English Minor

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate minor

About this program

The English minor helps students grow intellectually while polishing analytical, interpretative, and reasoning skills.

Students from many fields learn how works of literature address urgent social, political, and personal issues of our time.

Enrolling in this program

Current students: Declare your program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you declare your major or declare a minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your English Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your English Minor

Course requirements

Requirements (20 credits)

American or English Survey (4 credits)

Choose one

LIT 341 American Literature: Beginnings-1870

4 credits

This course surveys illustrative works from the beginnings of European settlement to 1870, introducing students to the study of that literature and sharpening critical reading skills. Emphasis is on the development of literary technique and on the cultural context of literary works. Readings may include religious and political documents, Native American tales and orations, exploration and captivity narratives, slave narratives, journals, novels, plays, and poems.

Full course description for American Literature: Beginnings-1870

LIT 342 American Literature: 1870-Present

4 credits

This course surveys illustrative works from 1870 to the present, introducing students to the study of that literature and sharpening critical reading skills. Emphasis is on the development of literary technique and on the cultural context of literary works. Topics covered include the rise of modernism, its impact on a diverse population and various responses to modern culture, as well as changing perceptions of religion, race, gender, environment, the future, the self and the community. Students are introduced to a range of contemporary critical approaches to literature.

Full course description for American Literature: 1870-Present

Language (4 credits)

Choose one

LING 316 The Nature of Language

4 credits

This course introduces students to the study of how language is acquired and learned, concepts and methods of analyzing language, and how the linguistics field relates to regional, social and gender differences in language. It also explores the origin and development of languages through time, writing systems, and the complexities of written and spoken language.

Full course description for The Nature of Language

LING 547 History of the English Language

4 credits

This course emphasizes the evolution of English in connection with historical, social, literary and linguistic forces. Topics addressed include Old English language in the Anglo-Saxon culture; the effects on English of the Norman Conquest, the Renaissance and the invention of printing; British colonialism; the spread of English to Asia, Africa and America; the modern development of the language; and underlying principles of change ruling various types of linguistic phenomena that take place during the natural historical development of a language.

Full course description for History of the English Language

Women Writers (4 credits)

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LIT 312 Women Writers

4 credits

This course takes a critical and historical approach to literature in English by women, looking at the emergence of female literary voices and exploring the contexts in which their works were written. Some sections of the course may focus on particular traditions within the range of literature written by women.

Full course description for Women Writers

LIT 315 Gender in Literature and Film

4 credits

This course surveys how classic works of American literature and film assert, examine and/or question gender conventions that affect both men and women. Students discuss ways in which fiction, drama, poetry, popular music and film can promote, question or subvert gender conventions. The goal of these discussions is to make new discoveries about familiar works of literature, to examine a range of assertions and arguments that authors and film directors make about gender, and to consider the purposes gender conventions serve for individuals and the community in the United States.

Full course description for Gender in Literature and Film

LIT 362 Black Women Writers

4 credits

This course explores the literature by African-American women writers from the 18th century to the present, analyzing their depictions of racism, sexism, and classism as artistic, moral, and civic responses to inequality. Students learn techniques for critical reading and literary analysis at the upper-division humanities level to understand how these creative works explore issues related to the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the influence these writers had on cultural events, such as anti-lynching journalism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and the Women's Liberation Movement.

Full course description for Black Women Writers

LIT 365 Asian Women Writers

4 credits

This course explores the rich tradition of Asian women's literary voices expressing their chosen themes in novels, diaries, anonymous folk poems, short stories, and lyric verse from ancient times to the present. Relevant aspects of geography, history, culture, and language support interpretations of representative works; regional focus may vary. All selections are read in English translation.

Full course description for Asian Women Writers

Ethnic or World Literature (4 credits)

Choose one. LIT 362 and LIT 365 may apply to one requirement area only.

LIT 361 African-American Literature

4 credits

Through films, poetry, autobiography, novels, lyrics, and short essays, this intermediate-level survey course explores African-American literature from a historical perspective ranging from the works of enslaved authors to contemporary spoken-word poetry. The course celebrates the historical and aesthetic development of African-American literary arts in the face of (often legalized) racial oppression. Students learn techniques and theories for critical reading to explore literary issues related to culture, race, and social history. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism in this literature course.

