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Introduction to Literary Study

ENGL 100.001
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

Note: This course fulfills the Arts & Letters "General Requirement"
within the College General Requirement. In English, only English 100-104
are General Requirement courses; almost all others will fulfill the
"distributional" requirement in Arts & Letters. We highly recommend
*this* course as an introduction to the English major.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a range of  
interpretive strategies as they have developed out of literary studies
in the twentieth century in response to central interpretive questions
that cut across disciplinary boundaries.  The course will begin by
raising key questions in the study of literature.  What is literature?  
What has been and is its function?  How have judgments of literary value
been arrrived at traditionally in order to form a canon of "great
books"?  What is the basis today of questioning these judgements?  And
why are issues of race, gender, and class (that is, "multiculturalism")
central to this questioning?  Next, because it is absolutely  crucial to
an understanding of interpretation, the course will take up theories and
practices of reading from the close reading techniques of the New
Criticism to the strategies of "deconstruction" to the psychological and
social analyses of "reception theory," or "reader response" criticism, as
it is more  commonly known in the United States. Readings will come from
a list that will include:  Terry Eagleton, *Literary Theory*; Leslie
Marmon Silko, *Ceremony*; W.K. Wimsatt, *The Verbal Icon*; Richard
Ohmann, "The Shaping of a Canon:  U.S. Fiction, 1960-75"; Henry James,
"The Turn of the Screw"; T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual
Talent"; Cleanth Brooks, *The Well Wrought Urn*; Kenneth Burke, "Semantic
and Poetic Meaning";  Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"; Toni
Morrison, *Playing in the  Dark*; Herman Melville, "Billy Budd" ;
Ferdinand de Saussure, *Course in  General Linguistics*; Wolfgang Iser,
"The Reading Process"; Arnold  Krupat, "Native American Literature and
the Canon."