Introduces students to a wide range of critical theories that English majors need to know. Covers major movements in modern literary/critical theory, from Matthew Arnold through new criticism to contemporary postmodern frameworks. Required for all English majors.

Requisites: Restricted to English (ENGL) majors and minors only.
Additional Information: Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Arts Humanities
Departmental Category: General Literature and Language

Section 001:Book and pen

This course will examine the major literary theory paradigms of the post-World War II era, including Marxism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism, queer theory, race theory, body theory, and reader-response. We shall do readings of particular texts based on these theoretical paradigms. Class grade will be determined through exams, papers, presentations, and attendance.

Taught by Dr. Mark Winokur.




Section 002:

Theory is an essential component of the discipline of literary studies today. It informs not only how we understand and interpret literary texts in all of their dimensions, but also how we relate them as well as our BOOK AND FLOWERSown critical practices to issues of wider political, social, and cultural concern. In its many, often interrelated traditions, it provides a foundation for what we do as critics and helps us constructively imagine how to best engage with our world. This course provides a survey of literary and critical theory from its 19th century origins to the present. After an introductory unit in which we explore the term "theory" and its impact on literary studies over the last 40 years, when then turn in more detail to three of its most important and influential traditions – Marxism, Psychoanalysis, and Deconstruction. In units dedicated to these traditions, and with reference to a range of primary theoretical and literary / cultural texts, we explore their origins, development, and contemporary deployment in literary studies. We conclude with a unit on more recent developments, including: critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, environmental studies, and the digital humanities. Course assignments include: regular contributions to class discussions; a presentation; a midterm essay (2,000 words); and a final essay (4-5,000 words).

Taught by Dr. Karim Mattar.