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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Louisa Mackenzie
FRENCH 576
Seattle Campus

Critical Methodology

Basic scholarly tools of bibliography; historical review of literary doctrine; an introduction to critical methodology.

Class description

An introductory survey of some of the foundational texts of Western literary practice and theory from the middle ages and early modern periods. Texts will not be limited to "literary theory" per se (aesthetics, philosophy, poetics, etc.), but will include a range of texts influential in political, religious and scientific spheres. Thus, this class might better be categorised under the rubric of "History of Ideas". Particular attention will be given to humanism, as a category and as a movement. Authors include Machiavelli, Erasmus, Calvin and Luther, Descartes, Sidney, Bacon, Locke, Rousseau.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Class will be conducted in English. Students in French Studies should try to do readings of French authors in the original, where possible.

Small, seminar-style. Participation expected, and required to succeed.

Recommended preparation

Students must prepare by doing assigned reading.

Class assignments and grading

Regular and active participation is expected of all students. There will be one oral presentation, one abstract (1-2 pages), one annotated bibliography (2 pages) and one final paper (10-15 pages). Students will also bring reading questions to class.


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 Louisa Mackenzie
Date: 12/30/2004