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Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

One of the most dramatic changes that has occurred in English departments over the past twenty years has been the increased emphasis on “theory.” Professors and students of literature have taken up questions which might formerly have been associated with such disciplines as Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, or Economics. The works of such authors as Hegel, Marx, Saussure, Freud, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Fanon, Foucault, and Derrida have come to be part of the English curriculum. This expansion and transformation of what it means to study English have created controversy from the start, and the merits and limitations of theoretical work continue to be hotly debated at Penn as elsewhere. If you are intrigued and excited by these concerns, or if you are thinking about going on to do graduate work in English, you should consider the concentration in Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

Relevant courses will have the attribute AETC in Path@Penn.

Worksheet and Eligible Courses for Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

ENGL or courses cross-listed "Also Offered As" with ENGL that are tagged with the AETC attribute may count for this concentration.

Please get in touch with your Major advisor or the Undergraduate Chair if you took a Theory and Cultural Studies-related course that was not tagged with the AETC attribute in Path@Penn--we could then review it to grant an exception.


Related Faculty Interests

Modes of Approach and Areas of Interest