This course will familiarize students with fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for the study of English and American literatures. Participants will be introduced to critical concepts, such as 'literature,' 'culture,' and 'text.' Influential theoretical approaches, critical methods, and the basics and problems of literary history, canonization, and periodization will be discussed. By covering representative examples of all major literary forms, we will explore a broad variety of literary representations and apply important technical terms and concepts to the analysis of specific texts. Practical problems of research and writing (e.g.how to find and quote secondary literature) will also be addressed.