Department of English

Choosing an Introductory English Course

There are several ways to start your journey with English at Brown.

  • Start with one of our How Literature Matters courses (ENGL01**s), the core course for the concentration.
  • Or try one of our other introductory English courses below the 1000-level 
  • First-year students may want to take a first-year seminar (ENGL0150).
  • Our Nonfiction Writing is another popular entry point into the concentration. A third is to take a course that focuses entirely on academic writing for the university; ENGL0900 and ENGL1030 courses focus entirely on academic writing, while ENGL0930 and ENGL1050 expose students to writing skills for the outside world

English Literatures

Under 1000-level Literature Course Offerings for Fall 2023

How Literature Matters Courses

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters, is the new core course for the recently revised English concentration. All sections of this course explore questions about how literature works, how we understand it, and how we write about it through an examination of form, genre, and critical method. They aim to help students develop their skills as close, careful readers of literary form and language.

  • ENGL 0100P, Love Stories (Kuzner)
  • ENGL 0101C, America Dreaming (Gould)

Other Courses below 1000-level during Fall 2023

These courses are designed for students who are interested in taking introductory literature courses at Brown.

ENGL 0150 These are introductory seminars restricted to first-year students. All of these courses count toward concentration requirements in English.

  • ENGL 0151F, Waves and Edges: Poetry of the Sea (Smailbegovic)

Additional Below-1000 Level Courses

  • ENGL 0310A, Shakespeare (Scozzaro)
  • ENGL 0700M, The Music of American Literature (Murray)
  • ENGL 0710N, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and the Lost Generation (Burrows)
  • ENGL 0710X, Black Poetics (Quashie)
  • ENGL 0800S, Blackness in Critical Thought (Ramirez-D'Oleo)

Nonfiction Writing Course Offerings for Fall 2023

The Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown is committed to the principle that writing is integral to learning. The program uniquely links academic writing and creative nonfiction and journalism; this integration offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to prose writing. All courses are conducted in small seminars. For complete course descriptions and for section information, please consult the English Department Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Course Prospectus.


Writing for the University

These are introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in nonfiction writing for students who wish to improve skills of composing and revising critical essays. Although many of these courses focus on literary subject matter, their purpose is to prepare students for writing at the college level in the entire range of the courses they are likely to take at Brown. Enrollment in each section is limited to 12 or 17. S/NC.

ENGL0900, Critical Reading And Writing I: The Academic Essay

An introduction to university-level writing. Students produce and revise multiple drafts of essays, practice essential skills of paragraph organization, and develop techniques of critical analysis and research. Readings from a range of texts in literature, the media, and academic disciplines. Assignments move from personal response papers to formal academic essays. Sections 01, 02, 03, 04, and 05 are reserved for first-year students.

ENGL1030Intermediate Critical Reading And Writing II: The Research Essay

For the confident writer. Offers students who have mastered the fundamentals of the critical essay an opportunity to acquire the skills to write a research essay, including formulation of a research problem, use of primary evidence, and techniques of documentation. Individual section topics are drawn from literature, history, the social sciences, the arts, and the sciences. No pre-requisites. A writing sample may be required.

Writing for the World Outside the University

These are courses in various genres of nonfiction prose writing that supplement the English Department's offerings in literature and creative writing. They help students acquire skills in specialized areas of writing. While they may include literary subject matter, these courses are not designed to help students master the writing skills required for their academic assignments as much as to give them some preparation for critical thinking and writing tasks in their extracurricular and service activities and even in life after Brown. These courses are for students who have mastered basic writing skills. Enrollment is limited to 12 or 17. Writing sample required. S/NC.

ENGL0930Introduction To Creative Nonfiction

Designed to familiarize students with the techniques and narrative structures of creative nonfiction. Reading and writing will focus on personal essays, memoir, science writing, travel writing, and other related subgenres. A writing sample may be required. May serve as preparation for ENGL1180. Section 3 is reserved for first-year students. Sections 01 and 02 are reserved for first-year AND sophomore students.

ENGL1050, Intermediate Creative Nonfiction

For the more experienced writer. Offers students who show a facility with language and who have mastered the fundamentals of creative nonfiction an opportunity to write more sophisticated narrative essays. Sections focus on specific themes (e.g., medicine or sports; subgenres of the form) or on developing and refining specific techniques of creative nonfiction (such as narrative). Sections also focus specifically on journalism.  Enrollment is limited to 17. No pre-requisites. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval.  S/NC.