English 5000 Introduction to Methods & Issues in English Studies
Section 001 CRN 90844
Introduction to Methods and Issues in English Studies 1900-2130 R
“From the point of view of things themselves”
This course is designed for the advanced study of current methods and issues in literary studies in English. Such fields of inquiry include narrative theory, thing theory, labor theory, cultural studies theory, “recessive action” theory, object-oriented ontology theory, psychoanalytic theory, and animal studies theory. 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.
We will spend significant time on 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 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?