ENGL 210 - Honors English: Crime and Punishment
Turning on primetime television, picking up a newspaper or going to the movies, it is almost impossible to escape representations of criminality, whether in the form of crime scene investigators solving crimes or superheroes facing off against villains of all kinds. In this course, we will focus on representations of crime and punishment in concert with theoretical discussions of criminality and society. We will answers questions such as: what is at stake in how we understand the nature of, meaning, and origins of criminal behavior? How do our structures of punishment reflect on our societal values? What is at stake when society labels individuals as criminal? How do concepts of criminality and punishment intersect with constructions of race, gender and ethnicity? Crime has long been a principal focus in literature, and our course will engage with literary texts in addition to films, music, and television as well as social science texts and social theory. During this course, we will focus on writing analytical essays about the themes and debates in the class. During the semester, we will go through the process of writing and revising three essays in addition to several shorter assignments. Writing is a collaborative process, which means that there will be substantial in class collaboration and peer review of each other’s writings. This course will be discussion based, requiring regular attendance and classroom participation in relation to both the readings and assignments.