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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2005

E 382L • Sign Theories and their Use in Analysis of Lit and Film

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32585 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 305
Barnouw

Course Description

The course will provide a close examination of three main theories of signs, the classical semeion (primarily Aristotle and the Stoics), Charles Sanders Peirce’s 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. Peirce’s theories will be studied again in their application in certain narratological schemes and in the film analysis (and theory) of Gilles Deleuze. Finally Saussure’s 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.

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