ENGL2000M: Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Critical Reading and Interpretation
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Who decides what texts mean? Are some interpretations better than others? Does the author’s intention matter? How does language work? In this foundational course, we will study texts of the culture around us, as well as literature, and will consider the major debates about meaning and interpretive practices that have emerged throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This course is more about how we read than what we read. The goal is to show how meaning is created through critical reading and to help you learn to read and interpret works contextually and closely. To this end, our course has several objectives: students should leave this course with a clear sense of the variety of theoretical approaches available to them as readers of texts; have a sense of why these approaches matter in apprehending all different kinds of texts; and be able to manifest their ability to read texts in different ways through verbal and written modes of communication. You may find that the issues and texts – and the language in some of the readings –difficult at first. But the course is also fun and will help you gain some of the skills you’ll need to read and write critically about all kinds of texts, not just literary ones. We will read poems and novels but we will also be reading films, advertisements, rooms, and other kinds of texts you encounter every day. Each section of the course takes up a number of major issues of concern in literary and cultural studies, issues like authorship, language, reading, subjectivity, ideology, history and difference.
Nachumi, Nora. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, ENGL2000M: Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Critical Reading and Interpretation, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.