In a sense, over the last twenty years the Department
of English has become the Department of Reading and Writing, as the increasing
prominence of Creative Writing and Composition and Rhetoric has moved our
attention to the production as well as the discussion of writing, and as
Cultural Studies and a host of other theoretical and critical approaches have
extended the range of what we read, why we read it, and how such readings will
have consequences beyond our own pleasure or profit.
Over the course of the semester, we will look at a number of texts–poetic,
dramatic, fictional, autobiographical, critical, theoretical–that address us,
and therefore presume or require a response. Close attention will be a
constant, but what we focus upon will change as we determine what we want, or
are being asked, to do.
The goal is a more aware, engaged, and nuanced understanding of what it means
for an individual, a culture, or an age to read and write; and, ideally, this
understanding will prove useful in your other English classes.
Texts and Evaluation: Sophocles, THE THEBAN TRILOGY; William
Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST; Angela Carter, THE BLOODY CHAMBER; Alison Bechtel,
FUN HOME; Toni Morrison, BELOVED; THE BEDFORD HANDBOOK OF LITERARY TERMS; and a
sizable amount of additional literary, critical, and theoretical reading,
supplied by the instructors.
A series of short critical, theoretical, and
bibliographical papers, memorization exercises, regular e-mail postings, and a
final examination. Attendance at certain arts and cultural events will be
required as well.
Class Format: Since this is a large
lecture section, all students will meet for lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays.
On Fridays, students will divide up into two seminar sections, led by Craig
Howes and instructor Cheryl Naruse, for discussion and close work with the literary
and theoretical texts. Howes and Naruse will switch sections midway through the