English B.A., Literature Concentration

The primary purpose of the major in English with a concentration in Literature is to introduce students to their own literary and linguistic heritage and to acquaint them with representative works of major world writers. We offer a wide range of courses in English, American, multicultural, and international literature. Courses in critical theory and the history and structure of the language help students sharpen their analytical faculties, encourage clarity of thought and expression, and stimulate and develop the critical and creative imagination. The degree in literature develops critical thinkers and effective communicators, people whose skills are applicable in a wide range of careers including education, publishing, writing, information and research, media, politics and public service. Our recent graduates have gone on to study literature in graduate school, both at Georgia College and around the country, and to study law.

As a literature student, your time in the program will be dedicated to the cultivation of literary appreciation and critical inquiry. English majors in the Literature concentration develop a sense of literary tradition and cultural history while refining their analytical skills reading and writing about both classical and canonical as well as contemporary and cutting edge literature.

What is the Undergraduate Literature Program?

The Undergraduate Literature Program offers a B.A. in English, Literature concentration.

Literature students take an array of survey courses covering American, British, and international literatures as well as historical period courses focusing on particular movements and centuries within the Anglo-American literary tradition. With the opportunity to delve into single author courses on authors such as Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, and Georgia College alumna Flannery O’Connor, students also focus on thematic courses such as Studies in Folklore and Literary Women as well as international courses such as African Literature and African Women Writers. Students are introduced to theoretical approaches to the study of literature and can also take courses in the English linguistic tradition. This introduction to a wide-range of Anglo-American surveys and periods, genres, thematic courses, and international literatures allows students to develop as critical thinks and effective communicators.

Catalog course descriptions, which provide a general overview of our courses, are here

Fall 2017 class section descriptions, which provide more details of how upcoming scheduled class sections will be taught, are here; Spring 2017 class section descriptions are here.

Students must take special topics courses in the core. Recent GC1Y 1000 Critical Thinking and GC2Y 2000 Global Perspectives courses with class sections taught by literature faculty include:

  • Black Women Artists
  • Interacting with the Past through Literature (The Salem Witch Trials of 1682)
  • Monsters and Machines
  • Myth, Magic, and the Modern World
  • Public and Collective Memory
  • SciFi and Philosophy
  • Underworlds and Afterlives
  • Utopia/Dystopia
  • War Literature

We also offer upper-division special topics courses and single author special topics courses in the major. Recent special topics classes include:

  • 21st Century American Fiction
  • Asian American Literature
  • Captivity and Freedom
  • Film
  • Haunting and the Literary Imagination
  • Race & Gender in Latin American Literature
  • From the Roaring Twenties to Reunification: Berlin through the Ages (study abroad, taught in Berlin)

Recent single author special topics classes include:

  • Jane Austen on Film
  • Don DeLillo
  • E. L. Doctorow
  • Herman Melville
  • Shakespeare on Film
  • Henry David Thoreau

Students will complete their program in the Literature Concentration by choosing a Senior Capstone project. Options include an undergraduate thesis, internship, and study abroad.

Recent undergraduate theses include:

  • Rachel Frantz, "The Trouble with Girls: Delving into the Minds of Pop Culture’s Favorite Female Psychos," Spring 2017
  • Michael Faulknor, "The Use of Satire in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Swift's 'A Modest Proposal,'" Spring 2017
  • Marykate Malena, "Imagining Nightmare: The Progression Towards a Dystopian Blueprint on Film," Spring 2017
  • Lindsey Poe, "Who’s Going to Save Us Now?: A Critical Look at the Rise of the Superhero Genre in Film following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks," Spring 2017
  • Leah Benton, "Strange Attractions: An Analysis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Performance in Filmic Adaptations of Beauty and the Beast," Spring 2016
  • Sarah Beth Gilbert, "Blurring Time Lines and Gender Lines: Gender and Sexuality in the New Doctor Who," Spring 2016
  • Saul Hernandez, "Where’d You Get Those Peepers?: Critical Reflections on Michel Foucault’s Conceptions of Panopticism in Post-9/11 American Literature," Spring 2016
  • Mikaela LaFave, "Mother Knows Best: A Psychoanalytical Approach to Shakespeare's Coriolanus and Hitchcock's Psycho," Spring 2016
  • Sarah Rogers, "Gendered Discourse in Harry Potter and Troilus and Cressida," Spring 2016
  • Hannah Miller, "Double-Consciousness in Harriet Wilson's Our Nig," Spring 2015
  • Casey Puett, "Bad Religion: An Analysis of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales," Spring 2015
  • Caroline Quick, "Iconoclastic Quirk and Misogynistic Fantasy Conflated into Being: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Trope and Why She Must Die," Spring 2015David Darnell, "Negative Evolution: A Study of Yukio
  • Mishima’s and Flannery O’Connor’s Concern for a Changing Culture through Allegorical and Violent Children," Fall 2014
  • Coye Bishop, "A Voice for the Voiceless: Life of Black Hawk as a Contact Zone," Spring 2014
  • Catherine Bowlin, "The Weight of Centuries Lies on Children: A Study of Children in Flannery O’Connor’s Stories," Spring 2014
  • Tess Lyle, "Consumer Relations in Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom," Spring 2014
  • Mary Robbin Pittard, "Othering into Submission: Omission, Manipulation, and Transformation of the Native Identity in Toni Morrison and Black Hawk," Spring 2014
  • Alison Smith, "Literary Intervention and Autism," Spring 2014
  • Catherine Ziemann, "Critical Theory and Couples Therapy: Relational Dialectics in Friends and Rebecca Spring 2014

