This course is designed to allow students who wish to study Literature at an advanced level (as majors in English, for instance) to understand better important literary-critical methods and vocabularies. We will do so by examining closely different theoretical concepts that have been crucial to the development of such academic study. We will thus concern ourselves with the historical origins of literary and cultural studies, as well as debates which have proved important to the specialized study of literature. By the end of this course, students should understand the philosophical assumptions that define different critical approaches to the study of cultural phenomena, including those of New Criticism, Feminism, Cultural Materialism, New Historicism, Minority Discourse Studies, Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Disability Studies and Cultural Studies. Students should also be able to identify their own critical interests, and thus to produce criticism that is self-conscious about its own assumptions and vocabulary.