Pitch: A Journal of Arts and Literature

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Why Choose
Cedar Crest?
  • Personalized attention
  • Average class size <20
  • Women's leadership opportunities
  • Flexibility to add dual major, minor

Featured English Courses

Cedar Crest offers students a strong foundation in literature and writing. That’s a great start for students majoring in English—but shouldn’t you look for more in an English program?

While other colleges offer writing and literature courses, Cedar Crest College takes creative writing and literary analysis to the next level. Our "special topics" classes allow you to explore the genre or specialty that exemplifies your personality and gets your imagination flowing. From Beowulf to Harry Potter, from Jane Austen to Louisa May Alcott, we have it all!

The following is a sample of the unique literature and writing courses that set Cedar Crest College apart.

British Fantasy (ENG 225)

Fantasy's appeal to readers and movie-goers suggests our perennial interest in tales of good and evil, an interest that seems to grow as we face "dark times." This appeal is underscored by the popularity of the Harry Potter series and the recent spate of film adaptations of fantasy classics, including The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Golden Compass, and Inkspell.

In this course, we will read examples of British fantasy from medieval times to the present in order to explore some of the typical features of this sub-genre, trace the sources and evolution of modern fantasy novels, discuss the cultural contexts to which fantasy literature responds, and consider what happens when text is translated to the big screen.

Women Go to the Movies (ENG 280)

Explore images of women in film, from the 1930s “Golden Age” to the present. This course will focus on the ways in which films and their portrayals of women mirror their times, the ways in which film adaptations transform the original prose sources, the use of various techniques and conventions of film and prose, and archetypes as keys to “reading” both literature and film.

Native American Literature (ENG 223)

Asked about whom he sees as the audience for Native American writers, Sherman Alexie declared, “I want the whole world to smell like story-smoke.”

This course traces the traditions of Native American storytelling in the work of some of today’s most poetic writers: Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene), Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe), Joy Harjo (Muskogee), N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa/Cherokee), Susan Power (Standing Rock Sioux), and Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo). From the funny to the tragic to the sublime, the literature studied in this course touches upon Indian life both on and off the reservation, the legacy of Native peoples’ relationship with the U.S. government, and the ongoing relationship between tribal identities and other aspects of American culture.

Touring British Literature: The Importance of Place (ENG 225)

What would Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights be without windswept moors? How can we think about Charles Dickens without picturing London?

For centuries, British writers have employed landscapes—and cityscapes—in their poems, novels, and plays to explore politics, express gender differences, claim a personal identity, or illuminate cultural values. In this course, you will look at examples of British literature from the medieval period to contemporary times to learn how writers have included the rural and the urban landscapes in which they lived within their works—and what those places might “mean” to writer and reader.

To enhance your understanding of the connection between landscape and literature, you may also register for an associated 1-credit study-abroad component: a 10-day visit to the British Isles to see some of the places that have inspired British writers.

Creative Nonfiction Writing (ENG 235)

This course is a workshop in writing creative nonfiction. Students will develop skills as writers; read a range of nonfiction, and learn techniques from the various readings; improve their ability to analyze and critique written prose; and gain experience in revising and editing their own work.

The course will focus not only on what constitutes adequate writing material for telling a story based on life experience and observation. More importantly, it will emphasize an exploration into the techniques that can be used to develop that writing material and convey a discernible meaning with it.

World Literature I: The Ancient World to the 17th Century (ENG 205)

Beginning with the Mesopotamian tales of Inanna and Gilgamesh, this survey of world literature in English translation introduces students to significant works of prose, verse, and drama from ancient times through the Renaissance.

Writing assignments and discussion apply the tools of literary analysis (i.e., literary devices, modes, and genres) in exploring thematic and intellectual connections within and between diverse literary traditions, including those of ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, Africa, India, and Europe.