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.