ENGL301 - Critical Methods in the Study of Literature

 Interpretive Acts: the making of poetic worlds

 This class will stress the process of interpretation and analysis, both as a fundamental tool of literary and cultural study and as a recurrent concern of literary texts themselves. How does a text represent or model the act of interpretation? How does it introduce a critical reader into its imaginary world and how does it provide the tools for its own analysis? Do some poetic texts deliberately mislead the reader (and what is the purpose of doing so)? What about poetic interpretations—or, reinterpretations—of other texts?

 In short, this class will explore the interpretive activity of reading through poetic texts in which this activity is self-consciously represented or interrogated. We will then ask what it means to close read these texts critically and to produce effective written arguments about them. We will read The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (ed. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland), but I will assign specific poems, delivered in packets, each week. 3-5 short papers will be required as well as a final research paper.


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