Recent internships include:

  • Erin King, Mentoring and Media Internship, Spring 2017
  • Paige Smith, VSolvit, a technology services company in Ventura, California, Fall 2016
  • Beverly Tessmer, Teaching Internship, Fall 2016
  • Savannah Lackey, Baldwin High School, Spring 2015
  • Rebekah Autry, GCSU Sports Information, Fall 2014
  • Jodee Westbrooks, Babe and Sage Farms (Creation of Middle Roots, a publication about organic farming in Middle Georgia), Fall 2014
  • Brittany Rampy, John Milledge Academy, Spring 2014
  • Megan Dent, teaching internship, Fall 2013
  • Jennifer Manzella, Georgia Literary Festival, Fall 2013
  • Darby Witek, teaching homeless children in Peru, Fall 2013
  • Natalie Sharp, The Corinthian, Spring 2013
  • Susan Wills, John Milledge Academy, Spring 2013

A list of recent special topics classes, single author special topics classes, internships, senior theses, and literature faculty talks is here.

Career Path

The degree in literature develops critical thinkers and effective communicators, people whose skills are applicable in a wide range of careers including education, publishing, writing, information and research, media, politics and public service. According to the 2012 census, 23% of English majors have careers in education, training, and library while 17% go into management, business, sciences, and the arts (Source: ADE&ADFL, What Can I Do With an English Major?). 

The Literature Program has partnered with the Center for Student Success and the Career Center to offer a career workshop for literature majors in the fall.  Some of our recent graduates have secured positions in teaching and marketing::

  • Sarah Beth Gilbert '16 is serving Americorps in the Great Oaks High School in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Teddi Strassburger '16 is a marketing strategist with Adobe CS Know-How in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Paige Smith '16 is employed at VSolvit, a technology services company in Ventura, California.
  • Hannah Miller '15 is teaching AP English at Lake Oconnee Academy in Greensboro.
  • Catherine Bowlin BA '14 and MA '16 has a tenure track job at Middle Georgia Technical College teaching writing.

We also offer a graduate school application workshop in the spring, and a graduate application timeline is here. Our recent graduates have gone on to study literature in graduate school, both at Georgia College and around the country, and to study law.

  • Mikaela LaFave '16, University of Georgia PhD Program in English
  • Thomas Davis '16, Georgia State University Law School
  • Miles Skedsvold '16, University of Georgia Law School
  • Caroline Quick '15, Georgia State University MA Program in English
  • Alina Venick '15, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Darby Witek '15, Auburn University MA Program in English

Undergraduate Literature Opportunities

Campus Organizations
 

Literary Guild is Georgia College's book club. The club is sponsored by the English Department but is open to non-majors as well. It meets once a month to discuss novels or watch film adaptations suggested by the membership, ranging from classics like The Great Gatsby to modern day satire like Good Omens. Recently, the club held book discussions on The Book Thief, Ender's Game, and Bossypants, hosted book adaptation movie nights for Gone Girl and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and held its second Book Bonanza, a philanthropic event that sells and trades books and donates a portion of the leftover books to Better World Books. In this wildly successful year, Literary Guild was fortunate enough to raise $400. Ms. Nancy Beasley (nancy.beasley@gcsu.edu) is the sponsor of this organization. Email: gclitguild@gmail.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/425776867561641/. OrgSync: https://orgsync.com/4491/chapter.

