L202 1915 YOW
Literary Interpretation

2:30p-3:45p MW (25) 3 cr.

COLLEGE INTENSIVE WRITING SECTION. OPEN TO MAJORS ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION FROM BH442.

Have you practiced so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
--Walt Whitman

In this course, we will learn to read in a more active and critical manner by engaging in the close textual analysis of a variety of literary genres. Students will also be introduced to a number of contemporary debates about the nature and practice of literary interpretation. In our discussion of the "meaning" of poems and other literary genres, emphasis will be placed on the effects of formal strategies, historical context, and the role of the critic in the production of "meaning." In order to understand the relationship between strategies of interpretation and forms of power, our discussions will focus for the most part on texts in which the acts of reading and textual analysis themselves are dramatized, including Shakespeare's The Tempest, Aimé Césaire's A Tempest, Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Octavia Butler's Kindred and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. We will also read the works of a number of contemporary poets. Films will include Forbidden Planet and Il Postino (The Postman). Students will hone their skills of analysis and argumentation by writing three 5- page papers, in addition to a number of short written responses. Active participation in class discussions is required.