English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2016 Marno, David
TTh 11-12:30 211 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

See below.


The Honors Thesis is a long research essay. Length, however, is not the only way it differs from every essay you have ever written in the English Department. In most literature classes, the function of essay assignments is to help you deepen your engagement with the readings within the course. In Honors, we reverse this order, and our goal in reading literary and critical texts is to help you write an essay on a subject of your own choosing, using your own archive. Most of the actual research and writing will take place in the Spring, when you will work closely with your peers in the course, with your faculty mentor, and with me. In the Fall, we will be preparing for the Spring semester’s research and writing process by reading a selection of criticism from Aristotle to T. S. Eliot, Roland Barthes, Hayden White, Eve Sedgwick and other critics in a ruthlessly pragmatic way, with the sole purpose of learning what we can and should (and sometimes what we cannot or shouldn’t) imitate from the ways these authors write about texts. In addition to exemplary critical works, we will read a small selection of prose and poetry by John Donne, Heinrich Kleist, Emily Dickinson, and Jorge Luis Borges, and use the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics to understand fundamental categories such as metaphor and metonymy, oral and scribal culture, the sublime and the uncanny.

You do not have to come to this class knowing what you want to write about. That’s what the first semester is for, and the course is designed to have a certain flexibility built into it to accommodate your specific needs. Short assignments throughout the Fall will help you think about your research topic, which you will be asked to describe in a brief proposal by the end of the semester. All readings will be posted on bCourses and also available for purchase as a course reader.

Students who satisfactorily complete H195A-B (the Honors Course) will satisfy the Research Seminar requirement for the English major. (More details about H195A prerequisites, how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications, etc., are in the paragraph about the Honors Course on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes.)

To be considered for admission to this course, you will need to electronically apply by:

     • Clicking on the link below and filling out the application you will find there, bearing in mind that you will also need to attach:

     • a PDF of your college transcript(s),

     • a PDF of your spring 2016 course schedule,

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a critical paper that you wrote for another class (the length of this paper not being as important as its quality), and

     • a PDF (or Word document) of a personal statement, including why you are interested in taking this course and indicating your academic interest and, if possible, the topic or area you are thinking of addressing in your honors thesis.

The deadline for completing this application is midnight, FRIDAY, MAY 13.

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