Paul A Jaussen
Contemporary criticism and theory and its background in the New Criticism, structuralism, and phenomenology.
This course will map the contours of twentieth-century literary theory and criticism. As you will discover, the term "theory and criticism" has come to designate many different intellectual activities. By closely reading some of the most influential thinkers, texts, and trajectories, we will try to get a sense for this diversity, as well as an appreciation for the many intersecting problems and recurring concerns. Although the specific readings are still to be determined, you can expect to see the major traditions covered, including varieties of formalism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, feminism and gender studies, postcolonialism, critical race theory, new historicism, and maybe (if we have time) recent developments in cognitive approaches.
Clearly, we will be covering a good deal of dense (but rich) material, so you should expect to devote substantial study time to the readings. Students will also be responsible for one formal presentation, active classroom participation, two exams, a short proposal, and a final paper. You will need to buy one large and expensive anthology; additional materials will be posted on e-reserve.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading