indicated by the terms “Film,” “Cinema,” “Media,” and/or “Screen” in the section title). One major elective must be an upper division film or screen studies course, either from ETS or an approved course from another department.

Pursuing a concentration in Creative Writing

Students pursuing a concentration in Creative Writing within the ETS major must take either ETS 215  or ETS 217  as a prerequisite to the advanced workshops. ETS 151  or ETS 153  must be taken to meet the 100-level major requirement. In the place of one of the six upper division ETS critical courses, students in the Creative Writing concentration must take ETS 301, ETS 303, or ETS 304. Both major electives must be advanced creative writing workshops (ETS 401  or ETS 403 ).

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