English 201: Materials and Methods of Literary Research

Professor Noelle Brada-Williams
Email: awilli@email.sjsu.edu (please note that this address does not take attachments)
 Spring 2005 Office Hours: MW 10:30-11:30 AM, T& TH 6:30-7 PM and additional times by appointment
Office: FO 110
Phone: 924-4439
English Department, San Jose State University

This course introduces graduate students to the resources, techniques, and standards of scholarly work in the discipline of literary studies.  Together we will study the role of the individual scholar within the academic community, and explore various forms of scholarly activity.  Students will learn to find, utilize, and evaluate electronic resources, bibliographies, indexes and scholarly journals and other publications.  They may then apply these skills in other courses and activities.

Course Objectives:
1.  To explore a range of literary research resources and methods.
2.  To examine the evolving field(s) of literary and cultural studies.
3.  To gain a familiarity with some common and useful forms of academic writing.
4.  To introduce students to various avenues of professional activity.


Review of an Article 4-6 page analysis 20%
Proposal and Annotated Bibliography one page proposal plus min. of 10 annotated entries  30%
Comparative literary analysis 10-12 page essay comparing two different approaches to a single literary text  30%
Participation Oral presentations, overall attendance & informal assignments  20%
Total 100%
The formal graded assignments will be joined by "informal" group and classroom assignments which will be considered in the participation grade. These may include (but are not limited to) oral presentations summarizing a published essay, presentations on the students own writing and research projects, and group work.

Major Assignments:

The three major graded assignments (#1: review of an article, #2: proposal and annotated bibliography, and #3: comparative analysis) may be connected in terms of subject matter, thus allowing you to build on your knowledge as the course progresses.  You may also use the knowledge gained in 201 assignments to support your work in other courses or vice-versa.  However, you need to speak to all of the instructors involved if you plan to use not just the knowledge but segments of your actual written text for credit in more than one course.  The three assignments are meant to provide practice in some common genres of scholarly work: the short review essay, the grant or conference proposal, annotated bibliography, and conference paper.


Required Texts:
Altick, Richard D. and John J. Fenstermaker.  The Art of Literary Research. 4th ed.  New York: Norton, 1993.
Austen, Jane.  Emma. Ed. Alistair M. Duckworth.  Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.  New York: Bedford St. Martin's, 2002.
Gibaldi, Joseph.  The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd ed.  New York: MLA, 1998.
Greenblatt, Stephen and Giles Gunn, eds.  Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies.  New York: MLA, 1992.
Kaplan, Charles and William Davis Anderson.  Criticism: Major Statements. 4th ed.  New York; Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000.
In addition, students should budget for some Xerox expenses, possibly a bound reader.  An email account is also required.

Optional Texts:
Harner, James L.  Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English.  3rd ed.  New York: MLA, 1998.
Eagleton, Terry.  Literary Theory: An Introduction.  2nd ed.  Minneapolis, MN: U Minnesota P, 1996.
Quinn, Arthur.  Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase.  Salt Lake City UT, Gibbs M. Smith, 1982.

Reading and Writing Schedule
Week One: Introduction
February 1, T: Introductions & assignment of chapters in Redrawing the Boundaries.  Written assignments for the entire semester will also be discussed.

Week Two: The State of Our Discipline at the Present Time
February 8, T: Students present brief summaries of assigned chapters in Redrawing the Boundaries.  Students also read Greenblatt & Gunn's "Introduction" (RB 1-11 -- and any other section which may be useful to your interests).

Week Three: The Art of Literary Research
February 15: Discuss all of Art of Literary Research (to page 275) and pages 1-10 of MLA Style Manual

Week Four: Library Research Workshop
February 22: Meet in King Library room 217 with Librarian Judy Reynolds. Begin thinking about what you would like to do for the analysis due March 9. Use this week of no assigned reading to get ahead on Emma. Receive handout for textual criticism assignment due next week.

Week Five: Introduction to Textual Scholarship
March 1: Read D.C. Greetham,"Textual Scholarship" (Xeroxes). Short textual criticism assignment is due.  Continue reading Emma, and working on your first formal writing project.

Week Six: Paper One Due
March 8: 5-6 page Review/Analysis of one article (chosen from a scholarly journal) due.  Discuss Emma (21-381) plus "A Critical History of Emma" (405-424).

Week Seven: Formalist Criticisms
March 15: T.S. Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent," Cleanth Brooks' "Keat's Sylvan Historian: Historian without Footnotes," Northrop Frye's "The Archetypes of Literature," and Roland Barthes, "The Structuralist Activity" (4404-410 & 5-492 of Criticism) and Wayne Booth's "Distance in Emma" (Xeroxes).

Week Eight: Introduction to Historicist/Materialist Criticisms
March 22: "Marxist Criticism and Emma" and "Cultural Criticism and Emma" (456-523).  Excerpt of Terry Eagleton's "Marxism and Literary Criticism (Crit 525-543) and something by Raymond Williams (TBA).

Spring Break: March 26-April 3

Week Nine: Student Research Projects
April 5, T: One-page Proposal and Annotated Bibliography due. "Feminist Criticism and Emma" (559-593) and Nina Baym's "Melodramas of Beset Manhood" (586-602) plus Gilbert and Gubar's "Tradition and the Female Talent: Modernism and Masculinism" (683-695).

Week Ten: Deconstruction and Poststructuralism
April 12, T: Read Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play,î Paul de Man, "Semiology and Rhetoric" and Barbara Johnson, "A Hound, a Bay Horse, and a Turtle Dove: Obscurity in Walden" (Criticism 493-510, 559-572, & 654-661).

Week Eleven: Academic Style (and Gender Criticism)
April 19, T: Read Gerald Graff essay (xerox) and Eve Kosofky Sedgwick, excerpt of Epistemology of the Closet (Criticism).  Plus "Gender Criticism" section of Duckworthís Emma (425-455).

Week Twelve: New Historicism
April 26, T: ìThe New Historicism and Emmaî (524-558) plus Stephen Greenblattís "Shakespeare and the Exorcists," (Criticism 630-653), and Louis Montrose essay (RB 392-418).

Week Thirteen: Psychoanalytic Criticism: Case Study on Poe
May 3, T: Edgar Allen Poe's "The Purloined Letter," Shoshana Felman's "The Case of Poe" and Slavoj Zizek "Two Ways to Avoid the Real of Desire" (Criticism 662-682 and xeroxes).

Week Fourteen: Race/Postcolonial Criticism
May 10, T: Henry Louis Gates,  "The Trope of the Talking Book" (Criticism 696--742).and Homi Bhabha, "The Postcolonial and the Postmodern: The Question of Agency" (Criticism 763-781) and/or a piece by Edward Said (Xerox).

Week Fifteen: The Fruits of Your Labor
May 17, T: Ten-twelve page (conference-length) essay comparing and analyzing the interpretation of a given text by two or more forms of interpretation.  Students will present brief presentations of their work.

Finals Week Meeting:
May 24, Tuesday 7-9:45 PM: We will use this time for additional presentations and discussion of the final projects.