Department of English

Core Literature

An essential part of the University Core Curriculum, the Core Literature sequence is required of every Auburn student. Students can choose a sequence in British Literature, American Literature, World Literature or Honors World Literature. These courses do not need to be taken in order. For instance, British Literature II can be taken before British Literature I. However, courses must be taken in the same literature in order to get credit for the sequence. In other words, you cannot take World Literature I and British Literature II.

The objectives of the courses are:

  • to provide a program of guided reading of works acclaimed in different times and cultures
  • to provide a very broad framework of cultural history in which to read the works
  • to explore methods and assumptions of literary and cultural analysis
  • to develop skills in reading and writing

The courses are taught mostly by faculty in the Department of English. Instructors of Core Literature select the readings and design the syllabus for their sections of the course in accord with guidelines established by the Department of English. The Department and University also make available to students and faculty a range of related support services and enrichment resources.

Last Updated: May 31, 2017

These classes DO NOT need to be taken in order.

ENGL 2200 World Literature Before 1600 
ENGL 2207 Honors World Literature Before 1600

World mapThis course focuses on literary works written before 1600, in the context of historical, philosophical, and cultural issues throughout the world.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance periods. These authors and texts could include Homer, Sappho, Virgil, The Bhagavad-gita, Marie de France, Dante, Lady Murasaki, The 1001 Nights, Giovanni Boccaccio, Michel de Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre, and William Shakespeare.


ENGL 2210 World Literature After 1600 
ENGL 2217 Honors World Literature After 1600

World mapThis course focuses on literary works written after 1600, in the context of historical, philosophical, and cultural issues throughout the world.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the Enlightenment, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. These authors could include Moliére, Wu Ch’eng-en, Matsuo Basho, Voltaire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Chinua Achebe.

 

Last Updated: July 27, 2016

These classes DO NOT need to be taken in order.

ENGL 2230 Survey of British Literature Before 1789

British FlagThis course focuses on the principal literary works created in Great Britain from the Anglo-Saxons to the late-eighteenth century, many of which are considered to be the foundational texts of British Literature.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and eighteenth century periods. These texts and authors could include Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Geoffrey Chaucer, Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Amelia Lanyer, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Lady Mary Wroth, John Milton, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Frances Burney.


ENGL 2240 Survey of British Literature After 1789

British FlagThis course focuses on the principal literary works created in Great Britain from the late-eighteenth century to the present, and the significance of these works to the social, historical, intellectual, issues central to British cultural experiences both past and present.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the Romantic, Victorian, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary periods. These texts and authors could include William Blake, Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, John Keats, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, W. B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett.

Last Updated: July 27, 2016

These classes DO NOT need to be taken in order.

ENGL 2250 Survey of American Literature Before 1865

American FlagThis course focuses on American Literary works from the pre-colonial era through the Civil War, including a variety of genres, such as letters, sermons, as well as fiction and poetry.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the Pre-Colonial, Colonial, and early Nineteenth-Century periods. These authors could include John Smith, Phillis Wheatley, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and Emily Dickinson.


ENGL 2260 Survey of American Literature After 1865

American FlagThis course focuses on American Literary works from the Civil War through the contemporary era in the context of historical, philosophical, and cultural changes since the nineteenth century.

Requirements: Course requirements will vary by instructor but may include a mid-term and a final examination, short and/or major written assignments, in-class presentations, and quizzes.

Readings: Readings will vary by instructor, but will be drawn from works and authors from the post-Civil War, Twentieth-Century and Contemporary periods. These authors could include Mark Twain, W. E. B. DuBois, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Flannery O’Connor, and David Mamet.

Last Updated: July 27, 2016

The Writing Center

At least ten pages of formal writing on literature, culture, or ideas are required in all sections of Core Literature. Core Literature faculty will guide students in the general planning and execution of this work. However, students who are not fully confident of their basic writing skills are strongly advised to consult the Miller Writing Center, a free individual consulting service on writing for Auburn students and graduates. Writing Center consultants are prepared to assist students with all aspects of Core Literature writing assignments. For complete information visit the Writing Center website.

Blackboard

The University provides to all instructors this widely used course management tool, which permits online communication between instructors and students and among students in a class. In managing their courses Core Literature instructors may use features of Blackboard such as the posting of syllabi and/or grades, the transmission of assignments and submission of work, or discussion boards or chatrooms.

