ENGL-090 Methods of Literary and Cultural Studies
Fall for 2015-2016
This course aims to give students a coherent understanding of various theoretical and critical tools used to interpret texts by introducing
them to strategies of close reading and to larger discussions regarding textual analysis. Although the course will not encompass the entire history of literary and cultural criticism, it will examine a
range of schools and methods. These schools and methods will be grounded historically and will be situated and contextualized within larger critical conversations that have developed over time. Specifically, we will explore a range of theoretical approaches to literature and culture in concert with reading several of the works of Shakespeare. While critical theory tends to draw ideas and perspectives from "non-literary" fields such as history, linguistics, psychology, and economics, many of theory's innovators have developed their ideas through reading the plays and poetry of Shakespeare. We will not only consider the ways in which Shakespeare's texts have
influenced the formation of various theoretical perspectives, but we will also read from his work across different literary genres, and study literary criticism from different theoretical schools on these
plays and poems.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HUMW 011 or equivalent; Does NOT count toward HUMW II

Sections:

ENGL-090-01 Methods of Literary and Cultural Studies
Fall for 2015-2016
Faculty:
This course introduces majors to the diverse critical practices of “English” as an academic discipline. In the 21st century, literary study boasts a multiplicity of approaches, offering what can at times appear a rather jumbled set of possibilities: from traditional literary history to critical theories informed by other disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy. As such, it has also over time expanded the range of texts to be examined, adding film, television, popular music, and so on—materials from our daily lives—to an ever-burgeoning “canon” of poetry, novels, and plays.

We will conduct a historicized exploration of this discipline’s evolving, shifting contours in order to understand how and why it arrived at its present form. Along the way, students will try their hand at diverse critical approaches as they read a variety of cultural texts. The Great Gatsby, that perennial favorite of high school English courses, will serve as our first ‘test case’ of interpretation; others include Louise Erdrich’s novel Love Medicine; Anna Deveare Smith’s play Fires in the Mirror; Marjane Setrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis I. Critical texts will include Lois Tyson’s Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide, 2nd Ed. and Jonathan Culler’s Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
ENGL-090-03 Methods of Literary and Cultural Studies
Fall for 2015-2016
This course aims to give students a coherent understanding of various theoretical and critical tools used to interpret texts by introducing them to strategies of close reading and to larger discussions regarding textual analysis. Although the course will not encompass the entire history of literary and cultural criticism, it will examine a range of schools and methods. These schools and methods will be grounded historically and will be situated and contextualized within larger critical conversations that have developed over time. Specifically, we will explore a range of theoretical approaches to literature and culture in concert with reading several of the works of Shakespeare. While critical theory tends to draw ideas and perspectives from "non-literary" fields such as history, linguistics, psychology, and economics, many of theory's innovators have developed their ideas through reading the plays and poetry of Shakespeare. We will not only consider the ways in which Shakespeare's texts have influenced the formation of various theoretical perspectives, but we will also read from his work across different literary genres, and study literary criticism from different theoretical schools on these plays and poems.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HUMW 011 or equivalent; Does NOT count toward HUMW II
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