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Welcome to English Studies ND Governor’s School, Summer 2009
During the Next 3 Weeks… • You’ll get a crash course in the disciplines that make up “English Studies” • You’ll read some short texts in each discipline. • You’ll do some writing in a genre of your choosing, and publish it in an online magazine you will create yourself. • You’ll publish your work as well in the National Gallery of Writing. • You’ll decide that you want to spend the rest of your of life studying one of the disciplines in ES. • Well, maybe :)
Our online schedule will tell you: • How to contact any of the teachers. • Where you need to be at any given hour. • What you’ll be doing/studying for any given hour. • What work may be due.
The online schedule… Is divided into loose segments that look something like this: • Morning Seminar • Reading and Reflection • Workshop I • Outing • Workshop II
Day 1, Mon., June 8 9:30-10:00: Announcements/Getting Started (IACC 116) 4 truths + lie 10-11:30: Morning Seminar (IACC 116)—What is English Studies? 11:30-12:00: Reading and Reflection (IACC 116) Exploring online resources of general interest to the student of English Studies: 1:00-3:00: Workshop I (IACC 116) Overview of the Magazine Project, including Editorial Boards (pre-selected) & Peer Conference Groups (self-selected). 3:00-4:00: Workshop II (IACC 116 or Jitters) • Blogger.com: define "creative writing": what is it, what's it for, whom is it for? • Online reading assignment for next day: one short story, one work of flash fiction, and selection of poems.
Day 2, Tues. June 9 9:30-11:00: Morning Seminar (IACC 116) Intro to Creative Writing and Creative Writing Studies 11:00-12:00: Reading and Reflection (IACC 116) Look at assigned stories and poems in connection with wheel. 1:00-2:00: Workshop I (IACC 116) The Oral Tradition: Spoken Word Poetry 2:00-3:00: Outing An English Major's Tour of Campus 3:00-4:00: Workshop II (IACC 116) • Running student publications. • Determine current summer's magazine goals and types of documents. • Form editorial boards and conference groups.
Literary Studies • Like just about all disciplines within English Studies, a turbulent and contested field. • Even name is contested. Use to just call it Literature, which suggests that you read and study “belletristic” works (not popular writing), and for their own sake. • “Literary Studies” suggests something broader, and raises lots of questions: • What is literature? Where and what are the boundaries? • How does one study it? • What is the role of the reader in making meaning? What is the role of the author? Of “the text itself”? Of culture and history?
There is no “natural” way to read literature! And there are still other lenses not shown here! Literature Through Multiple Lenses Freudian Lacanian Jungian or Mythic Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re always looking at the work through a particular lens. American French Multicultural (Materialist and Psychoanalytic)
Most poststructuralist ways of studying literature …regard the work of literature as something positioned in the world— the world of discourses; a world made up of texts.
Street violence Mental illness Counter cultures Male organizations The New Age man Self-discovery Auto insurance industry Terrorism 1996 Alternative communities discursive contexts Manhood in America Male bonding Postmodern humor Sadomasochism Self-help organizations Contact sports Middle-class angst Globalization The workplace Consumer culture
Norman Solomon believes Dilbert is insufficiently critical of top managers and disrespectful of ordinary working people (The Trouble with Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh, 1997) General Motors EV1 launched. The EV1 is the first electric car to go into mass production. March 6 - Chechen rebels attack Russian headquarters in Grozny. September 7 - Rap legend Tupac Shakur is shot in Las Vegas, Nevada following the Mike Tyson bout; he died 6 days later on September 13. Other novels written the same year Fight Club is part of a continuum of texts and discourses; adds to our thick description of a culture and time. 1996 wins best picture October 23 - The O.J. Simpson civil trial begins in Santa Monica, California. July 5 - Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland. MONICAGATE (well, in another 2 years) wins Emmy May 10 - 1996 Everest Disaster: A sudden storm engulfs Mount Everest with several climbing teams high on the mountain, leaving 8 dead. By the end of the month, at least 4 other climbers die in the worst season of fatalities on the mountain to date. April 16 - The NBA's 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan's lead, go on to set a new NBA record for the most wins in a season, achieving their 70th win.
Notice that putting Fight Club next to other texts of its time can reveal interesting cultural patterns. “Manhood” in America in 1996, for instance, seems conflicted, at best. Our male heroes are ancient warriors (Braveheart), contemporary wife murderers (OJ), gazillion-dollar-rich athletes (Jordan), angst-filled office drones (Dilbert), and effete intellectuals (Frasier). The culturalist critic would then ask: how does Fight Club line up with these texts? How does it help us to form a “thick description” of American culture near the end of the millennium? How does it participate in the circulation of discourses about manhood?
Of course, none of this is what the formalist or New Critic would be thinking. The formalist approach is, very likely, what you’ve been learning in high school so far. The formalist tends to observe the work in isolation from texts around it. The work is regarded as world unto itself.
The literary work is a world unto itself… Literature is… held together by tensions… …which transcend history, culture, gender, race, and class. For the formalist, it’s all about “the text itself.” which are artfully resolved. It’s about great human themes… a special, some would even say religious kind of language and experience. an entity with its own stable, internal, organic unity…
Theme To show a work’s organic unity, the formalist breaks it into its parts…then puts them back together. Point of view Images Symbols Language Characters Plot Setting
You’ll run into people who are wholly committed to one side or the other, as well as a few wise souls who recognize the virtues of both. The World The Text Text World Poststructuralist View New Critical View The change from New Critical to poststructuralist critical approaches has represented a major paradigm shift.
Rhetoric = The study of writing and argument in many contexts. Using language effectively to persuade, inform, educate, or entertain. • Rhetorical situation: The circumstances in which you communicate. • Has always been considered a "multimodal" discipline because it uses different modes of inquiry, and "interdisciplinary" because it draws on work in all disciplines • Since the ancient Greeks was part of the trivium (rhetoric, philosophy, and grammar) in Western education. • Through the Renn. students from early to late in education received a thorough rhetorical education. • By 20th century, grad study of rhetoric had disappeared from ES, with the teaching of comp remaining, limited to the arrangement and style of finished products and grammar instruction. • In the last 30 years has become a full-fledged discipline usually linked to Composition. • We realized in the 60s that r had benefits for composition, helping students to develop the arts of invention, sensitivity to rhetorical situations and diverse audiences, and powers of reasoning. • Does writing transmit knowledge or construct knowledge? • Is writing social or individual?