Writing and Culture Concentration for Undergraduate English Majors


"What is Writing and Culture?" (collaboratively written by students in English 4304, Spring 2008; we need an official description--LBB)

English majors in the Writing and Culture Concentration study the ways that "writing" both constructs and reveals culture. They create the language that builds culture and they analyze it. While this concentration includes literary study, it also embraces other kinds of "texts," e.g., film, video, popular culture, writing in professional fields, collaborative digital media, web design, etc. Students who complete this English major typically go on to graduate school in law, rhetoric and composition, film and media arts, or a variety of other jobs that do not necessarily require graduate school. Some choose teaching as a career.

The common denominators are excellent analytical and communication skills in a variety of genres and modes. With advice from advisors, students should select courses that provide them with a broad liberal arts education and as much practice with written, oral, visual, and technological communication as possible.
Rhetoric courses focus on the transactions between and among producers and consumers of language, especially their attempts to inform or persuade each other. Rhetoricians analyze communication and criticism historically and in particular settings. Courses that interrogate culture provide theoretical and historical contexts. Students are also encouraged to study a variety of theories of interpretation (e.g., postcolonial, feminist, Afro-centric). Because language is the primary way that humans understand and construct their identities, their organizations, and their worlds, courses in linguistics, which provide systematic approaches to the study of language, and discourse analysis are recommended. Courses in folklore and anthropology enrich understandings of "culture." Communication-intensive courses in departments across the university are good choices.

There is no one "track" that all students complete in this concentration; each student builds a program of study that prioritizes their interests out of the broad areas described above.
The required courses are listed below on a proposed "path" that allows for many more courses around special interests:

Semester One

1001 English Composition
Semester Two

2300 Interpreting Discourse
3 hrs. General Education:
2024 Critical Strategies
2025 Fiction
2027 Poetry
2029 Drama
2123/2823 Lit. Trad. & Themes
2148 Shakespeare
2201 Intro to World Lit Traditions
2202 Intro to Modern World Lit
2220 Major Brit. Authors
2270 Major Am Authors
Semester Three

3 hrs.:
2012, 2024/2824, 2423, or 2710
3 hrs. of English elective
Semester Four

2000 University Writing
3 hrs. of English Elective
Semester Five

3 hrs of Brit/Am surveys: 3020, 3022, 3070, 3072
3 hrs. from the following:
3024 or 3084 or 3384, 3300, 3301, 3310, 3384, 3401, 3716, 3720, or 4710
3 hrs of English Electives
Semester Six

3 hrs. from the following:
3024 or 3084 or 3384, 3300, 3301, 3310, 3384, 3401, 3716, 3720, or 4710
3 hrs. from the following:
4300, 4301, 4302, 4310, 4475, 4493, 4716, 4711/4712, or 4713/4715
Semester Seven

3 hrs. from the following:
4300, 4301, 4302, 4310, 4475, 4493, 4716, 4711/4712, or 4713/4715
6 hrs Upper Division English Elective
Semester Eight

4304 Capstone Seminar
6 hrs. Upper Division English Electives