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Literary Theory

ENGL 571.401
T 1-4

In this course, we will explore texts from a wide array of influential modern literary-critical methodologies. The readings have been divided into four sections, each designed to focus our thinking on a set of specific topics, including but not restricted to questions of signification, authorship, subjectivity, ideology, cultural authority, difference, and dissent. Necessarily broad in scope, the class is designed to provide students with some basic fluency in a number of important theoretical discourses, and in the case of Comp Lit graduate students to assist in preparation for the M.A. exam. Course requirements are: a short paper (6-8pp.) that "impersonates" a particular critical approach or style, a longer paper (15-20pp.) that critiques one or more of the assigned readings, and one substantial oral presentation (20-30 minutes) in which the student "teaches" a given text to the seminar as a whole. No final examination. Classroom activity may include impromptu group presentations and debates (e.g., Marxism faces off against Deconstruction; H�l�ne Cixous meets Luce Irigaray, etc.). Participation in these exercises and in general discussion is extremely important. Auditors and undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Fulfills 3 requirements.