This course will introduce you to the field of literary theory by ...
This course will introduce you to the field of literary theory by identifying and engaging with the key problems and questions that animate theoretical discussion among literary scholars and critics, including issues pertaining to ideology, cultural value, the patriarchal and colonial bases of Western culture, and more. The student will be acquainted with the basic principles and preeminent texts that have defined many of the major critical debates of the 20th and 21st centuries. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to define both literary criticism and literary theory, and explain the emergence of literature as a discipline of study; identify and discuss classical Greek explanations of the purpose of literature; explain and account for the rise of critical theory in the 20th century, and describe the place of theory in contemporary English and cultural studies; provide a brief overview of the major tenets, practitioners, and ideas of the following critical and theoretical movements and/or schools: Russian Formalism, structuralism, post-structuralism, semiotics, Deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, gender theory, Marxism, Reader-Response paradigms, New Historicism, Post-Colonialism, Ethnic and Cultural Studies, Eco-criticism and Eco-theory and trauma theory; identify and discuss some of the viewpoints opposed to the practice of criticism and literary theory; identify and discuss some of the newly emerging trends in literary theory, such as eco-criticism, trauma theory, chaos theory, game theory, and trans-identity criticism; identify, discuss, and define some of the key literary theories of such major literary and cultural critics and theorists as Plato, Aristotle, Karl Marx, Michele Foucault, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, T.S. Eliot, Henry Louis Gates, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Eve Sedgwick, and Frederic Jameson. (English Literature 301)