Comparative Literature | Introduction to Contemporary Literary Studies
C501 | 1236 | Hoesterey

11:15-12:30 	TR	BH 137

The course presents a survey of the most prominent theoretical
paradigms operative in contemporary literature studies today. It
introduces graduate students to the methodological debates on the
nature of literary discourse in the 20th century with emphasis on the
practice of comparative literature today. It is important to first
visit the tradition of form-oriented and structuralist criticism since
it is before this backdrop that the subsequent paradigms, their
reception, and their intriguing interaction have to be positioned. At
the beginning of the 21st century neo-Marxian ideological critique,
Foucauldian discourse analysis, New Historicism, deconstruction, and
culture studies show more affinity than at the time of their
respective inception; the confluence of Freudian and Lacanian
approaches serves feminist and gender studies that are also informed
by the above directions.
We will discuss "theory" in conjunction with examples of its critical
application to literary texts as well as to literary and cultural
terms; we conclude by collaboratively establishing a glossary of those
terms and concepts derived from the various paradigms that now form an
integral part of a general critical vocabulary.
Required are:
one 10-p. paper that applies one or more approaches to a literary text
chosen by the student; a final (take-home) examination that consists
of essay questions relating to the "glossary" mentioned above.
Required texts: M. H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (7th or
later ed.) Donald G. Marshall, Contemporary Critical Theory (MLA 1993)
A custom-made reader, available at Collegiate Copies approx. August
Notes: C501 is required for Comparative Literature M.A. and Ph.D.