English H195A

Honors Course

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2020 Langan, Celeste
TTh 3:30-5

Book List

Barthes, R.: S/Z; Culler, J.: Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; Muller, J. P.: The Purloined Poe;

Recommended: Leitch, V., et al.: Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism


In the fall semester we will consider what makes a research question, problem, or project a significant one. Does it merely involve choosing to study a "significant" writer or text? (And what makes some writers/texts more significant than others?) Or do new issues and objects emerge as significant in response to different historical conjunctures and intellectual agendas? Together we will read and discuss essays that raise key issues about representation, imagination, communication, interpretation, and critique, undertaking what might be called (after "The Purloined Letter") "a thorough research of the premises" of literary study. Individually, students will consult with me to construct bibliographies on specific texts or issues relevant to their own interests, and use these bibliographies to define a compelling, workable thesis topic. Each student will participate in a "working group" responsible for designing a week's syllabus, choosing the texts and leading discussion of them.

Prospective students should read Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction over the summer. They should also begin to consider a writer or text or issue for research. A useful strategy in this selection might be: what writer or text or subject matter has most challenged or cemented my ideas about what literature is and what happens when it is read? 

Please click here to read details about H195A prerequisites, how to apply, and how and when students will be informed of the results of their applications.

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 (and bearing in mind the indicated attachments you will need to include).

The deadline for completing this application process has been extended to 11 PM, MONDAY, JUNE 15. 

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