English | Critical Practices
L371 | 2954 | Josh Kates

Josh Kates

2954 - 11:15a-12:30p 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 focus on two sorts of questions: 1) how can
literature be evaluated, some works judged to be better than others
(if this is possible at all)?; and 2) how is it to be interpreted?
Both of these practices, especially the former, have come into
significant doubt of late. Starting with one or two of the
more “classic” earlier treatments of these themes (David Hume’s “Of
the Standard of Taste,” Plato’s “Ion”), we will focus on the
twentieth century and explore how these questions have been answered
(including arguments made that they cannot be), written
predominantly in the English language.

Thorough and timely preparation of the assigned readings is a must,
as class participation is expected. (The assignments will be short,
but not easy.) There will be a midterm, a final exam, and a final
paper, as well as some other brief written assignments. Because of
the demands and difficulties of the course, the instructor of this
particular section strongly recommends that all students first
contact him before signing up for this section (jkates@indiana.edu).