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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 370
Course Title: Major Literary Periods
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Study of the major literary works from a specific movement or definitive age (Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Victorian, Modernism, Postmodern or Contemporary). Prerequisites: ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course. Occasional Offering.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 112 and a previous 200-level or higher English course.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Occasional Offering.


A comprehensive anthology of English literature that covers the period in question, and which may be supplemented by 2-3 well-chosen, college-level editions by major authors.

Or, a careful selection of inexpensive, college-level books by 5-8 major authors of the period.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the characteristics of a major literary period.
  2. Analyze multiple genres produced within a major literary period.
  3. Identify the historical and cultural forces influencing the literature of a major literary period.
  4. Discuss authors and authorial concerns within a major literary period.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the critical reception of literature written belonging to a major literary period.
  6. Write argumentatively about literary works of a major literary period.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • The course may provide a transatlantic view of the period or may focus on the period as it occurred in American or British literature.
  • Because this course represents an upper-level English elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. Students must read and write intensively, and they must engage in serious literary study that includes the use of peer-reviewed scholarship. This course must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (such as midterms, finals, group reports, quizzes, research papers). The course reading load should be at least 1000 pages, and may comprise less than this minimum only if the instructor is accounting for a significant amount of assigned poetry.
  • Department policy requires a minimum of 4500 words (about 18 pages) of graded student writing, including an argumentative research essay that incorporates scholarly secondary criticism.
  • Department policy requires that assignments include at least one common reading of a secondary, peer-reviewed article or chapter.
  • Class discussion of the selected works.
  • Terminology essential to the study of fiction.
  • In class exams, including a final exam that requires students to analyze a range of works from the period, and to explain the generic characteristics of those works, as well as their historical, cultural, and authorial contexts.
  • Instructors may be asked to collect information from the assignments specified in the Major Topics/Skills section. This information will be provided to the English program for evaluation.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Peter Monacell Date: April 14, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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