ENG 301 is the first part of the year-long Foundations of the English Major series. English 301 will study literary and cultural texts with a focus on the following questions: What is a cultural context? How are cultural contexts tied to the historical imagination? To answer these questions, each part of the course studies its literary and media forms within their cultural and historical contexts. The course will teach students how different methodologies help us discover the cultural, historical, biographical, and archival concerns that frame our understandings of and approaches to each text. These are the foundational skills that you will continue to practice as English majors.
Foundations of the English Major courses are for students beginning the major and for those seriously considering it, the ENG 301-2-3 sequence provides a common intellectual experience for majors and a foundation for future studies in English, American, and Anglophone literatures, media, and folklore. A full year of study in the Foundations sequence is intended to give English majors a solid background in the theory, key debates, and critical reading practices of the discipline as well as a sense of the history of the different kinds of texts we study, from the Medieval period to the present.