ENG-L 495: Senior Seminar in English
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30am to 12:45pm
What’s the use of an English degree? Here’s an even better question: how many times have you been asked this question? What was your response? Did you have one?
This course will provide you with both the tools and the space to construct your own response to this question. To that end, our semester will take a somewhat eclectic itinerary through several different sites. The first part of the semester (Unit I) will be devoted to exploring the relatively short history of English as a discipline and as a department/program on most (if not all) university campuses in the US. After studying the institutional foundations and historical roots of modern English departments, you will build on what you’ve learned in courses like Critical Practices and Literary Interpretation by examining the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of much contemporary scholarship in English studies (Unit II).
The second half of the semester (Unit III) will rely on the insights we glean from this historical, institutional, and conceptual overview of English studies to help you develop a practical and strategic response to our semester’s guiding question—what am I going to do with this degree? Working closely with me and a faculty advisor of your choice, the semester will culminate in your own creative or scholarly project.
ENG-W 131: Reading, Writing, & Inquiry
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00am to 11:15am
ENG-W 131 teaches skills of critical reading, thinking, and writing to help students meaningfully engage artifacts, events, and issues in our world. The course builds students’ abilities to read written and cultural texts critically; to analyze those texts in ways that engage both students’ own experiences and the perspectives of others; and to write about those texts for a range of readers and purposes as a means of participating in broader conversations. Assignments emphasize the analysis and synthesis of sources in the process of making and developing claims and building arguments.
In this particular section of ENG-W 131, we will explore how digital communication technologies like smartphones and social media have reshaped not only how we go about our daily lives, but also how we learn, communicate, and think. So, as we learn about the writing process, rhetorical situations, the “moves” of academic writing, how to workshop drafts, and effective strategies for revision, all of our readings, discussions, and writing projects will be centered around this guiding theme.