Introduction to English Studies

ENG 320: Introduction to English Studies

In-person / MWF / 11:30-12:20

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, and historical contexts to enhance understanding. Through this you will learn a variety of contemporary methods and theoretical approaches for studying a wide range of texts, from plays, poetry, and the novel to film and photographs. We will examine a selection of major theoretical frameworks and areas of critical interest next to our literary and cultural texts, such as Black studies, postcolonial studies, queer theory, and ecocriticism, in order to help you understand what it means to analyze a text within a particular framework. We will pay particular attention to our location in Hawai‘i, and think about what it means to study English in the Pacific. Course readings will also help you learn to follow difficult arguments, read closely, and look up big words or unfamiliar references. We will also discuss key literary and theoretical terms and concepts as they apply to the study of English. Finally, we will spend time discussing and practicing how to write well in the discipline of English.

Possible assignments include in-class writings, short writings, reading journal, and a final project and/or portfolio.

 Required texts (available at UH bookstore):

  • Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots (2008)
  • Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (1969)
  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611)
  • Joseph Han, Nuclear Family (2022)
  • Dee Rees, Pariah (2011); film available for streaming through the UH library
  • All other sources available on Laulima or online