2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

English and Textual Studies, BA

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Katherine Kidd, Director of Undergraduate Studies
401 Hall of Languages


Mona Awad, Crystal Bartolovich, Dorri Beam, Chanelle Benz, Chris Brunt, Dympna Callaghan, Jonathan Dee, Susan Edmunds, Carol Fadda, Chris Forster, Ken Frieden, Mike Goode, Matt Grzecki, Roger Hallas, Chris Hanson, Sarah Harwell, Brooks Haxton, Mary Karr, Christopher Kennedy, Katherine Kidd, Coran Klaver, Delali Kumavie, Ethan Madarieta, Patricia Moody, Patricia Roylance, George Saunders, Will Scheibel, Stephanie Shirilan, Bruce Smith, Dana Spiotta, Scott Manning Stevens, Harvey Teres, Tony Tiongson, 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 and media forms. The curriculum also allows students to take 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 Film and Screen Studies.

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 website at english.syr.edu.

For all Arts and Sciences | Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences | Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences | Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences | Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences | Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

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, forms, and genres.

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 research skills and methods.

Major Requirements

To qualify for a B.A. degree in English and Textual Studies, students complete a total of 30 credits of coursework. Please note that ENG 105 and ENG 107 and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits do NOT count toward the lower division credit requirements for an English and Textual Studies major. 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”:

Before 1900

Courses fulfilling the “before 1900” requirement have titles that end in the phrase “Before 1900”:

Race, Empire, and Culture

Courses fulfilling the “Race, Empire, and Culture” requirement have titles that include the word “Race”:

Two remaining “elective” courses:

Two remaining “elective” courses may be chosen from any upper division critical courses, or from among upper division creative writing courses, 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 ENG 146 ENG 154, ENG 156, ENG 170, or ENG 171 . Three of the six upper division 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 of the two major “elective” courses must be an upper division film or screen studies course, either from English or an approved course from another department.

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