L371 4908 CRITICAL PRACTICES
10:10a-11:00a MWF (30 students) 3 cr., A&H. Open to English majors only.
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.
For almost as long as human beings have been creating literary texts, they have also persistently asked questions about literature and the other arts. What effect ought art to have? Does it support the stability of the state or undermine it? What is its connection to the lives of ordinary people? The passing centuries have only added further questions, while continuing those of the ancients: Is there such a thing as a true interpretation? What role does the reader play in the meaning of a text? What is the nature of the authorís relation to the text? What is the structure of the language of which literature is made up? Weíll consider these and other questions in a broad survey of literary and cultural theory, testing our ideas in connection to a few literary texts: William Blakeís Songs of Innocence & of Experience, Caryl Churchillís Cloud 9, Mark Haddonís The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as well as stories by Jorge Luis Borges and Julian Barnes. Writing assignments will ask students to place theoretical positions in conversation with each other. One paper dealing with a literary text using theory will also be required. Theoretical texts will be supplemented by Terry Eagletonís Literary Theory.