The Peacock's Feet is Georgia College's own undergraduate literary and creative arts journal. Published annually, The Peacock's Feet features poetry, fiction, nonfiction, visual art and music, and is available free of charge for all students. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, English majors (both creative writing and literature) serve on the editorial board. Email: peacocksfeet@gmail.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peacocksfeet/. OrgSync: https://orgsync.com/16215/chapter. Web: http://www.gcsu.edu/artsandsciences/english/peacock.

Shakespearean Circle meets once a week to do a round table reading of a Shakespeare play. Plays are chosen at the beginning of the semester by the membership. All English majors and non-English majors are welcome to attend. The organization also puts on small events such as staged monologues and scenes as well as trips to National Theatre Live events in Macon. Recently, Shakespearean Circle read Richard II, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Julius Caesar. The faculty advisors are Dr. Jenny Flaherty (jennifer.flaherty@gcsu.edu) and Mr. John Sirmans (john.sirmans@gcsu.edu). Email: gcshakespeareancircle@gmail.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gcshakespearecircle/. OrgSync: https://orgsync.com/83044/chapter.

Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. English majors are eligible to be considered for membership with at least 36 semester hours and at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average that includes at least two English courses beyond first-year composition. Recently, members collected approximately 240 used textbooks and shipped them to the Better World Books charity organization. Mr. John Sirmans (john.sirmans@gcsu.edu) is the sponsor of this organization. Email: sigmataudelta.gcsu@gmail.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sigmataudeltagcsu. OrgSync: https://orgsync.com/3858/chapter.

Research Opportunities
 

The Corinthian: Students work with literature faculty mentors to revise essays for submission and blind review by our university's student research  journal. Recently, literature student Teddi Strassburger was the editor of The Corinthian, and three literature students published articles in The Corinthian. Sarah Beth Gilbert, "Veiling with Abjection: Carson McCullers' Reflections in Golden Eye"; Mikaela LaFave, "Mother Knows Best: The Overbearing Mother in Coriolanus and Psycho"; and Hannah Miller, "Whiteness, the Real Intermediary Agent: Harriet E. Wilson’s Medium for Amalgamation in Our Nig; or, Sketches in the Life of a Free Black". Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gcsucorinthian/. Web: http://kb.gcsu.edu/thecorinthian/.

Student Research Conference: Students work with literature faculty mentors to prepare presentations for the annual event that is organized by MURACE (Mentored Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors). Two literature students presented at the 2017 conference: Matthew Cornelison, "Mystics, Eunuchs, and Contraband: The Pardoner's Role in Chaucer's Criticism of the Catholic Church"; Samantha Strickland, "Silver and Gold: The Markers of Goodness, Greed and Vanity in Chaucer's Travelers". Six literature students presented at the 2016 conference: Matthew Cornelison, "Cowboys, Tattoos, and Freakery: An Analysis of Assimilation and Personhood in Melville's Typee"; Michael Faulknor, "The Mathematical Errors of 'A Modest Proposal'"; Sarah Beth Gilbert, "The Strange and Unusual Pattern of Tim Burton"; Mikaela LaFave, "Understanding Art as Transformation: Julie Taymor as Adaptor and Auteur"; Helen McMillan, "Butterflies and Blacksmiths: The Grand Allegory in "The Artist of the Beautiful"; Samantha Strickland, "The Danger in Dichotomies: Salvaging Discourse In and About Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Web: http://www.gcsu.edu/murace/student-research-conference.

Women's and Gender Studies Symposium: The annual event is organized by the Women's and Genders Studies Program. Literature professors Dr. Mary Magoulick and Dr. Katie Simon serve on the Women's Studies Board. Three literature students presented at the 2017 symposium: Sophia DiCarlo, "'Are You My Mother? Assumptions of Femininity and Motherhood in Hudes's Water by the Spoonful" and "Transcendent Familial Roles in Hamlet and A Thousand Splendid Suns"; Matthew Dombrowski, "Motherhood, Misconceptions, and Myth: In the Blood as Welfare Queen Allegory" and "Fetishized Identitites: Orientalism, Authority and Escapism in Jasmine and Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits"; and Emmie Meadows, "Prostitution: The Road to Empowerment." Four literature students presented at the 2016 symposium: Sarah Beth Gilbert, "Carson McCullers' Abject Representation: Private Williams in Reflections in a Golden Eye"; Mikaela LaFave, "'Say Something Sensible': Pride, Discourse, and Gender in Pride and Prejudice"; Sarah Rogers," Escape into Gender: Male vs Female Characteristics in Troilus and Cressida"; and Samantha Strickland, "Who Is Nora Helmer." 2017 Call for Papers.

