ENGLISH 390 - Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory
Winter 2023, Section 001 - History of Literary Theory
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


An introduction to some of the leading concepts and major debates involving literary theory and critical practice. We shall investigate many core questions pursued by literary theorists over the centuries such as: what is the relation between art and knowledge; what exactly are we doing when interpreting a work of literature; is there such a thing as a standard of excellence that allows us to speak of better or worse when evaluating poems, plays, or novels? Is there any relation between literature and social change or political progress? How should we define literature anyway? The early weeks of the term shall establish the groundwork for approaching these issues as we review selections from Plato, Sidney, and some of the Romantics. With a foundation in place, we shall then focus on more recent schools of thought that run the gamut from formalism to historicism, ecocriticism, feminisms, Marxism, and various other methodologies. Figures such as Foucault, Butler, Jameson, among many others, will be considered. Students should emerge from the course with a grounding in the basic questions of the field along with a deepened appreciation of the rich variety of responses to those questions. Written assignments consist of short writing exercises and a longer paper at the end of the term.


ENGLISH 390 - Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

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