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  Introduction to English Studies
Bill McBride

Eng 100 netforum   
(please post by Sunday 11:59pm)

Course Number: ENG 100.05
Course Title: Introduction to English Studies
Professor: Bill McBride  438-7998
Credit Hours: 3
Meeting Time: 3:35-4:50 p.m. T&R
Meeting Place: STV 308        
Office: STV 336      
Office Hours: T & R 1-2pm





  • Selections from the Hebrew Bible  (any translation, preferably the King James)
  • Sedgewick, Sedgwick, Edgar, eds. Key Concepts in Cultural Theory. Routledge 1999.
  • Joyce, James.  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man [1916]. Viking                                                                                          

    Beckett. Not I [1972] Pas Moi  beckett.gif (6917 bytes)   Not I text


    • Salinger, J.D. Catcher in the Rye [1946].
    • Miller, Arthur.  Death of a Salesman [1949].  Penguin   
    • Albee, Edward. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [1962]. Signet                                                                                                              
    •  Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson.  Philosophy in the Flesh : The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought1998, Basic Books.
    • A chapter from Ishmael.  Quinn, Daniel [1995], Bantam.
    • Other texts to be announced



    This course seeks to introduce students to the field of English Studies, broadly conceived, with special attention to the ways in which the different disciplines that constitute the field as specifically practiced in Illinois State University's Department of English (composition and rhetoric, linguistics, technical and creative writing, publishing, literary and cultural studies) interact with and impact each other. English studies is a diversified multi-disciplinary, sometimes anti-disciplinary field.  Developing an understanding of it means not only understanding the different disciplines with which it is comprised, but also recognizing and using the interplay among these disciplines in hopes of advancing your knowledge and skills.  English Studies models and replicates itself in many ways on its curricular sibling, Cultural Studies.  As it has evolved, Cultural Studies has found that writings in philosophy, linguistics, psychoanalysis, politics and social theory, anthropology, feminism, and cinema can be most valuable for understanding and reading texts, that is, interpreting culture and its funding ideology. By questioning disciplinary boundaries, Cultural studies/English studies opens up the possibility of studying culture/texts from a position which asks what is the nature and condition of these texts, discourses, and systems of meaning in general.  We will consume and critique selected "texts" taken from drama, cinema, popular music, modern-postmodern prose, popular fiction, advertising, and TV.  I anticipate visits from representative members of our Department. We will meditate upon and interrogate notions of coming into being through language, coming "of age," and coming to "terms" with our ontological, aesthetic, and political position in the new millennium.


    1. All students will post weekly responses to readings/lectures/discussion via NetForum.

    2. A Mid-Term Examination.  (Historicized conceptual terminology [short answer] and a 3-5page essay to be determined .)

    3. A written proposal of the final research project.

    4. A final research paper 10-12 pp.

    Grade evaluation will be determined by satisfying #s 1-3 and the student's ability to synthesize one or more of the theoretical approaches presented in readings and lectures, and apply such a perspective to a cultural "text" or "site" in a well-written, coherent final essay.