Ways of Reading: Reading for Genre: Form, History, Theory|
Spring 2021 not offered
Ways of Reading courses introduce students to the characteristics thought of as literary and the methods for studying them. This is a gateway course into the English major. Only one of the ENGL201 series may be taken for credit.
Ways of Reading courses develop strategies for careful and close reading, and techniques for the analysis of literary forms such as poetry and drama, and prose narratives such as novels and short stories. They familiarize students with some of the protocols of the literary-critical essay, examine the idea of literature as a social institution, and explore ways of connecting textual details and the world beyond the text. The ways of reading learned in the course are powerful tools for critically assessing discourses that expand far beyond the realm of literature. So while students will become adept literary critics, they also will learn quickly that to be a literary critic is to read critically and carefully all the time: in poems, novels, and plays, but also in political speech, in popular culture, and in the discourses that shape everyday life.
This course will explore the three major genres of literature: poetry, drama, and prose narrative. We will examine their building blocks, or basic elements, and seek to understand how individual works of literature exemplify, reveal, and experiment with them. We will attend to formal and theoretical matters ranging from the operation of words to the patterns that structure poems, plays, and plots. We will ask how literary texts respond to, represent, and capture both literary history and their historical moments by depicting their time and place and by participating in debates about art and society. Throughout, our emphasis will be on the rigors and pleasures of close reading, sustained and detailed textual analysis. We will strive to cultivate the lively, generous, nourishing, and ennobling engagement that S. T. Coleridge had in mind when he said nearly 200 years ago that "the poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the whole soul of man into activity."
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)
Poems by writers from Gwendolyn Brooks to William Wordsworth; Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT; Wilde, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST; Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; Cather, THE PROFESSOR┐S HOUSE.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Six essays, including several drafts; short assignments.
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