ENGL 370
Literary and Critical Theory in the Twentieth Century Fall 2018 Division I; Cross-listed as COMP380 / ENGL370

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From the rise of modern literary criticism around 1900 to the explosion of high theory in the 1980s and 1990s, the twentieth century witnessed an international flowering of new ideas about how to interpret art and literature: Russian Formalism, American New Criticism, French Structuralism and Deconstruction, new varieties of hermeneutic criticism, and a welter of post- prefixed concepts that claim to transcend national boundaries: the poststructural, the postmodern, the postcolonial, the posthuman. What are the ideas associated with these different movements, and how are they connected? Does each represent a radical break with previous ways of reading, or do they actually build on one another and evolve in a systematic way? The course will focus on a very careful reading of essays representing major 20th-century critical schools (and a couple of their earlier precursors), by critics like Plato, Schiller, Shklovsky, Richards, Barthes, Derrida, de Man, Beauvoir, Butler, and Said. Written assignments will encourage you to parse these theories carefully and apply them to the literary texts that most interest you: prose or poetry from any time and place; film, visual art, or architecture; music, new media, or digital media, etc.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 12
Class#: 1568
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and active participation, several short response assignments, final project consisting of a scripted oral presentation and a 15-page final paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: at least one previous literature or theory course
Enrollment Preference: Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives; ENGL Criticism Courses

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