English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2019 Abel, Elizabeth
TTh 11-12:30 41 Evans

Book List

Booth, Wayne.: The Craft of Research; Shakespeare, William.: The Tempest; Woolf, Virginia.: Mrs. Dalloway;

Recommended: The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition); Eagleton, Terry.: Literary Theory: An Introduction

Other Readings and Media

A course reader of critical essays, poetry, and short fiction will be available on bCourses.


H195A/B is a two-semester seminar that lays the groundwork for and guides you through the completion a 40-60 page Honors thesis on a subject of your choice. The first semester offers an inquiry into critical approaches, research methods, and theoretical frameworks. We will engage with some of the key theoretical movements and debates of the twentieth century (e.g., New Criticism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, materialism[s], feminism, postcolonial and critical race theory, affect theory). We will ground our collective inquiry in readings of a few primary texts that highlight the questions posed by specific genres (fiction, poetry, drama). The goal is to help you to define a compelling research project that will sustain your interest over several months, to conceptualize and contextualize the critical questions that enlist your keenest curiosity, to engage with secondary materials productively, to articulate the stakes of your inquiry, and to develop a persuasive critical voice and argument.

I encourage you to think about potential thesis projects over the summer. Ideally, you will have narrowed the field to a couple of options by the start of fall semester. In addition to the assigned readings, the work for that semester will entail some preliminary research, thinking, and writing that will culminate in a thesis proposal and annotated bibliography by the semester’s end.

During the spring semester students will meet with me in individual conferences and share preliminary drafts in working groups. Portions of the thesis will be submitted for feedback at regular intervals. A draft of the entire thesis will be due in early April; the final version will be due in early May.

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., may be found here.)

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 10.

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