Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Proseminar

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

This course will introduce graduate students to the professional study of literature.  We will consider the ways in which debates in literary and cultural studies have shaped the interpretive practices of English and comparative literature through what has come to be known as “theory.”  At the same time, we will investigate the shifting political and economic forces that have influenced the evolution and development of the humanities more broadly.  Studying key terms and concepts from a select range of methodologies including Post/structuralism, Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, New Historicism, Feminism, Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Environmental Studies, and Digital Humanities, we will read early, foundational texts from these fields as well as contemporary theoretical criticism.  Throughout the semester, we will discuss the implications of the changing state of the discipline for graduate students as they form their own methodologies, critical investments, and intellectual projects.