Honors | Critical Practices (ENG)
L371 | 9103 | Nicholas Williams


TuTh 11:15am-12:30pm

PREREQUISITE: L202 with grade of C- or better. NOTE: The English
Department will strictly enforce this prerequisite. Students who
have not completed L202 with a grade of C- or better will have their
registration administratively cancelled.

For almost as long as human beings have been creating literary
texts, they have also persistently asked questions about literature
and the other arts. What effect ought art to have? Does it support
the stability of the state or undermine it? What is its connection
to the lives of ordinary people? The passing centuries have only
added further questions, while continuing those of the ancients: Is
there such a thing as a true interpretation? What role does the
reader play in the meaning of a text? What is the nature of the
authorís relation to the text? What is the structure of the language
of which literature is made up? Weíll consider these and other
questions in a broad survey of literary and cultural theory, testing
our ideas in connection to a few literary texts: William Blakeís
Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Caryl Churchillís Cloud 9, Mark
Haddonís The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well
as stories by Jorge Luis Borges and Julian Barnes. Writing
assignments will ask students to place theoretical positions in
conversation with each other. Papers dealing with a literary text
using theory will also be required.