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).

Spring 2022 Literature Course Offerings

*indicates new

ENGL 0100, 0101 How Literature Matters

  • ENGL0100A, How To Read A Poem (Rabb)
  • ENGL0100D, Matters of Romance (Bryan)
  • ENGL0100V, Inventing Asian American Literature (Kim)

ENGL 0150 First-Year Seminars

  • ENGL0150S, The Roaring Twenties (Katz)
  • ENGL0150X, The Claims of Fiction (George)

Other Below-1000 Level Courses

  • ENGL0200A, Risk/Rupture/Remains: Contemporary Queer Media and Poetics (Jackshaw)
  • ENGL0200D, Literature and the Social Contract (Quirk)
  • ENGL0200E, Giving way: Poetry, Performance, Film (Rosenberg)
  • ENGL0200F, Wild and Unruly: Black Women’s Belonging, Place, and Self in Storytelling (Sobande)
  • ENGL0200W, Comedy and Cruelty (Ciccone)
  • ENGL0200Y, Show Me the Money: Advertising and Capitalism in American Literature (Halstead)
  • ENGL0310H, New and Imagined Worlds in the English Renaissance (Yates) -- pending
  • ENGL0510K, Fictions and Frauds (Gould)
  • ENGL0700R, Modernist Cities (Katz)
  • ENGL0700U, Modernism and Race (Armstrong)
  • ENGL0710Q, American Literature in the Era of Segregation (Murray)
  • ENGL0711D, Literature and Social Mobility (Gastiger) -- pending
  • ENGL1310B, American Degenerates (Egan)
  • ENGL1311G, Shakespeare, Love, and Friendship (Kuzner)
  • ENGL1311N, England and the Renaissance (Foley)
  • ENGL1361F, Spenser and Shakespeare (Foley)
  • ENGL1361Q, Medieval Race (Min)
  • ENGL1511P, Realism, Modernism, Postmodernism: The American Novel and Its Traditions (Nabers)
  • ENGL1561Y, In Excess: Rosetti, Hopkins, Wilde (Khalip)
  • ENGL1562B, Somebodies, Nobodies, and Other Others: 18th-Century Women’s Writing (Rabb)
  • ENGL1710J, Modern African Literature (George)
  • ENGL1710P, The Literature and Culture of Black Power Reconsidered (Murray)
  • ENGL1711Q, Poetic Modernisms: Now! (Smailbegovic)
  • ENGL1900Y, Medieval Manuscript Studies: Paleography, Codicology, and Interpretation (Bryan)
  • ENGL1900Z, Neuroaesthetics and Reading (Armstrong)
  • ENGL1901L, Cronenberg/Lynch (Rambuss)
  • ENGL1901N, The Sublime (Redfield)
  • ENGL1901P, Waves and Edges: Poetry and the Sea (Smailbegovic)
  • ENGL1901Q, You Better Work: Sexuality, Labor, Blackness (Reid) -- pending

Spring 2022 Nonfiction Course Offerings

ENGL0900 (formerly 0110) Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

  • ENGL0900 S01 (Jackson)
  • ENGL0900 S02 (Stanley)
  • ENGL0900 S03, (section reserved for first-year AND sophomore students) (Adhikari)
  • ENGL0900 S04, (section reserved for first-year AND sophomore students) (Lasasso)
  • ENGL0900 S05 (McNish)
  • ENGL0900 S06 (Holman)
  • ENGL0900 S07 (Darrow)

ENGL0930 (formerly 0180) Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 

  • ENGL0930 S01 (Hardy)
  • ENGL0930 S02 (Readey)
  • ENGL0930 S03, (section reserved for first-year AND sophomore students) (Rush)
  • ENGL0930 S04 (Ward)

ENGL1030 (formerly 0130) Intermediate Critical Reading and Writing II:  The Research Essay

  • ENGL1030F, The Artist in the Archives (Stewart)

ENGL1050 Intermediate

  • ENGL1050A, Narrative (Hardy)
  • ENGL1050B, True Stories (Schapira)
  • ENGL1050E, Sportswriting (Readey)
  • ENGL1050F, Line-Work: Experiments in Short Form Writing (Stewart)
  • ENGL1050H, Journalistic Writing, (section reserved for first-year AND sophomore students) (Mooney)
  • ENGL1050Q, Writing the Family (Hipchen)


  • ENGL1140A, Intellectual Pleasures: Reading/Writing the Literary Text (Stanley)
  • ENGL1140D, Writing Diversity: A Workshop (Jackson)
  • ENGL1140E, Writing for Activists (Schapira)
  • ENGL1160F, Reporting Crime and Justice (Breton)
  • ENGL1180M, Special Deliveries: Letters and Diaries (DeBoer-Langworthy)
  • ENGL1180X, Anne Carson, Maggie Nelson, Claudia Rankine (Arnold)
  • ENGL1190C, Advanced Creative Nonfiction: Biography (DeBoer-Langworthy)
  • ENGL1190F, My So-Called Life: The Art of the Literary Memoir (Arnold)
  • ENGL1190U, Nature Writing (Rush)
  • ENGL1190Z, 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.
Have you heard about the English concentration but never quite known what it entails or how it differs from other literature concentrations?

Would you like to know more about the English concentration and how it differs from other literature departments?