ENGL 714 (01) - Critical Skills

Critical Skills

Durham   Liberal Arts :: English
Credits: 4.0
Term: Fall 2022 - Full Term (08/29/2022 - 12/12/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   25  
CRN: 16196
This course provides training in critical analysis of various texts (literature, film, and media). Criticism is often applied to the hot-button issues of the day. We ask questions like: How does gender shape the way we read? How to interpret texts in a globalized world? Does the truth matter? This course satisfies a post-1800 literature requirement for English Department majors; may be taken for elective credit by English Teaching Majors. Prereq: ENGL 419 or equivalent.
Registration Approval Required. Contact Instructor or Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Equivalent(s): ENGL 617
Classes not allowed in section: Freshman
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
Instructors: Petar Ramadanovic

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
8/29/2022 12/12/2022 MW 2:10pm - 3:30pm HS 240
Additional Course Details: 

Fall 2022 Detailed Description

What is truth? Does it matter? If all views are relative, are fake news just one among many views? What does gender have to do with all that? And race and sexual orientation? What about the environment? Why do we often leave class – as in working class -- out of our consideration of identity? And why is identity an analytic category at all?

And, further, why do we discuss the above questions in a class on literature?

These and related questions will be analyzed in detail in the context of XIX century Imperialism. Our entry text, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, will serve as a test case introducing very specific time and place, as West encounters Africa. We will see how imperialism and patriarchy relate to one another (to inform a discourse about race and gender) and will learn to use terms such as the unconscious, ideology, cultural construction, deconstruction, cultural relativism, and so on, which we will bring to bear on differences that define personal and collective identities in our world today. And yes, Critical Race Theory (CRT) will be our topic, too.

We will also devote a lot of our time to learning how to analyze arguments effectively, how to ask practical and theoretical questions, how to organize your argument and support your claims, how to use concepts – all this in order to be able to think critically.

ENGL 714 satisfies the Theory Requirement for English: Literature majors.

In Fall 2022 ENGL 714 may be taken to satisfy the Race Requirement by English department majors. 

ENGL 714 may be taken as an upper-level elective by general English majors and all other majors housed in the English Department.

In Fall 2022 ENGL 714 may be taken for Capstone credit by English department majors if it is not used to satisfy any other requirement areas. Pick up a Capstone Declaration form in the main English office (HS 230F) if interested.