English Department: General Education Courses

The English Department offers these general education courses at least once a year, and multiple sections of  ENG 2000 (LIT 2000 before Fall 2010) and WRI 1100 and 1200 each term.

Clicking on the links below will take you to extended course descriptions  which are grouped by general education category at the bottom of the page.  To return to your previous position in this document after jumping to a course description, use your browser's back arrow.   To find currently scheduled sections, use the course search page.

Thematic Courses 

ENG 2101 Representations of Pacific Life (World Cultures A and Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

ENG 2201 Literary Utopias and Dystopias (Values and Choices A and Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

ENG 2202 Popular Fiction (Values and Choices B)

ENG 2203 Banned Books (Values and Choices A)

ENG 2204 Monsters, Mutants and Aliens in Lit and Pop Culture  (Values and Choices B)

ENG 2301 World Film Studies (Values and Choices B, Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

Introductory Literature Surveys

ENG 2000 Introduction to Literature (Values and Choices C and Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

ENG 2510 World Literature I (World Cultures C and Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

ENG 2520 World Literature II (World Cultures C and Art, Aesthetics and Creativity)

(Before Fall 2010 these three courses were called LIT 2000, LIT 2510 and LIT 2520)

Introduction to the Field

ENG 1500 Ways of Reading: Literature, Film, Culture

Writing Courses

WRI 1100 Analyzing and Writing Arguments  (Communication Skills A)

WRI 1150 Literature and Argument (Communication Skills A)

WRI 1200 Research, Argument, and Writing (Research and Epistemology A)

Some WRI 1100 sections are offered as first-year seminars in the Fall. These are identified with FY in the section designator.

Some WRI 1100 sections are intended for ESL students. These include sections A and B.  This applies only to WRI 1100.

The English department offers a year-long writing community option for students who would like to keep the same instructor and classmates when moving from WRI 1100 to WRI 1200. These sections are identified with YL in the section designator.

The English department offers online versions of WRI 1100 and WRI 1200, but the online format can be challenging for some students.  Please review this information before registering for an online writing course.  These courses are idnetified by an O in the section designator.

Some WRI 1200 sections in the spring are designed especially for Nursing students.   These sections are offered on the Hawaii Loa Campus and are identified by NS in the section designatorr.

English Department Gen Ed Courses Grouped by Gen Ed Category

Communication Skills A: Writing and Critical Thinking

WRI 1100 Analyzing and Writing Arguments

WRI 1100 provides instruction and practice in college-level writing tasks, emphasizing the writing of arguments and the awareness that argument is the cornerstone of academic writing.  Students will develop critical thinking skills and academic writing skills by reading, analyzing and understanding complex texts from different cultures and communities.  In order to learn how to write college level arguments, students will refine their writing process, develop an awareness of their audience and rhetorical context, learn to use source material effectively and properly, and expand their repertoires of rhetorical strategies and organizational techniques.  Individual sections may have a specific theme or focus and some may be taught as global-learning first year seminars.

WRI 1150 Literature and Argument

This course combines instruction in college level writing and argumentation with an introduction to the study of literature.  As we read poems, stories, and plays by writers from diverse cultural backgrounds, we will discuss how readers respond to gaps in the text, bringing their own interests and experiences to bear on the text, and how authors use figurative language and the conventions of genre and narrative to structure texts, both literary and rhetorical, that guide us toward certain readings.  We will also discuss the differences between civic, academic and imaginative writing and read texts from a variety of disciplines.  We will examine arguments, analyze their components, and construct arguments in response to the texts we read.  Finally, students will use academic arguments from other disciplines to interpret and respond to literature.  As we construct readings of texts and share them with others through writing, the course will also emphasize the writing process.

Prospective English majors are encouraged to take WRI 1150.

Research and Epistemology A:  Writing, Research and Information Literacy

WRI 1200 Research, Argument, and Writing

This course continues WRI 1100’s focus on argument as the cornerstone of academic writing, emphasizing organization, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. Students prepare a major argumentative research paper by locating and evaluating sources; summarizing, synthesizing, and incorporating them; and attributing ideas to their sources. The student will learn how to research, organize, draft, and revise both short and long research papers in MLA or APA format. The major focus of the course is a substantial (approximately 3000 word) paper in which the student draws upon a variety of authoritative sources to present an original argument.

Research and Epistemology C: Research and Epistemology in the Disciplines

ENG 1500 Ways of Reading: Literature, Film, Culture

This course explores ways to interpret, analyze, and compose writing. Students are introduced to film and literary analysis, interpretive theories, and to the study of English in history and culture. The course also explores career opportunities for Writing minors, English majors and minors, and Film Studies minors.

Values and Choices A: Ethical Inquiry

ENG 2201 Literary Utopias and Dystopias

In this course we will study several texts that evoke imaginary futures, contrasting idealistic visions of utopias with the more cynical visions of dystopias.  We will analyze utopian/dystopian literature not only as idealistic/ nightmarish visions of human potential, but also as historicized social critiques, explorations of social, political and economic systems, and ruminations on moral choices.

Throughout the semester we will consider how writers from various socio-cultural contexts have envisioned both the best and worst possibilities of human existence, in the process gaining a deeper understanding of values, choices, and their potential implications Themes to be considered include how state power and wealth are organized and distributed, how technology is used, and how gender roles are conceived and perpetuated.  Through this thematic study of literary texts, we will also become familiar with the process of literary interpretation, its terminology and concepts.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme

ENG 2203 Banned Books

This course examines a small sample of the many written works that have been banned or challenged based on their political or religious views or on their perceived obscenity, violence, or sexual explicitness. In the class, students will consider concepts such as intellectual freedom and freedom of speech and the potential reasons for and results of limiting such freedoms.

The course begins with readings on freedom of speech and the “right” to read, thus providing a framework for understanding the banned books we will read.  In reading responses and class discussions, students will repeatedly be asked to imagine both the artist’s point of view and the book-banner’s point of view. In addition, they will be encouraged to explore alternative possibilities for addressing concerns without banning a book. As the semester progresses, we will use our initial readings (on freedom of speech and the “right” to read) to help develop an ethically consistent approach to written works, regardless of our personal reactions to them.

Values and Choices B: Social Choice

ENG 2202 Popular Fiction

This course examines best-selling works of contemporary fiction.  In the class, students will consider the systems and institutions that create best sellers—from the publishing industry to book clubs to literary awards—and will analyze the cultural values reflected in these works.

For each work we read, students will learn the publication and reception history, which we will use as a lens onto the larger machinations of publicity, marketing, and the manipulation of best seller lists. Students will also develop an understanding of the role that cultural and/or historical contexts might play in the writing and reception of particular works. Because we are reading both mass market and “literary” best sellers, students will consider competing definitions of terms such as “quality” and “literature.” They will also analyze best sellers as a reflection of dominant social values and will use the more controversial books on our reading list to guide a discussion about the responsibilities that a work may or may not have to religion, “truth,” or any number of other values.

ENG 2204 Monsters, Mutants and Aliens in Literature and Popular Culture

Literature has long had a fascination with what it means to be human.  A chief concern among literary texts is delineating the boundaries between human and non-human.  Such a concern is bound up with the concept of “humanism,” which implies that there are inherent qualities common to all humans and non-existent in non-humans, qualities such as intelligence and reason, autonomy, love and compassion, and a capacity for moral decision making. This course will examine a variety of cultural and literary texts that explore the experiences of those generally seen to be outside humanity: monsters, mutants and aliens.  Most of these texts show us that the boundary between human and monster is fuzzier than we might think, that the monster, the mutant, and the alien arise not from outside humanity but from within it.  As a course on values and choices, ENG 2204 will use literary and pop culture texts about the non-human to articulate ethical questions concerning human identity and values.  Students will be encouraged to relate the texts to their own lives and beliefs, but also to empathize with beliefs, values and experiences different from their own.  Class discussion, exams and written work will ask students to develop and defend their own broadly-informed, nuanced and thoughtful definition of human identity and values. 

