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 material 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, deconstruction, postcolonial studies, queer 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."