English CRI 200A - Fall, 2015

Class Information

Instructor: Watkins, Evan
Time: R 12:10-3:00
Location: 308 Voorhies


    In this course I would like to balance some basic work in critical theory with opportunities for each of you to configure course readings and discussion toward your specific research and teaching interests. Typically this course enrolls students from several different departments, which offers wonderful opportunities for collaborative learning, but also some special responsibilities. I will of course expect you to keep up with readings and SmartSite postings, and do your individual papers. I will also ask you to work closely with others in the class and be respectful of their interests that may well differ considerably from yours.
    For roughly the first half of the term we’ll work out of the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism and Volume 1 of Capital with what I would think of as instrumental texts, i.e. texts rarely referred to directly anymore because “everybody” assumes that “everybody” already knows them—which usually means that nobody can admit not knowing them. We can’t do all of these of course, but we’ll try to do enough that everyone in class gets to be included in that “everybody.” Around midterm I’ll have you turn in a relatively short (6-8 pg.) paper on specific concepts in these texts that you feel have had a strong influence on your own area of interest and on your teaching.
    In the second meeting of the term we will discuss topics and tentative group assignments for the second half of the term. Each group will assign and post readings one week in advance and then lead class discussion for your topic. I’ll try to work very closely with each group to decide on the readings and how best to present them to the class. At the end of the term, I will ask for another short (6-8 pg.) paper from each of you, focused on your individual take on the discussion/readings in your group in relation to your research interests.