This course will introduce first year graduate students in the English PhD program to some of the institutional dynamics, methods, and concepts that have shaped literary and cultural studies. We will reflect upon the origins of the discipline of English itself, and consider some of the ways the discipline has been undone and redone by a range of theoretical and institutional transformations. We will read and discuss foundational work as well as recent and emergent material. Throughout the semester, we will also work together to form our own critical investments and intellectual projects, and to reflect upon the institution of which we are all a part. This course is designed for English Ph.D. students in their first year. M.A. students may contact the instructor to request permission to join, and should submit a permit request when adding the course to their cart.