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Ways of Reading: Originality and Its Opposites
Fall 2020 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 ENGL 201 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.

Believe it or not, the idea that a work of art should be unique, new, and inventive has a history, and it's a fairly recent one. In this section we will read novels, poems, and plays that embody or somehow resist the ideal of originality. We will start with theories of originality that emerged at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, and with contemporaneous texts that exemplify that aesthetic philosophy. Then we will turn to originality's many opposites: translations, collaborations, adaptations, forgeries and hoaxes, parodies, hymns and vernacular songs, and works that are so conventional or derivative as to fail the originality test. Throughout, since this is a section of "Ways of Reading," we'll pay attention to our expectations, experiences, and strategies as readers as well as to developing skills in discussing and writing about literature.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)

Last Updated on SEP-29-2023
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