Frequently Asked Questions

Can credits from the major count toward my Foundation and/or Elements requirements? 

There’s nothing that prohibits you from counting your English courses as Foundation and/or Elements requirements in the Arts and/or the Humanities. Although, we’ll be honest, we think that it’s a waste of a whole lot of stuff. We really want you to get out of the English Department as often as you can. You never know what you may find there, or what may enhance your relationship to literature and writing. 

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What courses satisfy the “pre-1900” requirement?    

Eng 227, 231, 251, 252, 320, 327, 330, 331, 332, 335, 342, 343, 344, 345, 351, 352

*Students can petition the Chair of the English Department for possible substitutions when non-English Literature courses may meet this requirement. 

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How do I know what Literature courses I should take in what order?

Check out our handy guide here.   

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What English courses satisfy the “Modern and/or Contemporary Literature” Requirement in the minors?

In English: 232, 253, 336, 346, 347, select 380 or 295/395 offerings
In Theatre: 353

*Students can petition the Chair of the English Department for possible substitutions when non-English Literature courses may meet this requirement.

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What course will satisfy my underrepresented literature/non-English literature requirement?

Most literature courses taken in French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish will fulfill this requirement. Courses can be taken in translation, when offered, or in the original language. Additionally, certain literature courses across the college can fulfill this requirement. All such offerings, except for special topics courses, are listed below. 

Africana Studies (AFST): 206, 220, 227, 233, 234, 235, 240, 335, 383
American Studies (AMST) : 227, 325
Asian Studies (ASIA): 220, 221, 225, 263, 273, 321, 363, 373
Chinese (CHIN): 220, 221, 225, 321
Classics (CLAS): 273
English: 205, 242, 245 (and cross-listed offerings in other departments)
Film Studies: 225, 227, 261, 309, 337
French (FREN): 214, 215, 220, 304, 305, 309, 313, 316, 330
Gender and Women’s Studies (GWST): 206, 221, 222, 235, 238, 261, 322, 325, 332, 383
German (GERM): 235, 302, 317, 324, 326, 328, 331, 332, 334, 337
Greek (GRK): 212, 213, 215, 216, 217, 218, 270
Japanese (JAPN): 263, 273, 363, 373
Latin (LAT): 212, 213, 215, 216, 217, 218, 270, 370
Latin American Studies (LAST): 235, 238, 240, 305, 306, 309, 335, 377
Spanish (SPAN): 235, 302, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 322, 330, 335, 337, 377
Theatre (THTR): 351, 352, 353, 383
 

*Students can petition the Chair of the English Department for possible substitutions when special, one-time offerings that focus on non-English Literature or Underrepresented Literature are available. Inquiries should be made before the course begins.

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How do I fulfill “Oral Competency” within the major? 

Creative Writing Majors: In conjunction with an upper level writing workshop, students must give a reading at Milk Route, our series for senior majors. 

English Literature Majors: English 398 (all enrolled students will participate in the Symposium at the term’s end).  

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How do I fulfill my “Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology” Competency? 

Although most 300 level literature courses in the department require students to master informed use of technology, including information retrieval, MLA database use and the critical evaluation of Internet resources, students enroll in 300L simultaneously with 300 level literature classes that require it. 

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I’m a transfer student, should I retake a course required for my major?     

That’s entirely up to you. Yes, you will lose the earlier credit if you retake it. However, if you are concerned that you missed some key aspects or concepts that might later hinder your abilities in other courses, you should enroll in the course again. 

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What’s this Studio/Allied Art thing? 

Creative Writing Majors are required to take a course wherein they engage in the process of making art in a department other than English. With the understanding that there is no one way to illuminate the human condition and enlighten its “forward” motion, this requirement compels each student to venture far enough outside of her/his own modes of perception in order to borrow from others’ and thereby broaden his/her range of expression. If, for instance, your writing is driven most strongly by narrative, how might it be emboldened by experiments in non-narrative art-making? As was the case for poet Gertrude Stein, when she came in contact with the work of Pablo Picasso, this cross-aesthetic pollination is precisely the kind of wonder that generates what is bold and vitally new. Courses that meet this requirement follow. 

