Covering some of the major theoretical movements of the second half of the twentieth century, this course focuses on the issues and questions motivating theoretical debate in literary and cultural studies. Movements studied may include New Criticism, structuralism, semiotics, post-structuralism and deconstruction, Marxist criticism, psychoanalysis, narratology, reader-response theory, feminist criticism, African American criticism, film criticism, and the new historicism.
Fall 2012: Kritzman (2A)
What is Theory?
Since the beginnings of the 20th Century, critical theory has slowly transformed the study of literature. Although most scholars who study literary texts now use theory in one way or another, few would be able to define the discipline. This course will examine some of the major texts in the field, including the roots of contemporary critical practices in philosophy, linguistics, and semiotics, as well as some of the latest, “cutting edge” applications of theory to all kinds of cultural “objects”: texts, films, clothes, bodies, genders, identities, buildings, cities, nations, etc. Works by Saussure, Jakobson, Foucault, Lacan, Benjamin, Derrida, Hegel, Butler, Venturi, Kohlhaas and others. (LIT/W)
Last Updated: 8/30/11