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Preparing for grad school

Hi, all. I just finished up my BFA in dramatic writing--playwriting, specifically--at NYU. I'm entering NYU's MA program in English and American literature in the fall. (Don't worry--I have a scholarship--I'm not paying anything.) My undergrad advisors knew nothing about English, so this community played a huge role in helping me apply without making a complete ass of myself.

So, what materials do you folks think would be good for a non-English major preparing for graduate English study to read over the summer? Remember, I've had no formal training in the novel or poetry--only drama. Recently, I read Peter Barry's Beginning Theory, a survey of literary theory. But I face a steep learning curve, in terms of both literature and criticism. Any suggestions? I've got to get a serious head start. Thanks!

By the way, for anyone who's doing the CUNY Language for Reading program this summer, so am I--in French.


May. 15th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
These are all such helpful suggestions--I've added a ton of books to my list after reading this thread.

I e-mailed my future DGS just yesterday asking what I should read in preparation for the fall, and she also recommended the Eagleton book. In addition, for thinking about different theoretical perspectives on 19th century American lit, she suggested:
-Ross Murfin's edition of critical essays on The Scarlet Letter
-Cathy Davidson's Revolution and the Word
-Philip Fisher's The New American Studies
-Donald Pease's(ed) National Identities and Post-Americanist Narratives

I'd love to hear from others about what you think the essential texts are in your field.

And, nycplaywright, I'm going to do the Language for Reading program, too. I'm choosing between French and Spanish but leaning towards French. Are you going to do the session that starts on 6/15, or the one that starts later? Whichever language I choose, I'll definitely do the earlier session.
May. 15th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
I'm only able to do the later session. But I'd love to hear how the program is once you're in the thick of it.
May. 16th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Bummer we won't be in the same class, but I'll certainly let you know how it's going after a couple class sessions.


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