This class will provide an introduction to literary theory by focusing on ideology. We will explore how ideology becomes a name for investigating various social, political, and economic 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 critical theories--including Marxism, psychoanalysis, (post)structuralism, deconstruction, feminism, and postcolonial studies--that offer frameworks for analyzing the complex relationships among language, representation, and 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."