This class is designed to introduce
you to the multifaceted discipline of English studies and provide you a solid
foundation for future coursework in the discipline. We will focus on the
methods and theories that are used in the production, analysis, interpretation,
and assessment of a variety of texts, including works of fiction, poetry,
drama, non-fiction, life writing, films, and advertisements. The course also
includes a general introduction to key themes in composition studies and
devotes time to an exploration of the basic concepts and methods in rhetoric.
We will also spend some time on the theories and methods associated with
One of our goals will be to
understand the aesthetic and social dimensions of written communication in a
number of historical periods. Throughout the semester, we will be placing
“classic” texts into dialogue with one another and with present-day
critical perspectives, emphasizing significant continuities throughout the
history of scholarship in literature and rhetoric and at the same time examining
the critiques and transformations that basic critical concepts and approaches
have undergone in the course of their development.
Our particular focus will be on the
complex problem of interpretation. What critical procedures allow us to grasp
and to convey the meaning of what we read? How do we know that our
interpretations are valid? What are the social and political consequences of
our interpretations? In addition to providing you with a background in English
studies, this class is designed to build skills in careful reading, critical
thinking, and lucid argumentative writing.
Your course grade will be based on
your performance in four short writing assignments, five quizzes, a midterm
exam, and a final exam. You will have an opportunity to earn extra credit.
These books are available at
Revolution Books in Puck’s Alley: 2626 South King Street, 944-3106. Please wait
to purchase the books until after the first day of class.
Alani Apio, KĀMAU AND KĀMAU A‘E(dramas)
Jonathan Safran Foer, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE(novel)
Craig Santos Perez, FROM UNINCORPORATED TERRITORY(poetry)
William Shakespeare, HAMLET(drama)