Dr. Jody DeRitter




A.B., Oberlin College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia




Dr. Jody DeRitter, Professor of the English & Theatre Department, has an A.B. from Oberlin College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His book The Embodiment of Characters (U Penn Press, 1994) focuses on the relationship between the 18th-century London stage and the rise of the English novel; he has also published several other essays on plays and novels from this era. Over the past few years, his research interests have shifted toward "Early Modern Atlantic Studies", which would include the 17th-century as well as the 18th, and American as well as British history and literature. His courses include the Restoration and 18th-century Bit. Lit. survey, Restoration & 18th-century Drama, Race in Anglo-American Culture, and Frankenstein's Forebears. Hobbies include playing soccer, playing piano and irritating local elected officials. Don't mind the chair noises; they're usually in reference to someone who's not actually in the room at the time.

Dr. DeRitter currently teaches the following courses:

ENLT 121 Intro. to Poetry

3 cr. (CL)

An exploration of the nature of poetry, its value, aims, and techniques. The emphasis will be critical rather than historical. The range of poems and the specific selections may vary with the individual instructor.




ENLT 132X FYS-Dystopian Visions

3 cr. (FYS, CL)

Students will be introduced to the college-level study of fictional narratives by reading and viewing a group of novels and films that fall generally into the category of recent and contemporary dystopian science fiction. Discussions and writing assignments will emphasize critical reading skills and forensic argument.

ENLT 140 English Inquiry

3 cr. (CL)

An exploration of fiction, poetry, and drama. The approach is inductive; the aims are a greater understanding of literature, and an introduction to techniques of literary scholarship, theory, and research.

ENLT 151/CINE 151 Intro. to Film Studies

3 cr.

An introduction to narrative film considered as an art form. The viewing list will be evenly divided between American films and films produced in other countries (frequently in languages other than English).




ENLT 153/CINE 153 History of American Film

3 cr.

A historical overview of the American film industry. The viewing list will begin with early short films produced by Thomas Edison and run through the end of the 20th-century. Each student will be expected to make at least two oral presentations to the class.

ENLT 223 Before & After Frankenstein

3 cr. (CL, D, EPW)

(Prerequisites: ENLT with a # between 120 & 179 or permission of the instructor)

This course begins by exploring the historical, personal, and literary contexts for Mary Shelley's 19th century novel and ends with a survey of 20th and 21st century feature films descended from James Whale's 1931 influential re-imagining of the Frankenstein story.

ENLT 233 Imagining Native Americans

3 cr (EPW, CL) (Prerequisites: ENLT with a # between 120 & 179)

The first half of the course begins with the Pocahontas stories of the colonial era and moves on to captivity narratives, autobiographies, and relevant prose fiction; the second half considers Hollywood portrayals of 'cowboys and Indians' & contemporary films by Native American filmmakers.

ENLT 243 American Literature to 1865

3 cr. (Area A-1)

An in-depth study of a select group of major American authors from the Colonial Period to the Civil War. Included are Bradford, Franklin, Irving, and Poe. Consideration given to the historical and cultural milieu and development of major American themes and attitudes. (Offered Fall Semester Only)




ENLT 345 Restoration and 18th-Century Drama

3 cr (Area B-2, CL, W, Theory Intensive)

A survey of the major formal and thematic developments on the London stage between 1660 and 1776. Discussions will focus on the social, political and institutional changes that re-shaped theatrical productions during this period. This course may be counted toward the Theatre major, minor or track.

ENLT 348 Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction

3 cr. (Area G, CL, D, W, Theory Intensive)

Through detailed study of such authors as Achebe, Conrad, Forster, Kincaid, Kipling Naipaul, Orwell, and Rushdie, this course explores the myths and meanings of 19th- and 20th-century European colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

ENLT 490-491 Senior Seminar

3 cr. (W)

The topics of these writing-intensive seminars vary from semester to semester. Based largely on student writing, presentations, and discussion, this capstone course is required in the major and culminates in the student's development of a seminar paper. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 15 students per section.

WRTG 107 Composition

3 cr. (FYW)

Students develop techniques for making effective contributions in writing to intellectual discussions, academically and in other cultural settings. Students are tasked with forming the strong foundation in critical reading, thinking, writing, researching, and reflecting necessary for expressing ideas in a variety of rhetorical situations.

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