English 301 FEE
MWF 11:00-11:50
Reg. # 14040

Clemens 103

Rick Feero
126 Clemens Hall
Phone: 645-0720
Mail: 306 Clemens Hall



The purpose of this course is to introduce the craft of literary criticism, including the techniques of close reading, cultural critique, and historical analysis; a variety of literary theories; and strategies for researching, writing and revising critical papers.  We’ll seek familiarity with key journals in the field of literary studies, with major critics, and with the use of manuscripts and historical documents—both in the library and in on-line databases.  In short, English majors can use this class as an entrance into the discipline’s conversations and codes, developing the cultural capital of literary studies.  We’ll read some heavily worked literary texts, including selections from Doyle, Dickinson, Gilman, James, and Stevens,  and sample from a number of perspectives on these works, including reader-response, feminist, psychoanalytic, deconstructive, new-historicist, and Marxist criticism.  In order to test this material and make it our own, we’ll keep a common-place journal, engage in a weekly discussion board, and write several shorter informal pieces that explore and interrogate the readings.  The main writing project will be researching, drafting, reviewing and revising a 12 page formal essay that can take its place in the field.

Required Texts

  • Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-969134-0
  • Henry James; Peter G. Beidler (Editor), The Turn of the Screw. Bedford/Saint Martin's, 2010. ISBN 978-0-312-59706-1