English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Hale, Dorothy J.
MW 3:30-5 305 Wheeler

Book List

Booth, et al., Wayne: The Craft of Research, 2nd ed.; Eagleton, Terry: Literary Theory: An Introduction, 3rd edition; MLA: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.;

Recommended: Lentricchia, et al., Frank: Critical Terms for Literary Study

Other Readings and Media

Required course reader is available from Copy Central, 2576 Bancroft Way.  Contact: <bancroft@copycentral.com>  510-848-8649.  Pre-order on-line before 5pm and reader will be ready by 8am the next day.


H195 is a two-semester course that gives students the training they need to conduct original research and develop their findings into a successful scholarly essay, 40-60 pages in length.

Crucial to this enterprise is an understanding of interpretative methods.  What kind of criticism will you practice?  Which scholarly conversation will you seek to join?  To help orient you in the field, the fall semester of H195 gives students the opportunity to learn about the major theoretical movements that have helped shape literary study as its now conducted.  Special attention will be given to theories of close reading (New Critical, psychoanalytic, deconstructive); structuralist theories (linguistic, ideological, discursive, narrative); and theories of identity (gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, post-colonial).  Since many of the assigned essays are also superb examples of effective argumentation, our consideration of method will also extend to writerly practices such as thesis construction, rhetorical techniques and uses of evidence.

The most important requirement for the course is curiosity.  What would you like to know more about?  What author, issue, or era would you like to spend a year thinking about?  Some students begin the class with a strong intuition about what they might like to do; others are wrestling with two or three research ideas.  These are happy problems and can be sorted out in consultation with the professor.  But do not sign up for the Honors Course if you can’t imagine immersing yourself in a topic of your own choosing for a full year.

By the beginning of October, research topics should be in place.  You will be expected to work closely with the Humanities Librarian to develop expertise in navigating scholarly resources.  A prospectus and bibliography are required by the end of the fall term.  Students who have satisfactorily completed the fall course requirements will receive the grade of IP for the fall term. Written work includes a short analysis of one of the assigned works of criticism.  All written work for the fall will be graded.

In the spring semester, students organize into writing groups and meet regularly to help one another with their independent research.  There are a few required meetings of the class as a whole, a modest amount of assigned reading, and no written work other than the Honors thesis.  A complete draft of the thesis is due before spring break.

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 Academic Summary (go into Cal Central, click your "My Academics" tab, then click "View Academic Summary" and "Print as PDF"),

• a PDF of your non-UC Berkeley transcript(s), if any,

• 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 11 PM, FRIDAY, MAY 12.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List