9:30a-10:45a TR (30) 3 cr.
In this course we shall familiarize ourselves with a range of current
critical approaches to literature and culture and develop a shared
vocabulary of critical terms to enrich and complicate our
understanding of "texts." Much of our work will involve defining and
articulating relationships between social worlds, printed texts,
languages, and distinct readerships, and ways in which these have
changed over time. As we read a selection of essays on literary theory
in general and critical works on particular literary and cultural
productions, we shall begin to identify the motives and stakes
involved in critical work. We'll discuss and debate the terrain
various critical approaches open up in our readings of texts, and
we'll have the opportunity to try our hand at several approaches. The
texts which we'll read have not been finalized, but might include
writings of Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Toni
Morrison, and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o.
Students will be asked to write two short papers (5-6 pages in
length), one long paper (8 pages in length), present on a critical
concept, prepare descriptions of critical terms we encounter, and
participate fully in discussion.