English 100

The Seminar on Criticism: Close Reading

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2021 Gang, Joshua
TTh 5-6:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung: Dictee; Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Other Readings and Media


Additional readings will be available either through bCourses or a course reader (TBA).



This junior seminar will give students the chance to sharpen and develop their practice as close readers—and it will do so through an examination of close reading’s histories, pedagogies, methodological controversies, and political implications. Readings will be a combination of critical texts as well as primary texts that were either particularly important during close reading’s history or which resonate with the seminar’s conversations.

Critical readings will likely include those by: Matthew Arnold, Cleanth Brooks, Kenneth Burke, Rachel Sagner Buurma and Laura Heffernan, Paul de Man, T.S. Eliot, William Empson, Jane Gallop, Barbara Johnson, Paula Moya, F.R. Leavis, John Crow Ransom, I.A. Richards, Laura Riding and Robert Graves, Eve Sedgwick, Oscar Wilde, W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley, Robert Penn Warren and others. Literary readings will likely include those by: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, John Donne, Zora Neale Hurston, John Keats, Herman Melville, John Milton, Stevie Smith, Wallace Stevens, William Wordsworth, William Butler Yeats, and others.

Evaluation will be based on short critical papers, presentations, and participation.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List