Ways of Reading: Contact Zones
Spring 2023 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.
In this course, our studies of 20th- and 21st-century works will focus on how various forms of "contact"--interracial encounters, travel and migration, genre mixing, etc.--produce literary tensions that comment on broader social and political worlds. In addition to analyzing texts from a range of genres, we will situate them in their historical contexts, approach them from a variety of critical perspectives, and examine how literary expressions of "contact" shape perceptions of the contemporary world.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Student Option
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)
Terry Eagleton, HOW TO READ A POEM
le thi diem thuy, THE GANGSTER WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR
Toni Morrison, A MERCY
William Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST (Norton critical edition)
Tennessee Williams, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
|Examinations and Assignments:
Regular close reading assignments and a series of short to medium length essays.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
Attendance and active participation in discussion.
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