Course Description

English 3301: Introduction to Literary Studies


Instructor:  Dr. María C. González

Office phone: (713)743-2938             email:


Course Description:

Using feminist and cultural specific texts as the basis for discussion, this course will attempt to introduce to the English Major how Literary Studies is practiced in contemporary English departments.  Included will be an introduction to the profession and its historical basis, feminism, Marxism, ethnic studies, and psychoanalysis in application to literary texts with the ultimate goal of doing a research paper that applies theory to literature and introduces the profession of English to the Major.  The further development of your critical writing skills will be the priority of this class, followed with the development of your critical research skills.  The current research methods we deploy in English studies will require your attendance at the library workshops set up specifically for this course.  Also, an understanding of this class requires you attend and participate in the lectures and discussions.  The texts are dense and require intellectual discussion to unpack the assumptions within the readings.  Hence, consistent attendance is absolutely pivotal to the successful completion of this course.  The selections from Kant, Freud, Saussure, Lacan, Irigaray, and Marx will be made available to you through attachments to email.


Learning Outcomes:

The expected learning outcomes of this class will include your further development of critical writing skills.  You will have mastered the expected written standards for the English major at the end of this semester.  You will also learn the current research methods in English studies.  Finally, you will become familiar with some of the current methodologies in the contemporary study of literature.  If you follow the methods I describe and prepare your research in the manner I teach, you will be able to transfer the skills developed in this class to other course work.


Required Texts:

Anzaldua, Gloria, Borderlands

Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1

Gaspar de Alba, Alicia, Sor Juana’s Second Dream

Gonzalez, Maria, Contemporary Mexican-American Women Novelists

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition

Plus selected readings from the works of Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, and Ferdinand de Saussure will be emailed to you.