Performance Learning in the English Department

Writing About Literature

The English department has a tradition of expecting students to be creators of new knowledge. This web site features student writing about literature. Case studies are collections of essays from a variety of critical perspectives on a single author or book. The case studies (Beloved and Oryx & Crake) on this web site have been created by students in EN202 Writing About Literature. The Indian Cinema web site has been created by students in Dr. Purna Banerjee's course, Introduction to Indian Popular Cinema.

EN202 Writing About Lliterature is an entry level course to learn to write about literature, with special emphasis on literary criticism and critical approaches. The course begins with forms of writing about literature for the general public—book and film reviews, personal essays, diaries and journals. The course then moves to careful reading and close textual analysis, with written forms to include explication and interpretation based on primary texts from a variety of authors and genres. Finally the course includes basic critical approaches to reading literature, such as feminist, formal, cultural studies, biographical, and psychological. Students compile a portfolio of writing by the end of the course. Required of all literature and English Education majors, this course fulfills one of the advanced writing requirements for all English majors. Usually taken in the sophomore year.

Featured Case Study Books and Web Sites

Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Beloved by Toni Morrison

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Wicked by Gregory Maguire

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi<

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes