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Welcome to the Department of English here at CSUN. We offer a wide variety of courses for both Majors and Minors in the field of literature, language, composition, rhetoric and creative writing. With one of the largest and most diverse departments on campus, our faculty of over thirty-three tenured and tenure-track professors, ninety-three lecturers and twenty-six teaching associates are committed to help students meet their goals and have a promising future.


Spring 2015 Classes still open for students:

English 360: The Bible as Literature
Professor Fred Field
TR 1400
VITAL course for all English majors and minors! 
The King James (or Authorized Version) of the Bible has had an immeasurable impact on English literature.  In fact, many say that it is impossible to understand British literature (e.g., during the Renaissance Period of Early Modern English and authors such as Donne, Milton, and Shakespeare) without understanding the many allusions to biblical concepts.
English 360, The English Bible as Literature, therefore, examines the form (language), theme (topics), and literary styles of the King James Bible.  The course surveys this classic work with particular attention to the people (e.g., Moses, Job, Abraham and Sarah), places (Land of milk and honey), and events (the parting of the Red Sea)—the particular allusions that AP Literature courses cover in secondary education.  For those unfamiliar with Western cultural symbols, this course is a must.
No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary.    Contact Professor Field if you have questions:  fredric.field@csun.edu


English 400: History of the English Language
Dr. Scott Kleinman
MW 2-3:15 pm

This course covers the history of the English language from its origins to its present-day form, with an emphasis on the literary period between 700 and 1800. It explores the development of English grammatical structures (pronunciation, word forms, word order) and vocabulary, along with their interaction cultural and literary development such as colonization of the New World and the development of new poetic forms. As such, it provides an invaluable body of knowledge and skills for understanding the way language works and the textual production of the early period of English literary history, as well as a foundation for interpreting more recent literary and linguistic history.

Please contact Professor Scott Kleinman if you have questions: Scott.kleinman@csun.ed


English 428: Children's Literature
Professor Dorothy Clark
TR 1400

Children's Literature:  it's not just for teachers!
This course WAS restricted, but is no longer: all are welcome.

This course presents an overview of children's literature, examining its history as well as its social and psychological dimensions.  We will explore how the "discovery of childhood" in the Late Renaissance became a stimulant to the literary and visual imagination. From a variety of critical and cultural perspectives, we will attempt to understand what distinguishes children’s literature from other literatures, examine representative texts of various genres, consider the way these texts present cultural and pedagogical issues pertinent to the classroom, and develop an understanding of what constitutes a “good” text for children. 

Because "text" for children involves electronic and digital representations, this course will include film, TV shows, video games as well as print texts.

There is no textbook.  In addition to reviewing how to read a picture book and the history and structure of fairy tales, the texts include:   Blume, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Burnett, The Secret Garden; de Anda, The Immortal Rooster and Other Stories; George, Julie of the Wolves; Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Lowry, Number the Stars;  Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are; White, Charlotte's Web; Voigt, Homecoming

Contact Professor Clark if you have questions:  dorothy.g.clark@csun.edu


English 457IL: Transnational Literatures
Professor Haake
T 1600
Capstone narrative course for students in the Creative Writing Option (equivalent to English 490).  If you need 490, you can take this class instead.

English 457IL is an intensive selected topics creative writing class that looks at recent transnational literatures with a special emphasis on the concerns of the practicing writer. Not a class on translation, but in translation, in it we’ll explore a wide range of writing the work of translation makes available to us – a range that’s especially noteworthy because only about three per cent of literary writing published annually is translated work. Given the extraordinary richness of this three per cent, the class will take place as both a celebration and a lament – how great is this?/what might be we missing? Each week we will read new short work from such remarkable writers as Roberto Bolano, Cesar Aira, Haruki Murakami, Bohumil Hrabal, and László Krasznahorkai; and we will be writing our own. Some questions we’ll ask include: how does writing grow out of and respond to the particular cultural and historical moment of its production? what might an expanded literary conversation have to teach us about sustainable literary practices in a globalized world? and wherever in the world are we headed next?
As a hybrid course, this course will attempt to balance practices of both reading and writing – reading as writers, writing as readers – as we expand our writing conversation to include the work of new writers from around the world.

Now fulfills capstone requirement in the Creative Writing Option.

While this course has a hard prerequisite of English 308, 309 or 310, please do consider taking it even if you did not take one of those courses.  You can talk with Professor Haake to see if you are at the right place in your degree progress to take the class and if you are, she will give you a permission number.

Contact Professor Haake at kate.haake@csun.edu if you have questions


Information on Freshmen Level Writing Courses

To help students achieve university-level competence in writing, the Department of English offers English 115 “Approaches to University Writing”. The prerequisite to English 115 is a score of 147 or higher on the English Placement Test (EPT). The CSU requires that each entering undergraduate, except those who qualify for an exemption, take the CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) prior to enrollment. The scores on this test provide valuable information about the students' skills in writing and reading.  An EPT score of 139 or lower determines a student must enroll in English 113A followed by English 113B. An EPT score of 140-146 determines a student must enroll in English 114A followed by English 114B. Students may also get tutoring assistance through the Learning Resource Center (LRC). The LRC is open to both new and continuing students on an appointment basis.