This course will examine the major theoretical and methodological approaches to literary and cultural studies that have evolved over the last few decades. Our readings will include some of the foundational texts of Russian formalism, structuralism, deconstruction, Marxism, new historicism, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, minority discourse theory, post-colonial studies, and new media theory. We will consider how these theoretical approaches have reconfigured the goals and methods of literary studies, and we will also critically assess their ideological agendas and practical implications. Finally, we will determine how best to “use” and engage theory in our own research and writing. Assignments will include several short essays, and an annotated bibliography/research paper.