English Dept. Alters Requirements
English concentrators in the Class of 1999 will witness several changes in curriculum requirements thanks to new policies recently approved by the Educational Policy Committee.
According to Michaele Whelan, assistant director of undergraduate studies for the English Department, the changes add and clarify several requirements.
One change involves the rules on counting core courses for concentration credit.
According to Whelan, unless core classes have a specific section for English concentrators they will no longer count for the elective requirements except as related courses.
Daniel J. Kolodner '97, an English concentrator, said he thought the change makes sense, since core courses are generally less intensive than concentration courses.
"Hopefully, if you're an English concentrator and you're taking a Lit and Arts A, it's not because it's easy, it's because it's not offered in the English Department," Kolodner said.
Kolodner said he hoped that some of the popular Literature and Arts classes, many of which were constituted in the English Department before moving to the Core, would make arrangements to have separate sections for concentrators.
According to Whelan, another change is that the department now requires a course in American literature.
Whelan said the change was more philosophical than practical, since most students take at least one American literature course anyway.
However, since the title of the department is "English and American Literature and Language," Whelan said, the department moved to formalize that name with a course requirement.
The department has also added one course to the pre-1800 requirement for non-honors concentrators, who must now complete two courses in time period.
This increases the number of required courses for non-honors concentrators from 12 to 13.
In addition, the department has mandated that neither of those courses can be on William Shakespeare.
There is a separate requirement that students take at least one class on the Bard, but faculty members said students would rather not study other early works.
"To my mind the rationale behind this is to encourage students to take a broader range of pre-1800 courses," said Jeffrey A. Masten, assistant professor of English and American Literature. "It does not preclude students from taking more Shakespeare if they want."
Whelan also said the courses were intended to strengthen and broaden the curriculum.
"I think the majority of students are interested in 20th-century literature but really to look at the novel, one has to know about the beginnings of the novel," Whelan said.
According to Whelan, the changes will be on-line at the department's world wide web site by mid-August.