English 243: Genre
- What is English 243? This course explores the study of genre as a mode of inquiry. All literary works are unique, but within any given literary scene writers create and readers understand texts within categories defined by the tradition and by literary and cultural criticism. Focusing on different modes of defining genre and on texts from at least two genres, this course examines how form, style, and content create a basis for relating texts to one another and considers how the conventions of genre are themselves mutable. The course includes material before from 1800 and after 1800, as well as material from at least two national literatures.
- How is genre defined in English 243? Should I make sure to teach different broad genres such as poetry, fiction, and drama, or can I focus on teaching such genres as horror and romance? You should consider doing both in this course as its focus is to critically engage with the definition of genre in literary studies. However, this course shouldn’t primarily focus on the novel or on poetry or on drama or on film. Instead, make sure you teach a diverse array of texts that include fiction, poems, and drama, and at the same time ask students to consider how genre is often defined in more specific and constrained terms.
- What kinds of texts should I teach in English 243? Please make sure you cover material from before and after 1800 and that spans two national literatures. Additionally, attempt to teach a wide range of texts that represent different approaches to genre and that might challenge generic conventions so that students are exposed to why genre has been an important organizing (or disorganizing) principle in literary studies.
- Should I teach genre theory and/or criticism in English 243 and how much? Yes, it’s highly recommended that you teach genre theory and criticism in this course to give students a critical framework for understanding genre and the way it has framed literary studies.
- Where can I find sample syllabi and assignments from past sections of English 243? Please click here for sample syllabi. You can also find sample assignments in the links above.