Department of English

English for First-Years

The Department of English offers several pathways for incoming students to deepen and strengthen their ability to think and write about literature and culture.

All of the introductory-level courses in English (the ENGL 0100s through the ENGL 0900s) are designed with first- and second-year students in mind.

Our offerings span a wide range of topics, and provide opportunities to think more deeply and to write more persuasively about literary works that are already exciting to you as well as those that you find intriguing and want to know more about. They may well get you to think about literature, and perhaps even the world, in new and transformative ways!

Literature Courses

There are two categories of English courses that you may find particularly useful in your first year at Brown: 

  • How Literature Matters (ENGL 0100, 0101) is the core course for the concentration. These are open-enrollment courses that focus on developing your ability to produce fine-tuned analyses of literary language, form and genre and also to grapple with the larger questions of how literature matters and how we might best understand and write about it.
  • The first-year seminars (ENGL 0150) have been specifically devised for incoming students; enrollment is capped at 19 and restricted to first-year students. Seminar faculty often serve as informal mentors for their students long after the class has ended.

Nonfiction Writing Courses

You might also consider taking one of our Nonfiction writing courses. These are part of the Nonfiction track, which is a popular option for English concentrators that enables them to focus on developing their writings skill in such genres as the academic essay, journalism, and creative nonfiction. Nonfiction writing courses suitable for first-year students are found at the introductory (ENGL 0900 and 0930) and intermediate levels (ENGL 1030 and 1050). All 1000-level nonfiction writing courses can be used as electives for the concentration in English (although only two can count toward the requirements for the regular concentration and three for the Nonfiction track).

Fall 2023 Literature Course Offerings

*indicates new

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters

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

ENGL 0150 First-Year Seminars

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

Other 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)

ENGL 1000-level Courses

  • ENGL 1310H, Origins of American Literature (Egan)
  • ENGL 1311N, England and the Renaissance (Foley)
  • ENGL 1361P, Shakespeare's Girls (Scozzaro)
  • ENGL 1511A, American Literature and the Civil War (Nabers)
  • ENGL 1511K, Gothic Novels and Romantic Poems (Redfield)
  • ENGL 1560A, Jane Austen and George Eliot (Rooney)
  • ENGL 1561K, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama (Rabb)
  • ENGL 1561N, What is an Author? Poe, Hawthorne, Dickinson (Gould)
  • ENGL 1561Y, In Excess: Rossetti, Hopkins, Wilde (Khalip)
  • ENGL 1710Q, Bloomsbury and Modernism
  • ENGL 1760M, The Miracle of Cinema (Burrows)
  • ENGL 1760Y, Toni Morrison (Quashie)
  • ENGL 1761D, Hollywood and US Modernism from FDR to JFK (Nabers)
  • ENGL 1761J, Bad, Mad, and Sad: Literatures of Misbehaving Women (Ramirez-D'Oleo)
  • ENGL 1761Z, Modernism and Everyday Life (Katz)
  • ENGL 1901H, The Late 60s: Film Countercultures (Rambuss)



Fall 2023 Nonfiction Course Offerings

ENGL0900 Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

  • ENGL 0900 S01, Jackson
  • ENGL 0900 S02, Salt
  • ENGL 0900 S03, Stanley
  • ENGL 0900 S04, Ward

ENGL0930 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 

  • ENGL 0930 S02, Hardy
  • ENGL 0930 S04, Schapira
  • ENGL 0930 S05, Stewart
  • ENGL 0930 S06, Talusan

ENGL1050 Intermediate

  • ENGL 1050G, Journalism Practicum (Lake)
  • ENGL 1050U, Writing Graphic Memoir (Hipchen)
  • ENGL 1050W, Memoir and Autofiction in the Asian American Diaspora (Talusan)


  • ENGL 1140B, The Public Intellectual (Stanley)
  • ENGL 1140D, Writing Diversity (Jackson)
  • ENGL 1180H, Satire and Humor Writing (Readey)
  • ENGL 1180I, Writing Medical Narrative (Schapira)
  • ENGL 1180P, Further Adventures in Creative Nonfiction (Hardy)
  • ENGL 1180Z, Healthcare Journalism (Lake)
  • ENGL 1190U, Nature Writing (Ward)
  • ENGL 1190X, Nonfiction Now (Rush, Stewart)
  • ENGL 1190Y, Editing as Revision (Hipchen)


Additional Information

In addition to the English concentration, we offer a concentration track in the practice of Nonfiction Writing.
The Honors Program is for students who have been highly successful in their English concentration coursework and would like the opportunity to pursue an in-depth research project.