English 29: Issues in Literary Study (Fall 2021)

*This course fulfills a foundation requirement for English Majors and Minors

In English 19, or other introductory English courses, you learned to value reading a text closely for its form and aesthetic features.  In this course, we’ll review this formal (text-based) approach to literature. We will examine the theoretical approaches that have defined our field, including New Criticism, reader-response, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, feminist theory, psychological theory, postcolonial theory, and critical race theory. As we explore these approaches, we will practice the writing and research skills of the literary critic and engage with other critics whose views may or may not coincide with our own. We will also have the opportunity to evaluate the field of literary study itself. Why do we read what we read? Why have we canonized certain works of literature, and not others? What are the politics behind what we do as readers, writers, and literary critics? Our exploration of these issues will help us to understand the social and cultural values that inform our field.


Reading list:TBD


Course Requirements:
Careful reading, active participation, exploratory writing, three essays, and a final exam.


Instructor:   Prof. Sunayani Bhattacharya                 MWF 9:15-10:20


English 19: Introduction to Literary Analysis is a prerequisite for English 29.