In Art: all studio courses
In Dance: 145, 152, 221, 246, 252, 341, 343, 352
In Journalism: 118, 119, 218, 220
In Music: MUSL 100, MUSE 180, MUS 182, MUSL 200, MUS 220, MUS 257, MUSL 300, MUS 303
In Theatre: 121, 131, 222, 223, 224, 231, 232, 233, 271, 310, 325, 361
 (*1/2 credit performance based classes must total one full credit to satisfy requirement)

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What can I expect in “Senior Seminar”? What is expected of me? 

Senior Seminar gives you the opportunity to synthesize the skills and information you’ve acquired as an English major, and to challenge yourself in some new ways as well. It is difficult and rewarding. The course will have a different theme each year (recent themes include “Adaptation,” “Irony,” “Noir,” “Homeless in the Waste Land,” “The Literary Vampire,” The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, “Visions and Revisions: Three Victorian Novels and Their (Post)modern Reworkings,” “Pulp,” “The Uncanny,” “Trauma and Visuality,” "Bodies on Display" and "Hauntology").  

During the first part of the term, you will read and interpret texts much as you would for any upper-level English class. You may be asked to begin researching secondary criticism on one of the texts and to present your findings to the class. You may be asked to submit regular responses to or questions about the reading.  The second part of the term focuses on the Symposium—an opportunity for you to present your ideas to the entire department. The exact format of the Symposium varies from year to year. Students in the course not only present their work, but organize, publicize, and run the Symposium. (This course satisfies the Oral Competency requirement, in part because of your presentation.) At the end of the term, you will turn in an article-length piece of literary criticism—an extension and revision of your Symposium presentation. This piece must respond to current scholarship and present an original argument.  

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Why are English Literature majors required to take a course in Creative Writing or Journalism?     

Although there are two distinct majors within the English Department, the Creative Writing and English Literature majors clearly draw strength from each other. Just as Creative Writing majors are expected to delve into literature courses as part of learning more about literary tradition and craft, so Literature majors are asked to experience the process of making literature by taking at least one Creative Writing or Journalism class.  

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What is “Senior Portfolio” all about? How do I best prepare for it? 

Senior Portfolio occasions the fullest expression of what you have accomplished in the writing program at Knox. Through the collection and revision of your entire oeuvre of creative writing, you will be able to track the development of your voice. In a required 25-page critical essay, you will introduce this voice to the Knox community and, through careful assessment, articulate your writing’s aesthetic sources, challenges, and potentials. As an object in itself, the portfolio should represent your commitment to your art and, practically speaking, provide a solid foundation for continued apprenticeship toward a writing life, which may or may not begin with graduate study. 

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Will “Study Abroad” credits count toward my English major? 

Study Abroad credits generally can and do count toward your major, provided that you take a few steps ahead of time to ensure that the Chair of the English Dept. will allow you to substitute certain courses offered in your program abroad for requirements in the major. Be sure to talk to your advisor and/or the Chair about any such substitutions before you decide what you want to take while abroad. You can also email your advisor and/or the Chair while abroad to check on whether certain courses there can satisfy some of your major requirements here. Substitutions are only approved officially after your final transcript is received by the college from those programs.  

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How do I fulfill my experiential learning in a way that might intersect with my interests in English? 

We invite you to schedule an appointment with your major advisor to discuss this very question. The experiential learning requirement has been satisfied in so many ways by our majors (everything from nature writing in connection with a Green Oaks term to an internship at a small publishing house) that we can’t really sum up the options here. The goal is to find some meaningful way of satisfying this requirement, which may mean aligning said “experience” with your major—but could also mean following out another interest you hold that is unrelated to your major.