ENG305 201903 Undergraduate

Term: 
Spring 2020
Course: 
ENG 305
Applies To: 
Undergraduate
Sections: 
Title: 
English Major Foundations: Theory
Instructors: 

Lara Bovilsky

Lara Bovilsky profile picture

Paul Peppis

Paul Peppis profile picture
  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Director, Oregon Humanities Center
  • Phone: 541-346-7017
  • Office: 154 PLC

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders profile picture
  • Title: Professor
  • Additional Title: Director, Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor
  • Phone: 541-346-0062
  • Office: 273 PLC
Department Section Description: 

The Foundations of the English Major is a three-course series (ENG 303, ENG 304, ENG 305) introducing students to the discipline of English as practiced at the University of Oregon. The series provides English majors with a common intellectual experience and a foundation for future coursework in literary studies, media and cultural studies, and folklore. English 305 introduces students to the concept of “critical theory.” This phrase refers to a diverse body of knowledge with roots in the ancient past that continues to evolve today. Many conflicting ideas fall under the heading of “theory,” but all theoretical works share at least one of four basic goals: 

  • first, to establish the objects and procedures of critical activity (by asking questions such as “what is a text?” or “what is an author?” or “what is the nature of ‘literary’ value?”); 
  • second, to formulate general principles about how meaning is generated and circulated (by exploring the way in which some acts of interpretation are legitimated while others are ruled out of bounds—a process that might require, for example, considering the material form of the text or artwork; the relative cultural status of the text or artwork, and that of its interpreters; the role of historical context; etc.); 
  • hird, to understand how acts of literary and artistic representation make things happen in the world (by, for example, stirring emotions, fostering identifications, reifying or refusing stereotypes, engaging with different ideological positions, forging collective experiences—all things that require us to think further about how emotions, identity, ideology, and collectivity might actually work);
  • and fourth, understanding how real-world beliefs, cultural formations, and institutions are created, sustained, and changed.

Because of these last two goals, to understand how acts of representation can influence and shape the world in which we live, critical theory is constantly borrowing from or in dialogue with other disciplines and bodies of knowledge: philosophy, sociology, political science, history, psychology and psychoanalysis, feminist studies, queer studies, studies of ability, environmental studies, the hard sciences, and insights from activist critique have all inspired and invigorated critical theory. This class will not attempt to offer a comprehensive survey of critical theory but will instead attempt to show through a series of examples how different texts can illuminate a specific theoretical question or debate—and vice versa. 

 

Fulfills: 

A & L

Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.

English Minor

English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts.  The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
 

Title: 
Foundations of the Major--Discussion Session
Instructors: 

Megan Reynolds

Megan Reynolds profile picture
  • Title: English Graduate Student / GE
  • Phone: 541-346-0531
  • Office: 241 PLC
Department Section Description: 

This discussion section is a space to put the methodologies you learn in the lecture sessions into practice. We will use these weekly meetings to review and cement the concepts introduced in lecture, answer lingering concerns, and prepare for upcoming assignments. You might consider this discussion section as a way to clarify and engage more deeply with the material covered in lecture each week, as well as a space to think through topics you plan to address in your written assignments.

 

Fulfills: 

A & L

Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.

English Minor

English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts.  The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
 

Title: 
Foundations of the Major--Discussion Session
Instructors: 

Megan Reynolds

Megan Reynolds profile picture
  • Title: English Graduate Student / GE
  • Phone: 541-346-0531
  • Office: 241 PLC
Department Section Description: 

This discussion section is a space to put the methodologies you learn in the lecture sessions into practice. We will use these weekly meetings to review and cement the concepts introduced in lecture, answer lingering concerns, and prepare for upcoming assignments. You might consider this discussion section as a way to clarify and engage more deeply with the material covered in lecture each week, as well as a space to think through topics you plan to address in your written assignments.

Fulfills: 

A & L

Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.

English Minor

English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts.  The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.