ENGL 301 (Section 004, Schedule #34560)
Virginia Commonwealth University
Fall 2019
TR 12:30-1:45pm :: Hibbs 430
Prof. David Golumbia
Office: 333 Hibbs Hall
Fall 2019 Office Hours: TR 2-3:30

Introduction to the English Major

This class provides an overview of the study of literature and interpretation. Our focus will be on understanding the variety of approaches used in the discipline. We’ll read both original literature and criticism about that literature, exploring the many ways that readers and writers respond to and make sense of textual expression. The class is taught primarily by discussion, and significant attention will be devoted to the construction of solid interpretive essays about literature, including workshopping each other’s papers and doing other classroom exercises about the written interpretation of literature and media.


Texts for purchase (note that in some cases, students are required to obtain the specific edition of the book listed below):

Assignments and Evaluation

Evaluation will be based on written exercises and course participation as follows:

Course-Specific Policies

Official VCU Policy Statements

Please consult the Provost's official page on topics such as classroom conduct, email, the Honor System, and other important policy issues.

Week-by-Week Syllabus

Week One. Introduction. No reading.

Week Two. Best American Short Stories

Week Three. Culler, Literary Theory

Week Four. Best American Short Stories

Week Five. No classes

Week Six. The Metamorphosis (all readings listed from 2016 Norton Critical Edition)

Week Seven. The Metamorphosis (all readings listed from 2016 Norton Critical Edition)

Week Eight. Hughes, The Ways of White Folks

Week Nine. No classes

Week Ten. Harriet Jacobs

Week Eleven. Harriet Jacobs

Week Twelve. Faulkner (all readings from The Portable Faulkner)

Week Thirteen. Faulkner (all readings from The Portable Faulkner)

Week Fourteen. The House on Mango Street

Week Fifteen. No classes

Week Sixteen. Paper conferences

Final paper is due by the end of the final exam period for the course, 3:20pm, Tues, Dec 10, 2019, per the registrar's exam schedule. The paper should be submitted on Blackboard. No late papers can be accepted for the final paper assignment. There is no other final exam for the course.

Last updated  October 30, 2019.