C L 390 • 20th Century Literary Theory and Poetics
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Using as a guide our program's recommended reading list on 20th and 21th century literary theory, this years CL390 will survey some major "schools" of critical thought about literatureRussian Formalism, American New Criticism, Structuralism and Semiotics, Reception Theory, Speech Act Theory, Deconstruction, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, New Historicism, Post- Freudian Analysis, Feminism, Postcolonial Theory, Ethnic and Race Theory, Gender and Queer Theory, and Cultural Studies. We will read selected articles and/or chapters by representative authors of each school. In each meeting we will try to engage the ideas of at least five theorists considered as canonical to each respective movement. Each student will be required to make around four 10-minute informal presentations of specific articles in our syllabus to help lead class discussion. Each student is required to make a more formal 15-20 minute report on a full work by a theorist on the list. These works can be chosen from a suggested list or the choice can be discussed with the professor. The guiding objective of this survey seminar is the genealogical understanding of the situation of literary theory today. If we have time, we will try to address some of the new areas of theory in the last turn-of-the-century still unaccounted for in our recommended theory list: ethical theory, the law and literature movement, globalization studies, and cosmopolitan theory.
Two exam exercises based on exam model question: 40% Informal presentations, formal oral report, and participation: 30% Term paper/critical essay on the topic of the formal oral report (or topic agreed on with the instructor) due a week after the last meeting: 30%
Vincent B. Leitch, General Editor, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (New York, 2001). Required for CL 390. Hazard Adams & Leroy Searle, eds., Critical Theory since 1965 (CTS-65 on syllabus). Available at the University COOP.