The courses offered through the English department for any given semester are available via the Course Offerings section of the web pages for the USF Registrar's Office. The majority of these courses are effectively described in the USF Course Catalog. However, some English courses are designed with the flexibility necessary to allow shifts in focus, content, and theme from year to year. Semester-specific course descriptions for these courses are provided below.
ENG 490.A / THE 390: Special Topics: Flannery O'Connor(3 s.h.)
O’Connor, a midcentury writer from Georgia, had a brief writing career that has
nevertheless remained a compelling influence on American literature and on
conversations about faith in American life. As a devout Roman Catholic,
O’Connor consistently affirmed the significance of her faith in writing though
she is not often read as a typical “Christian writer”—and, in fact, much of her
fiction challenges the notion of “Christian literature.” In this seminar, we
will read most of O’Connor’s short fiction and both of her novels, along with
essays and letters that provide insight into the creative, theological, and
funny reflections of this important figure.
without hope not only don’t write novels, but what is more to the point, they
don’t read them. They don’t take long looks at anything, because they
lack the courage. The way to despair is to refuse to have any kind of
experience, and the novel, of course, is a way to have experience. The
lady who only read books that improved her mind was taking a safe course—and a
hopeless one. She’ll never know whether her mind is improved of not, but
should she ever, by some mistake, read a great novel, she’ll know mighty well
that something is happening to her.”
 Flannery O’Connor,
“The Nature and Aim of Fiction,” Mystery and Manners (New York: Vintage,
ENG 490.U: Special Topics: Writing Work(3 s.h.)
this online course, we will utilize both the LMS and other online platforms to
engage in the dual purposes suggested by the course title: working on our
writing, and writing about our work.Summer, for many of us immersed in the academic calendar, is a time when
work takes on a more focused and often non-academic purpose.We may be throwing our energies into a summer
job as a means of saving money for tuition, we may be taking advantage of our
time away from campus to pursue other purposes and passions, or we may be using
summer as an opportunity to tackle projects that have been on the back
burner.This course takes advantage of
the particular work-related focus that summer can provide and asks us to
explore and reflect upon our experience through both reading and writing
related to our lives as workers.Given
that summer—and the work it entails for each of us—tends to lead us in
different geographic directions, a secondary strand of this course will include
the exploration of various online media as a means of authoring our experience
and communicating it to others.
As a writing-focused, special topics course, this offering of ENG 490U will
fulfill 3 of the 9 semester hours required in the writing track.
ENG 490: Special Topics: Blinding Insight: The Price of Knowledge. (3 s.h.)
this special topics course, we will investigate the relationship between blindness
and insight and, more specifically, how that relationship is treated in
biblical, philosophical, artistic, and literary traditions. Over the
course of our investigations, we will explore and respond to these questions,
· What are the rewards, pleasures, stakes,
risks, and perils of knowledge?
· What are we willing to sacrifice in order
to obtain knowledge, to discover the truth?
· Are there some truths, some kinds of
knowledge, best left undiscovered?
· Does the truth always set us free? Does it
sometimes imprison us?
· Why does western culture routinely use
disability as metaphor?
intend for the readings to govern the course—obviously—but also to enrich
students’ understanding and appreciation of their Christian liberal arts education.
For seniors, ENG 490 might serve as an ideal capstone course. This course is
rigorous: students must be committed readers and writers.