ENGL601 - Literary Research and Critical Contexts

 English 601 is one of the two gateway courses for the graduate program, and it serves as an introduction to the skills, concepts, and tools used in advanced literary research. It is designed to cover 1) the resources available at local libraries and on the internet, and 2) the rudiments of bibliographic scholarship, textual theory, and editorial practice. We will pay special attention to the material conditions of textual transmission--that is, the ways in which manuscript, printed, and electronic texts move from production to reception--and the interpretative issues they raise. The class will combine wide-ranging readings (historical, critical, and theoretical).
In the course of the semester, we will survey the resources available for literary research at local libraries and on the internet and review the conventions for finding, describing, quoting, and citing literary texts and work written about them. We will also attend to the forms in which literary texts circulate (in speech, manuscript, print, and digital media), examining the roles played by authors, readers, editors, and physical format in creating meaning.