ENGL 302 A: Critical Practice

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
MEB 250
Michelle Liu
Michelle Liu

Additional Details:

This course is designed to tackle the two main complaints about theory: one, that it is alienatingly abstract; and two, that theory doesn?t make sense once you try to explain it to people outside the English major. How to make theory an extension of self-making, and remove it from the role of merciless taskmaster? How do theoretical ideas change when explored through the vernacular?

The general theme for the quarter circles around the issue of pain, which is so viscerally real and rooted in the body that it seems to be the antithesis of intangible and cerebral theory. Selected texts by Stephen Greenblatt, Elaine Scarry, Eric Hayot, and novelist Elizabeth Nunez examine how bodily feeling translates into the impulse to narrate, and then how these narrations create cultural systems of feeling that regulate the distribution of who is recognized as fully human. The small number of texts for this quarter means that we will have the luxury of time to think about form and motivation, as well as content. Each of the authors selected are not only pondering similar philosophical questions, but (at least to my mind) do better than most in using different approaches to communicate ideas with clarity. We will be doing a lot of exploratory writing this quarter to give you practice in working theoretical language into a grammar and syntax that makes sense to you, and t!
o understand the relationship between self and critical practice.

Please note: no addcodes are available before the first week of the class.

Catalog Description: 
Intensive study of, and exercise in, applying important or influential interpretive practices for studying language, literature, and culture, along with consideration of their powers/limits. Focuses on developing critical writing abilities. Topics vary and may include critical and interpretive practice from scripture and myth to more contemporary approaches, including newer interdisciplinary practices. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in ENGL 197 or ENGL 297; a minimum grade of 2.0 in ENGL 202 or ENGL 301; may not be repeated if received a grade of 2.0 or higher.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:20am