Students in this course will closely read Shakespeare’s plays and poems, attending to their rich language, nuanced characters, and persistent fascination toward topics of the self, desire, imagination, and group identity. In the first part of the course, students will look at examples from several recent critical approaches to Shakespeare, including animal studies, post-colonial studies, sense studies, and queer theory. In the second part, students will learn about how Shakespeare became “Shakespeare,” the iconic figure of popular and high culture, examining how different cultures and eras have re-interpreted his plays and biography.
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.
Literature, 1500-1789 courses focus on writings during the period of European exploration and colonization -- from the early English Renaissance to the late eighteenth-century -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history. Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them. The study of early periods in particular sensitizes readers to historical transformations of the language itself.