ENGL 2011 Sections: Fall 2017

ENGL 2011 (Honors I: Literary Study through Reading and Research) is a four-credit Honors introduction to writing across the curriculum, and it fulfills the freshman English requirement for Honors students.

First-year Honors students who have not satisfied the freshman English requirement through AP, ECE, or transfer credit for ENGL 1010/1011 must take ENGL 2011 (instead of 1010 or 1011) in order to earn Sophomore Honors. This course is also strongly recommended for all first-year Honors students. Study of literature—and the development of important critical reading, writing, and information literacy skills—in the university setting is essential preparation for further study in a wide variety of fields.

There are two themed “pods” of ENGL 2011 for this semester, each of which consists of multiple sections supervised by an English faculty member.

Modern Immigrant Narratives

America is known as a country of immigrants, a “melting pot,” the land of opportunities and a welcoming place for those in need. This, at least, is the story we have learned from the traditional immigrant narratives, found easily in popular literature and film. In this class, however, we will study modern immigrant narratives that challenge the traditional model and tell a more complex story. These new narratives, consisting of books, films, and even TV shows produced in the recent years, will help us consider the most pressing (and persistent) issues that shape the modern experience of immigration, such as the myth of the American dream, the question of acculturation vs. assimilation, the impact of racial and religious prejudice, changes in familial relations, globalization, and of course, the debate over immigration reform.

Austen and Austeniana

While the novels of Jane Austen have always been popular, in recent decades they have become a media sensation. Movies and mini-series have proliferated, and the novels have been adapted to other formats, such as the Emmy-winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  Characters from the novels (and even Austen herself) have appeared in detective novels and zombie thrillers; writers have composed new endings to unfinished novels and even speculated about potential Jane Austen theme parks.

Why this fascination with all things Austen?  We will attempt to answer this question through a careful reading of Austen’s major novels as well as an exploration of the many ways in which her works – and Austen herself – have become part of modern culture.  In addition to Austen’s novels, we will examine a sampling of film adaptations and fan fiction; students will be encouraged to consider the ways in which adaptation constitutes interpretation.  Course assignments will include several short writing assignments, and the second half of the semester will be dedicated to researching a final project.