English | Critical Practices
L371 | 16366 | Purnima Bose

Purnima Bose

9:30a-10:45p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

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.

This course will be organized around a set of critical approaches,
such as formalism, structuralism, post-structuralism,
psychoanalysis, Marxism, post-colonial and ethnic studies, feminism
and queer studies.
Rather than provide an exhaustive survey of critical theory, we will
concern ourselves with investigating the ways in which these
critical approaches conceptualize the relationship between
narrative, on the one hand, and history, on the other. In addition
to analyzing the conceptions of representation that underwrite our
readings, we will contextualize them within the history of
contemporary literary theory and social movements. Throughout the
course, we will ask: what is the connection between representation
in the mimetic sense and political representation in the public
sphere? And what sorts of ethical, moral, and political
responsibilities are attendant on being an intellectual today? We
will approach individual readings fairly systematically by inquiring
how each text 1) defines its object of investigation; 2) organizes
its argument by ascertaining its key critical terms, its structure,
and the kinds of evidence it employs; 3) contains conceptual gaps
which cannot be elaborated within the terms of the argument.

There are three required texts: Terry Eagleton's Literary
Theory: An Introduction; Vincent B. Leitch's edited collection The
Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism and David Lodge's Nice Work.

Students should expect to write one 5-6 page paper and one 8-10 page
paper, and to take three exams.