Intro to English Studies

This course introduces you to the discipline of English and the practice of critical reading and writing. You will learn how to read and interpret cultural and literary texts with an advanced level of sophistication, examine the politics of interpretation and representation, and practice placing texts in their cultural, social, political, and historical contexts to enhance understanding. Through this you will learn a variety of methods and theoretical approaches for studying a wide range of texts, from plays, poetry, and the novel to film. We will examine a selection of major theoretical frameworks and areas of critical interest such as cultural studies, postcolonialism, and ecocriticism, and learn key theoretical terms and concepts as they apply to the study of English. We will also spend time discussing how to write well in the discipline of English. As part of this, you will be given the opportunity to cultivate your creative writing skills. You will complete a series of mini-assignments and short writings that involve a combination of different kinds of research and writing skills. Other requirements include reading responses, a final exam, and a final essay.


Texts Include:

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Aimé Césaire, A Tempest

Omar El Akaad, American War

Gizelle Gajelonia, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Bus

Lee Cataluna, Folks You Meet in Longs and Other Stories

Readings on Laulima


Films (to be shown in class):

Dee Rees, Pariah