Scholarships
 

Sarah Gordon Scholarship
Wellington Scholarship

Degree Requirements

English B.A., Literature Concentration

Resources

Facebook

Keep up with undergraduate Literature programming and events by following us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gcsuenglishliterature. Our Facebook page is maintained by literature majors Sophia DiCarlo and Olivia Martin, the program's social media interns.

WGUR 95.3 FM The Noise

Tune in to WGUR 95.3 The Noise every other Monday at 10 p.m. to listen to Black Market Creative Slam: a student-led radio show dedicated to showcasing the literary and musical talents of our student body. The show is produced by our department's creative writing and literature social media interns. If you have a show idea, please message Sophia DiCarlo and Olivia Martin at the GCSU English Literature page.

Frequently Asked Questions

4+1 Program (Accelerated BA to MA Program in English)

Question: What is the 4+1 program that I've been hearing about?

Answer: The accelerated Bachelor of Arts to Master of Arts program in English allows advanced English majors (both Creative Writing and Literature Concentrations) to begin work for their MA in English at Georgia College in their final year of undergraduate studies. Students may apply to the program at any time, even before enrolling at Georgia College. Any students applying before their third year of undergraduate study may be given provisional admission pending completion of the requirements listed in the catalog. Contact Dr. Jennifer Flaherty for more information.

Advising

Question: Who is my advisor, and how do I contact her?

Answer: Christine Amezquita is the Literature Program's professional advisor. Her office is located in 200 Lanier Hall and her phone number is 478-445-2309.

Question: When should I see my advisor and when should I consult a professor?

Answer: Students should meet with their academic advisor to review their degree progress once or twice per year, typically coinciding with registration; advisors help students determine what requirements they need to fulfill to complete the degree as well as prepare for career and life goals.  We recommend that students meet with faculty to explore individually designed capstone options, mentoring opportunities like extra-curricular research projects, and career and life goals.

Area F

Question: When should I take Area F courses (ENGL 2120 British Literature, ENGL 2130 American Literature, ENGL 2150 Shakespeare, ENGL 2160 International Literature, ENGL 2200 Writing about Literature)?

Answer: We recommend that students take Area F classes before taking upper-division courses because sophomore level survey and writing courses are designed to prepare students for specialized periods and topics at the junior and senior levels.

Capstones

Question: What are the capstone options, and what is the process for scheduling a capstone?

Answer: There are four capstones options: ENGL 4970 Thesis, ENGL 4980 Study Abroad, ENGL 4960 Internship, and IDST 4999 Capstone. To schedule a capstone thesis, in the semester before you plan to write your thesis, choose a professor to direct your thesis, which could either be an expansion of a research paper from a class with the professor or a new topic in the area of expertise of a professor whom you have worked previously.  To schedule a study abroad capstone experience, in the semester before you plan to study abroad, choose a professor to guide your written response during and after your semester abroad.  To schedule an internship, in the semester before the internship, consult with a professor about what kind of internship you would like to do.  To schedule an IDST 4999, register for the course, which is offered most fall and spring semesters.  Here is the capstone form.  Note that ENGL 4960, ENGL 4970, and ENGL 4980 require signatures from both the professor and the department chairperson.

Graduate School

Question: I cannot decide if I want to go to graduate school. What should I do?

Answer: If you are thinking about graduate school, ask a trusted professor and your professional advisor for advice. The Literature Program and Career Center co-sponsor an English major career workshop in the fall, and the Literature Program sponsors a graduate school application workshop in the spring. A timeline for the application process is here.

Honors Options

Question: I am in the Honors Program. How do I schedule an Honors option?

Answer: Consult with a professor in a non-Honors course about a special project that could serve as an Honors Option assignment. Complete and sign the Honors Option form.

Research Funding

Question: Is it true that I can potentially receive funding for my research?

Answer: Yes, you can work with a faculty mentor to apply for a summer research grant in which you conduct research advised by a professor, and you can apply for a student individual travel grant to fund a conference presentation. Both funding opportunities are offered by MURACE (Mentored Undergraduate Research And Creative Endeavors).

Contact Information

Dr. Alex E. Blazer
Literature Coordinator
Department of English & Rhetoric
Georgia College & State University
Campus Box 044
Milledgeville, GA 31061
alex.blazer@gcsu.edu
478-445-0964 or 478-445-4581