Critical Practices

1:00p-2:15p TR (30 students) 3 CR. - Satisfies A&H Distribution Requirement

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 for a higher grade. There will probably also be three or four quizzes. 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!