Rebecca Wood

PREREQUISITE: Completion of the English Composition requirement.

12:20p-1:10p MWF (25 students) 3 cr. A&H, IW.

This course is designed to help you develop the skills of close textual analysis that you will need as you continue to study English. Its primary aims are to prepare you to read carefully, analyze thoughtfully, and write clearly about literary texts (poetry, fiction, and drama); and to provide you with an overview of basic literary forms and techniques. Since this course fulfills the Intensive Writing requirement, there will be frequent writing assignments, including formal essays and a series of one-page responses.

Beyond this rather business-like description of the course prowls a much more thrilling and ineffable one. How can we describe the joy and sorrow that literature generates in those who savor the words they read? How can we articulate the journey upon which we embark every time we open a book? How can we explain the way that literature touches us? These are questions that we are going to strive to answer in this course. Our search for answers will involve familiarizing ourselves with a critical literary vocabulary that will allow us to engage in conversation with each other as well as with those who have written about literature in the past. Our task, in many ways, is to enter into the ongoing dialogue about the works of short and long fiction, poetry, and drama we will be reading for the course. Some of these works include William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, and E.E. Cummings’ I: Six Nonlectures.