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Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory

ENGL 094.401
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

This course will provide an exposure to the main discourses and practices of theory understood both as literary and cultural theory. We will start with early formulations of the problem of interpretation with Plato and Aristotle, then move on to modern and contemporary approaches. We will study systematically the main tenets and concepts of as Formalism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Feminism and Deconstruction. We will engage with Post-colonial studies, Cultural Studies and Queer Theory.

We will use the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2001).
Requirements: One oral report and two short papers (10 pages). No final exam.

9/8 Introduction to Theory--Plato's Protagoras
9/13 Plato's Ion and Republic (NATC, 33-85)
9/15 Aristotle's Poetics and Rhetorics (NATC, 86-120)
9/20 Augustine and Dante (NATC, 185-195 and 246-252)
9/22 Macrobius and Vico's New Science (NATC, 196-200 and 399-415)
9/27 Longinus, On the Sublime and Plotinus (NATC, 135-154 and 171-184)
9/29 Kant's Critique of Judgment (NATC, 499-535)
10/6 Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit and Aesthetic (NATC, 626-644)
10/7 Special lecture by Hélène Cixous
10/11 Marx and Engels (NATC, 759-788). Raymond William and Louis Althusser (NATC, 1476-1508 and 1565-1574)
10/13 E. A. Poe and Baudelaire (NATC, 739-749 and 789-801)
10/18 Nietzsche on "Lying in the extra-moral sense" (NATC, 870-984)
10/20 Freud (NATC, 913-955)
10/25 F. de Saussure, from Course in General Linguistics (NATC, 956-976)
10/27 T. S. Eliot (NATC, 1088-1104)
11/1 Austin and Frye (NATC, 1427-1441 and 1442-1456)
11/3 Mikhail Bakhtin (NATC, 1186-1219). First paper due
11/8 Walter Benjamin, "The Work of art..." (NATC, 1163-1185)
11/10 New Criticism (Burke, Brooks, Wimsatt, Beardsley) (NATC, 1269-1277 and 1350-1402)
11/15 Structuralism (Jakobson, Lévi-Strauss, Todorov) (NATC, 1254-1268, 1415-1426 and 2097-2105)
11/17 Roland Barthes (NATC, 1457-1475)
11/22 Jacques Derrida (NATC, 1815-1876) and Paul de Man (NATC, 1509-1531)
11/29 Michel Foucault (NATC, 1615-1669)
12/ 1 Jacques Lacan (NATC, 1278-1310)
12/6 Edward Said and H. Bhabha (NATC, 1986-2011 and 2377-2397). Second paper due
12/8 Gayatri Spivak and Judith Butler (NATC, 2193-2222 and 2485-2501)