Eight new English courses added for non-English majors
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
The University of New Hampshire has always offered a variety of English courses to the student body in order to satisfy the general education requirement. Recently, steps have been taken to ensure that these specific courses work to shape English majors in particular.
What about the students that don’t have any interest in being an English major, though? To help answer that question, UNH has launched a new series of English courses that are targeted to majors outside of the English department.
The recently approved courses include a sequence of eight English 415 courses that are set to fulfill the humanities requirement of the Discovery Program. These eight courses – known as the “Literature and …” series – consist of classes specifically relative to other majors, such as law, business, medicine, the animal world, cyberculture, the psyche, the visual arts and religion.
Douglas Lanier, a professor of English at UNH, has promoted the idea of welcoming a new range of classes. Lanier highlighted that, while all of the courses will be writing intensive, literary works will be used for more speculative-styled essays in exchange for the typical literary analytical papers written in traditional English courses.
“The course would raise those kinds of fundamental questions that maybe aren’t at the heart of a more technical kind of training that the students are going to receive through their majors,” Lanier said on the topic of course expectations.
The courses would explore the questions that arise through literary content without the weight of having to cover mandatory works that have been read in classrooms for generations.
Literature and the Visual Arts and Literature and the Psyche will kick off the upcoming spring semester. Additional classes in the series will be added throughout the coming years.
Literature and the Psyche will deal with psychotherapy, psychology and the overall study of the mind in relation to literature. The course focuses intently on characters seen suffering from mental illnesses, or pieces narrated by unstable voices, and how both can affect the outcomes in writing.
Two additional classes that should come to fruition within the 2014-2015 academic year are Literature and Cyberculture, proposed by Lanier, and Literature and Business, two courses that are predicted to be very popular amongst the student body. Literature and Business will focus on the tactics and benefits that can be taken from the content of works that will be read and discussed throughout the length of the course, whereas Literature and Cyberculture will deal more with the technological world and its own influence and ties to literary works.
The courses will be structured to excite and interest students, provide them with additional perspectives about their chosen career paths, and introduce readings and literary content that are both beneficial and motivating for their futures.
“Literature does have a value, even for the person who has not chosen to go into the field of English,” Lanier said.