Ralph Brown Draughon Library

With a collection of more than 2,700,000 volumes, the state’s largest (according to the Association of Research Libraries, 2003), extensive electronic access possibilities, a staff well-regarded for helpfulness, and a comfortable modern building, Auburn’s Draughon Library supports Core Literature courses in many ways. These include reserve and e-reserve collections for particular classes, electronic access to a wide array of library materials, individual bibliographical assistance, and comfortable work sites. For information see the library’s homepage.

Last Updated: May 05, 2015

Registration

Students may register for Core Literature courses through the online registration system during the registration period.  If the sections are full, you may add your name to the waiting list by filling out the department’s online waiting list form or by calling the main office.  Because of the heavy demand, the department generally cannot honor requests for specific times or instructors. Individual instructors cannot give permission for you to be added to their section.  The office associates in Haley 9030 will fill openings as they become available on a first-come basis in the order of the waiting list.  After you have added your name to the waiting list, you should check your schedule on a regular basis to see if you have been added to a section.

Graduating Seniors

If you need Core Literature in your final semester to graduate, you will receive priority registration from the department when you bring your graduation verification from your advisor to the department main office.

Registration During First Week of Class

The department may announce on its website that the waiting list is closed near the beginning of the semester after the office associates have placed students who have been on the waiting list. At this time, the department can reopen sections for online registration a few days before the beginning of the semester through the first day of class.  Students who hope to adjust their schedules should check regularly for last-minute openings.  After the first day of class, the department continues to add students through the first week of class.  It is department policy not to add students after the end of the first week of class.

Prerequisites

The prerequisite for Core Literature is a C or better in ENGL 1120 or ENGL 1127.

Transfer Credit

  It is important for students to obtain prior assurance from their advisors that particular courses taken elsewhere will fulfill Auburn’s core literature requirement. The criteria for equivalency are specified in the Auburn Bulletin. Advisors will refer uncertain cases to the Coordinator of Core Literature.

Last Updated: August 08, 2016

What to Expect

Instructors of Core Literature at Auburn design their own courses so that they can share their strengths while leading students in explorations of new areas. Each section is different, though all follow general guidelines and require approximately the same effort. Reading works of other times and places involves respecting, and attempting to understand, other perspectives; this reading may be engaging and enlightening, but it is demanding, and students should not expect it all to be easily accessible or directly entertaining.

World Literature I covers literature from antiquity to roughly 1650. World Literature II covers from roughly 1650 to the present. British Literature I covers literature from the beginnings of Britain to 1789. British Literature II covers literature from 1789 to the present. American Literature I covers literature from the beginnings of America to 1865. American Literature II covers from 1865 to the present.

What is Expected

Diligence is essential to success in these courses; a minimum average of two hours of preparation is recommended for each class hour, though the workload will vary depending on the assignment. Also, students’ curiosity and questions are crucial to the process of exploration. Policies concerning attendance, participation, punctuality, and paper format are established by individual instructors. Students should be aware that undocumented use of even one sentence from any written or online source constitutes plagiarism. Instructors are urged to refer every case of suspected plagiarism to the Academic Honesty Committee. For information on this process, see the Student Policy eHandbook.

Grading Guidelines

Your final grade represents your instructor’s overall assessment of your performance in the course. Other grades—on papers, tests, quizzes, class participation, etc.—constitute a schematic system enabling you and your instructor to assess how you are progressing during the semester.

The number, frequency, criteria, and form of grades during the semester are the prerogative of the instructors and will vary from class to class. If you do not understand the explanation of the grading system and the criteria of evaluation in the syllabus, ask for clarification at the beginning of the semester.

Each instructor will emphasize somewhat different aspects of your work, but the grading guidelines offer a general idea of what essay grades often mean.

Problems

Students are strongly encouraged to communicate grievances, concerns, or other comments to their instructor or to the acting program coordinator. The Department of English and the Core Literature program are committed to doing our part to make possible a positive educational experience for every student in Core Literature and to finding the best solutions to problems. If students are dissatisfied we want to know about it.

Last Updated: January 22, 2015

For more information

Anna Riehl Bertolet

Anna Riehl Bertolet, Associate Professor
Director of Core Literature
avr0001@auburn.edu
9006 Haley Center
(334) 844-9006

Last Updated: May 31, 2017