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Proseminar

ENGL 600.301
instructor(s):
Wednesdays 12-3:00 pm

color:#0E0E0E">In this course graduate students will be introduced to some of the theoretical approaches (structuralism, poststructuralism, Marxism, feminism, and postcolonialism) that have informed literary studies over the past three decades.  But instead of reading only representative (“greatest hits”) essays, as is frequently the case in theory courses, we will also study a number of monographs and some fiction. The animating question is “how do we read today?”  We will start with a few elegant overviews and then turn to some representative examples of major trends that are currently animating and reshaping the field.  These trends include various modes of historicism and political formalism, new sociologies of literature, affect studies, ecocriticism, book history, queer and gender studies, and so forth.  The course will conclude with some reflections on the nature of graduate studies and the profession today. Likely texts include: Barthes, normal">S/Z, Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction,Felski, Literature after Feminism, Jameson, The Political Unconscious, Lazarus, The Postcolonial Unconscious, Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Moretti, Maps, Graphs, and Phillips, TheTruth of Ecology.  Course requirements (in addition to class participation): one or two presentations (8 pages) and a final paper (15 pages) applying insights from what we have studied to a text of your own choosing.