English | Introduction to Criticism
L371 | 2219 | Watt
L371 2219 WATT
Introduction to Criticism
9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 CR.
PREREQUISITE: L202 with grade of C- or better. NOTE: The English
Department will strictly enforce this prerequisite. Students who
have not completed L202 with a grade of C- or better will have their
registration administratively cancelled.
The topic of this course will be “From Literary to Cultural
Study,” and it will trace several developments in the reading of
texts over the past fifty years or so. It will begin with a review
of American formalism, once called the “New Criticism,” which
advocated, among other things, the “close reading” of texts. The
course will then move on to what might be termed “extrinsic” reading
and interpretive practices—psychoanalysis and ideological critique,
for example—ending with a unit on Cultural Studies. Throughout the
course, particular emphasis will be placed on the students’ writing:
on the clarity of their critical prose; the integration of critical
and theoretical work into that prose; and so on. For this reason,
we will write a series of short essays and one longer research type
paper due at the end of the term.
Texts (an incomplete list):
Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn
Robert Scholes, Protocols of Reading
Anthony Easthope, From Literary to Cultural Study
Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction
We will also read several poems, plays, and pieces of short fiction.