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ENGL201 Gateway: Ways of Reading

The Ways of Reading seminar is the mandatory gateway course necessary for declaring the English major. Formerly known as The Study of Literature, ENGL201 is newly revised beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year. The Ways of Reading series introduces students to literary forms and techniques, and to a wide range of methods for studying them. Each of the seminars has its own title and focus. Recent seminars include "Literature and/as Performance," "Early Modern Literature and the History of Selfhood," "Contact Zones: Travel, Migration, and American Literature," "Literature about Literature," "Reading for the Genre: Form, History and Theory," and "The Work of Literature."

All Ways of Reading seminars have the same objectives. They develop strategies for analyzing and interpreting poetry, drama, and prose narratives such as novels and stories.  Each seminar familiarizes students with some of the protocols of the literary-critical essay, examines the idea of literature as a social institution, and explores ways of connecting textual details to the world beyond the text. Students should expect to write at least seven graded essays during the semester.  Although formal research papers are not assigned, some sections may work with archival materials available in Wesleyan's rare book collection.

 All sections of ENGL 201 enroll a maximum of 19 students.  Most seats in each section are reserved for sophomores.

 Guidelines for taking ENGL201 in preparation for the English major:

  • Students who wish to become English majors must take ENGL 201 in their first year or sophomore year.  Exceptions are made for junior transfer students majoring in English.
  • Students who wish to become English majors must receive a grade of B- or better in the course. 
  • Students who take ENGL 201 in the second semester of the sophomore year, and transfer students who take the course in their junior years, will be accepted to the English major provisionally, pending final grade in the course.
  • Students may enroll in only one section of ENGL 201 per semester.  Only one section of ENGL201 may be counted toward graduation and toward fulfillment of the English major
  • Although most ENGL201 courses do not fulfill a Major requirement, an individual course may do so if it's content and reading materials are appropriate such as ENGL201A: Ways of Reading: Shakespeare which fulfills the Literary History I requirement.

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