L371 1979 BOSE
Introduction to Criticism

2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr.


This course will be organized around a set of critical approaches, such as Formalism, Marxism, Feminism, Post-Structuralism, Post-Colonialism, and Transnationalism. Rather than provide an exhaustive survey of critical theory, we will concern ourselves with investigating how 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 underwriting 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 delineated by Aristotle and political representation in the public sphere? And what sorts of ethical, moral, and political responsibilities are attendant on being an intellectual today? A tentative list of partial readings includes works by the following writers: Aijaz Ahmad, M.H. Abrams, Erich Auerbach, Hazel Carby, Jacques Derrida, Arif Dirlik, Terry Eagleton, Cynthia Enloe, Susan Faludi, Frantz Fanon, Antonio Gramsci, Susan Gubar, John Guillory, Barbara Harlow, James Kavanaugh, Neil Lazarus, Karl Marx, Masao Miyoshi, Chandra Mohanty, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Robyn Wiegman, and Raymond Williams. As part of our course materials, we will also read some poetry and short stories, and view some films and television programs.

Students should expect to write 6-7 page papers, keep a group email journal, and take a midterm and final exam.