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 Course Offerings

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters

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

Other Below-1000 Level Courses

  • ENGL 0300P, Dreams (Min)
  • ENGL 0310A, Shakespeare (Scozzaro)
  • 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 (Armstrong)
  • 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)

ENGL0900 Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

  • ENGL 0900 S01, Jackson
  • ENGL 0900 S02, Salt
  • ENGL 0900 S03, Stanley
  • ENGL 0900 S05, Yates
  • ENGL 090 S06, Javaid

ENGL0930 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 

  • ENGL 0930 S02, Hardy
  • ENGL 0930 S04, Schapira
  • ENGL 0930 S05, Stewart
  • ENGL 0930 S06, Talusan
  • ENGL 0930 S07, Ward

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 1190M, The Teaching and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program
  • ENGL 1190U, Nature Writing (Ward)
  • ENGL 1190X, Nonfiction Now (Rush, Stewart)
  • ENGL 1190Y, Editing as Revision (Hipchen)

Spring 2024 Course Offerings

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters

  • ENGL 0100N, City Novels (Katz)
  • ENGL 0100T, The Simple Art of Murder (Nabers)
  • ENGL 0101D, Modern Poetry (Burrows)

ENGL 0150, First-Year Seminars

  • ENGL 0150U, The Terrible Century (Bewes)
  • ENGL 0150X, The Claims of Fiction (George)
  • ENGL 0151C, Midsummers (Scozzaro)

Other Below-1000 Level Courses

  • ENGL 0201F, Sex, Sin, Sonnets: The Poetry of Love and Desire (Salt)
  • ENGL 0201G, The Roaring Twenties in Popular Culture (McNish)
  • ENGL 0310A, Shakespeare (Foley)
  • ENGL 0511K, Terrible Births: the Novel out of Romanticism (Parker)
  • ENGL 0511R, Disgruntled and Indignant: Satire (Rabb)
  • ENGL 0700U, Modernism and Race (Armstrong)
  • ENGL 0710V, Death and Dyling in Black Literature (Quashie)
  • ENGL 0800R, Reading Practices: An Introduction to Literary Theory (Rooney)

ENGL 1000-level Courses

  • ENGL 1311P, Medieval Drama (Min)
  • ENGL 1361A, Fantasies of Milton
  • ENGL 1361N, Evil Plays: Shakespeare and Contemporaries (Rambuss)
  • ENGL 1510A, Jane Austen and her Predecessors: The Other History of the Novel (Rabb)
  • ENGL 1561P, Henry James and the Art of the Novel (Parker)
  • ENGL 1710I, Harlem Renaissance: The Politics of Culture (Murray)
  • ENGL 1711P, 'We have not yet heard enough, if anything, about the female gaze': Contemporary Writing Not by Men (Bewes)
  • ENGL 1711V, Everyday Ornaments: Feminist Poetics and Time (Smailbegovic)
  • ENGL 1761H, Bad, Mad, and Sad: Literatures of Misbehaving Femmes (Ramirez-D'Oleo)
  • ENGL 1900Z, Neuroaesthetics and Reading (Armstrong)

ENGL 0900 Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

  • ENGL 0900 S01, Jackson
  • ENGL 0900 S03, Ward
  • ENGL 0900 S04, Yates

ENGL 0930 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 

  • ENGL 0930 S02, Schapira
  • ENGL 0930 S03, Hardy
  • ENGL 0930 S04, Stanley

ENGL 1030/1050 Intermediate

  • ENGL 1030F, The Artist in the Archives (Stewart)
  • ENGL 1030H, Black Popular Culture and Social Movements (Jackson)
  • ENGL 1050A, Narrative (Hardy)
  • ENGL 1050F, Line Work: Experiments in Short-Form Writing (Stewart)
  • ENGL 1050H, Writing Journalism (Lake)
  • ENGL 1050O, Writing the Asian American Experience (Talusan)
  • ENGL 1050Q, Writing the Family (Hipchen)
  • ENGL 1050T, Writing with Literature (Hipchen/Egan)
  • ENGL 1050V, Writing Wonder, Joy and Awe (Talusan)


  • ENGL 1140A, Intellectual Pleasures: Reading/Writing the Literary Text (Stanley)
  • ENGL 1160P, Writing Climate, Writing Community (Rush/Schapira)
  • ENGL 1180U, Testimony (Rush)
  • ENGL 1180Y, City Journalism (Lake)
  • ENGL 1190Z, The Art of Craft (Ward)

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.