ENG304 201902 Undergraduate

Winter 2020
ENG 304
Applies To: 
Foundations of the English Major: Context

Lara Bovilsky

Lara Bovilsky profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-1309
  • Office: 246 PLC
  • Office Hours: Fall term: Monday 1-3pm, Thursday 9-10am, or by appointment

Paul Peppis

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  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Director, Oregon Humanities Center
  • Phone: 541-346-7017
  • Office: 154 PLC
  • Office Hours: Fall term: Tuesdays 2:00-5:00 pm, except week of 10/21-25: M (10/21) 1:00-4:00pm

Ben Saunders

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  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Director, Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor
  • Phone: 541-346-0062
  • Office: 273 PLC
  • Office Hours: Fall term: FRI 2-5
Department Section Description: 

ENG 304 addresses the following questions: What is a context? How do texts and history interact? We will think about these questions in relation to literary history, intellectual and aesthetic history, political history, and the history of different cultural formations and categories such as gender, race, sexuality, class, psychology, friendship, and religion. In the process, we’ll show how these histories are themselves recovered and created – products of intellectual activity and ideological forces – rather than merely given facts. By examining different kinds of texts from three different periods, we will also demonstrate how different scholars interpret the complex relationship between artistic production and historical context.


The Foundations of the English Major is a three-course series (ENG 303, ENG 304, ENG 305) that introduces students to the discipline of English as it is practiced at the University of Oregon. The series provides English majors with a common intellectual experience and a foundation for future coursework in literary, media, and cultural studies and folklore.


Old Major: Foundations of the Major

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.