English 292m: Methods of Literary Study [graduate seminar]





What constitutes method in literary studies (and in the humanities, more generally)? Over the past decade, this question has attained new urgency, with scholars of literature debating fundamental assumptions about what, how, and even whether to read. This seminar will engage with such debates by surveying recent monographs, edited collections, and journal articles that address topics such as: historicism and periodization; textual materialism and book history; “new sociologies of literature”; “surface reading,” digital humanities and “distant reading”; formalisms (old and new); and media theory. Seminar participants will think broadly about method as they pursue more limited research topics. Assignments will include a conference abstract, a book review, and an article-length seminar paper.