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 2022 Literature Course Offerings

*indicates new

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters

  • ENGL0100F, Devils, Demons, Do-Gooders (Egan)
  • ENGL0101A, Independence and Modern Literature (Katz/George)

ENGL 0150 First-Year Seminars

  • ENGL0150C, The Medieval King Arthur (Bryan)
  • ENGL0150E, Love and Friendship (Kuzner)
  • ENGL0151B, How to Do Things with Books (Egan)

Other Below-1000 Level Courses


  • ENGL0201C, The Politics of Monstrosity from Beowulf to Slenderman (Ross)
  • ENGL0300M, Medieval Gender (Min)
  • ENGL0310A, Shakespeare (Scozzarro)
  • ENGL0510F, Literature of the American Renaissance (Nabers)
  • ENGL0511B, The Nineteenth-Century British Novel (Parker)
  • ENGL0710B, African American Literature and the Legacy of Slavery (Murray)

ENGL 1000-level Courses

  • ENGL1191A, The Poet & the Press Release: Rhetoric of Social Change (Arnold)
  • ENGL1310T, Chaucer (Bryan)
  • ENGL1311G, Shakespeare, Love and Friendship (Kuzner)
  • ENGL1511F, Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads (Khalip)
  • ENGL1561Q, Emily Dickinson (Burrows)
  • ENGL1711C, Modernist Henry James (Armstrong)
  • ENGL1711S, James Baldwin (Abdur-Rahman)
  • ENGL1760Q, James Joyce and the Modern Novel (Armstrong)
  • ENGL1760Y, Toni Morrison (Quashie)
  • ENGL1761G, Translational Echoes of the Korean War (Kim)
  • ENGL1950H, The Recent Novel and its Cultural Rivals (Nabers)



Fall 2022 Nonfiction Course Offerings

ENGL0900 Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

  • ENGL0900 S01, (Jackson)
  • ENGL0900 S03, (Readey)
  • ENGL0900 S04, (Stanley, this section is restricted to first-year students)
  • ENGL0900 S06, (Gallardo, enrollment limited to semester 1 or 2 students)
  • ENGL0900 S07, (Halstead)

ENGL0930 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 

  • ENGL0930 S01, (Arnold, enrollment limited to semester 1 or 2 students)
  • ENGL0930 S02, (Hardy)
  • ENGL0930 S03, (Hipchen)
  • ENGL0930 S04, (Rush)
  • ENGL0930 S05, (Schapira)
  • ENGL0930 S06, (Stewart)
  • ENGL0930 S07, (Ward)
  • ENGL0930 S08, (Talusan)

ENGL1050 Intermediate

  • ENGL1050A, Narrative (Hardy)
  • ENGL1050H, Writing for Journalism (Lake)
  • ENGL1050O, Writing the Asian American Experience (Talusan)
  • ENGL1050R, Writing about Health and Healthcare (Lake)


  • ENGL1140B, The Public Intellectual (Stanley)
  • ENGL1190M, The Teaching and Practice of Writing (Carroll)
  • ENGL1190X, Nonfiction Now (Rush, Stewart)
  • ENGL1190Y, Editing as Revision (Hipchen, this course is offered online)
  • ENGL1190Z, The Art of Craft (Ward)
  • ENGL1191A, The Poet and the Press Release (Arnold)
  • ENGL1191B, Fugitive Letters: The Prison Notebooks (Austin)


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.