E 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course
Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings: http://registrar.utexas.edu/schedules/
According to the Honors Thesis Manual, a thesis is "a sustained examination of a central idea or question, developed in a professional and mature manner under the guidance of a faculty supervisor and a second reader." That sounds easy enough, but how does one get there from here? This course offers something of a roadmap. Over the course of the term we will examine literary criticism from the "inside out" and hone skills essential to a successful honors thesis. Along the way, we will address a number of questions, both practicalHow do I use the MLA Bibliography? What's the difference between a footnote and an endnote?and theoreticalWhat does it mean to make an argument about literature? Who has authority in an act of interpretation? We will also consider recurrent problems in literary history, theory, and practice: authority, interpretation, and identity, among others. This course will: interrogate methods of literary and cultural interpretation; consider what it means to make literary arguments, conduct literary research, and use literary theory; help students to improve their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills.
Participation (25% of final grade). Needless to say, students are expected to be active participants in both class discussions and thesis reading group meetings. (This is, after all, an honors seminar.) Attendance is mandatory; please let me know in advance if you need to miss a class meeting. Critical Review (25% of final grade). You will produce a 4 to 6-page review of a scholarly article related to your thesis topic. Thesis Prospectus, Bibliography, and Progress Report (50% of final grade). This course will culminate in a formal prospectus, bibliography, and progress report. These documents will help to assess the state of your thesis project going into the spring semester.
Required Core Texts: William Shakespeare, King Lear; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. J. Paul Hunter, ed; Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man is Hard to Find; Li-Young Lee, The City in Which I Love You. Required Secondary Texts: Wayne Booth, et al, The Craft of Research; Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; Marjorie Garber, A Manifesto for Literary Studies; Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Recommended Secondary Texts: Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, Critical Terms for Literary Study (Second Edition); Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, Literary Theory: An Anthology (Second Edition)