Full course description for African-American Literature

LIT 362 Black Women Writers

4 credits

This course explores the literature by African-American women writers from the 18th century to the present, analyzing their depictions of racism, sexism, and classism as artistic, moral, and civic responses to inequality. Students learn techniques for critical reading and literary analysis at the upper-division humanities level to understand how these creative works explore issues related to the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the influence these writers had on cultural events, such as anti-lynching journalism, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, and the Women's Liberation Movement.

Full course description for Black Women Writers

LIT 363 American Indian Literature

4 credits

The course surveys Native American written, oral, musical, and filmic traditions, spanning voices from the pre-contact era to the contemporary moment. Readings develop themes and concepts central to Native narrative arts, such as cultural survival, migration, language and orality, landscape, folklore, spirituality, memory, colonization and decolonization, racism, violence, trauma, oppression, and sovereignty. Emphasizing an analytical approach, the course considers how marginalized indigenous arts participate in, react against, challenge, and redefine constructions of American literature. Significant focus is given to race and racism in this course.

Full course description for American Indian Literature

LIT 364 Literature by Immigrants of Color

4 credits

Students in this course examine literature, film, and expository articles to investigate ways that people of color represent their experiences as immigrants to the U.S. Throughout the course we analyze how various texts present the main themes, perspectives, and socio-cultural contexts of contemporary immigration, which has historically been shaped by racialized discourses and racist gatekeeping practices. We also interrogate how the concerns articulated by immigrants of color intersect with broader social categories such as race, gender, sexuality, age, religion, and citizenship status. Through lectures, discussions, compositions, and small-group activities, students will critically examine the complexities of acculturation and the creativity it takes to balance one's cultural heritage with life in another country as a racialized ethnic minority.

Full course description for Literature by Immigrants of Color

LIT 365 Asian Women Writers

4 credits

This course explores the rich tradition of Asian women's literary voices expressing their chosen themes in novels, diaries, anonymous folk poems, short stories, and lyric verse from ancient times to the present. Relevant aspects of geography, history, culture, and language support interpretations of representative works; regional focus may vary. All selections are read in English translation.

Full course description for Asian Women Writers

LIT 368 Asian American Literature

4 credits

This course will explore the ways Asian American novels, short stories, poetry and film represent, elaborate and challenge how we understand Asian American experience as is it informed by race, gender, sexuality and age. Focusing on major texts of Asian American literature from the early 20th century to the present, we will discuss how and why the study of Asian American literature emerged from its historical exclusion from the U.S literary canon, and how this exclusion is tied to structural racism in the academy, a major institution in U.S. cultural gatekeeping. We will also discuss how the study of Asian American literature benefits from understanding broader historical and political issues relevant to the Asian American experience. To this end, we will read and discuss relevant primary texts and secondary criticism on topics such as (but not limited to), law, citizenship, labor, imperialism, war, anti-Asian racism, comparative racialization, queer identities and activism to deepen…

Full course description for Asian American Literature

HUM 310 The First Civilizations

4 credits

The cultural foundations of the West stand on the bedrock of the ancient Near East: writing, literature, art, architecture, science, mathematics and religion reach back past Rome and Greece to Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia. This course provides an introduction to the literature, history and culture of that period, c. 3100-600 B.C.

Full course description for The First Civilizations

HUM 313 Medieval Civilization

4 credits

In this course, students study achievements in thought, art, architecture, religion, science and politics during the Middle Ages, the period between the collapse of Roman civilization (c. 500 A.D.) and its "rebirth" in the Renaissance about a thousand years later. Students read a selection of medieval texts in translation and examine a range of medieval arts and ideas.

Full course description for Medieval Civilization

HUM 314 The Renaissance

4 credits

This course explores the art, literature, philosophy, religion, and science of the European Renaissance (c. 1350-1650 A.D.), placing them in the context of political and social movements of the time. In this era, increased attention to ancient Greek and Roman ideas energized all of the arts and sciences. This period also saw the beginnings of the centrally administered nation state and the rise of colonialism in the New World, as well as the Protestant Reformation, a many-sided and far-reaching religious revolution that reshaped Christianity. Readings, slide/lectures, and class discussions explore the many ways that art, ideas, and events from this era still live in contemporary European and American civilizations.

