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Intro to Literary Theory

ENGL 094.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This class will provide an introduction to literary theory by focusing on the topic of ideology.  We will explore how ideology becomes a name for investigating the social, political, and economic processes underwriting cultural production.  Throughout the semester we will read texts that help to establish a genealogy of ideology.  At the same time we will examine a number of discourses and critical movements-such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory-that offer a framework for analyzing the complex relationships among language, representation, and social power in literature, popular culture, and public speech.  Finally, we will place these theories in dialogue with a number of contemporary political debates, including feminist challenges to pornography, legal disputes over hate speech, and state rhetoric regarding the "war on terror."