April 23, 2020
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ENGL 103 and 104 are designed for students beginning the serious study of literature at the college level, and as such are especially appropriate for first-year students. Either ENGL 103 or ENGL 104, or junior standing, is a prerequisite for further study in English at Kenyon. Students may register for a maximum of 1 unit of 100-level courses in English, and students may not go back to take a 100-level course after taking a 200-level course.
Students who have taken ENGL 103 or ENGL 104 should advance to one of the courses numbered 210-289. These courses have been designed for and are limited to sophomores and first-year students. Like the department's 100-level courses, these classes are small in size, so that classroom interaction can be discussion-centered and so that instructors can devote more time to helping students with their writing. These courses provide an introduction to fundamental terms, techniques, and methods for the advanced study of literature. Students may expect to learn some of the following: how to do a close reading of a literary text, how to conduct research in literary study (including an introduction to library and information resources, and basic reference tools), some of the basic principles of different approaches to literary criticism, important terms used in literary analysis (including prosody in poetry courses), and the proper documentation of sources. While the subject matter of these courses sometimes parallels that of courses for upper-level students (e.g., Shakespeare, postcolonial literature), all are intended as introductions to a focused and intensive consideration of particular genres, themes, periods, or critical questions.
These are courses grounded in the advanced study of literature in English, as well as in the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to literature. These courses examine literary works from a range of historical periods, written in a wide variety of genres, and contributing to different national traditions. Through the reading of influential critical books and articles or through the instructors' modeling of different critical practices, these courses aim to teach students about the various modes of literary criticism, theory, and scholarship that constitute the current state of literary study. Thus, these courses aim to make students critically self-aware. Some of these courses will situate literary texts in their historical and cultural contexts. Others will focus on the formal concerns of genre and style. Many will require that students conduct independent research. When the subject matter of these courses overlaps with that of an ENGL course numbered from 210 to 289, these courses will provide more intensive critical study than the broad introductions of the lower-division courses. By taking courses at both curricular levels, students will thus have the opportunity to specialize in a period or genre. The prerequisites for these courses are ENGL 103 or ENGL 104 and an ENGL course numbered from 210 to 289. For students with junior standing, the course prerequisites are waived, since such students have typically written enough analytical essays to be prepared for advanced work in literary study. While these courses will constitute the bulk of the coursework of most English majors, non-majors are encouraged to enroll since contemporary literary study frequently draws upon knowledge and techniques from other disciplines.