Intro to English Studies

This course is the foundational course for a student’s entrance into English Studies. We will focus on the way meaning is produced, for what purposes, and the methods used for understanding meaning production and consumption. Film and literature are excellent formats to examine how narratives explore these issues by challenging received meanings in areas such as gender, technology, resistance, progress, the environment, class, justice, race, or how narratives propagate the status quo by reinforcing received pattern.

This course will, therefore, be a general introduction to these methods and associated terms. We will also discuss the nature of writing within the English Studies community of practitioners. Although there will be a general overview of methods associated with English Studies practiced today, the course will take a special look at the field of Ecocriticsm. Ecocriticism is the study of the way the environment is represented in film and literature and the way humans engage or are seen in relation to the environment. The primary goals of the course will be 1) to insure that the student has a good sense of the field of English Studies and 2) that the student has a strong sense about how to “gain entry” into a text and then to produce a persuasive response through methods of composition, supporting evidence, and research.

Required reading not listed below will be available to download via Laulima.

Course Requirements

  • Attendance and participation
  • Four papers: 2 papers @ 2 pages each; 2 papers @ 4 pages each
  • 3 Informal writing assignments
  • 3 quizzes on literature content or theory terms

Required Texts

  • Robinson Jeffers, Robinson Jeffers: Selected Poems/(available at the UH Bookstore)
  • Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony/(available at the UH Bookstore)
  • Willa Cather, O Pioneers!/ (available at the UH Bookstore)
  • Provided: Laulima page will supply links to additional reading: short excerpts on theory, some poems as well online.

Student supplied: student must see The Matrix outside of classroom time …