ENGLISH 390 - Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory
Section: 001 The Theory Mess
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The question "what is literature?" is often taken to be difficult to answer. How should we define literature? What is the relationship between literature and language? And what have politics, race, sexuality and gender got to do with literature? This course will attempt to answer these questions by examining the nature of literary study and considering the variety of critical practices that go under the name of "theory." We will discuss the major schools of theory that have influenced the discipline of literature (including structuralism/post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, post-colonialism), and we will evaluate the strengths and limitations of using theory as a method of literary critique. We will conclude by thinking about the future of literary studies in the light of the so-called crisis in the humanities and new theories of identity.

Course Requirements:

To include: reading responses, three papers — and class attendance and participation.

Intended Audience:

English Honors students, and other students with a keen interest in literary criticism.

Class Format:

Lectures, group-work, and presentations.

ENGLISH 390 - Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

The textbook listed below is the third edition; you can use the second edition if it's more easily available - and cheaper. This is the only book you'll need for the course.
ISBN: 9781118707852
Literary Theory: An Anthology, Author: Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, Publisher: Blackwell 3RD EDITIO 2017
Other Textbook Editions OK.
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