Main Concepts of Literary and Cultural Theory for Beginners
Theory has reemerged as a vital force in the humanities after having undergone a momentary eclipse. It is to new concepts and new approaches that this class will introduce students who will not need previous exposure to the languages of philosophy or rhetoric. Theory will be understood as literary and cultural theory, and we will constantly move from earlier formulations about politics, sexuality, aesthetics and hermeneutics with Plato, Aristotle, Hegel and Marx to contemporary approaches with Derrida, Lacan, Butler, Badiou, Zizek and others. This will allow us to get a deeper understanding of key concepts like form, structure, the unconscious, materialism, dialectics, post-colonialism, gender, and race. We will combine two collections, the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (2010) and the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics (2012).