I've been thinking about what one of these courses should look like, or perhaps better, could look like, and trying to think big about such a course--how to best introduce a student (perhaps one who has taken some 200-level surveys, perhaps not) to the work of upper level courses in the department.
- Should we work through genres? how many? poetry, novel, drama, short fiction, non-fiction, film etc. etc.
- Should we include theory? How much? How closely should it be tied to primary texts? Should we use introductory texts of go straight to the source (remember, it's a gateway)?
- How much writing should we be doing? How much writing instruction should we be doing?
- How idiosyncratic should the course be, with, say 4 sections per semester? Should they have themes? Can they avoid themes?
- And most importantly: how can we make it exciting? How can we make the standard "3-6 primary texts in Norton Critical Editions with theory alongside" class one that students clamor over? How can we rock out the gateway course?
- But first, how do you do it? What d'ye like, hate or wish about that class?