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Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory

ENGL 094.401
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30

This course will provide an introduction to the main discourses 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 contemporary approaches. We will study the main tenets and concepts of Formalism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Feminism and Deconstruction and 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 on a text in the syllabus and two short papers (7-8 pages). No final exam.

1/13 Introduction to Theory.
1/15 Plato's Ion and Republic (NATC, 33-85).
1/20 Aristotle's Poetics and Rhetorics (NATC, 86-120.
1/22 Augustine and Dante (NATC, 185-195 and 246-252).
1/27 Macrobius and Vico's New Science (NATC, 196-200 and 399-415).
1/29 Longinus, On the Sublime and Plotinus (NATC, 135-154 and 171-184).
2/3 Kant's Critique of Judgment (NATC, 499-535).
2/5 Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit and Aesthetic (NATC, 626-644).
2/10 Marx and Engels (NATC, 759-788).
2/12 E. A. Poe and Baudelaire (NATC, 739-749 and 789-801).
2/17 Nietzsche (NATC, 870-984).
2/19 Freud (NATC, 913-955).
2/24 F. de Saussure (NATC, 956-976).
2/26 T. S. Eliot (NATC, 1088-1104).
3/2 Austin and Frye (NATC, 1427-1441 and 1442-1456.
3/4 Mikhail Bakhtin (NATC, 1186-1219).
First pape due
3/16 Walter Benjamin, "The Work of art" (NATC, 1163-1185).
3/18 New Criticism (NATC, 1269-1277 and 1350-1402).  
3/23 Structuralism (NATC, 1254-1268, 1415-1426 and 2097-2105).
3/25 Roland Barthes (NATC, 1457-1475).
3/30 Jacques Derrida (NATC, 1815-1876..)
4/1 Paul de Man (NATC, 1509-1531).
4/6 Raymond Williams and Louis Althusser (NATC, 1476-1508 and 1565-1574).
4/8 Michel Foucault (NATC, 1615-1669).
4/13 Jacques Lacan (NATC, 1278-1310).
4/15 Franz Fanon and Edward Said (NATC, 1575-1592 and 1986-2011).
4/20 Johnson and Bhabh (NATC, 2316-2337 and 2377-2397).
Second paper due
4/22 Gayatri Spivak and Judith Butler (NATC, 2193-2222 and 2485-2501).