Academic Affairs Committee
January 25, 2002 (e)
This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee
concerning proposed curriculum actions. Within the next 10
days, please forward any comments or concerns to the AAC
Chair, Helen Biblehimer, Elliott Hall 203,
The department of Languages and Literature has requested the following curricular changes:
#1 Action Program Deletion: A.S. in Professional Writing
Rationale: The small number of students applying for the A.S. in Professional Writing does not justify maintaining a program. A majority of students who enrolled in the program decided to work toward a four year degree.
#2 Action: Program Change: English B.S.E.
Rationale for change: The department proposes a more structured program with an emphasis on fundamental skills to best prepare our students to excel in Literary Studies as it exists today:a discipline that has become more diverse, professionalized, and outcome-based. The new program will allow students to acquire, earlier and with more efficacy, a stronger and more coherent foundation for the study of English. This more foundational, developmental, and updated program would provide our majors with more direction, qualifications, and viability in terms of employment and advanced degrees.
DELETE: ENG 353 17th Cent Brit Lit
#3 Action: Program Change: English B.A.
Rationale for change: The department proposes a more structured program with an emphasis on fundamental skills to best prepare our students to excel in Literary Studies as it exists today: a discipline that has become more diverse, professionalized, and outcome-based. The new program will allow students to acquire, earlier and with more efficacy, a stronger and more coherent foundation for the study of English. This more foundational, developmental, and updated program would provide our majors with more direction, qualifications, and viability in terms of employment and advanced degrees.
#4 Action: Course Change: ENG 351 Sixteenth Century British Literature
Change Course Title: British Renaissance Literature
#5 Action: Course Change: ENG 356 Restoration and Neoclassic British Literature
Nature of the change: Change title to a new title that will be clearer to our students.
New Title: 18 th Century British Literature
#6 Action: Course Change: ENG 401 - Seminar in English Studies
Purpose of Change: Revision of the catalog course description to better reflect its role as a research-based capstone course for the major.
#7 Action: New Course Request: ENG 130 Introduction to Literary Studies
Purpose and nature of course: Like other disciplines, the study of English requires a foundation of skills and knowledge common to many areas of study within the discipline. A current concern for many faculty and students in our department is the lack of a course that would give students in the major a common background in literary terms, skills in analysis and explication, an understanding of the shape of literary and critical studies, and a stronger sense of shared experience among one's peers. Establishing a "gateway" course--a course required of all majors as a prerequisite to advanced courses in the major--will give our students a common background of skills and knowledge that will be built upon in survey, period, genre, and author courses. Advantages will include more cohesiveness among majors and a reduced need for instructors of upper-division courses to include redundant coverage of basic skills. As a gateway course, Introduction to Literary Studies will be more discipline specific and skills-oriented than a basic general education course like Introduction to Literature. In addition, a single gateway course will provide a consistent curriculum and skills base, taught by a full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty member. Currently, a general education course like Introduction to Literature funnels students into the major with a general, not specific, introduction to the discipline, and with widely varied exposure to disciplinary skills and knowledge, perhaps taught by a temporary faculty member who might not be available to advise or mentor the student in subsequent semesters.
#8 Action: New Course Request: ENG 376 Major Genre
Purpose and nature of course: Although various genre courses have been offered with some regularity as Special Topics in Literature courses (ENG 220 or ENG 320), currently we do not have a specific course number designated for the study of genre. Because genre is a vital area of literary study, categorizing genre courses under the special topics designation is misleading and serves no clear purpose. Instead, the Department of Languages & Literature proposes the creation of a "Major Genre" course as a new three-credit requirement for the major. This new requirement, part of our proposed changes to the BA/BSE program in English, will raise the profile of genre study among our course offerings, and allow our majors explore various genres (poetry, drama, the novel, short fiction, nonfiction prose, film) through courses offered on a regular, rotating basis. Such courses will be a useful complement to their survey, period, and author courses, and regular offerings will allow students to plan their semesters more efficiently.
#9 Action: New Course Request: ENG 385 Major Author
Purpose and Nature of Course: Although major author courses have been offered with some regularity as Senior Seminars (ENG 401) and occasionally as Special Topics courses (ENG 320), the Department of Languages & Literature believes its majors will be better served by a separate, required 300-level course that focuses on a major author other than Shakespeare. A major author requirement will provide English majors (and other interested students) with the experience of studying in detail an author's work (and the criticism of that work); this is the next logical step in a sequential program that first introduces students to literary study in general, then offers broad surveys in American and British literature, followed by more narrowly defined period courses. In addition, because the skills and knowledge acquired in the Major Author course are preparatory with respect to the research-based Senior Seminar capstone course, the Department believes that the Major Author requirement should be completed prior to the Senior Seminar. Because Shakespeare occupies a unique place in the canon of English literature, a separate Shakespeare requirement continues to be desirable. The addition of a Major Author course will complement the Shakespeare requirement, expanding the opportunity for our students to study in depth the work of other significant contributors to the history of literature.
#10 Action: Course Deletion: ENG 353
Reason for the deletion: The Department of Languages and Literature wishes to reduce the number of British Period courses to better reflect current enrollment and staffing levels. The content from this course will be combined with the 16th Century British Literature course, reducing the number of British period courses from 7 to 6. The new single course, ENG 351, English Renaissance Literature, 1500 to 1660, is a more typical offering for this literary time span, especially at smaller liberal arts institutions the size of Mansfield.
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