ENGL301 - Critical Methods in the Study of Literature

For English majors and minors, this course is the required pre- or co-requisite for all upper-level English courses.  Because the main purpose of this course is to prepare you for what lies ahead for you as an English major (or minor), it takes the following questions as its point of origin: What is literature?  Why study it?  Who decides what great literature is and what is not?  What is the best (and most productive) way of approaching it?  While it is unlikely that we will reach any consensus, the course will encourage you to find your own answers to these philosophical questions about the study of literature.  Additionally, this course will cover a selection of important theoretical approaches to the study of literature, including feminism, queer theory, New Criticism, reader-response criticism, and new historicism.  It will also introduce the terms of literary form and literary analysis, and it will offer practice dealing with a wide variety of texts from different genres and time periods.  This course is both reading- and writing-intensive, and students should expect to spend significant time preparing for each class meeting in order to participate thoughtfully.  Major course requirements include regular short writing assignments, formal papers, a research project, and exams.


For English or English Education Majors, or English Minors.