ENGL 2000: Ways of Reading
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Who decides what texts mean? Why are some interpretations better than others? How much does the author’s intention matter? How does language generate meaning? In this foundational course, we will study a variety of texts, including some classic literature, as we consider major debates about meaning and interpretive practices that have emerged throughout the last hundred years.¶ 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, 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 readings difficult at first. But the course is also enjoyable and will help you gain the skills you’ll need to read and write critically about all kinds of texts, not just literary ones. We will read poems and a novel, but we will also be interpreting videos, essays, photographs, and other kinds of “texts” you encounter every day (and yes, a photograph can be read as a text—we’ll learn how and why). Different sections of the course take up major issues of concern in literary and cultural studies, issues like authorship, language, reading, subjectivity, ideology, aesthetics, and history.¶ This course is a requirement for English majors and minors (but not for the writing minor). It fulfills a requirement in the SCW core curriculum: “Interpreting Literature and the Arts.” Pre-Requisite: English 1100 or 1200H.¶ Overall Goals for the Course • Students will be introduced to current theoretical approaches to literature and language. • Students will develop new tools for analyzing and discussing texts and ideas. • Students will learn to assess and refine the content and quality of their own thinking. • Students will develop sound research skills to structure and inform their thinking. • Students will study two major literary works in-depth and from a variety of perspectives.
Miller, M. (2022, Fall). Syllabus, ENGL 2000: Ways of Reading. Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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