First-Year Writing Seminar - ENG 1111

Fall - 3 Credits

In First-Year Writing Seminars students learn to write in ways that emphasize clarity, coherence, intellectual force, and stylistic control. All seminars pursue this common aim through small classes, with a maximum of sixteen students, and adherence to a program-wide set of guidelines. The seminars require at least six formal essays, totaling ca. 25-30 pages of polished prose. The essays go through a process of development under the instructor's guidance (e.g. revision, peer review, responses to readings, etc.). Reading assignments are kept under 75 pages per week to permit regular, concentrated work on writing. All students meet in at least two individual conferences with the instructor.


English 1111 - Beyond the Bones: Taking the Pulse of Literature and Society

Rodney Sharkey, PhD, Associate Professor of English

This course will engage with global writing that resists limitations on person, place and individual liberty. This is because much of the literature we will study is fueled by social upheaval and political turbulence and the authors in question have used writing as a tool to prompt social change. As a result, we will be able to take the “pulse of society” through literature that makes the pulse race, through literature that succeeds in provoking a desire for regeneration in the lives of otherwise dispossessed and/or oppressed people. Moreover, just as bodies are made up of blood and bones, skin and muscles, ligaments tendons and much more, so in this course you too will move “beyond the bones” to build a body of written work that will shape, develop and define your abilities as a writer.


English 1111 - Patients, Physicians, and Society

Adam H. Larson, EdD,, Lecturer, English as a Second Language

Few aspects of modern life change as rapidly as medicine. The lives of doctors and patients draw attention to important questions, such as: How do our bodies mediate our experiences, and what happens when the body becomes ill? How does suffering transform our lives? How do people become doctors, and what social pressures influence their work? What is the role of culture in shaping the doctor-patient relationship? Through critical engagement with fiction, film, and reflective essays, this seminar explores what it means to be a doctor and patient in the modern era. We will survey key debates in the medical humanities and social sciences about the experience of illness, suffering and identity, medical education, professionalism, and doctor-patient relationships. Through a sequence of essay assignments, you will enhance your writing and thinking skills, and reflect on the diverse human and social forces influencing medicine today.

English 1168 - Introduction to the Medical and Health Humanities

Alan Weber, PhD, Professor of English

In this writing intensive course, we will examine the role of the health and medical humanities in medical practice and medical education. Students will be introduced to narrative medicine, expressive arts therapies, visual art, and drama and literature that can be used both as therapeutic modalities and as a means of understanding the human dimensions of illness. The course will also explore the relationships among art, poetry, empathy, and healing.