Programme Objectives and Structure - English
Undergraduate Calendar 2012-2013
The primary purpose of the English Studies programme at RMCC is to provide a university-level education to officer cadets as one of the essential elements of their professional development. In meeting that responsibility, the programme is designed to foster both the general intellectual development achieved through university education and the particular skills and insights derived from the study of literary culture and language. At all levels of instruction, the courses offered by the Department have three basic objectives:
- to develop clarity, precision, and maturity in spoken and written communication;
- to focus attention on the importance of cultural and social values in developing an understanding of the forces that have shaped civilization and that are shaping the contemporary world; and
- to develop a flexible intellectual capacity centred around thinking-skills and problem-solving abilities which can be applied to a wide range of professional responsibilities where individuals must take action in the face of concrete human problems.
In English Studies, particular emphasis is placed on refining writing and verbal skills in the First and Second Year courses, but that emphasis continues in senior courses, especially for those cadets enrolled in the English Honours or General stream of the Humanities degree programme. At the same time, analytical study of complex literary works develops the other half of communication: the ability to listen carefully and to understand in detail what another person is attempting to communicate. Together, the development of writing and reading skills heighten awareness both of the potential and of the limitations of verbal communication.
The study of literature offers valuable insights into the cultural and social values of a people or a particular group, and acknowledges that these values represent (and have always represented) powerful driving forces shaping the development of any given society, whether it be our own or that of others. At all levels of instruction, English Studies attempt to demonstrate that the influence of social and cultural forces is as important as the role of political, economic, historical and strategic realities in understanding the historical development of societies and the complex nature of the contemporary world.
English Studies share with other disciplines a concern for developing traditional patterns of logical analysis and evaluation. However, because of the nature of creative literature, the English programme is also conscious of the value of developing non-linear forms of thought, intuition, imagination, and emotive perception. Such skills are particularly valuable in understanding and dealing with human problems. Creative literature is almost always about understanding a concrete human situation in depth, and the effort to find a creative solution to the problems raised. Studying and analyzing such problems develop a flexible and responsive intelligence, one well suited to the demands of leadership responsibilities.
These courses are taken by all first-year students and are designed to refine basic writing and reading skills as well as to introduce cadets to the range of English literature, which forms an important part of their general cultural heritage.
ENE210, provides more specific literary and intellectual foundations for advanced studies. They are mandatory for all students in Arts. They explore significant aspects of modern thought and cultural issues in order to provide a broad foundation for students entering Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business Administration programme. An important element of ENE210 is instruction in writing skills. Students planning to major in English will also take ENE226 and ENE228 in their second year, which will create a more comprehensive theoretical, historical, and cultural foundation for their studies in third and fourth year.
Third and Fourth Years
In their third and fourth years, students enrolled in a Major or Minor in English can take courses at both the 300 level and the 400 level. Most senior courses are offered in alternate years. Students are urged to plan ahead and to discuss their whole programme with the Department Head when they apply to enter the English degree programme.
Courses in the 300 range
Courses with a 300 number are designed to provide students with general period and national coverage. They fall into two categories.
- British Literary Heritage:
- These courses deal with the works of major British writers from the medieval period to 1900, including such authors as Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Wordsworth, Dickens, and Tennyson. These authors collectively represent the intellectual foundation for the literatures of the contemporary English-speaking world, and transmit the major aspects of European social and cultural values from the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the nineteenth century to the present.
- National and Ethnic Literature of the Contemporary World:
- These courses focus on the literatures of various national and ethnic groups in the contemporary world. They are designed to offer insights into the complex spectrum of social and cultural values in the modern world. Among the courses in this group are those dealing with Canadian literature, American literature, and modern British literature.
Courses in the 400 range
- Special Focus Courses:
- These courses focus on a particular genre or are designed for a specific group of students. Examples of genre-focussed courses include, “War Literature” and “Gender and Literature.”
Note that most offerings are divided into courses of one semester. For staffing reasons, most senior courses are offered in alternate years. Students are urged to plan ahead and to discuss their whole program with the Department Head at the time they are applying to enter the English degree program.