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Literary Theory

ENGL 204.402
instructor(s):
MW 3-4:30

The purpose of this course is to explore some of the significant movements in literary theory in the twentieth century. To that end, we will examine the New Criticism, the Frankfort School, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, and a range of Feminisms, as this range is intersected by issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Issues of aesthetics and politics, and culture and politics will be stressed throughout the course. At the center of these issues will be the question: What is Literature? Our readings will be taken from a list of writers that includes Ferdinand de Saussure, Gloria Anzaldua, Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, bell hooks, Jacques Derrida, T.S. Eliot, Primo Levi, Roland Barthes, Donna Haraway, John Crowe Ransom, Curtis White, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Judith Butler, W.K. Wimsatt, Georg Luckacs, Adrienne Rich, Terry Eagleton, and Bertolt Brecht. A regular regime of short seminar papers, class presentations, and a final paper of fifteen pages will be required, as will regular attendance in class (unexcused absences in a class of this intensity and complexity are unacceptable). There will be no exams.