ENGL301 - Critical Methods in the Study of Literature

This is the gateway course for the major. It is meant to prepare students to take full advantage of the offerings available in our varied and lively department. One way to do this is to focus on the pleasures and responsibilities of reading. Why and how do certain texts move us? How does form act as an extension of content? Is there a politics of the text, and, if so, how can we talk about it without becoming reductive? We will start with a unit on figurative language, using Frost’s poems as our text. We then move on to a unit on Shakespeare–one day on a sonnet, and five days on Hamlet. A unit on the novel includes readings of The Great Gatsby and The Color Purple. Then we move on to In Our Time and the short story. We will end with something that will test our powers of sympathy and judgment, James Joyce’s The Dead. Frequent papers and much class discussion.


Must be in English Language and Literature program; or must be in Secondary Educ: English Language Arts program.