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ENGL 302 A: Critical Practice

Meeting Time: 
TTh 9:30am - 11:20am
BNS 117
Mark Patterson
Mark Patterson

Syllabus Description:

Meeting Time:  TTh 9:30am - 11:20am
Location:  BNS 117
Instructor:  Mark Patterson

Critical Practices (Engl. 302) is the follow-up course to English 202 (formerly known as English 301).  While 202 is intended to get students to think about and practice ways of close-reading literary texts, including introducing students to some different theories of reading, English 302 is intended to get students engaged in close-reading, and thinking about, theoretical texts.  You will do this engaging and thinking primarily through a series of low-stakes and some higher-stakes writing. In Autumn 2019, this course will study theories of objects and their relationship to literature.  “But this is an English course,” you might say to yourselves.  “What does an English major have to do with objects?”  For one thing, literature necessarily makes use of objects.  There’s a famous scarlet letter, a golden bowl, a lighthouse, a French madeleine cookie, and other objects that populate poems, novels, and appear as props in plays.  Understanding how literature re-presents (that is, makes figuratively present what is literally absent) the world of things is to understand the trickiness of texts and the profound claims that literature makes on us as readers.  Among the issues we will study are Marx’s theory of the commodity, Freud’s theory of the fetish, D.W. Winnicott’s theory of the transitional object, and Bill Brown’s “thing” theory.

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 2.0 in ENGL 202.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 11:00pm