English | Introduction to Criticism
L371 | 2222 | Brantlinger

Introduction to Criticism

1:00p-2:15p 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.

We will study various critical and theoretical approaches to
literature, from Plato to the present.  Although the emphasis will
be on current approaches, the first third of the semester will
consist of a rapid historical tour, emphasizing the origins of
current approaches in romanticism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, early
feminism, and the so-called New Criticism of the 1930s through
1960s.  The current approaches that we will sample and practice
applying to literary texts will include poststructuralism, the new
historicism, postcolonialism and critical race theory, feminist and
queer theory, and cultural studies.  Readings, some of them drawn
either from an anthology or a course packet, will include some or
all of these texts:  Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy; Jonathan
Culler, Literary Theory; Sigmund Freud, On Dreams; and Virginia
Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.  Students will write three papers, 5-6
pages each, one of which may be revised.  There will also be three
exams.  Depending on the size of the class, each student will also
lead one discussion and give a report on one of the papers.  Regular
attendance and participation, please!