Full course description for The Renaissance

HUM 315 The Enlightenment

4 credits

The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to eighteenth-century doubts about Christianity and optimism about progress based on "enlightenment" or reason. If science could penetrate the secrets of nature, perhaps the same methods could be used in economics and politics? The resulting conflict between new ideas and ancient inequities led to political revolutions in America and France, and to cultural revolutions in industry, literature, philosophy and the arts. Students in this course study significant works by seventeenth and eighteenth century writers, thinkers and artists.

Full course description for The Enlightenment

HUM 316 Romanticism

4 credits

The romantic revolution occurred in Europe and America toward the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Literature, art, music and philosophy turned away from the forms, concepts and assumptions about art and society that had lasted for centuries. At the same time, the social, political and economic life of that time was being transformed by the new energies and new hatreds released by the industrial and French revolutions. Students examine some of the classics of romantic fiction, art and poetry produced during this period.

Full course description for Romanticism

HUM 317 Modernism

4 credits

In the late nineteenth century, the romantic figure of the artist as an outsider who criticized society, yet helped rejuvenate mankind, evolved into the figure of the artist as a revolutionary adversary of society. Artists in the twentieth century questioned older social, philosophical and artistic forms and sought to create radically new, "modern" forms. To understand this development and how it has influenced the contemporary world, this course examines several influential modern(ist) texts, in connection with other developments in modern art, music, politics and thought.

Full course description for Modernism

HUM 318 Postmodernism

4 credits

Post-WWII Western societies pushed the Modernists' radical rejection of traditional aesthetics to the extreme limit, developing a new theoretical and aesthetic movement called Postmodernism. From the blurring of high and low culture, through the use of pastiche, collage, and bricolage, to the status of the object in an era of simulacra, the period is characterized by a number of distinct techniques and critical theories which we'll explore in a wide variety of art, film, new media, literature, architecture, and music.

Full course description for Postmodernism

HUM 321 Myth

4 credits

Myths and myth cycles have had a deep and pervasive influence on literature and culture, and thus on everyday life. This course examines the nature of myth and the modes of belief that have sustained it within various traditions, the myths themselves, their expression in literature from ancient to modern times, and theories of interpretation. The selection varies among Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Celtic and Germanic myth traditions, along with comparative material from other world traditions.

Full course description for Myth

HUM 326 Folklore

4 credits

Folklore was and is part of everyone's everyday experience. This course examines the nature of folklore; the study, analysis and interpretation of folklore; various folk traditions; and real-life examples and uses of folk-lore. While emphasizing traditions of the United States, the course also presents aspects of folklore of other selected regions.

Full course description for Folklore

HUM 327 Convivencia: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Arts in Medieval Spain

2-4 credits

This course explores the time period in medieval Spain when the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) coexisted somewhat peacefully and created together a rich, vibrant culture from 700-1492. "Convivencia" means "living together." We will examine the poetry, architecture, art, music, governance, and religious practices during this period: how a culture flourished, and how it fell apart. We'll also study how persecutions (including those against pagans), and the diasporas of Jews and Muslims out of Spain influenced these texts, structures, and practices.

Full course description for Convivencia: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Arts in Medieval Spain

HUM 364 The Harlem Renaissance

4 credits

This course will study the Harlem Renaissance, a period of incredible productivity and creativity among black artists and intellectuals between 1920-1940, centered in Harlem, New York. The course considers how concepts -- such as race; the New Negro movement; Jim Crow, segregation, and racism; so-called racial uplift and the Talented Tenth; the Great Migration; the Roaring Twenties, and Modernism were manifested in the works of art, literature, philosophy, film, and music of Harlem's artists and thinkers. In addition to learning the specialized vocabulary and skills involved in the analysis of works from a variety of artistic genres, students will learn how Harlem's leading black intellectuals tied aesthetic theories to social and racialized principles of artistic production, inspiring some artists while prompting others to openly rebel. Given that the Harlem Renaissance is not characterized by any one style, technique, or manifesto, well pay special attention to connections among…

Full course description for The Harlem Renaissance

Elective (4 credits)

Any upper-level LIT or HUM course can be taken as an elective, but a course can be applied to only one area of the minor requirements (no double-counting within the minor).