B.A. in English Goals (Approved -January 10, 2017)
Students will understand that the meaning of any given word or text is established through a continuing process of social interaction, negotiation, consensus, and dissent. Students will examine how meaning is made in relation to texts of various literary, rhetorical, and linguistic genres in their various contexts.
Students will understand that texts, in all of their forms, must be read in relationship to relevant contexts (historical, linguistic, social, political, personal) and in relationship to one another. Students will demonstrate intertextual thinking by analyzing how texts relate to these broader contexts and by producing their own texts in ways that attend to text-context relationships.
Students will understand that writing is a process of social and intertextual engagement that requires writers to negotiate the possibilities and demands of participation within a given context. As writers, students will recognize and apply (and sometimes revise, critique, and resist) the elements of various genres and rhetorical and stylistic conventions in realizing their purposes.
Students will understand that the social, political, economic, and cultural value of different English literary, linguistic, and rhetorical conventions result from uneven power relations within a diverse society. Students will engage in meaningful collaborations and critical dialogues with peers and faculty from a range of communities and perspectives in order to analyze and produce various types of texts that examine (and sometimes revise, critique, and resist) the varied and complex uses of the English language and its varieties.
Students will understand that theoretical and aesthetic traditions and frameworks of thought necessarily shape the interpretation and creation of texts, and the production of new knowledge. Students will engage in a range of methodological approaches, actively theorizing their own reading and writing practices in a variety of intellectual, rhetorical, and aesthetic contexts.
Students will understand that texts and language are rich, multiplicitous, and ambivalent in their meaning. Students will learn to uncover and engage these multiple meanings through analysis and production of textual and linguistic details, including literary tropes, generic conventions, rhetorical modalities, and linguistic registers.
Students will learn to think historically about texts from the meaning of individual words to the emergence, flourishing, and transformation of literary genres. They will examine how aesthetic sensibilities, beliefs and values change along with the English language and the cultures that use it.
Students will understand that research in English Studies begins with an inquiry question or problem that needs to be solved and involves engaging sources in a conversation rather than using them for unquestioned answers. Students will generate inquiry questions to launch their individual research and creative/imaginative projects and follow discipline-specific methodologies to produce meaningful research and original imaginative writing in their field.