English 302 is one course of a three-course sequence that offers students an introduction to the discipline of English as it is practiced at the University of Oregon, encompassing the broad range of fields, forms, and textual concerns addressed by department researchers. Designed for students beginning the major and for those seriously considering it, the ENG 301, 302, 303 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 Intro sequence will give a solid background in the history of the different kinds of texts we study, from the Medieval period to the present, as well as in the theory, key debates, and critical reading practices of the discipline. We emphasize these reading and writing strategies not only because they are foundations within the discipline of English, but because they offer a powerful set of interpretive practices that help us to engage with larger humanistic questions being asked beyond the walls of the classroom. The department strongly encourages you to take these courses sequentially. If necessary, you may begin the sequence with ENG 301 or ENG 302 but not with ENG 303.
English 302 orients students to the intellectual rationale behind the English major by presenting the discipline’s history and debates including various modes and approaches to reading texts. This includes introducing students to many of the major methodologies and theories which have informed the genre of literary criticism from its origins up to the present day. Theories covered in this class include philological, biographical, close/textual, feminist, structural, and post-structural approaches; and methodologies which analyze issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The course also models how these theories work as interpretive tools by showcasing their use in reading the same literary text, an approach which will allow students to compare and evaluate different and sometimes contradictory interpretations of the same material.
This course is organized around three central texts relating to the subject of female authors/subjects; students read these texts alongside essays that model methods of theoretical engagement. For the Medieval section of this course, we will discuss different theoretical approaches to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale. In the nineteenth-century section of this course we will discuss several critical/theoretical approaches to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). The Newer Media component will address film theory and criticism, focusing on classical Hollywood cinema.
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.