Fall 2018 Undergraduate English Courses

359:210 Introduction to Literary Theory

01 MTH3 CAC 11735 DIENST MU-301

What do writers do when they write? What do readers do when they read? What is creativity? These are theoretical questions about everyday practices that reach far beyond what we usually call “literature.” We will try to pursue these questions in a creative way, experimenting with different modes of writing and reading throughout the semester. The syllabus will include some famous scribblers (Montaigne, Thoreau, Woolf); we’ll also read what some theorists (Giorgio Agamben, Lewis Hyde) have said about artistic practices. Finally, we’ll read some contemporary authors (Rebecca Solnit, Patti Smith) who show us what readers and writers can do now.

The course will require everyone to write throughout the semester. The exact organization of that writing requirement—whether it will take the form of journals, letters, blogs, essays, and/or other things—will be negotiated in class. This course is designed for people who like to read and write as a regular part of their lives.

This course fulfills the Theory requirement for the English major, and counts as an Arts and Humanities course  (AHo) in the Core Curriculum.