Spring 2013 Course Descriptions
English 5000 Introduction to Methods & Issues in English Studies
Section 001 CRN 31653
Introduction to Methods & Issues in English Studies 1900-2130 T
From the Point of View of Things Themselves
This course is designed for the advanced study of current methods and issues in English. Such fields of inquiry include literary form, history, psychology, gender, class, race, and disability. Based broadly in the study of narrative, the course will introduce students to the basic tools for discourse analysis at the graduate level. However, since the course introduces new ways of looking at textual objects through major theoretical approaches, it will also introduce new ways of looking at objects in all of their objecthood. That is, some of the most recent theoretical approaches to texts encourage a fresh look at texts and objects—and even human beings—as themselves equally observant, equally meaningful. The two approaches with which we will spend significant time are object-oriented ontology and animal studies. Ranging from a study of literature and culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the novels of J. M. Coetzee (especially The Lives of Animals, Foe, and Disgrace) and Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go), our readings will trace the connections between imagining and narrating the inner lives of people and things, and treating people and things accordingly. If it is no coincidence that narratives of all sorts have one thing in common—that they must center on a person, or a thing that shows the features of a person—the questions still remains: what does it mean to have a story to tell?