Seminar is topic specific with a focus on American Children's Literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Students work toward completion of their final papers. The emphasis of the seminar is on literary studies and literature as a comparative study.
The first year of History of English Literature begins with Old English and finishes the first semester with Shakespeare. The second semester begins with Shakespeare and ends with the Pre-Romantics and the beginning of the English novel. The key periods and authors are many and diverse because the course covers centuries upon centuries of English literature as well as significant aspects of English history as regards literature.
Many forms of literature are studied: laments, chronicles, plays, poems, sonnets, odes, epics, satires, journalism, tragedies, comedies, essays, allegories, novels and more as well as myriad genres. There are also authors, poets, playwrights, sonneteers, chroniclers, journalists, essayists, allegorists, novelists, satirists as well as politicians, kings, queens, monsters, lords, pirates, and prisoners who make up the history behind the literature that has been left for our study. It is often a challenge just to learn the right names for everything that is part of our study!
The course is a rather exciting one because it covers the development of various concepts (such as: liberty, personal freedom, economic stability, land ownership, class and racial social importance, religious and magic significance, concepts of justice, children's games, adult pastimes, and many other significant aspects) typical in some ways to England first, and then in variations, to the United States. The stories begin with the pre-history of England and finish with the story of the Black Movement Emergence in the USA. Although there is only some slight coverage of other English language countries, the concepts covered are significant towards understanding all countries. The course deals with the stories that form the culture of the countries studied.