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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2007

E 314L • Literary Contests and Contexts

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34990 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
PAR 204
NEIMANN

Course Description

"Literary Contests & Contexts" will introduce prospective English majors to a variety of approaches to literature. Students will read, interpret, and write about literary texts by considering: linguistic and stylistic elements, structure and genre, textual history, and the social conditions and cultural conflicts that shaped each work and its reception.

While our emphasis will be on close critical analysis of each work, the selected texts all have an explicit interest in "popular" or "mass" culture and the exchanges between literature and the reading public. As we read, we will explore views on "high" versus "low" culture, aesthetics, and the influence of the market. This focus will help us ask the following questions: How does each work respond to or challenge other works? How have audiences valued these works? What kinds of readers do these works envision for themselves?

Students will read a variety of short selections intended to provide historical background and models for critical analysis.

Grading Policy

Weekly writing assignments, participation 20%
Precis and research plans 20%
Two essays, with revisions 20% each
Take home final 20%

Texts

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
E.M. Forster, Howards End
T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland"
Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust
Don DeLillo, White Noise
Selected critical readings

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