ENGL301 - Critical Methods in the Study of Literature
0401 - Nathaniel Underland

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

An introduction to the techniques of literary analysis and a brief survey of the most common approaches to literature.

For English majors, this course is the required pre- or co-requisite for all upper level English courses.  What is literature?  Why study it?  Who decides what's great literature and what's not?  In this course you will ask these questions and others central to the study of literature, and you will be introduced to some ways of thinking about and discussing them.  You will find out what "practical criticism" or "close reading" is.  You may learn about psychological approaches to literature and ask questions about how feminism has changed our view of literature.  You may explore the importance of historical or cultural context to our understanding of a text.  You may discuss who determines the text--the reader or the writer?  Different sections of the course will read different texts, but all sections will raise questions about how we interpret poetry, fiction and drama. In addition, all sections will help you extend your reading and writing skills, will require you to use the terms of literary analysis with precision  ("caesura"--what's that?) and will introduce you to what lies ahead for you as an English major.  3-5 short papers will be required; there may also be exams. Additional information about each section is provided below:

Scott Trudell  - Section 0201

English 301 is the gateway to the major, introducing you to research methods in English. This section of 301 will emphasize poetic tone, diction, verse forms, figurative language, scansion, and rhythm, asking students to identify poetic meter. It will introduce you to methodologies including formalism, narrative theory, historicism, Marxism, feminism, critical race theory, and deconstruction. It will also prepare you to incorporate primary and secondary sources into your writing and to produce successful papers for upper-level English courses. Readings will include narrative, drama, and poetry in a broad variety of genres from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Sharada Balachandran Orihuela - Section 0301

A gateway course for the English major, Critical Methods intends to provide you with an array of skills and concepts essential for the study of literature. In this course, you will first learn how to recognize and analyze various aspects of poetry, drama, and fiction. You will learn how to explicate a text, including the critical vocabulary necessary for such an explication, namely the terms required for the analysis of form and meter, syntax, and style (imagery, trope, diction, etc.). Second, you will learn to assess and apply secondary sources and make use of other critical materials to deepen your understanding of the assigned materials. Finally, you will also learn to read and understand literary and critical theory. To this end, you will be assigned readings in various approaches to the study of literature, including new critical, formalist, reader-response, historicist, and cultural criticism (post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism, and critical race theory). The class involves intensive reading and discussion. The final grade is based on in-class participation, 3 essays, a midterm, and a final exam.

David Wyatt - Section 0501

This is a class in learning how to read, write, listen, and talk. We will begin with poetry and figurative language, the basis of all imaginative literature. We will move on to drama, the novel, and the short story. Our focus will be on developing our own readings of these texts, and in locating the unique idiom of each student's critical voice. In order to succeed in the class, you will need to do the following things: do the assigned reading for the day, attend class, bring your books to class, and do the assignments on time. Success, that is, is about keeping up, and showing up.


Vessela Valiavitcharska - Section 0701

This course is designed to introduce you to the English major. Its goals are: to familiarize you with some of the history and self-definitions of the field; to make you aware of the kinds of theoretical discourses it employs; to expose you to a discussion of literary form and the tools we use in literary analysis; to help you learn what it means to write about literature. The course is both writing- and reading-intensive. The texts we will cover include poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and your work will involve close reading, theory-based interpretation, cultural and historical analysis, and rhetorical analysis.

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