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200 Level Fall 2018


ENGL 203 Lec 01:  "Literature on the Dark Side"
Instructor: Jenny McKenney
Schedule: Tue/Thu 11:00-12:15


This introductory course focuses on fictional works that meditate in a variety of ways on the darker side of humanity. Course texts, selected from a range of countries and time periods, are themed around our innate proclivity for evil; the frightening proximity of madness; haunted people and haunted spaces; and the unsettling business of being ourselves and knowing our neighbors. As an introduction to the discipline, this course will focus primarily on teaching students to be attentive, knowledgeable readers and persuasive writers. 

ENGL 203 Lec 02:
Instructor: Chris Olbey
Schedule: Mon/Wed 2:00-3:15


What is a literary canon exactly? What significance might a canon hold for literature students in the 21st century? Could a canon be a weapon? What role might canonical literature play in the colonization of people, places, and minds? Are canonical literary texts reliable representations of the best that has been thought and written or are they instruments that repress the voices of others and mask the dynamics of domination. Do canonical texts present seamless, coherent statements and objective views into historical moments or are they flawed documents; full of cracks and fissures that contain within themselves the seeds of their own demise? How is the process of decolonization of places, people, and minds, facilitated through the conversations between literary texts? What forms of literary criticism are produced through the direct engagement of modern writers with classical and canonical literary texts? 

This course will provide instruction in critical reading and writing, and expose students to the techniques and skill set required for successful work in the English program through the exploration of how two twentieth century writers develop narrative responses to classic, canonical examples of English literature. Why would later writers take the time to engage so deeply with stories from previous historical moments? What types of debts do the later writers owe to the earlier ones in terms of story, structure, and social commentary? How do the later stories alter our initial reading and understanding of the earlier narratives? How do the later stories illuminate gaps or give voice to silences in the earlier narratives? What is the relationship between history, historical struggles and literary fiction? Our analytical engagement with these stories - reading, thinking, discussion, research and writing - will produce an exploration of these and other questions, challenges, issues and implications, generated through and connected to these examples of literary responses to cornerstone texts in the English literary tradition. 

ENGL 203 Lec 03: "Inside the Laboratory of Literature"
Instructor: Maria Zytaruk
Schedule: Tue/Thu 3:30-4:45


Course texts selected from various time periods will assist us in probing the human propensity for conducting scientific experiments and for compiling observations of natural phenomena. Among the themes of the course will be the ways in which scientific experiments embed cultural assumptions and power structures. As an introduction to the discipline, this course will focus primarily on teaching students to be attentive, knowledgeable readers and persuasive writers.