ENGL6826: Style Language, Genre, Cognit (49623)

Kretzschmar, William

TR 2 :20 PM

Library, Main 300

ENGL 4826/6826         Fall 2021     Kretzschmar    TTH 2:20-3:35, DigiLab (Main Library)


Style: Language, Genre, Cognition


Office: 317 Park.  Email: kretzsch@uga.edu. Office Hours: TTH 8:30-9:30 via Skype (bill.kretzschmar), and by appointment (email me to set one up). In-person office hours will be held in Park 317.


Catalog:  Study of the patterns of literary style, including language and literary stylistics, genre, and cognition and perception.


Textbooks: Stubbs, Words and Phrases (Blackwell, 2001); Biber and Conrad, Register, Genre, and Style, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 2019);  Lakoff and Johnson Metaphors We Live By (Chicago, 1980, new afterword 2003); Gibson, Pattern Recognition: A Novel (Putnam, 2003); articles/chapters (Derrida, Jauss, Steen) on ELC. Students will also be introduced to free concordancing software, AntConc.


Course Conduct: Lecture/discussion, on Zoom or in person depending on conditions at UGA. There will be five in-class tests and no final exam ("continuous assessment").  Computer exercises are due by email before the class period discussed. There will be one short paper (5 pp) and a major paper due at the end of the term (c. 15 pp undergrad, c. 20 pp. grad). Papers will be prepared according to standard practices for academic papers, and include appropriate use of the scholarly literature. There will be a proposal (2-3 pp) for the final paper due in late October. Grades will be based on class attendance (or Zoom presence, 90 pts), the five in-class exams (250 pts), the short paper (100 pts), and the final paper (50 pts proposal, 150 pts final paper). 640 total points. Course info will be on the Web at the UGA eLC  (elc.uga.edu).


Goals and Topics:  Style is a word to conjure with in literary analysis and criticism, and yet at the same time it is often not clearly defined.  Style in literature it is constituted by the author's choices in language and form, whether conscious or unconscious, or at a higher level constituted by the collective choices made by authors of a period, nation, or other grouping. Readers, too, contribute to meaningful interaction in literature through their perception of patterns in language and literature. The first goal of this course will be to teach corpus linguistics, which includes the ways that words are actually used that we might recognize in style. Another goal of the course is to introduce students to larger literary patterns, genres, through which authors mediate their relationship with readers. Contemporary genre theory has developed in concert with narratology and phenomenology, from formalism (Jolles) to reception theory (Jauss), with commentary by thinkers like Derrida. The final goal of the course is to introduce students to cognitive issues related to literature that mediate our perception of patterns in language and literature (e.g. metaphor in the approach of Lakoff and Johnson, as enhanced by Gerard Steen and others). The whole point, then, is patterns, both for the creation and the reception of language and literature, through the relative contributions of author, reader, and their social milieu to the creation of meaning in literary texts. William Gibson's Pattern Recognition (2003) will help us see this from the literary point of view.

At the end of the course, students should be able to describe the linguistic, generic, and cognitive patterns that obtain in any text, using terminology and methods appropriate to patterns at each level of analysis. In order to make an adequate description, students should recognize that their individual perspective on style, developed out of their own unique experience, needs to be supplemented by systematic study of the language, genres, and cognitive setting in conjunction with which any specific text was created. The major paper at the end of the term will provide evidence that students have attained competence with these descriptive skills.





Aug 19             Th:  Course intro.      

Aug 26, 28       T: Biber, Ch 1                          Th: Stubbs, Ch 1

Aug 31, Sep 2   T: Biber, Ch2                          Th: Biber, Ch 3, EX 1

Sep 7, 9            T: Stubbs, Ch2                        Th: Stubbs, Ch 3

Sep 14, 16        T: AntConc                             Th: COCA

Sep 21, 23        T: DIY ccorpora                      Th: Stubbs, Ch 4, EX 2          

Sep 28, 30       T: Stubbs, Ch 5                       Th: Stubbs, Ch 6

Oct 5, 7            T: Biber, Ch 4                          Th: Biber, Ch 5

Oct 12, 14         T: Biber, Ch 6                          Th: Biber, Ch 7, EX 3            

Oct 19, 21         T: eLC Jauss                Th: eLC Derrida

Oct 26, 28       T: Biber, Ch 8, short paper due     Th: Biber, Ch 9           

Nov 2, 4           T: Lakoff/Johnson                  Th: Lakoff/Johnson, EX 4

Nov 9, 11          T: Lakoff/Johnson, proposal due   Th: Lakoff/Johnson

Nov 16, 18       T: Steen                                   Th: Steen et al.

Nov 23             T: Gibson                                Th: Thanksgiving, no class

Nov 30, Dec 2 T: Gibson                                 Th: Gibson, EX 5

Dec. 7              No class; Paper due by email.