C LIT 502
Offerings vary to cover topics such as individual theorists, theoretical movements, or the intersection of literary theory with other disciplines or arts (psychoanalysis, structuralism, ethics, aesthetics).
This course explores contemporary theoretical works that do not follow a unified theoretical meta-narrative (i.e., post-structuralism or new historicism), but instead explore literature itself as the foundational terrain of theoretical practice. We will look into the creation of theory from literature, such as in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, whom we will study throughout this course, Gerald Bruns, who focuses on the contemporary philosophers’ interest in literature as the originator of theory, and Martha Nussbaum, who discusses ethical questions posed by ancient texts. Part of the course will focus on Slavic writers who explore various literary genres, such as diary or fictional book reviews, as the primary ground of theory. Texts will include selections from the books by or on Bakhtin, Bruns, Nussbaum, and Auerbach, and also writings by creative writers Lem, Gombrowicz, Kundera, and Kis.
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Class assignments and grading