Students in the Literature emphasis explore the contexts of imaginative writing and the purposes of literary study. Our intimate, discussion-based classes allow students to participate in exciting cross-disciplinary conversations that expand personal, cultural, ethical, and global perspectives. Our faculty and students bring ideas and texts together to foster new insights, such as understanding poetry through jazz and hip-hop; reinterpreting medieval literature through contemporary cinema; or reading the modern novel through the lens of global capitalism. Courses in the Literature emphasis enable students to develop critical modes of inquiry, foundational skills in writing, and innovative research while imagining new futures for literature, the study of culture, and the human condition. This major prepares students for success in top graduate programs and professional schools, as well as careers in business, information technology, healthcare, publishing, and human services. Our students learn to think creatively. We offer them the freedom to ask provocative questions that challenge conventions; we invite them to see the world through multiple perspectives and we model consensus-building and thoughtful, productive disagreement. Thus, students graduating from our program have the ability to seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts, to understand the nuances and diversity of human experience, and to embrace complexity in all its forms.
A student graduating from this program will be able to:
1. Generate a close reading of a text, recognizing, understanding, and interpreting a text's elements.
2. Demonstrate familiarity with English language literary and rhetorical traditions, including prominent authors, genres, movements, and styles, as well as the historical and cultural contexts important to those traditions.
3. Demonstrate familiarity with literary and rhetorical works by writers of diverse backgrounds.
4. Engage in disciplinary conversations, drawing on theory and scholarship in fields appropriate to one’s area of emphasis.
5. Engage in research and sustained inquiry, which is disseminated in an appropriate forum(s).
6. Recognize and write effective prose, attending to such features as style, genre, audience, and purpose.
Employment Opportunities for English Literature Emphasis Majors
LITERATURE & COMPOSITION RESOURCES
JSTOR Link through Murphy: http://libweb.uwlax.edu:2123/ (Offers literary journals and articles for reading)
Literary Ezines and Journals: Lists literary magazines for publications and submissions
Online Literary Criticism Guide: Resources for specific types and periods of literary criticism
"Voice of the Shuttle": The VOS includes links to e-texts, and articles on literature and culture, and multiple humanities references."
Purdue University's OWL: (Online Writing Lab) Provides information on proper MLA citation and formatting
FURTHER INVOLVEMENT & RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
Sigma Tau Delta Conferences: (The International English Honor Society)
Undergraduate Research at UWL: Apply for research grants to pursue academic ventures in literature
LITERARY CONCEPTS AND VOCABULARY
Literary terms for classical and medieval literature and science fiction: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms.html
Bedford St. Martins Glossary of Literary Terms: http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/literature/bedlit/glossary_a.htm
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL): Writing in Literature: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/4/17/
Online reprint of literary terms from Essentials of Literature in English post 1914: http://www.literature-study-online.com/glossary.html
Definition of "literature": http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/literature
POETIC AND FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
Rhythm and Meter in Poetry: http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/meter.html
The difference between symbol, image, and allegory: The Literary Apprentice, http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fitchf/readlit/symbol1.htm
Top 20 figures of speech: http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/20figures.htm
An Online Rhetoric: (includes rhetorical figures): http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/Silva.htm
WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE
Writing Poetry Explications: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/poetry-explication.html
Writing about Poetry: http://www.hamilton.edu/writing/poetry.html
Writing Fiction Essays: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature.html
Writing Drama Essays: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/drama.html
RESEARCH IN LITERATURE: FINDING AND USING SECONDARY SOURCES
Murphy Library (UWL) Periodical Databases for English: http://libguides.uwlax.edu/english
MLA style for quoting lines of poetry: http://www.shepherd.edu/scwcweb/hndpoetry.htm