This course is an invitation into the field of English studies through an introduction to its materials and methods. You will learn to read literary, theoretical, and cultural texts closely, to interpret them confidently, and to write about them clearly and convincingly. In doing so you will join a critical conversation with other readers, thinkers, and writers in this class and beyond. As part of this semester-long invitation, we will practice reading a variety of forms (including poetry, fictional and nonfictional prose, drama, and film), practice placing works in their social, historical, and political contexts, and practice analyzing texts within some key theoretical frameworks (including cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist and queer theory, critical race studies, and ecocriticism). Texts may include works by Toni Morrison, M. NourbeSe Philip, Shakespeare, and Aimé Césaire. Apart from a few texts you will need to purchase at the bookstore, the bulk of the readings will be available on Laulima. There will be frequent short, low-stakes writing assignments throughout the semester, as well as a longer final essay.