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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gillian H Harkins
C LIT 509
Seattle Campus

History of Literary Criticism and Theory III

Literary criticism and theory from Kant's Critique of Judgment to the mid-twentieth century and the work of Northrop Frye. Offered: jointly with ENGL 509.

Class description

Psychoanalysis Then and Now

This course provides a limited introduction to psychoanalysis and its impact on twentieth and twenty-first century literary and cultural studies. No ten week course could possibly synthesize the diverse origins and trends attributed to psychoanalytic thought, so we will simply touch on some of the field’s basic tenets and key disputes. The opening section of the course will focus on primary works by Sigmund Freud and secondary materials situating Freud in his historical context. The second section will explore early and mid-twentieth century responses to Freud, including possibly work by Joan Riviere, Sándor Ferenczi, Melanie Klein, and Jacques Lacan. The final section will examine a few representative late twentieth and twenty-first psychoanalytic commentators chosen from among the following: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Judith Butler, Anne Cheng, Joan Copjec, Ranjana Khanna, Kaja Silverman, Hortense Spillers, Antonio Viego, and Slavoj Zizek. Students will be expected to write one 5 page review of psychoanalytic criticism in their own field and one 12-15 page paper on a relevant debate in psychoanalytic theory and/or a primary text.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Gillian H Harkins
Date: 11/07/2011