Dr. Joe Kraus

B.A., University of Michigan
M.A., Columbia University
Ph.D., Northwestern University


 Dr. Kraus joined the University of Scranton faculty in 2004 after earning his B.A. from the University of Michigan, his M.A. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He is an historian of Jewish gangster lore, whose research and writing focuses on Chicago's Jewish history. In addition, Dr. Kraus serves as the Department Chair.

Dr. Kraus currently teaches the following courses:

ENLT 120 Intro. to Fiction

3 cr. (CL)

An exploration of the nature of prose fiction, its elements, and techniques. The emphasis is critical rather than historical. The range of works and the specific selections may vary with the individual instructor.

ENLT 127 Myth of the Hero

3 cr. (CL)

Mythic materials are examined to discover the underlying heroic archetypal patterns. Then modern literature is examined in the light of the same mythic patterns.

ENLT 134X FYS-Hardboiled Heroes & Gangsters

3 cr. (FYS, CL)

The hardboiled tradition stretches from 1920s Hemingway to today's James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, Clint Eastwood, and Coen Brothers. This class traces the way the genre has imagined detectives, gangsters, cowboys, and superheroes as representatives of the American experience, and it examines novels, stories, and films that define the tradition's evolution.

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 245 American Literature, 1865 to the Present

3 cr. (Area A-2)

Study of a select group of major American authors from the Civil War to the present. Included are Twain, Crane, Fitzgerald and Vonnegut. The historical and cultural milieu and the development of major American themes and attitudes are reviewed. (Offered Spring Semester Only)

ENLT 250 Multi-Ethnic American Literature

3 cr. (EPW, CL, D) (Area G)

Readings will be drawn primarily from Native American, Asian American, African American and Latina/o writings. The class will trace common themes and questions such as what it means to be "American," gender identity, the conflict of cultural identities, alienation and assimilation.

ENLT 258 Contemporary American Fiction

3 cr. (CL, W, Area A-3, Prerequisites: ENLT 140 or the equivalent; any ENLT 120 & 179, inclusive)

A survey of American fiction from 1950 to the present. requirements include participation in class discussion, oral presentations, and sustained consultation with the instructor on the writing and revision of several critical essays.

ENLT 284 ST: Faulkner Literary Theory

3 cr.

Syllabus forthcoming for Fall 2021.

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 213 Fiction Writing I

3 cr.

Designed to increase students' skills in writing short fiction, this course augments frequent practice in the genre with attention both to theories of short-story composition and to diverse examples. In a workshop atmosphere, students will read and discuss one another's work as well as fiction by well-known authors. Photocopying fee. 

WRTG 214 Creative Nonfiction Writing I

3 cr.

Designed to develop skills in writing creative nonfiction prose, this course employs a workshop format and requires intensive reading and analysis of student work as well as work by noted practitioners such as Orwell, Baldwin, Didion, and Dillard

Scroll to Top