English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2017 Serpell, C. Namwali
TTh 12:30-2 305 Wheeler

Book List

Parks, Suzan-Lori: Topdog/Underdog; Stevenson, Robert Louis: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde;

Recommended: Leitch , Vincent B.: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Other Readings and Media

Online coursepack with essays on: narrative theory, poetics, film theory, linguistics, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, ideology, and identity.


This two-semester course is designed as an accompaniment to the writing of your Honors Thesis. The fall semester prepares you to write this long essay (40-60 pages) on a topic and texts of your choosing. It will behoove you to decide on that topic and/or those texts before we begin. As a class, we will read some literary theory and critical essays that offer different approaches to analyzing and writing about texts. The readings will not necessarily be lengthy, but they will be intense and sometimes difficult. Along the way, you will each do some preliminary research, outlining, and writing, which will culminate in your thesis prospectus. Throughout the semester, we will focus on negotiating the challenges of composing an essay of this length; developing efficient research methods; engaging critically with secondary material; organizing your thoughts; and honing the writing and rhetorical skills that will yield lucid, cogent, and perhaps even beautiful theses.

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

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