E 382L • Sign Theories and their Use in Analysis of Lit and Film
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
The course will provide a close examination of three main theories of signs, the classical semeion (primarily Aristotle and the Stoics), Charles Sanders Peirces Semeiotic, and the Semiology of Ferdinand de Saussure. We will also study examples of the use of these theories in the analysis of literature, again starting with Aristotle, and with the application of probable signs concepts to 18th-century English novels in Douglas Lane Patey, Probability and Literary Form. Peirces theories will be studied again in their application in certain narratological schemes and in the film analysis (and theory) of Gilles Deleuze. Finally Saussures influence on structuralism/post-structuralism will be sampled using writings of Roland Barthes. Please note: the focus in all these cases is not the linguistic sign, although the relation to language signs will be considered throughout the course. The main purpose is to gain familiarity with these sign theories and an ability to put them to use in analysis.