Language, Power, and One’s Self
ENG296 Spring 2019
Professor Randall Cream

ENG 296 is designed to help students use theoretical perspectives to interpret texts, to understand others’ interpretations, and to frame the social and political spaces of textual construction, transmission, and reception. This course is invested in considering questions like, how do texts work? How do we read? How is meaning made? What happens when we read and/or write? How do texts exist in a world with and alongside other texts and other social structures? We’ll explore these questions by reading some key theoretical texts and discussing their meaning.  Most importantly, though, will be the application of theories to texts in order to produce interpretations. Our theme this term is Language, Power and Self. We’ll read a couple of late 20th-century theorists and two currently active theorists who are still working (and calling out folks on Twitter!). Working slowly through these key figures, our course will focus on building two key skills:  (a) how to successfully navigate theoretical texts, and (b) how to use theory to help understand texts that we care about. Welcome!