This seminar is the first of the new Honors program, and will be provide us with a venue to discuss your own research work while you prepare your Honors essays. For this reason the course will have a dual function. First, it will act as a workshop for works-in-progress--where we will read and help one another as we move toward finishing our projects. Second, it will serve as a venue for discussing issues that arise with larger projects, and to explore the writing conventions of literary criticism and the practical difficulties that arise when writing any long essay. We will therefore spend most of our time reading each other's writing, although we also will take 2-3 weeks to discuss a literary text and a cluster of critical essays on that text. Our aim will be to understand the fundamentals of real literary research, and to produce an essay of substantial length on a cultural, literary, or linguistic topic, written under the supervision of an outside faculty adviser.