Never Sets on
English Freaks and Geeks
by Andrea Blanksteen
The WCU English Department offers many unique courses designed to help students understand literature and writing on a higher level. Even non-English majors can benefit, acquiring critical thinking skills they can use in any area.
Fairy Tale Literature, a student favorite, shows us surprising new sides to familiar stories from our childhoods and gives social and historical contexts for tales like Cinderella and Peter Pan. Students read and write about the tales that most interest them.
Tall tales, ballads, and ghost stories are the fare in Appalachian Literature. Students explore regional literature, discussing the mountain dialect, the “hillbilly stereotype” and the mountain dwellers’ way of life.
To learn about the earliest African American writers, take African-American Literature. You’ll read the art born of slavery and the modern work it influenced.
Native American Literature preserves the voices of America’s earliest inhabitants and their descendents.
Take a walk back in time with 19th Century British Literature, whose authors include Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Austen, and Dickens.
History’s most-quoted book, the Bible, yields some of its secrets for students of the Bible as Literature. Students study both Old and New Testaments, not as religion but as literature.
Innovative courses like these broaden our definition of “literature,” says one student. “It’s always changing. It’s part of us.”