English 5000

FALL 2018

First Essay Assignment


Essay Topics: The topic is open, but it should be metacritical and (if possible) comparative. You may pursue in greater depth one of the weekly discussion questions from previous classes, especially if there is one that you found particularly difficult or challenging; good candidates for the first essay would include, to my mind, questions related to institutional issues or the nature of literature (or criticism) and its uses.Dipping into some of the supplementary texts would be a good idea, depending on the topic.Do keep your dates straight: Culler and Eagleton are contemporaries, as are Guillory and Nussbaum--but Arnold is writing more than a century, and Ransom a half-century, before Graff, for example.Below Iíve provided links to essay topics Iíve used in the undergraduate theory class; feel free to use them as starting points for your own work.

Five to six pages (Ī1800 words) should be sufficient. Please supply a one-paragraph description of your topic by Friday September 28, in which you make a clear statement of your aims (insofar as you understand them at that point). Feel free to discuss possibilities with me any time; email in particular would guarantee a prompt reply. Iím happy to recommend relevant readings, some of which I may be able to supply.Discussing topics with one another is also highly recommended.


Some essay topic links from past classes (note that some of them obviously refer to materials that we havenít yet read, and may not read):