3 Introduction

Module 1 – The Reader and the Text

Module Introduction


Literature in the Humanities is an introduction to the study of the characteristics, conventions, and socio-historical contexts of the major literary forms, including the analysis and interpretation of literary elements and devices, and the application of literary theory and criticism. This course is designed to encourage a deep appreciation of literature, hone critical thinking skills, and to illustrate the importance of literature as an expression of the human cultural experience.

LIT2000, as well as all Humanities General Education courses, approaches the concept of culture as a system of meanings allowing groups and individuals to give significance to the world and mediate their relationships with each other and their known universe. Humanities courses are distinguished from traditional Liberal Arts disciplines through an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and comparative cultural contexts. Through these approaches to cultural texts and artifacts, the humanities attempt to investigate, contest, analyze, and synthesize the phenomena of human agency and subjectivity both within and between cultures. By pursuing these forms of inquiry we may better understand our world and our places within it. 1

Course Learning Outcomes

This module addresses the following Course Learning Outcomes listed in the Syllabus for this course:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking
  • Understand cultural expressions
  • Interpret and evaluate cultural artifacts and/or their contexts for significance
  • Understand basic literary elements of specific genres: short story, poetry, and drama
  • Analyze and evaluate selected works of literature in classroom or online settings
  • Analyze and evaluate both in class discussions (whether face-to-face or electronic) and in class writing, selected works of literature
  • Demonstrate and understand how literature is relevant to their personal, social, and historical awareness 1

Module Objectives

Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of literature
  • Idenitfy metaphors and explain their role in literature
  • Evaluate their own prior relationaship with reading and literature 1

Readings and Resources

  • Read: Learning Unit – The Reader, the Text, and the World (below)
  • Read: Module 1 Readings (Link to Module_01.pdf . You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this file) 1

Optional Further Reading

  • Baldwin, James. “Letter from a Region in My Mind.” The New Yorker 17 Nov. 1962.
  • Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992.


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