Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973
English courses for 1974
English courses for 1974
The details given here are by no means finally settled but I think they indicate the kind of course structure that is likely to emerge. Since students take at least three years over a B.A., we've got to keep some measure of continuity. The staff who will be offering the courses are naturally enough, more competent to teach some courses than others. We don't hire and fire overnight.
We would justify the period grouping of works by saying that it's the most economical way of seeing a significant group of writers responding to one another's work and to shared social pressures. Since every original artist both absorbs and reacts against his immediate artistic tradition, the succession of courses is again meant to be an economical way of tracing the growth of a literary tradition, the development of forms, and response to social change. We can't say what's new unless we know what's been. The courses required of an English major are those which, in their arrangement, allow study of these larger concerns, and, in their content (major authors and select texts), encourage close reading and personal response. It's true that they demand a wide range of reading in literature of the past. Which is only to say, as Croce did of history, that all literature is contemporary literature.
A student chosing to major in English literature will be asked to do something like ENGL 111,112, 204, 215; either 213 or 303; at least one of 301, 302; at least one of 311, 312, 313. In addition there might be some work required in a foreign language, although that has still to be resolved. (There are other possibilities.)
I repeat that the above outline is tentative in all its details. Some courses (201, 202, 203) have not been discussed adequately with those who might offer them. ENGL 252 is desirable but has yet to be planned and submitted for University approval. But in outline the courses provide for a much extended range of options; the total credit requirement for a major is reduced from 48 to 42; the literature pre-requisites are effectively reduced to two (111 and 205); there's first-year course in contemporary writing; some 20th century literature is build into the major; there are specific genre courses as well as period ones; and all restrictions currently affecting the A and B streams (which are mutually exclusive) and qualitative criteria conditioning entry to 300-level courses (especially the modems) are abolished. I notice that the 30 B.A. ENGL courses total 156 credits, so that it would be technically possible (if it weren't for the foreign-language element) for a student not merely to major only in English but to take an entire degree in it. I hope none will. Only POLS offers, or at least lists, more (36), although they're worth less (150 credits). Music offers 28 for the entire Mus. B.; ECON courses number only 20, Math 17 and HIST 16. Other universities? Even Auckland offers only 18 ENGL courses, they're more tightly structured, and there's nothing like our Drama programme.
Finally I should note that the pre-requisites are not likely to prove a serious obstacle to any non-majoring student who wishes to enter an advanced-level course, Entry will be possible in pretty much the same way as it's now granted for asterisked pre-requisites.