English | Critical Practices
L371 | 7260 | Jonathan Elmer
L371 7260 CRITICAL PRACTICES
2:30p-3:45p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
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.
This class is designed to acquaint students with the conceptual and
historical roots of contemporary critical practice in literary and
cultural studies. We will take an eclectic approach, reading a wide
variety of criticism and theory. While you will gain a good sense
of the intellectual history of contemporary critical methods, our
primary commitment will be to ask questions about the very
meaning, value, and implications of various critical perceptions and
aesthetic experiences. We will emphasize careful reading, engaged
discussion, and focused writing.
Our discussions of criticism and theory will sometimes be quite
general, but more often we will have some literary of cultural text
to which our critical questions will be addressed—poems, a novel or
two, and probably a film. In order both to help you orient yourself
in the readings, and to work steadily on improving critical
perceptiveness and critical prose, there will be weekly short,
focused writing notebooks. There will also be four papers, based on