Ways of Reading: The Pleasures of the Text
Fall 2022 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 introduces the bundle of characteristics we think of as "literary" and the methods for studying them, with an eye toward pleasure: What spurs us to read, and what spurs us to return to certain texts? We will develop strategies for careful and close reading and techniques for the analysis of poetic and narrative forms; we will examine the idea of literature as a social institution and explore ways of making connections between textual details and the world beyond the text.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)
(Please acquire these precise editions)
William Shakespeare, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Pelican edition ISBN 978-0143130222)
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, FRANKENSTEIN (Broadview ISBN 978-1-55481-103-8)
A packet of readings including works by Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, John Milton, Andrew Marvell, John Donne, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Sylvia Plath, Lucille Clifton, Alexander Pope, Muriel Rukeyser, Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, Elizabeth Bishop, Jeff Hoffman, John Ashbery, Theodor Adorno, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry James, along with several examples of critical and theoretical writing about literature.
|Examinations and Assignments:
Eight short essays (between 2 and 5 pages each)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
Class visit to Special Collections in Olin Library
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