ENGL 5302:  The Profession of English Studies

Spring 1997 Monday 6-9 PM 

objective of the course: to study issues current in higher education, the humanities, and the discipline of English; to study how universities produce knowledge 

required texts: Michael Berube, Public Access (Verso); Lawrence Levine, The Opening of the American Mind (Beacon); Wendy Steiner, The Scandal of Pleasure (Chicago); various readings on handout, including PMLA forum on the "Place of the Personal in Scholarship"; selections from Morris, Making the Team; Swearingen, "Academic Skepticism and the Contexts of Belief" 

assignments: one book review (5 pages); one professional paper (25-30 pages); participation in and report on the Arlington Humanities Colloquium on 12 April; seminar participation; participation in course LISTSERV discussion and in one other academic LISTSERV discussion (with report on that participation). Participation and reports will be ungraded. The book review will be graded, but the grade is diagnostic only. The grade on your professional paper, assuming completion of all other assignments, will be your grade for the course. Due dates for all assignments are listed in the schedule below. 

drop policy: drop before midsemester (14 March) guarantees W for the course; drop after midsemester is against Graduate School rules 

plagiarism policy: See the 1996-98 Graduate Catalogue, page 34. 

disability policy: see page 49 of the 1996-98 Graduate Catalogue and call the Office of Students with Disabilities for more information (272-3364). 


27 January: Introductions. Course design. Opening harangue. At this meeting, we will work on proposals for the Arlington Humanities Colloquium; proposals are due to the conference organizers by Saturday 15 February, so we need to draw up a slate of panel proposals and make arrangements for 1-page paper proposals to be in by the deadline. 

3 February: Reading: PMLA forum, "The Place of the Personal in Scholarship." Discussion: What is (y)our personal investment in scholarship in the humanities? What should the role of the personal in academic work be? 

10 February: Reading: Swearingen, "Academic Skepticism and the Contexts of Belief"; Morris, "But Is It Literature?" Discussion: The place of values--moral and aesthetic--in English studies. 

17 February: Breakout; individual and group sessions for planning Colloquium papers.  24 February: Book Review Seminar. Five-page Book Review on a current book with application to the status of the profession is due. Tonight we'll discuss these reviews and the status of the profession in recent work generally. 

3 March: Berube, Public Access 

10 March: Lecture/Workshop: Textual Studies. Theme: How do we get what we read and study? 

Fri 14 March: Midsemester. Last date to drop, or to finish Fall 96 incompletes. 

17 March: SPRING BREAK  

24 March: Steiner, The Scandal of Pleasure 

31 March: Levine, The Opening of the American Mind 

7 April: Workshop for Colloquium "rehearsal" 


14 April: No Class Meeting ("comp" time for the Colloquium.) 

21 April: Colloquium Reports due (format: informal journal.) Discussion: Debriefing. 

28 April: English Studies On-Line: A Review and Report, with Some Further Directions. Your reports on the academic listserv that you've participated in this semester are due tonight. 

5 May: Final meeting. Course evaluations. Final Papers due, to avoid X grade.