ENGL 200 Q1 - Intro to Lit and Culture
Introduction to the study of literature in the twenty-first century. This course will expand your sense of what literature is and where it happens, including discussion of old and new literary forms (from novels, poems, and plays to comic books, video games, and films). Along the way, students will explore some of the literary and cultural opportunities (such as author readings, scholarly talks, and performances) available to them on a large public university campus, with two goals in mind: to develop your critical interpretive skills and to acquaint you with the discipline of literary studies as it is being practiced all around us today, both inside and outside the conventional classroom.
This is a course about what it means to read literature in the twenty-first century. The literary critic Frederic Jameson has written -there have been few moments in modern social history in which people have felt more powerless- or more dismal about their future. If this is true, what then is literature, the supposed practice of representing and reviving life, in the 21st century- Do people in books feel realer than people in life (or quite the opposite)- How about in visual art, film, or music . . . or in something as small and ephemeral as a flyer or a photograph- As we follow the expanding category of literature, which today can include all of these things (and many others), we will ask what it can do for us and what we can do with it. We will do this individually and en masse, as a cadre of sympathetically-linked co-readers: a class committed to thinking about what it means to need, love, and use literature today, on planet earth and at the University of Illinois, circa 2020
Option 1Number of Required Visit(s): 0
Course Level: Undergraduate