ENG 2301 World Film Studies

World Film Studies takes students beyond the Hollywood-dominated multiplex to help them acquire some understanding of the 95% of feature films that are rarely seen in the United States. The course briefly surveys several national cinemas and international trends, giving particular attention to the increasing globalization of the film industry. This introductory course assumes no prior formal instruction in film or media. Basic film concepts and techniques of critical analysis will be explained. Students complete and share with the class a substantial research project on a topic of their choice.  Students will analyze the relations between particular national cultures and histories and the films these nation/peoples produce and will have opportunities to compare and reflect on their own values through considering the values and ethics presented in the various required films.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme Requirement

Values and Choices C: Other Values and Choices courses

ENG 2000 Introduction to Literature

The course is an introduction to the three major genres of literature: drama, poetry, and fiction and to the critical skills necessary to interpret, understand, and enjoy them.  By reading, discussing and writing about works from each genre, the student will learn to recognize and enjoy good writing and gain confidence as an interpreter of texts.   The course  is often organized thematically with the focus varying among sections of the course; examples of themes could be love and marriage, family, war, work, gender issues, conformity and rebellion and so on.  Through class discussions, journals and analytical essays students reflect on literary texts that feature both individual and social choices and their implications and consequences.  The course also meets the art, aesthetics and creativity requirement and incorporates opportunities for students own creative writing as well as the analysis and interpretation of the works of others.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme Requirement

World Cultures A: Cultures, Themes and Movements

ENG 2101 Representations of Pacific Life

The course introduces students to selected texts from some of the many cultures of Oceania—and to the critical skills they will need in order to get the most out of these cultural productions. It focuses on an  overview of Oceanic literature and film, emphasizing prose fiction, drama, essays, documentaries, and feature films.  Media representations of Oceania and epistemological themes in Oceanic literature will be compared/contrasted to establish some differences between Oceanic literature and current Western notions about Oceanic life. We will also consider whether it is practical to group together writers and filmmakers from such a culturally diverse and geographically vast region.

One of the tasks of the criticism that arose to help readers and viewers comprehend the burgeoning literature of the region was what to call it, for the area comprises three distinct cultural groups—Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia—and as a whole has been called variously “Oceania,” the “Pacific Basin,” or “our Sea of Islands.” A useful category, the “post-colonial,” has resulted from linking the islands to others throwing off the yoke of colonialism and connecting Oceania’s indigenous writers to those emerging elsewhere.  Novels, short stories, and feature and documentary films for discussion and analysis come from Maori New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Hawaii.  The course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme requirement.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme Requirement

World Cultures C: Other World Cultures Courses

ENG 2510 World Literature I

ENG 2510 introduces students to some of the major texts of various cultures from ancient times through the beginnings of the expansion of the British Empire. Texts studied will include works originally written in English and works translated into English, from both Western and non-Western traditions. In examining these texts, students will explore questions of aesthetics, culture, audience, purpose, archetype, structure, and technique.  Readings include foundational texts for some of the world’s major religions (the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Koran), and many of the readings offer thought-provoking presentations of race, ethnicity, class, power, belief systems, and gender.  At some point during the semester, students will most likely find themselves disagreeing with each other and with the values proposed by some of the texts we read. We will use these disagreements to examine the assumptions on which our own beliefs are founded and to imagine the ways in which a different set of assumptions could lead to entirely different beliefs.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme requirement.

ENG 2520 World Literature II

English 2520 is an exploration of how meaning and reality is created through literary writing with the introduction of major literary texts up through the 20th Century. Texts studied will include works from both Western and non-Western traditions, written in English or works translated into English. The particular theme of this section of the course is the development of the concept of the “Self” and the “Other” within a modern, global, 20th Century context. The course will challenge the students’ assumptions about the “naturalness” of their view of reality, as well as embedded socially-constructed values, as the measurement of other literatures.  Students will also address questions of aesthetics, culture, audience, purpose, archetype, structure and technique in the course of reading, discussing, analyzing, and writing about the literary texts covered in the course.

This course meets the Art, Aesthetics and Creativity Cross-Theme requirement.