Henry J. Staten
Intensive study of, and exercise in, applying important or influential interpretive practices for studying language, literature, and culture, along with consideration of their powers/limits. Focuses on developing critical writing abilities. Topics vary and may include critical and interpretive practice from scripture and myth to more contemporary approaches, including newer interdisciplinary practices. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in ENGL 197 or ENGL 297; a minimum grade of 2.0 in ENGL 202 or ENGL 301; may not be repeated if received a grade of 2.0 or higher.
For AUTUMN 2007: Formalism and Beyond. The first part of this course will train you in formalist techniques of reading literature. Formalism is an approach that stresses the importance of “the text itself” – the words printed on the page. For this approach, the psychology of the author and the historical context of the text are irrelevant; we must interpret the words of the text and only the words of the text. After developing a grounding in this approach we will study criticisms of it and go on to other approaches that include the factors excluded by formalism. Among these other approaches are psychoanalysis, cultural materialism, and gender theory.
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