Intro to English Studies

Course Description

This course introduces you to the discipline of English and practices of critical reading and writing. We 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 paintings and films. We will examine a selection of major theoretical frameworks and areas of critical interest such as cultural studies, black studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, and ecocriticism, in order to help you understand what it means to analyze a text within a particular framework. We will also discuss 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. To accomplish this, you will complete a series of short writings that involve a combination of different kinds of research and writing skills. As part of this, you will be given the opportunity to cultivate your creative writing skills. Other requirements include in-class writings, a reading and class notes journal, participation, and a final essay.

Required Texts (tentative):

Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots

Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism

Aimé Césaire, A Tempest

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Course pack available for purchase

Films (to be shown in class)

Dee Rees, Pariah

Stuart Hall: Race, the Floating Signifier