Semester One 2011
Introduction to English
An introduction to the academic study of literature, designed to provide fundamental skills. The emphasis is on small group instruction in the writing of essays.
Reading – making sense of signs – is an integral part of our lives. As social beings we are constantly interpreting signs from our environment and other people. We speak of "reading a situation" and "reading body language"; we refer to a person who perfectly understands our thoughts as a "mind reader". As well as allowing us to make sense of our world, reading offers us access to other realities and other minds. It makes us think but it also makes us feel; reading can produce fear or delight, tears or laughter.
In studying English we sharpen our reading skills by engaging with a variety of complex and powerful texts and by reflecting consciously on how we respond to them. This kind of reading develops core skills essential for learning at university and beyond: critical thinking, analysis, interpretation, knowledge acquisition, evaluation and judgment.
The first of the texts we study in ENGL102 is Bram Stoker's Dracula, a novel that conveys the eerie power of reading, using images and characters that are still being re-read and re-written in contemporary culture, from True Blood to Twilight. We then turn to poetry to explore how some of the most important writers in English have gone about creating the relationship between reader, world and text. In the second half of the course we will read Alice in Wonderland, exploring both the kind of childhood caught by Lewis Carroll and how his famous story makes brilliant use of language to poke fun at Victorian England. ENGL102 concludes with Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, which re-tells a classic story from a new perspective, demonstrating what happens when readers become writers.
There will be two lectures a week, accompanied by a weekly tutorial in which students meet in small groups with tutors who will help them clarify material from lectures and learn the skills and methods associated with the writing of academic essays.
• Acquisition of skills in advanced critical reading.
• Improvement of skills in essay writing.
• Increased knowledge of specific texts and their historical and cultural contexts.
• Familiarity with concepts integral to the study of English at university level including genre, context, ideology, modernity, humanism, colonialism, gender and sexuality.
Tutorial placements for this courses will take place in the first week of term.
Passage analysis exercise, 1000 words
Formal essay, 1700 words
Alice in Wonderland;
Wide Sargasso Sea;
ENGL 102 is NOT designed for those wishing to learn the English language. Students enrolling for the course should be able to write grammatically correct English.
For further information see
School of Humanities.
All ENGL102 Occurrences
Semester One 2011