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Fall 2017 Junior-Senior Honors Seminar Seeks Applicants

English majors who have taken at least two upper-division English courses are invited to apply for the Fall 2017 Junior-Senior Honors Seminar (English 398). The topic for Fall 2017’s seminar is “How to Change Things with Words.” The seminar will be taught Dr. Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud. Here is a brief description of the course:

In this course, we’ll explore how language, literature, and the imagination have affected public opinion and altered political possibility. We’ll read theoretical works that discuss the connections between art, rhetoric, ideology, and propaganda as well as genres that have had a political impact, such as social-problem novels, utopias, manifestos, satires, tragedies, and poetic epigrams. Readings may include More, Utopia; Swift, A Modest Proposal; Blake, “Proverbs from Hell”; Byron, The Vision of Judgment; Shelley, Frankenstein; Shelley, The Cenci; Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Dickens, Hard Times; Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Sinclair, The Jungle; Achebe, Things Fall Apart. We will also examine visual works and topical poems and broadsides.

English 398 fulfills the “Special Topics/Capstone” requirement for English majors. Although priority will be given to Honors students, all majors who have taken two or more 300- or 400-level English courses are welcome to apply. Students who take English 398 are not required to continue on with English 498.

Students pursuing Honors in English must: (1) complete a total of 12 credit hours of English honors courses, of which 6 should be English 398 and English 498; (2) earn an A or B in English 398 and 498; (3) have a 3.25 overall GPA or better; (4) have a 3.5 or better GPA in the major.

Applications for English 398 are due by Friday, 4/21, and can be found online at


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